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Pet’s Soft Stomachs: A Hard Problem to Solve?

 by zack on 13 Jun 2013 |
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Dogs are known for soft stomachs and cats are always coughing up hair balls, so what’s an owner to do? First things first, you have to understand that this is a very common problem to be dealing with, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that your pet is violently ill. Let’s take a look at some of the finer points of this complex issue.

Differentiating Between Vomiting and Regurgitation

A common mistake people make is assuming that all their pet’s mouth expulsions are created equal. In fact, there are two distinct types of digestive deportations. Namely: vomiting and regurgitation. 

Vomit is evacuated food that originates from within the stomach. It is acidic and chunky. It’s usually indicative of a more serious problem. Regurgitation comes from the esophagus, and is much more common. It is usually a foamy and white mucous substance that doesn’t require much effort for a dog or cat to expel.

Causes of Vomiting

There are a lot of causes of vomiting. Everything from serious conditions, like pancreatitis or kidney failure, to the obscure, like Addison’s disease or Pyometra, on down to the mostly benign, like eating garbage or table scraps. In any case, if your dog or cat is vomiting frequently, the best course of action is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

However, if your pet has had no previous health issues and the vomiting events are isolated, it’s probably something you can manage by close observation and dietary discretion. If you’re really concerned, bring it up to your vet at the next scheduled checkup, but don’t lose sleep over it.

Causes of Regurgitation

As previously mentioned, regurgitation is a much less worrying form of animal ailment. Regurgitation in dogs or cats occurs because of a blockage in the esophagus. Food, fur, debris, and what have you all end up caught in a pet’s throat. Once the blockage becomes intolerable, the animal effortlessly expels the nastiness on top of your favorite rug, or possibly your shoes.

Either way, it’s a nasty mess, but not so nasty nor so dangerous as the dog or cat vomiting already described.


Treatment for pet vomiting/ regurgitation can vary wildly. In nearly all cases, the best thing you can do is keep a diligent eye on your pet to see if the throw up  was a one-time thing, or a recurring digestive anomaly.  Once you’ve got a good idea of how your dog’s stomach troubles come about, you can report to your vet. In many cases the vet will offer a variety of solutions such as:
  • Diet change
  • Antibiotics
  • Intravenous fluids
  • Deworming medication
These are only a few of the possible treatments your dog or cat could receive for a soft stomach. When dealing with pet vomiting and regurgitation it’s important to remember how varied the causes and treatments can be. It’s not a one size fits all problem and there are no magic all-encompassing solutions. Keep a watchful eye and a positive attitude, and as always check back here on the Petbucket blog for more helpful tips and advice.


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