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Why does my dog vomit after running? (What to do)

Dogs love to run. It’s in their nature. But sometimes, after a vigorous run or game of fetch, they’ll vomit. This can be quite alarming for dog owners, but don’t worry – there are a few things you can do to help your pup feel better. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the causes of dog vomiting after running, and what you can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Why Does My Dog Vomit After Running?

When your dog vomits after running, it’s usually for a specific reason, especially if it’s out of the blue. Here are some of the most common causes:

Eating Too Much Before Running

If your dog eats a big meal and then goes for a run, it may vomit simply because its stomach is full. This is especially likely if they ate very quickly and didn’t take a lot of time to chew their food first.

Drinking Too Much Water Before Running

Similarly to eating, if your dog drinks a lot of water before running, it may vomit because its stomach is full. You’ll know this is the cause if the vomit is mostly liquid and clear.


If your dog is not used to running or playing fetch for long periods of time, it may vomit from overexertion. What happens is that your dog’s muscles may start to cramp up, which could contract its intestines and push food or liquid back up the intestinal tract.

Heat Exhaustion

Another possibility is that your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion, especially if it’s hot outside and they are panting excessively. Some signs of dehydration include fast panting, an elevated heart rate, a dry nose, and sunken eyes.

Too Much Fatty Food

If your dog regularly rummages through the garbage or is fed table scraps, it’s possible they ate too much fat and may have a hard time digesting it. Fatty foods are particularly likely to cause vomiting, as they can easily come back up if your dog is very physically active.

Your Dog Ingested Something Toxic

If your dog got ahold of something such as poison, chemicals, or plants, it may vomit as a way to try and get rid of the toxins in its system. It’s also possible that your dog ate human food that is highly toxic, such as chocolate, grapes, or onions.

Your Dog Has a Virus or Bacterial Infection

Sometimes, vomiting can be a sign of a more serious underlying health condition, such as a virus or bacterial infection. If your dog is also lethargic, has diarrhea, or isn’t eating, it’s best to take them to the vet right away.

Your Pup Is Stressed or Anxious

Just like people, dogs can also vomit when they are feeling stressed or anxious. If your dog is vomiting and you can’t figure out why it’s possible that something is bothering them, such as a change in the home or a new pet.

You Have an Older Pup

As dogs age, they may start to experience more health problems. One of these problems is called megaesophagus, which is when the esophagus becomes enlarged and doesn’t work correctly. This can cause food or liquid to come back up, especially if your dog is exercising.

Your Dog Is Experiencing Regurgitation

Regurgitation is a bit different than vomiting, as it’s not accompanied by the same muscle contractions. This usually happens when your dog has eaten too fast or drank too much water. You’ll know this is the case if your pup brings up undigested food or liquid without any force.

This usually isn’t caused by a deeper issue and is nothing to be too concerned about if it happens once in a while.

What to Do About My Dog Vomiting After Running?

Here are a few things you can do to help your dog if they vomit after running:

Give Them Time to Rest

If your dog is vomiting and seems to be in pain, it’s best to let them rest. This means no more running or playing fetch for the day. If you’re in the middle of a run, give your pup a chance to rest for a bit before you slowly walk home.

Get Your Dog Out of the Heat

Since heat exhaustion is one of the leading causes of vomiting, it’s important to get your dog out of the heat. If you’re at home or close to home, put them in a cool room with the air conditioning on.

If you’re outside, find a shady spot for them to sit in and cool off. You could fan your dog with an item and if you have access to water, put some of it on your dog’s neck to help cool down its internal temperature.

Dogs don’t sweat so it’s important to help them lower their internal temperature some other way.

Give Them Small Sips of Water

Dehydration is one of the main problems when it comes to heat exhaustion, so you’ll want to give your dog small sips of water if this is the case. Let them drink slowly and don’t force too much water into their system.

You may even need to slow your dog’s drinking down by covering the bowl with your hand so they can only take small sips.

Comfort Your Pup

Vomiting causes stress on your dog’s body, no matter what the cause is. So, it’s important to offer them some love and comfort. This can help ease their anxiety and make them feel better overall. Go ahead and hold your dog and lightly pet it and scratch it behind the ears. Just make sure not to put too much pressure on their tummy area.

Speak to your dog in a soft and positive voice, reinforcing that everything is going to be alright. Dogs can understand the tone you use, so it’s important to be reassuring.

Give Your Dog Gentler Food

If your dog is vomiting and you think it might be due to food, try switching them to a more gentle option. This usually means boiled chicken or rice. Plain low-sodium chicken broth is another good option.

Don’t worry if your dog doesn’t want to eat for the rest of the day after throwing up. This is a natural reaction and they will likely be hungry the next day. It’s more important to focus on making sure your dog drinks water.

Take Your Dog to the Vet (If Necessary)

If your dog keeps vomiting after the run and you can’t figure out why, or if it is also experiencing other symptoms, such as lethargy, diarrhea, or pain for several hours into the next day, it may be time for the vet. Give the office a call and see what your vet thinks the best solution will be.