Health Starts In The Gut
Why Is My Dog Throwing Up Regurgitated Food?

Help! Why Is My Dog Throwing Up Undigested Food?

By: Bernie's Best
2/8/22

It's like your dog didn't even bother to chew or digest, and instead gave you a nice dose of that super expensive food right back at you as he is vomiting undigested food.

It's gross.It's frustrating.
It's messy.
Your pet hates it too.

But if you're wondering "Why is my dog throwing up undigested food?" the first thing to know is that he's not 'throwing up undigested food' but instead, likely regurgitating food and there is definitely a difference and something you can do about it!

What Is Dog's Regurgitation? Is It The Same Thing As My Dog Throwing Up Undigested Food?

Looks like somebody's been reading up on dog gut health because you're asking the right questions. Canine vomiting is when your dog throws up food or liquid from his upper small intestine or stomach. You hear that distinct "Gluck, gluck, gluck" sound (usually at 3 am) and you know he's about to have a vomiting episode.

But canine regurgitation...that's a different story and all dog owners should know that. It seems like it's your doggy throwing up partially digested food, but it's not really them 'throwing up' anything, and you won't hear that retching sound because what's coming back up (technical term: regurgitant) is not being propelled by his stomach or intestines but instead, coming from his esophagus or pharynx. Typically, the esophagus is what brings food and liquid into the stomach and then the rest of the digestive tract, but if food doesn't make it there, it's not really too deep into the digestive process (which starts with the first bite) and therefore still maintains much of the look and feel of undigested food. It's your dog's esophageal muscles that bring the stomach contents back out of his mouth, not the dog's stomach muscles that contract and propel it out of his stomach (as vomit).

Your pup likely has NO warning that it's coming (nor do you) and can actually be dangerous in that often, his larynx doesn't have time to close and that allows some of the regurgitated food to go into his lungs. This can lead to aspiration pneumonia, so you definitely want to address canine regurgitation. You'd better take your furry friend to a veterinarian immediately especially if he also has other symptoms. A physical exam and some blood tests will probably be necessary for the vet to make an accurate diagnosis and identify if your pet has some serious problems (addison's disease, viral infections, digestive upset, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal parasites etc).

How Do I Know If My Dog Vomited Or If My Dog Regurgitated?

It's actually pretty easy to tell the difference, usually. Again, you'll probably NOT hear that tell-tale noise from your pet indicating you better get him outside (and FAST or your carpet's about to see a pile of vomit) and it'll seemingly come out of nowhere. It looks like your furry friend threw up undigested food, whereas if your dog vomits, it'll be mushier, and probably have some bile and other gastric juices mixed in to give it some color (typically yellow). Regurgitated dog food typically still smells like...well, dog food, while dog vomit smells like...well, human vomit--sour and sort of foul. Read more about dog regurgitation vs. vomiting differences

Why Is My Dog Vomiting Undigested Food?

If you're a dog owner and you're asking "Why is my dog throwing up partially digested food," there are a few general answers. Most often? Your pup is a chowhound and wolfs his meals down way too quickly. This can lead to not just canine regurgitation, but him ending up with bloat and that can be super dangerous. You want to get that pupper to slow the heck down! Special feeders, snuffle mats and even smaller portions more often can help.

Speaking of chowhounds...if your dog eats too much (especially if too quickly) his body may simply say, "Thanks. We're done." and give it back up. It's kind of a simple concept--too many treats, not enough space...something's gotta give.

Sometimes your dog may have an issue called Megaesophagus. This is when his esophagus dilates and that makes it harder from food to get into his stomach as it should. And, again understanding that space is a premium in a pup's digestive system, if it can't make it to the stomach, it'll just go back out the way it came in.

Additionally, your puppy may be throwing up because of esophageal disease and you'll want your vet to take a look especially if there are other signs your dog's health is deteriorating (he has abdominal pain, motion sickness, weak muscles etc).

Help! My Dog Is Throwing Up Undigested Food!

For many dogs, regurgitation is not uncommon and typically happens because they're eating too quickly or too much or not even swallowing properly. If you want to limit or stop the episodes of your dog throwing up undigested food, you'll want to take a few easy steps.

First, if your dog regurgitates, make sure he's getting healthy food and as we suggested, make sure he doesn't eat it too fast. This will be a huge step in the right direction.

Next, make sure he has Bernie's Perfect Poop with every meal. Yes, the perfect poop starts with the first bite, and that's where regurgitation also starts.

The premium fiber in Bernie's Perfect Poop is the best way to ensure that your pup's food begins its path to digestion the right way--soluble and insoluble fibers move food through at just the right speed and help to battle the negative effects of too-fast-eating. The pre- and probiotics in Perfect Poop help your doggy's gut thrive--meaning the stomach acids are balanced and ready for food to come and be digested.

A healthy gut ensures that there's no reason for your dog's food to go anywhere but through the dog's digestive tract and at just the right speed for maximum nutrient absorption.

And the digestive enzymes in Perfect Poop start their magic the second your dog takes his first bite! They're additional and beneficial help to begin the digestive process, and to help food go through the digestive system broken down efficiently for optimal nutrition.

All of these ingredients work together in two delicious formulas and help keep dog regurgitation a non-issue!

Bernie’s Thoughts On Regurgitating

Hi folks! It's me, Bernie!

Sooooo yeah...sometimes we dogs eat too quickly. Or too much.

Or too much, too quickly. We can't help it. We're foodies by nature!

But that doesn't always lend itself to food going down the way it should, and that's why my pawrents make sure every meal I have includes Bernie's Perfect Poop. It's the perfect blend of fiber, pre- and probiotics and digestive enzymes that work their digestive magic the second your dog takes a bite.

Which means you'll have less of those situations where your dog thinks he's about to burp but all of a sudden, breakfast lands back on the floor. OOF.

Perfect Poop isn't just for perfect poop (though that's what we rock!)--it's for the best dog gut health your furry friend can have!

And that's the easiest way to keep your dog's food right where it should be--fueling him for fun days with you!

Wishing your dog's food the best trip through and to the Poop Chute ever,
Bernie F.
Chief Dog Officer