Common Sick Dog Symptoms of Food Diseases

If you have a sick dog, symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea can be the result of food diseases such as food poisoning, allergy or indiscretion. Other dog illness symptoms, including anorexia and obesity, may be the result of food-related disorders or they may indicate an underlying condition.

Food Poisoning

Food poisoning can be caused by spoiled or inappropriate human food or by contaminated dog food. Symptoms vary, depending on the irritant; a sick dog may be vomiting.

If your dog gets into last week's garbage and eats moldy, spoiled food, it may cause vomiting and diarrhea. During an episode of diarrhea, withhold food for 24 hours. Provide fluids during this time. To encourage your dog to drink, provide a small amount of unsalted chicken broth.

Reintroduce food slowly. If you overfeed a sick dog, vomiting and diarrhea can recur.

Chocolate, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts and raw fish are toxic to dogs because:

  • Chocolate affects the heart and nervous system.
  • Grapes and raisins can damage the kidneys.
  • Macadamia nuts affect the digestive and nervous systems.
  • Raw fish can result in a thiamine deficiency, causing loss of appetite and seizures.

Contaminated pet food has been in the news lately. To reduce the chances of buying and feeding a toxic dog food, buy a quality food that contains as few ingredients as possible. Symptoms related to the pet food recalls include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, urination problems and appetite loss.

Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Canine food allergies cause itchy skin, ear infections and hair loss. Food sensitivities, on the other hand, cause gastrointestinal problems including vomiting and diarrhea.

Common culprits in food allergies and intolerances include wheat, corn and soy.

Dietary Indiscretion

Dogs don't always make the best food choices. Grass, gravel and sticks can irritate the esophagus and stomach. Your dog may vomit these materials back up and there may be blood associated with the irritation.

If your dog develops an intestinal blockage, symptoms will include severe vomiting and dehydration accompanied by a tense, possibly painful abdomen. This is a medical emergency-contact your veterinarian immediately.

Weight Gain

Weight gain is usually a result of overfeeding. Keep your dog a healthy weight to avoid symptoms and disorders such as joint pain and diabetes.

If you cannot feel your dog's ribs, she may be overweight.

  • Reduce her food intake by 10 percent.
  • Take at least two 20-minute walks per day.

If you are not overfeeding your dog, unexplained weight gain can be the result of a thyroid disorder.

Anorexia and Weight Loss

Certain cancers, liver disease or viral infections such as leptospirosis and corona virus can cause unexplained weight loss. Dogs can go without food for several days without ill effect, but be sure your dog is consuming enough water. Offer unsalted chicken broth to increase fluid intake. If food avoidance continues beyond 2 or 3 days, contact your veterinarian.

Sick pet symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea are common and usually resolve without intervention. If, however, her condition is accompanied by more serious symptoms such as lethargy, confusion or seizures, contact your veterinarian.