Do Dogs Get Morning Sickness When Pregnant?

Do Dogs Get Morning Sickness When Pregnant? Photo of a pregnant dog with morning sickness.

Often, a dog’s pregnancy is very different from a human’s. This makes many wonder about whether do dogs get morning sickness when pregnant. Let’s take a look.

Some dogs get morning sickness during the third or fourth week of pregnancy, which is caused by hormonal changes. This morning sickness can look like a lack of appetite or even small amounts of vomit. Morning sickness is not quite as common in dogs as in humans, and it only lasts 3-4 days at the most.

What is morning sickness?

Morning sickness is when the body starts to experience hormonal fluctuations as she begins the beginning stages of pregnancy. This hormonal surge is what causes morning sickness. It’s one of the most common and first signs that your dog is pregnant! 

Once the hormones subside and level out as the body “gets to work,” the morning sickness will disappear. In rare cases, it can last longer, but dogs only experience it for 3-4 days.

Do dogs get upset stomachs when pregnant?

Morning sickness is more than just vomiting. It’s nausea and upset stomachs. This is common in dogs during the first several days of pregnancy. Even if she doesn’t necessarily throw up, she could very well be dealing with an upset stomach (more on signs to watch for below!)

Do dogs throw up when pregnant?

Yes, dogs can throw up for a few days while pregnant as their bodies adjust to changes. If you don’t realize that your dog’s pregnant, this can often be alarming. Alternatively, it can completely escape your notice since dogs can sometimes throw up just randomly, anyway. 

When does a dog’s morning sickness start?

Just like with humans, morning sickness will occur in the first trimester of her 9-week pregnancy. This means somewhere between 20-28 days into the pregnancy is when you’ll most likely find your dog dealing with it.

Is morning sickness an early sign of pregnancy on dogs?

Yes! Morning sickness is often an early sign of pregnancy in dogs, just as it is in humans. Suppose you are expecting that your dog is pregnant, such as intentional breeding. In that case, you can often see sneaky signs before this—for example, fatigue, more or less of an appetite, and even mild irritability.

My dog is vomiting — is she pregnant?

If you’re reading this because you’re wondering if your dog is pregnant but aren’t sure, don’t panic. There are actually a few reasons why a dog could be vomiting seemingly out of nowhere. 

One of the frustrating ones for dog owners is that she could be having what’s commonly referred to as a phantom pregnancy — aka a false pregnancy. 

When she is in heat and hasn’t mated successfully, her body’s hormones will still act as though she has. This results in her having a lot of the same symptoms, including morning sickness. Some dogs will even nest and care for their “litter” of puppies, which will consist of rolled-up socks, toys, and anything else that she collects.

Other common reasons for vomiting include:

  • Stress/emotional concerns
  • Dislike of food
  • Ate something that didn’t agree with them

Whether strange or not, a dog who is vomiting is often a cause for concern. The most important thing is to look for obvious causes for it. If it goes longer than 4-5 days without reason, you’ll want to get your dog to the vet! 

This is much the same with morning sickness — if it goes longer than the 4-5 days expected, bring your dog in for a check-up to make sure that everything is okay!

What are the signs of morning sickness in dogs?

Since it isn’t always quite as apparent in dogs as it is in humans, there are other signs that you can watch for that morning sickness has set in. These include:

  • No/low appetite
  • Suddenly particular on food type/water freshness
  • Change in social behavior
  • Gagging or vomiting in the morning

No/low appetite

Some dogs will suddenly start eating less than they usually would. Perhaps they leave behind some kibble. Or, they’ll eat in fits and stats throughout the day. Some may not even want to eat at all. This will fade away as her pregnancy settles in, and she starts to become ravenous suddenly!

Suddenly particular on food type/water freshness

Like humans get strange cravings, dogs can often become turned off by the smell or taste of their traditional food. They may start to prefer another type or something else that’s out of character for them.

This can also happen with water. Dogs may generally be okay with classic water in their bowl. However, during morning sickness, they may refuse to drink standing water and will want a fresh bowl of water each time they go for a drink. They aren’t being particular; they just are turned off by the smell or taste of standing water.

Change in social behavior

This actual change will depend on the dog that you have. Some dogs may suddenly become more clingy and want to be on your lap or close by you 24/7. Others may take the opposite approach and avoid you, your children, and other pets at all costs. This change is hormonal, too, since they are starting to go into nesting mode and will want to protect their puppies!

Gagging or vomiting in the morning

Of course, this probably could have guessed this, right? It could be discrete gagging and swallowing, or perhaps actual gagging, retching, and vomiting. It depends on the dog and their preference in showing it to you, rather than disappearing off to do it elsewhere.

How can I help my dog with morning sickness?

Thankfully, morning sickness doesn’t last long for dogs and often doesn’t interrupt their classic lifestyles. However, you can do your part to help them out! Some tips include:

  • Offer several types of food
  • Give them frequent small servings of food
  • Offer them a bland diet
  • Keep their exercise low and careful
  • Allow her to do what she wants to do

Offer several types of food

You don’t need to go out and buy four different types of food. But, you can look at offering her a few types of food. For example, some may prefer wet food rather than dry. Some may want both mashed together with water. Offer her a few combinations and see if any of them appeal to her more!

Give her frequent small servings of food

Rather than having her simply vomit up her breakfast, give small servings of her food of choice throughout the day. You’ll want to measure it out to make sure that you aren’t overfeeding or underfeeding her. This will help her keep her food down easier and make sure that she always has something to help keep her energy up.

Offer her a bland diet

If she doesn’t want her regular food, try for a bland diet. This food will help her have something in her stomach and will be plain and help her keep it down. Examples of this include mashed pumpkin, white bread, and boiled/steamed rice. You can blend this in with her everyday food if you want or give it to her as snacks.

Keep her exercise low and careful

When it comes to exercise, don’t overdo it. Her body is hard at work, even if she doesn’t understand it quite yet. Take her on short, slow, leisurely walks and don’t encourage you to run and play fetch, etc. If she wants to take a break, encourage that, too. Smal land short exercise sessions should be the focus!

Allow her to do what she wants to do

From food to social behavior, to exercise, allow her to do what she wants to do. She’s acting on literal instinct, and this means that you can’t chastise or redirect her behavior simply because she “isn’t listening.” Allow her to be the boss of her own needs and do what you can to accommodate that. She’ll be back to her normal self in no time at all!

In brief

Dogs can get morning sickness for about five days at the end of their first trimester. This can show up as gagging and/or vomiting, lack of appetite, change in social behavior, and more.

Understanding what it means and how to spot it will help you properly care for her health and needs!

Morning sickness can occur in dogs, and knowing how to deal with it and recognize it will help you and her be at their best.

Share this with someone you know to help spread the word!

Photo of author
Andre Neves

Hi, I'm Andre and I'm the owner of Sula the Border Collie. I love writing about this amazing dog breed here. I joined the Council to be able to reach and educate more people on the joy of having a pet dog.