Dog Diarrhea, Vomiting  And Not Eating: Should I Panic?

It is quite concerning to see your dog with diarrhea, vomiting and not eating. Occasional short bouts of diarrhea are common in dogs, however, when they vomit and refuse to eat as well, it is unusual.  

So, what causes dog diarrhea, vomiting, and a loss of appetite?

Let’s look at the reasons behind dog diarrhea, vomiting, and not eating, what you should do, and when to seek help.

Here’s why dog diarrhea, vomiting and not eating happens

Dog diarrhea, vomiting and loss of appetite are symptoms that commonly together because of several underlying health conditions. Diarrhea itself can lead to loss of appetite and a dog may not feel like eating because of stomach pain. The underlying causes  include:

  • A sudden change of diet
  • Food intolerance or allergy 
  • Gastrointestinal infections 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Ingestion of toxins
  • Stress
  • Gastrointestinal obstruction
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Dietary indiscretion`
  • Pancreatitis
  • Medication side effect
Dog diarrhea and vomiting not eating

Possible causes of dog diarrhea, vomiting and not eating

A dog not eating or loss of appetite is a common symptom of a dog suffering from diarrhea and vomiting. A dog may experience diarrhea, vomiting and not eating as a result of an underlying condition. 

The possible causes of diarrhea, vomiting and not eating are:

Gastrointestinal infection

Gastrointestinal infection by bacteria, intestinal parasites, or viruses can cause dog diarrhea, vomiting and loss of appetite.

Gastrointestinal infections can cause a dog to lose its appetite due to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and discomfort. These symptoms can lead to a loss of appetite in the dog.

Underlying illness

Diarrhea, vomiting and not eating can be symptoms of a wide range of illnesses in dogs, including viral or bacterial infections, gastrointestinal disorders, and systemic diseases.

There are many factors that can cause a dog to not eat when they are ill, which include pain, nausea, digestive problems, and emotional distress

Pain due to an illness can cause a dog to avoid eating or drinking. In addition to this, many illnesses can cause nausea which can make them feel too sick to eat.

Digestive problems due to illnesses such as vomiting or diarrhea can also lead to a lack of appetite and emotional distress experienced when they are ill can cause them to also lose their appetite.

Change in diet

A change in your dog’s diet can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and refusal to eat due to food intolerance or allergy, an upset stomach, and stress.

This is because it takes time for your dog’s stomach to adjust to the new food and a sudden change to a new food may cause diarrhea and/or vomiting. 

Dogs are also sensitive to changes in their routine and environment, and a sudden change in diet can be stressful. 

The stress can lead to digestive upset which causes diarrhea and other symptoms and a dog not eating due to :

  • Taste preference: Dogs have preferences for certain flavors and textures of food, and if their new diet is not appealing to them, they may refuse to eat it.
  • Digestive issues: Switching to a new diet can cause digestive upset, such as diarrhea or vomiting, which can cause a dog to feel sick and not want to eat.
  • Food allergies or intolerance: Some dogs may have allergies or intolerances to certain ingredients in their new food, which can cause gastrointestinal upset and loss of appetite.

If you are planning to change your dog’s diet, it is important to do so gradually over a period of several days to allow their digestive system to adjust.


A stressed dog also experiences diarrhea, vomiting including not eating, which may appear at the same time. 

Stress can cause a dog to lose its appetite in different ways. One way is stress can affect a dog’s digestive system, causing nausea, stomach discomfort, and other digestive issues. 

This can lead to a loss of appetite as a dog associates food with discomfort or they may simply not feel hungry.

Stress can cause changes in the dog’s hormone levels, particularly the stress hormone. Elevated levels of the stress hormone can cause a decrease in appetite. 

Chronic stress can also suppress the immune system, leading to other health problems that can further affect their appetite. In addition to this, stress can lead to depression or anxiety, which can also cause a loss of appetite in dogs.

Stress and anxiety also cause a variety of symptoms including pacing, licking, drooling, yawning, crying, barking, and hiding.

Stress can come from a variety of sources such as a change in their environment or routine, new people or pets, loud noises, and other fear-related stressful situations.

Toxin ingestion

Poisoning in dogs can lead to a range of symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting and not eating. This is because many poisons can cause gastrointestinal upset and also affect a dog’s appetite.

Loss of appetite can happen because of:

Nausea and/or vomiting: Many poisons can cause nausea or vomiting. When a dog feels sick, they may refuse to eat or drink.

Mouth ulcers and irritation: Certain toxins can cause ulcers or irritation in a dog’s mouth. This can make it painful for the dog to eat or drink.

Organ damage: Some toxins may cause damage to a dog’s liver, kidneys, or other organs which can lead to a loss of appetite, as well as other symptoms.

Neurological problems: Some poisons can cause neurological symptoms such as seizures or tremors which can make it difficult for a dog to eat.

Dogs may accidentally ingest toxic substances such as household cleaners, contaminated food or water, pesticides, insecticides, poisonous plants, or human medications, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting loss of appetite and other symptoms.

Side effects of medication

Medications can sometimes cause side effects in dogs, including diarrhea, vomiting, and refusal to eat. Many medications can cause gastrointestinal upset, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which can lead to a decreased appetite. 

The taste or smell of the medication can also be unpleasant, making a dog reluctant to eat.

Some medications also affect a dog’s sense of taste or smell, altering the way food tastes or smells, which can reduce their desire to eat. 

A dog’s mood and behavior can also be affected by some medications which lead to a decrease in appetite as a result of anxiety or depression.

Dog diarrhea, vomiting and not eating: What to do

If your dog has diarrhea, vomiting and not eating, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. 

Diarrhea and vomiting cause a dog to lose water and electrolytes which leads to severe dehydration, which is life-threatening.

Here are  other signs that indicate that you should see a veterinarian immediately:

Severe or bloody diarrhea and vomiting: If your dog’s diarrhea and vomiting are severe or if there is blood in the stool or vomit, this could be a sign of a serious underlying condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.

Other symptoms: Other symptoms may accompany diarrhea, vomiting and not eating which can lead to other complications.

Other symptoms to look out for include lethargy, breathing difficulties, signs of pain or discomfort, fever, and signs of dehydration, such as a dry nose or mouth and sunken eyes.

Suspicion poisoning: If you suspect that your dog has been poisoned, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

If your dog is a puppy or an older dog: Puppies and older are generally more vulnerable than healthy adult dogs so delaying treatment could result in their condition worsening or becoming more difficult to treat. Therefore, it is essential to seek immediate medical care.

Key Takeaway: Dog diarrhea, vomiting and not eating

Dog diarhea, throwing up, and not eating are concerning symptoms. The symptoms can quickly lead to dehydration of a dog which can be fatal.

If your dog is showing these symptoms suddenly or for extended periods of time, consult your veterinarian for the determination of the underlying cause and provision of treatment. 

Managing dog diarrhea requires knowledge and understanding. Our guide on dog diarrhea serves as a valuable resource, providing a detailed roadmap to help you navigate this condition. Visit the article to unlock effective strategies for keeping your dog happy and healthy.