Why Can’t My Dog Keep Food Down?

No dog owner wants to hear the sound that a dog makes when it grows ill. You’ll probably panic when you see your dog throw up, and you’ll wonder why he can’t keep the food in his stomach.

There are numerous causes for your dog’s vomiting. Some of the reasons aren’t cause for concern. However, it can sometimes indicate a serious health issue. 

For example, a simple explanation could be that your dog is eating too much or too quickly, that they have a gastrointestinal tract infection, or that they’re allergic to a specific food. 

In addition, learn about signs and symptoms to help you distinguish between different causes and how to help your dog. To gain a better understanding of this, read the entire article. 

If your dog is scared of their food bowl, this may mean that the dog food they’re eating is making them sick.


5 Reasons Your Dog Can’t Keep Food Down 

1: Food intolerance 

Food intolerance or food allergies is one of the most common reasons your dog throws up after having a meal. It can be challenging to determine which ingredients your dog is allergic to. 

It’s also possible that your dog was fine with one food item and then developed an intolerance to it after a few months. When the dog’s body is unable to digest the food, he will vomit. 

As a result, food allergies only affect the dog’s stomach and do not affect the rest of the body. Some allergies, on the other hand, cause skin symptoms. 

As a result, if you introduce a new meal plan or immediately change any food item in your dog’s diet, keep a close eye on his health. It’s possible that his stomach isn’t prepared for the change.

2: Gastrointestinal infections

Just as some people have sensitive stomachs and can’t eat spicy foods, dogs can get gastrointestinal illnesses from certain foods. 

Several types of GIT tract infections can be caused by either acidic food or the consumption of contaminated food. 

Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis refers to an inflammatory condition of the stomach and intestines. 

You must carefully examine the symptoms to determine whether or not the GIT is affected or has already been damaged. 

That could be why your dog is unable to eat. Vomiting is followed by diarrhea, a loss of appetite, and weight loss. 

The digestive tract won’t be able to break down and digest the food properly. As a consequence, whatever goes in must come out.

3: Too Much or Too Fast 

Here’s a simple but important factor that can cause your dog to vomit.

If you have more than merely one pup, one of them could become greedy and try to eat too quickly in order to consume more. 

Consequently, puppies or dogs who have been in shelters develop the habit of eating too much or too quickly because they are competing with other dogs. 

Furthermore, even if you only have one dog, you should be aware that dogs adore food and will often eat far beyond the point of necessity. 

If this is the situation, and your pup hasn’t given the food enough time to settle in the stomach, they will inevitably throw up.

4: Addison disease 

Now I’ll be dealing with more serious health issues. If your dog doesn’t meet the criteria for the reasons listed above, you should consider having him properly screened at a veterinarian. 

Adrenal glands in dogs produce mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids, which are hormones. These hormones are essential for the body’s proper functioning. 

An abnormal increase or decrease in their level, on the other hand, causes serious health concerns. Hypoadrenocorticism is caused by a severe deficiency of these two hormones. 

Your dog will be weak, dehydrated, have low blood pressure, vomit, have blood in his feces, and be depressed. 

Although Addison’s disease is uncommon in dogs, it does occur in young to middle-aged people. 

Vomiting is just one of the symptoms that indicate that something is wrong with your dog. For this reason, don’t dismiss it.

5: Cancers 

Following Addison’s disease comes another extremely dangerous diagnosis: cancer. It’s difficult to diagnose this disease in any dog who vomits. 

However, it is one of the possible explanations. Cancerous cells can form in any part of your dog’s body. They can be found in the blood, skin, or any organ. 

A few cancers spread quickly and wreak havoc on your dog’s health. They will be fatigued most of the time and will be in a lot of pain. 

His digestive tract will not be in good enough shape to accept a wide variety of foods. 

You have to monitor your dog and check for symptoms other than vomiting alone, as cancer can spread in no time.

3 Ways To Help Your Dog Keep Food Down

1: Wait before feeding them again 

Many factors influence how you can support your dog. If this is the dog’s first or only episode of vomiting, keep them under observation and wait some time before feeding him again. 

This will allow their digestive tract to return to normal function. If a dog inadvertently consumes something that the stomach cannot digest, it will be expelled from the body. 

Give your dog something to eat if they haven’t shown any other negative signs and symptoms and are doing well. Begin with a soft diet, such as bread. 

It’s preferable to offer him something to drink so that they don’t vomit. However, don’t delay the next meal for too long because dogs can become dehydrated after vomiting.

2: Try a temporary bland diet 

Replace the food if you suspect it was not fresh or became contaminated. The fact that your dog isn’t experiencing any other symptoms should put your mind at ease.

For your dog’s sake, try to provide some lean hamburger meat or boil some chicken. Furthermore, canned pumpkin is known to aid in stomach digestion. 

Because you don’t want to be harsh on your dog’s stomach again, feeding him a nutrient-dense, easily digestible meal is the best approach to take. 

If your dog is unable to digest a particular meal, try a different one. Never force any canine to eat something he cannot enjoy or digest. 

For more information, speak with a veterinarian or a dietician.

3: Take to a vet 

If the dog is constantly vomiting, this is a critical step. Even if your dog only gets sick once a week, it should be taken seriously. 

No matter how big and tough they become, our dogs are still extremely sensitive on the inside. Any indications of underlying illnesses should never be ignored. 

Taking the dog to the vet will clear up any confusion. They will almost certainly run some blood tests to figure out what’s wrong. The treatment will be tailored to the diagnosis. 

If it’s just a case of food poisoning, the vet will often flush the stomach. However, if the test is positive, it could indicate a serious illness such as Addison’s disease or cancer. 

Depending on the severity of the sickness, the medicine and treatment protocol will be planned.


Rather than assuming what is wrong with your dog’s health, it’s better to learn and educate yourself. 

There could be several causes why your dog is unable to keep food down, ranging from simple things like eating too quickly or too much to serious illnesses like cancer. 

Dogs, like humans, require love and comfort when they are ill. Replace your dog’s food with a healthier option to help them. 

Take it easy on their stomach, and take them to the vet if they develop any serious symptoms. 

Written by Brian Rucker

Brian Rucker has been a dog lover since childhood. He has had his Lab Mix with Hound for over 10+ years now! They enjoy playing outdoors together. Brian loves sharing his knowledge about all things dog on this website. Read more of Brian's articles.