Vomiting and diarrhea may be caused by eating too fast or by eating scraps from the garbage. It is important to realize that digestive upset can also be a sign of numerous other ailments: dietary allergies, poisons, stress, infections, worms, metabolic disorders (diabetes, pancreatitis), and cancer. Some illnesses become very serious, possibly fatal, if left untreated.

If your pet is on any medication when vomiting occurs, notify your veterinarian immediately.

To help the veterinarian evaluate your pet's condition, note the color, consistency, frequency of the vomiting. Even details such as the time span between eating/drinking and vomiting or the strength of the vomiting can help your vet form a diagnostic and treatment plan.

First Aid for Vomiting: Transfer your pet to a veterinary facility as soon as possible. Pets can get fatally dehydrated within hours.

Do not give any medications without consulting your veterinarian. Take all food and water away for 12 hours, but if you feel your pet is very thirsty, give no more than 1-2 ice cubes every 2 hours. After 12 hours, if there is no vomiting, offer small amount (a few laps) of water. DO NOT GIVE MILK!

After another 12 hours, if there is no vomiting, begin your pet on a bland diet. Initially give frequent, small meals (a small meatball size).

Continue the bland diet for 1-2 days, dividing the daily ration into your pet's regular mealtime(s).
Then, over the two days, gradually switch your pet to their regular diet by slowly adding, in increasing amounts, their regular pet food and decreasing the amount of the bland diet being fed.

First Aid for Diarrhea: Transfer the animal to a veterinary facility as soon as possible. Pets can get fatally dehydrated within hours.

Supply unlimited water to help prevent dehydration. As long as your pet is not vomiting, you may start your pet on a bland diet in small frequent meals.

Signs of a more serious condition include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Fever
  • Disoriented or stumbling around
  • Dehydration or excessive, insatiable thirst
  • Vomiting or attempts to vomit of more than 3-4 times in an hour
  • Diarrhea for more than 24 hours
  • Blood-tinged vomitus and/or stools
  • Black or tarry stools
  • If you see any of the above signs, Transfer the animal to a veterinary facility immediately. They may be signs of poisoning, stomach or intestinal blockage, ulcers, kidney/liver disorders, or even brain tumors.


  • Keep your pet(s) out of all trash.
  • Feed your pet(s) a consistent brand and type of diet. If you must make a change in their food, make the transition over 4-5+ days. Gradually mix the new diet, slowly eliminating the old food.
  • If your pet has special dietary needs, contact your veterinarian before any changes in diet.
  • Minimize or eliminate table scraps for your pet.
  • Consult your veterinarian regarding vaccination and deworming programs best suited for your area.
  • Keep small chewable objects away from your pets.
  • Do not let your pets (especially cats and ferrets) play with strings or threads.

Bland Diet

  1. Mix one carbohydrate food item with one protein food item at a ratio of 1/4 protein and 3/4 carbohydrate proteins;
    Proteins: Lean hamburger (cooked & drained), Low-fat cottage cheese, Boiled skinless & boneless chicken breast.
    Carbohydrates: Boiled plain pasta, Boiled potatoes, Boiled white rice.
  2. Feed approximately 4 ounces (1/4 cup) of protein and 16 ounces (one cup) of cooked carbohydrate per 20 pounds of body weight daily.


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Normal Values


Temperature: 99.5-102.5
Pulse: 80-140
Respirations (breaths/min): 14-40

Temperature: 100-102.5
Pulse: 150-180
Respirations (breaths/min): 20-40