Dog Threw Up Medicine – Do I Give More?

Zack Keithy, our author, has been a certified veterinarian technician for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers. Learn more about us here.

Feeding your dog medicine is not exactly the best moment you will share with your pet. Worse still, your dog throws up after taking medicine, leaving you panicking. Should you give more?

A dog might throw up medicine because of potential obstruction, allergies, or a sign of a poor diet. Some medications are also known to cause such behavior including antibiotics and NSAIDs. I do not recommend giving your dog another dose of the medication immediately after vomiting. There’s a risk of overdose if some of the medication was absorbed before the dog vomited.

If you’re confused as to what to do, read on as I walk you through the reasons why and how you can give medication to your dog the right way.

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Reasons Why Your Dog is Throwing Up Its Medicine

As a dog parent, I know the challenges you face when your fur baby is sick. The worry, the guilt, and the sleepless nights.

And certainly, nobody wants to see their dog throwing up medicine.

Is this normal? Will it stop soon?

Let’s find out what’s causing all these issues.

1. Obstruction

When a dog ingests an object, it can get stuck in the dog’s digestive tract, preventing food and liquid from passing through normally.

It can cause your dog to vomit as they attempt to expel it.

2. Allergy

If your dog has an allergy or intolerance to something, it can cause him or her to throw up.

Here are common types:

  • Food allergies
  • Drug allergies
  • Environmental allergies
  • Insect bite allergies
  • Contact allergies

3. Bacterial or viral infections

Bacterial infections can be caused by salmonella, E. coli, and campylobacter, and are typically spread through contaminated food or water. 

Viral infections can also cause vomiting in dogs, such as parvovirus, and distemper, and are highly contagious.

4. Ingested something toxic

Every dog owner knows their dog is always licking something, and because of that, it may ingest substances that are harmful or toxic.

These include certain foods, prescription or over-the-counter medication, household chemicals, plants, and insecticides.

5. Something wrong with its diet

Your dog may experience digestive upset and vomiting after medication due to a variety of dietary factors, such as:

  • Sudden changes in diet
  • Eating too much and too quickly (accidentally fed your dog twice?)
  • Eating spoiled or rotten food
  • Food intolerances
  • Feeding inappropriate foods

6. Heatstroke

Heatstroke occurs when a dog’s body temperature rises to dangerous levels, which can cause multiple organs to fail.

Dogs are especially susceptible to heatstroke during hot weather, especially if left in a car or outside without proper shade or ventilation. 

Symptoms can include panting, excessive drooling, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even loss of consciousness.

7. Parasites

Parasites can cause various gastrointestinal symptoms in your dog, including vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss.

The most common parasites include:

8. Kidney or liver problems

These organs help the body filter toxins out of the bloodstream, and your dog is going to throw up and show symptoms when something isn’t right.

Signs of kidney or liver problems in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, losing their appetite, losing weight, being lethargic, and changes in peeing or pooping.

9. Reaction to medication

Something as common as flea and tick medication can cause stomach discomfort or vomiting in dogs, all gastrointestinal side effects.

In some cases, medication-induced vomiting may be a sign of another health condition, such as ulcers or inflammatory bowel disease. 

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Doggy says, you should read this too: What if my dog ate Ativan?

How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Absorb Medication?

The time it takes for a dog to absorb medication can vary based on several factors, including the type of medication, its formulation (e.g., tablet, liquid, chewable), the dog’s overall health, and its metabolic rate.

In my experience, these are the common timings for medicine absorption:

  • Oral Medications: Most oral medications begin to be absorbed in the dog’s stomach and small intestine within 30 minutes to 2 hours. However, the peak effect might take longer, depending on the drug and its formulation.
  • Topical Medications: These are absorbed through the skin and can take varying amounts of time based on the medication’s purpose and formulation. Some might be absorbed within a few hours, while others are designed for slow release over days.
  • Injectable Medications: These are typically absorbed faster than oral medications. Some injections, like subcutaneous or intramuscular injections, might have effects within minutes to hours. Others, like long-acting injectables, release the medication over days to weeks.

Noteworthy: The presence of food in the stomach, the health of the dog’s gastrointestinal tract, and other concurrent medications can influence absorption rates.

How to Properly Give Your Dog Medication and Prevent Vomiting?

How to Properly Give Your Dog Medication and Prevent Vomiting?

Read the medication instructions carefully

Always read the medication’s label or package insert and follow the dosage instructions as your veterinarian prescribes. 

This can help prevent overdosing and reduce the risk of side effects like vomiting.

Crush and mix with food

Crushing and mixing medication with your dog’s food can be useful for administering, but you should check with your veterinarian before doing so.

Some medicines should not be crushed or mixed with food because they may affect their effectiveness. 

And some dog medications have unpleasant tastes that may make your dog less likely to eat them.

Give medication with food

Some drugs should be given with food to avoid stomach issues. Others should be given on an empty stomach.

Be clear about that before you start administering.

Avoid giving medication with dairy products

Cheese and milk can affect how some drugs work and may cause vomiting.

Some dogs may also be lactose intolerant and have gastrointestinal upset and vomiting when consuming dairy products.

Follow the recommended dosage and schedule

Before medicating your dog, ask your vet about the right dose and method.

Do not give more or less than the recommended amount, as this can lead to adverse reactions or ineffective treatment. 

Pair it with probiotics

Probiotics are important bacteria that live in your dog’s digestive tract and help maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut. 

They can also improve digestion and strengthen the immune system. 

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: What if my dog ate my probiotics?

Keep track

Keeping track of your dog’s medication is essential in adequately administering it and preventing vomiting.

The best way to keep track of your dog’s medication is as follows:

  • Create a medication schedule
  • Set reminders
  • Use a medication dispenser
  • Keep the medicine in a designated area
  • Record any side effects

How Do You Recognize a Dog Vomiting?

How Do You Recognize a Dog Vomiting?

Can dogs throw up? Well, yes of course. Just like humans, dogs can also vomit.

But how do you know if your fur baby is throwing up and not regurgitating?

Here are some signs:

  • Drooling or hypersalivation: You may see excessive drooling or more saliva in your dog’s mouth before or during vomiting.
  • Retching or dry heaving: A sound or movement from a dog’s throat or chest may be heard or seen. Your dog may seem to be trying to vomit, but nothing comes out.
  • Abdominal heaving: The dog’s abdominal area may visibly heave as they try to vomit.
  • Nausea: Nausea is a common symptom that dogs feel before vomiting and they usually show signs such as excessive licking and lethargy.
  • Excessive swallowing: When a dog feels sick or is experiencing gastrointestinal distress, it may produce more saliva than usual and swallow it.
  • Coughing: A dog may cough before vomiting if it has swallowed something that irritated its throat.
  • Excessive licking: Dogs that feel sick produce more saliva than usual and lick their lips more than usual.

Remember: Regurgitation is different than vomiting. It is the passive expulsion of food and fluid, while vomiting is active [1].

Doggy says, you should check this out too: Why is my dog so hungry on Prednisone?

Common Medications That Cause Vomiting in Dogs

Medicines should make them feel better, right? Well, not always.

Some common medications can cause vomiting in dogs and you should avoid them or use them with caution.

Needless to say, you must follow the vet’s instructions carefully if you are using them.

Typical dog medications that can cause vomiting:

  • Antibiotics – certain antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, tetracycline, and clindamycin, can cause gastrointestinal side effects in dogs, including vomiting.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues in dogs.
  • Chemotherapy drugs are often used to treat cancer in dogs but can cause a range of side effects, including vomiting and nausea.
  • Corticosteroids – these medications, often used to treat inflammation and allergies in dogs, can cause vomiting as a side effect.
  • Heart medications used to treat heart conditions in dogs, such as digoxin, can cause vomiting and other gastrointestinal issues.

Doggy says, you might wanna read this too: Can dogs take Mucinex?

How to Treat a Dog That Vomited?

If your dog vomits after taking medication, try these tips to help them feel better and reduce the chance of additional episodes:

  • Give your dog some time: If it vomited shortly after taking the prescription medication, wait a bit before giving it another dose. Giving your dog time to settle down may help reduce the likelihood of further vomiting.
  • Withhold food for 12-24 hours: Give your dog’s stomach a chance to rest by withholding food for 12-24 hours.
  • Give your dog some water: Give your dog a small amount of water after vomiting to help keep them hydrated. However, do not let them drink too much water, as this may cause them to vomit again.
  • Offer a bland diet: After the fast, offer your dog a bland diet of rice and boiled, skinless chicken.
    It can help soothe their stomach and prevent further vomiting.
  • Ginger: Ginger is a practical, inexpensive, and safe treatment for nausea and vomiting. A serving should never exceed one-sixteenth teaspoon per pound of body weight. To be safe, feed no more than a one-quarter teaspoon to small dogs and three-quarters of a teaspoon to large breeds.
  • Slippery elm: Slippery elm is an herb given to dogs to soothe their stomachs and digestive tracts. Usually, pet owners give 100 milligrams for every 10 pounds of weight, and many canine inflammatory conditions require giving this herb to your dog two or more times a day.

When Should You See a Vet?

A single instance of vomiting after the medication is usually not a cause for veterinary attention.

However, if your dog exhibits these symptoms, it is recommended you contact the emergency vet clinic immediately:

  • Continued vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort


How serious is vomiting in dogs?

Vomiting in dogs can range from mild to severe, depending on the underlying cause. In many cases, it’s a natural response to a temporary digestive upset, but it can also be a symptom of a severe condition. Prompt veterinary attention is important to prevent potentially serious complications.

Is vomiting a common side effect when dogs take medicine?

Yes, vomiting is the most common side effect of certain dog medications, especially NSAIDs and antibiotics. However, the likelihood of vomiting varies depending on the medication and the individual dog. If your dog experiences vomiting or other concerning symptoms after taking medication, contact your veterinarian for guidance.

Should I stop antibiotics if my dog vomits?

If your dog vomits after taking antibiotics, consult your veterinarian before changing the medication regimen. Your vet may adjust the dose, switch to a different medication, or discontinue the antibiotics, depending on the severity of the vomiting and the underlying cause. Do not stop the antibiotics without confirmation from your vet.

Should I redose my dog after vomiting?

If your dog is vomiting after medication, it’s generally best to wait until the next scheduled dose to administer it again. If you’re unsure whether to redose your dog, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian. 

What if my dog threw up 30 minutes after taking medicine?

Take a look at the vomit and see if the pill or capsule is present. If it is, you can give another dose to your dog. If it’s not, I recommend that you wait for the next time before giving the medicine again, as it might have been absorbed already.

What if my dog threw up antibiotic, should it take another?

If your dog vomited shortly after taking the antibiotic, it’s possible that not all of the medication was absorbed. However, I would advise against giving another dose immediately to avoid potential overdose.

Can antibiotics make a dog throw up?

Yes, antibiotics can make a dog throw up. This is one of the common side effects, which also includes loss of appetite, nausea, and diarrhea.

In Conclusion: Dog Throws Up After Taking Medicine

It can be a frustrating and worrisome experience to see your dog in distress, but understanding why and taking some simple steps can help ease the process for both you and your furry friend.

If it’s just an isolated incident, you can rest easy, but if not, a chat with the vet would be the next step to take.

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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