Vomiting & diarrhoea in puppies

Upset tummies can be common in puppies, but it's important to be able to understand the cause, and what to do to help them

Vomiting and diarrhoea are common problems in puppies. Very often, this is due to a change in diet following leaving their breeder or rescue centre to join your family.

However, while less common, there can be other, more serious reasons, that your puppy has an upset tummy and sickness, so make sure you rule them out first. Could your little one have eaten a foreign body like a sock or toy, have parasites or ingested a poison or toxin?

If your puppy is being sick or having diarrhoea, first of all think about the history of the last few days, have they eaten anything poisonous?

Are you missing any toys or objects they like to play with? Did you see them with anything toxic like chocolate or plant material in their mouth? Has your puppy lost their appetite? If any of these are relevant then you should contact your vet as soon as possible

If your puppy is still bright and well, but vomiting occasionally, withhold food for 6 hours. They can have access to water but little and often so they don't bring it back up again. After 6 hours they can be fed a bland diet, something like chicken and rice, small amounts fed little and often throughout the day. If vomiting continues or starts again then seek veterinary attention.

After 2-3 days on a bland diet their normal food can be reintroduced gradually. If your dog isn't vomiting but has diarrhoea then there is no need to starve them and a bland diet can be introduced little and often right away.

It’s important to recognise if your pet is unwell, quiet, lethargic or showing signs or dehydration, if they are passing black tar-like faeces, vomiting blood or dark coffee-coloured vomit then you should contact your vet as soon as possible.

Also, for any young puppies that have had vomiting or diarrhoea longer than 24 hours, you should seek veterinary advice.

If you have a Kennel Club Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.