Assessing Your Vomiting Dog: One Vomit, No Vomit

How should one assess their vomiting dog if they only throw up once and seems fine otherwise?

Our foreign languages professor, back in college used to grade based on this philosophy: One mistake, no mistake.

Meaning you could make one mistake on your oral exam or paper and still get an A. He also used to cite his rule every time he was giving out a grade. It’s no surprise it stuck in my head.

Can this rule be applied in real life?

Assessing Your Vomiting Dog: One Vomit, No Vomit

Making the distinction

I think that in some cases it can, in some cases it cannot. Some single mistakes can cause a lot of damage. Other mistakes, though, can be treated this way.

How does that translate to an upset stomach?

The other morning hubby got up a bit earlier and took the dogs for a little walk before I came out.
“Cookie threw up,” he reported.

There was a time when I’d simply panic every time any of my dogs threw up. Today, I first investigate.


When my dog throws up I go to find the puke and I took a good look at it. I also look at how the dog seems to be feeling.

Last time Cookie threw up, it was just a bunch of big chunks of grass. All our dogs like go graze on fresh grass in the morning. Every now and then they might get a bit carried away with it.

Sometimes, they would eat grass when their stomach is upset.

Was Cookie’s stomach upset?

She was very interested in her treats and wolfed down her breakfast. If she didn’t, I’d view the whole situation differently. But all criteria, she did not have an upset stomach.

There were no other worrisome signs present either. She was bouncy and playful like any other morning.

One vomit, no vomit.

She remained fine since and her throwing up got written off to a bit too much enthusiasm at her morning salad buffet.

Sometimes dogs throw up.

Usually, because they decided to snack on something that wasn’t meant to be eaten.

JD after he munched on groceries including the plastic. Cookie after she decided that a bunch of rocks was particularly yummy.

When you do find a foreign object in the vomit, though, you do need to pay attention and be on the lookout for further trouble. Often these things do make their way out on their own but when they don’t your dog would be in trouble.

How is the dog feeling?

I don’t worry only when nothing else seems wrong.

Cookie had to throw up only once for me to seek veterinary attention when she did so after a night of being lethargic. I didn’t like that already and when she threw up on top of that and didn’t look better after, we were on our way to the vet.

It is important to be able to figure out how much trouble your dog is in. If all seems well, then you can tell yourself, “One vomit, no vomit.”

When they look or act off, refuse food, and vomit, that is another story altogether.

Related articles:
My Dog’s Vomiting: Why Is My Dog Throwing up?

Further reading:
How to Interpret Vomiting in Dogs

Categories: SymptomsVomiting

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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