When is Vomiting an Emergency?

When to worry and when to treat at home


Vomiting does not always mean your pet needs same-day evaluation by a Veterinarian. As in people, vomiting can be a sign of a serious illness or a simple GI upset that can be treated at home.


When can I treat at home?

If your pet vomits just once and is otherwise behaving normally- eating, drinking in their usual way and not lethargic, it is okay to watch and wait without treatment.



How can I treat at home?

Withhold food for 6 to 8 hours, then offer a small amount of a bland diet:

  • Hill's (Science Diet)i/d or equivalent

  • Single-ingredient baby food (early stage/stage 2: chicken or turkey)

  • Steamed white rice (no salt or seasoning)

  • Boiled chicken (no bones or skin)

  • Cottage cheese

You can offer small amounts of water as well.


When do I need to see the Vet?

More persistent vomiting does need to be treated same-day, as it can lead to dehydration and can prolong their recovery. If your pet cannot hold down food or water, you should seek same-day care. If your pet has other symptoms such as lethargy, reduced appetite or diarrhea, they should be seen even if their vomiting is not persistent.


At this time, most veterinary hospitals in the area are overbooked. Our clients have given us good feedback about Animal Urgent Care in Burbank and Metropolitan Animal Specialty Hospital in Hollywood, and True Care for Pets in Studio City is very popular, however, many same-day clinics have an hours-long wait list, so clients can unfortunately expect to wait.


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