Why Does My Dog Throw Up After Drinking Water?

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The sound of a retching dog is enough to make any dog owner stop dead in their tracks. While no one likes cleaning up dog vomit, the much bigger worry is what caused your furry friend to throw up their drinking water in the first place. Especially when it’s accompanied by white foam or undigested food. In this article, we look at why your dog may be throwing up their drinking water and what you can do to ensure it never happens again.

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When Should You Be Concerned About Your Dog Throwing Up?

First, is your dog occasionally vomiting a cause for concern? We’ve all witnessed our dogs throwing up from time to time, whether that be their drinking water, dinner, or a foreign object like a piece of their toy. While unpleasant for your poor pooch, occasional dog vomiting is normal and could be caused by various innocent reasons.

However, when a dog is experiencing frequent vomiting, this is likely a symptom of a more severe issue. Even without a serious underlying problem, dogs who often vomit will quickly suffer from dehydration and may need the help of a fluid drip to ensure they don’t become seriously ill. Dog vomiting accompanied by weight loss, lethargy, and stomach bloating requires immediate intervention by a veterinarian.

We’re not veterinarians and can’t give you veterinary advice – we recommend you see a televet or make an appointment with your local vet.

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5 Reasons Why Your Dog is Throwing Up After Drinking Water

Dog is Throwing Up After Drinking Water

There are multiple reasons your furry friend may throw up after drinking water, some being more serious than others. Let’s take a look at the five potential reasons why your pup just can’t keep their water down.

1.   They’re Drinking Too Quickly

Drinking too quickly is one of the most common reasons your dog may vomit after a good lap of water. Suppose your dog has recently been engaging in high-energy activities such as running or playing in the backyard. In that case, their seemingly desperate lapping of water may be causing acute regurgitation.

Acute regurgitation is brought on by their stomach filling up too quickly. You can prevent vomiting by using a slow water feeder bowl or placing a large, super clean stone in their existing water bowl. The stone’s presence will slow your dog’s drinking, as they will have to lap around it. Vomiting after drinking water should be an isolated incident in this case and should not continue after your pup calms down.

2.   They’re Feeling Nauseous

Did you know that dogs may purposely drink too much water to make themselves throw up? Much like a dog may eat grass if they’re nauseous, your dog knows something is causing them to feel unwell, and they need to clear out their system.

If your dog throws up clear liquid, you can assume that this results from nausea or stomach sensitivity. This liquid may be stomach secretions or water that has settled in your dogs stomach. Try giving your dog some bland food such as plain, boiled chicken to settle their upset stomach. While bouts of nausea can resolve themselves, it’s essential to contact your veterinarian if your dog can’t seem to keep anything down.

3.   Drinking Contaminated Water When Out For a Walk

Does your dog like to drink lake water when out for a walk or even take long laps from large puddles? Although your dog may love to quench their thirst in a pond on a particularly hot day, contaminated water may be the culprit for their vomiting. While most of us are guilty of letting our dog drink from a pond or a lake to let them cool off, these freshwater sources are teeming with viruses, bacteria, algae, fungi, and parasites.

To avoid exposing your dog to harmful bacteria and even chemical runoff, bring a portable drinking bowl with you when going out for long walks. If you want to go one step further regarding water purification, you can purchase dog water bottles with a built-in filter. This will eliminate the need to let your dog quench their thirst in a natural body of water and prevent them from getting sick.

4.   Drinking Toilet Water

While you may have resigned yourself to your dog sneaking into the bathroom and drinking toilet water, it’s important not to let them. Toilet water has been tainted with harmful bacteria and chemicals, including bleach and toilet bowl cleaner, and could be the underlying cause of your dog’s vomiting. Ensure that you keep the lid to your toilet down at all times to avoid your furry friend lapping up this potentially toxic water.

If they still manage to nose their way in, you can purchase childproof locks for the toilet or keep the door to your bathroom closed.

5.   Illness and Medical Conditions

Sadly, there are several illnesses and medical conditions that could be causing your pup to throw up drinking water, including the following:


Your dog may be experiencing bloat, a life-threatening condition most common in larger breeds. When a dog has bloat, they are experiencing severe abdominal pain caused by the stomach stretching from gas, dog food, or water. This can result in chronic vomiting and cause breathing problems and blood flow restriction to the abdomen and stomach.

If your dog also exhibits symptoms such as panting, drooling, dry-heaving, pale gums, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, or collapse, take them to an emergency veterinary clinic. While bloat is life-threatening, it may be cured if taken care of immediately.


The condition known as Megaesophagus is caused by an enlarged esophagus, reducing its movement. This may prevent food and water from reaching the stomach, resulting in vomiting.

Megaesophagus is common in certain breeds, including German Shepherds, Pugs, Irish Setters, Labradors, and Great Danes, although a dog of any breed may be born with this condition. While often fatal, some puppies may grow out of the condition, while others can prolong their life with medication and therapy.

Final Thoughts

While a dog occasionally throwing up after drinking water may be completely harmless, it is best to get checked out if they are vomiting regularly. If your dog is throwing up after drinking water combined with any of the symptoms described above, immediately make an appointment with a veterinarian.

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