Ate garbage, threw up, now won't eat food

  • Hello! My lil' guy is 1.5 yrs old, very hardy, and very adventurous. Problem is, he also has a little naughty streak -- a few days back, he thought it would be fun to eat garbage along our regular walk (discarded kleenex, food wrappers, we know the type). He threw it all up later that day, but would not eat his food (kibble). After 24+ hours of trying to convince him it was ok, I got another bag (different "flavour"). He ate a couple meals, before throwing up again this morning - now he won't eat the new food!

    Does anyone have suggestions as to what to do? I've been told to wait 24-48 hours, at which point he'd start eating again - which I'm happy to try. Here's the curious thing: his energy levels are high as usual, and his pooping is fine/regular too!

    Thanks for any help you can provide 🙂

  • I would suggest you visit the Vet, sounds like (and I am NOT a Vet) that he might have a blockage and just because he threw up what looked like all of it... most likely there is something "stuck" in there especially since he started to eat then threw that up. I would not wait, been more than 24-48 hours since he first ate the garbage.

  • Thanks very much for the reply! We're going to the vet later tonight. Having normal poops and still being energetic is a bit of a puzzle to me, but that'll be for the expert to figure out. In the meantime, I'm going to try some boiled chicken for him to taste. Fingers crossed!

  • @nothernbarker - Poops can still be normal as something is coming through. I would not feed him until you see the Vet first. My experience (again I am NOT a Vet) would be xray of the belly/gut and/or ultrasound. Did they do blood workup? Even if he eats, if there is a blockage, it will continue to "rear" it ugly head until resolved... Note also this is not just something that is just for basenjis but all dogs.

  • Thanks very much! I'm also concerned about his very recent habit of wanting to eat "trash" - it's made it extremely difficult to walk with him this last week. I'll need to get to the bottom of that behavior soon enough too!

  • @nothernbarker - It is a shame that people throw out garbage, same as people that do not pick up after their dogs... It is NOT something that is not normal, regardless of the breed of dogs when people do this. One of my puppy people had the same issue with people throwing out thing like chicken bones or any bones along with other items that "smell" like food... This is normal for any pup to do this... all you can due is to watch them and be careful when walking them around bushes where people do this. To get them to NOT do this behavior is near to impossible.... in my opinion... if you can walk on the street instead of the sidewalk that would help... maybe... don't blame the dog, blame the irresponsible people that do not pick up after themselves... sorry, not much help, but you can't train humans...

  • @nothernbarker

    Mine have always been the same, they live to snuffle on anything and will sneak it down so I watch them like a hawk.

    One reason to be especially careful is because kids throw sugar free gum on the floor and a small amount can kill a dog.

  • Get to a vet ASAP. Years ago my previous pup got into trash and threw up over a day and a half until a clear cheese slice wrapper came up. It was blocking his stomach entrance to intestines. Little wrappers and bathroom trash stuff is dangerous. See if vet can induce vomiting and or X-ray to see. Good luck!



  • Yeah, there isn't much I can do living in an urban environment - there will be the odd food wrapper or napkin everywhere. The vet appointment is tomorrow, and he's resting comfortably right now after having had boiled chicken (phew). But I kid you not -- on the walk beforehand, everything went well for ~45 minutes, and then he gobbled up something "furry" (like a cat's full tail? 2 blocks later, there's a missing poster for a cat not seen in a long while - this was no piece of rodent, I can assure you). Anyways, I can't believe my bad luck - and his mischievousness - but I'm definitely opting for an xray tomorrow....

    I'm grateful for the comments, and I'll keep you all posted!

  • As an anecdote To my last post my pup kept pooping normally Too but The vomiting happening repeatedly w attempted feeding until the cheese slice wrapper came up. Keep hydrating until you can get to a vet tonight.


  • Definitely needed to take him to the vet. You worry about string and so forth getting wrapped in the intestines and creating blockages. It's not a "wait and see" situation.

    Hard to control a small dog with its nose to the ground constantly looking to explore. You might try treats to get him looking at you rather than the ground. No doubt won't be an instant or a 100% cure but it should help.

  • Good luck at the Vet. Let us know what happened.

  • Always good to work on commands like: "drop", "leave it", or simply "uh-uh" to teach your dog they can't have everything they come across. And work on your walking skills... basically what I mean is that you are walking your dog, tune into their behavior so you can anticipate cues that would indicate they may be tracking something they would think was tasty. If you must take your phone with you on the dog walk, keep it in your pocket and use it only in an emergency.

  • The mistake I see many dog walkers make is to let the dog sniff around indiscriminately while talking to someone else or otherwise not paying attention to what their dog may be ingesting. The other mistake is using a harness for walking, since you have no control over the dog's head and can't move quickly to stop scavenging. Flex leads are also an issue. The dog is too far away to keep tabs on what it may be eating!

    I hope your trip to the vet sorts things out.

  • In any case, when a dog ceases eating it could be either a blockage OR just that there is something going on in the tum which means nothing tastes nice. Does his breath smell bad ? If so, his food probably tastes bad too !

    Vet is your first and immediate port of call. This goes for all dogs who decline food for no apparent reason.

    It does no harm to starve a dog for 36 - 48 hours and then to resume feeding several small meals of boiled rice with a little boiled fish or chicken, or a coddled egg. Use the water the fish or chicken was boiled in to moisten the rice.

    Gradually reintroduce normal diet bit by bit, a little less rice and a little more of the normal - each meal, until your dog is back to his/her old self.

    After a period of fasting, it is always wise to restart the engine with bland rice and chicken, just to give the tum a chance to recover completely. Don't just go straight back to usual food routine -

    Natural yoghurt helps replace the flor in the stomach after a session or a series of vomitting episodes.

    But in this case - VET first !

    He woke up today completely frisky and happy to eat his kibble. Went to the vet, and they said all blood/electrolyte samples were normal and that his intestines felt fine. We are going to take a wait-and-see approach for now, and he'll be given some gastrointestinal friendly food over the weekend. The theory is that he was likely dealing with a virus/flu-like bug for 4-5 days. I'm tired from all the drama, but extremely grateful for everyone's help and suggestions -- I'm a very vigilant dog-walker, and yet I'm always surprised at how quickly he can snap something up whilst on a 6-ft leash!

    Again, I'm extremely, extremely grateful for the suggestions and comments!! I'm sending out all the most positive vibes I can to you & your dogs, and I'll post a few pics of my Grady in the photo section so you can see what an iron-stomached crazy boy looks like 🙂

  • @nothernbarker
    So happy to hear that Grady has recovered and doing well. Just last week I had to wrestle a piece of fried chicken from my almost “15 year old girl” that she found and tried to ingest while out on our walk. I literally had to pry it out of her mouth - they are fast and they are SNEAKY! It must have been nerve wracking for you - glad to hear your Basenji is doing well now.🙏

  • My guy got into corn cobs from our dinner one time and managed to ingest quite a bit. I used hydrogen peroxide and he wasn't quite as happy with the cobs coming up as he had been when it was going down, but at least I didn't have to worry about a blockage!

  • @kembe said in Ate garbage, threw up, now won't eat food:

    they are fast and they are SNEAKY!

    Got that right! Doodle has reached the point that when I bend over to get it out of her mouth, she swallows it. Little demon dog - I love her sooooo much!

  • Fast and Sneaky great names for a pair‼️ Happy to read that all is well.

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