dog throwing up clear liquid

Why Is My Dog Throwing Up Clear Liquid?

Reviewed by Lauren Cannon, DVM

Is your dog throwing up clear liquid?

Dogs vomiting can be unpleasant for both the dog and the dog owner. However, frequent vomiting is not normal, and needs attention. 

Dogs vomit for many reasons, and most of the time it’s nothing to worry about. Clear liquid vomit usually consists of saliva or water, and it may or may not be foamy.

Learn more about the reasons for throwing up clear liquid, what to do, signs to monitor, and how it can be treated. 

Why Do Dogs Throw Up Clear Liquid?

dog throwing up clear liquid

Usually, if your dog drinks lots of water or drinks too quickly, they will probably vomit. 

However, clear liquid doesn’t always have to mean it’s water or saliva. The dog may have ingested something clear, which can’t be digested. 

Frequent clear liquid vomiting can be a sign of a digestive issue, stress, or more serious medical problems. Possible causes include:

Water Intoxication

Being over hydrated can be as dangerous as being dehydrated. Overhydration can occur when your dog drinks too much water, or consumes too much water while swimming.

Signs of water intoxication include bloating, lethargy, disorientation, and nausea.

If you suspect that your dog has water intoxication, especially if they have been throwing up water after swimming, you should take him to the vet immediately


If your dog is suffering from hypothyroidism, which happens when the thyroid isn’t active enough, they will vomit a clear liquid, after drinking water.

Other signs of hypothyroidism include reduced heart rate, lethargy, excessive shedding of hair.

In some cases, the dog may have sudden limping, weird bending of the head, and disorientation.

Kidney and Liver Disease

Dogs may have kidney disease for months or years without showing signs, and that may develop to a kidney failure.

Kidney disease happens when the dog’s kidney is unable to filter waste from the blood properly.

Signs of kidney disease include throwing up clear liquid, excessive consumption of water, frequent urination, diarrhea, appetite loss, and bad smelling breath.   

The dog’s liver is also responsible for filtering toxins out of the blood. If the liver wasn’t working as it should, the toxins will build up and cause vomiting of clear liquid.

Other signs include diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, a yellow tint can be seen in the dog’s eyes. 


Pancreatitis is a very serious and painful disease, which affects the pancreas. The pancreas is located between the stomach and small intestine.

It produces enzymes to digest food and control sugar levels in the body.

If your dog is suffering from pancreatitis, they will vomit a watery liquid, have nausea, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.

Dogs with pancreatitis should be treated early, to avoid developing canine diabetes. 


Another reason for vomiting clear liquid is ingestion of a parasite. Either by drinking polluted water, or by coming in contact with another dog infected with the parasite. 

One of the most common parasites is “Giardia”, this will cause your dog to vomit water, and cause diarrhea.

Dogs suffering from giardiasis will usually produce a green colored stool, covered with mucus. 

If you suspect that your dog is infected with a parasite, you should take them to the vet immediately.

Stomach Ulcers

Stomach ulcers can be a cause of vomiting water. A stomach ulcer happens when the stomach lining is damaged. This lining protects the stomach from the acid that digests food. 

Cause of stomach ulcers can be a parasite, toxin ingestions, tumors, and liver or kidney disease. 

Other signs of stomach ulcer in dogs include weight loss, abdominal pain, and anemia.


Tumors can lead to vomiting water and food. If the tumor is near the vomiting center, it will result in more frequent vomiting.

Other signs include weight loss, loss of appetite, and blood in vomit. If you suspect your dog has a tumor, you should immediately take them to the vet.

What to Do If Your Dog is Throwing Up Clear Liquid

dog throwing up clear liquid

If your dog is vomiting clear liquid frequently, more than two times a day, and for several days, you should contact your veterinarian. 

However if your dog vomits clear liquid for the first time, keep observing your dog to check if it happens again. If the dog vomits again, skip the next meal. 

Feed your dog the next meal scheduled, after skipping one, and keep watching for vomiting and other signs of illness. Look for signs like weakness, diarrhea, or loss of appetite. 

Don’t give your dog water after vomiting, as it can upset the stomach more, and result in more vomiting. 

You can do that by removing the water bowl for a few hours, until the stomach is at rest, then you can try and give him small amounts of water.

In addition, don’t give your dog any human medications for vomiting, since they could make things worse. 

The best thing you can do is contacting your veterinarian, to better understand the cause behind vomiting clear liquid, to give the suitable care and treatment.

How to Treat a Dog Throwing Up Clear Liquid?

dog throwing up clear liquid

If your dog keeps vomiting clear liquid, then it’s time to see a vet. Your vet will ask you questions to have a better understanding of the dog’s medical history, including diet, and medications.

The vet may recommend doing diagnostic tests to look for the cause behind the vomiting. This includes, X-rays, blood and urine tests, and in some cases ultrasound. 

The vet will recommend treatment based on the results of the tests. Additionally, the vet may prescribe antacids, anti nausea medications, and gastrointestinal protective drugs for relief. 

In case of digestive tract obstruction, the vet will recommend having an endoscopy or surgery to find and remove the obstruction. The dog will need to be hospitalized after this surgery. 

In addition, if the dog was exposed to a toxin, treatment will differ depending on the toxin. The vet may contact the animal poison control center, administer activated charcoal, or other medications. 

The dog will need to be hospitalized if they ingested a toxin, and in other cases like pancreatitis, dehydration, and infectious diseases.

The dog will be given IV fluids, and medications, while being under observation in the hospital.

When to See a Veterinarian

dog throwing up clear liquid

If your dog is vomiting clear liquid frequently more than two times a day, and for several days, it’s best to visit your veterinarian. 

Vomiting clear liquid has different reasons, and there might be a serious health issue causing it. 

Your vet will be able to determine the cause, to choose the right treatment for your canine friend.

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