Very ill, especially from a stomach malady. For example, I don't know what was in that stew but I was sick as a dog all night. This simile was first recorded in 1705. Why a dog should be viewed as particularly sick remains unclear.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.