Why Is My Dog Vomiting?

December 14, 2021 5 min read

dog vomiting cause

Vomiting: An uncomfortable, unpleasant, and unappetizing experience that almost all mammals go through. For us humans, common causes are illness, pregnancy, or the ingestion of inappropriate substances. 

For our pups, vomiting can be caused by a wide variety of reasons, ranging from overeating to an urgent illness. However, since our furry friends can’t talk to us, it is more difficult to find the root cause. 

In this blog, we’ll go over the reasons why your dog is throwing up, as well as how you can analyze their vomit to treat your pup as fast as you can.

Why Is My Dog Throwing Up?

There are countless possibilities on why your dog is throwing up. Let’s go over some of the most common reasons and how you can treat each one naturally.

Diet, allergies, or food intolerances

A poor diet is a leading cause of health problems in dogs. Eating an overly processed or nutritionally unbalanced diet might cause frequent vomiting, especially in dogs with food intolerances or allergies. Kibble, unfortunately, is the main culprit behind food allergies- this is due to the many synthetic chemicals used to make production cheaper.

Most dogs with allergies are allergic to the synthetic, harmful ingredients in kibble. Luckily, with a fresh diet, food allergies in dogs can be alleviated and even cured. If you suspect your dog is vomiting because of food allergies, check out this blog on holisticallytreating your pup’s food allergies.

Illness, Disease, or Intestinal Parasites

When our furry friends throw up, the first thing that many pet parents think of is an illness. While vomiting is a prevalent disease symptom, vomiting by itself isn’t a direct indication of disease. However, it’s always good to be aware of the signs and assure your dog is healthy!

Sickness like kennel cough, pancreatitis, cancer, tapeworm, and bloat are a few examples of the wide range of vomiting-inducing sicknesses. Prevention of these illnesses can range from simply vaccinating your pet to dietary discretion and supplements for immune health.

If you suspect your dog is vomiting from any kind of illness, we highly recommend seeing a veterinarian for immediate treatment. It’s always better safe than sorry when dealing with your pup’s health.

Ingestion of toxic substances and Dietary indiscretion

If your dog is anything like mine, you’d know that your pup would gobble down anything and everything they can get their paws on. Unfortunately, that can sometimes include things our pets shouldn’t eat, which is why it’s so important to be keeping watch on our furry friends.

Some human foods, like chocolate and grapes, human foods are a few examples of highly harmful foods that dogs should never eat. Other toxic substances, like bug poisons or laundry detergent, are other substances we should always keep out of our pets’ reach. To prevent vomiting by ingesting toxic substances, read this blog on whathuman foods you can and cannot feed your dog.

Dietary indiscretion is defined as the “tendency for certain animals to feed on unusual items, like grass, feces, or anything else the dog finds “appetizing.” To prevent vomiting from dietary indiscretion, be sure to learn your dog’s habits and keep your dog away from what they tend to eat.

Is My Dog Throwing Up From A Reaction to a Medication?

Most medicines come with side effects, which can range anywhere from vomiting, to fatigue, to internal damage. Certain medications, like antibiotics especially, are more disruptive than others to our pet’s gut.

If your dog is vomiting their medication, you can try giving them another dose; it may have been caused by something other than the medicine. If your dog vomits up the next dose, it’s best to call the vet that prescribed it before moving forward. Your veterinarian will help you determine what medicine is best for your dog’s condition and digestion.

Dog Vomit Color Guide

Now, let’s talk about how the color and consistency of your dog’s vomit can tell you about their health. Let’s break down a few of the most common vomit appearances and what they mean for your pup’s health.

Yellow Vomit:Bile, a fluid that helps your dog digest their food, is most likely present if your pup’s vomit appears yellow. For the most part, this a pretty harmless since most vomit contains at least some bile.

Bile may also be a sign that your dog is not eating enough. If yellow vomit is combined with a lack of eating, we recommend taking your dog for a vet visit. However, it can generally be disregarded if yellow vomit is infrequent and isn’t accompanied by any side effects.

White, foamy vomit:White and foamy vomit appears that way because of its presence of saliva. This is another indication that your dog has vomited on an empty stomach. Generally, white vomit is harmless and could be caused by a simple upset stomach.

Green vomit or vomit with grass:Grass is a prevalent cause of regurgitation in dogs. They may eat grass to ease an upset stomach or even make up fornutritional deficiencies that could be caused by kibble.

If it happens just once or twice, there is no need to change anything. If your dog is vomiting grass more often, they may be due for a diet change or a checkup on their stomach.

Brown vomit:Brown vomit most commonly means that your dog has regurgitated food, which may have been rotten or eaten too quickly, or they ate feces. If your dog has regurgitated their food, you can usually spot pieces of their meal in their throw-up.

If your dog is eating poop, which is known as coprophagia, their vomit will emit a pungent smell. This may be another sign of nutritional deficiency where your pup is seeking their nutrition in poop.

In less common circumstances, a dog’s vomit may appear brown due to the presence of dried blood. If your dog’s vomit has a “coffee grounds” consistency, this indicates blood in the vomit, and your dog may have an intestinal blockage. If you suspect your dog is vomiting blood, take them to a veterinarian.


Bloody vomit:Red or bloody dog vomit is a cause for concern in most cases. This could indicate a gastrointestinal injury, ulcer, or irritation of the GI tract. Blood in the vomit is considered a medical emergency, and your dog should be taken to the vet right away if you notice blood in their throw-up.

In other circumstances, your dog’s food or treats may contain red food dye that can make their vomit appear red. The red dye should not be in our furry friend’s snacks, so we highly recommend changing your pup’s diet if this is the case. Red dye can irritate the stomach and induce allergic reactions.

Black vomit:Black vomit can be another indication of dried blood in your dog’s digestive tract. Blood in the vomit usually is accompanied by a texture resembling coffee grounds.

More commonly, a dog may be vomiting black if they ate dirt or soil. This is normal if it happens on a few occasions, but if black vomit is frequently occurring with blood indication, take it to a veterinarian immediately.

Should I Be Concerned About My Dog Throwing Up?

Any instance your dog vomits, you should always search for the reason and find what you can do to help your pup recover. 

Usually, when our dogs vomit once or twice, they just have an upset stomach or have eaten something funky. There is no need to be worried on these occasions- make sure your dog is getting proper care afterward, like water to rehydrate their bodies.

If your dog is vomiting on multiple occasions or if you find blood in their vomit, you must take them to a veterinarian and treat them accordingly. The earlier you are to any health issues, the better chance of overcoming them with your pup.