Emesis is a common presenting sign in small animal practice. It requires a rational approach to management that is based upon a sound understanding of pathophysiology combined with logical decision making. This review, which assesses the weight of available evidence, outlines the physiology of the vomiting reflex, causes of emesis, the consequences of emesis and the approach to clinical management of the vomiting dog. The applicability of diagnostic testing modalities and the merit of traditional approaches to management, such as dietary changes, are discussed. The role and usefulness of both traditional and novel anti-emetic drugs is examined, including in specific circumstances such as following cytotoxic drug treatment. The review also examines areas in which common clinical practice is not necessarily supported by objective evidence and, as such, highlights questions worthy of further clinical research.