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Why is My Dog Vomiting? Read This Before Calling the Vet

  • 5 min read

As dog parents, we get alarmed at even the slightest change in our dog’s health and habits. It goes without saying that we treat our dogs like they were our kids, making sure they are well taken care of and healthy. So how will you know when to seek medical help?

There can be numerous reasons why your dog is vomiting. Oftentimes, vomiting isn’t an illness but a sign of an underlying disorder. Before you start panicking or imagining the worst-case scenario, it's helpful to understand these warning signs. Let's explore some of the reasons your dog may be vomiting and what you should do to help.

What to Do If Your Dog is Vomiting?

Occasional vomiting isn't always a cause of concern. Dogs can vomit to get rid of something that doesn't agree with their body. But sometimes it can be a sign of an underlying health condition. 

To figure out the exact cause, follow the 3 steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Observe the Color

The color of the vomit can tell a lot about what’s going on inside the body of your dog. Let’s discuss what each color of vomit means and when you should seek the help of a veterinarian

My Dog's Vomit is Yellow

A yellow foamy vomit consists of bile, a digestive fluid that’s produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It gets released into the small intestine to assist with digestion. 

When your dog goes too long without eating it causes a buildup of stomach acid that may lead to your dog vomiting bile.

If your dog has vomited yellow foam bile only once in the morning, feeding them late at night or more frequently could resolve this issue. If this happens more than once, you’ll want to contact your veterinarian.

My Dog’s Vomit is Green

Green vomit suggests your dog ate grass, leaves, or any other plant material that has caused irritation in their stomach. It typically isn't a cause of concern if it's a one-off but if you’ve taken your dog to an unknown place then there could be a chance they ingested some toxic plants. In such a case, you should call your veterinarian. 

My Dog's Vomit is Red or Brown

Red or brown vomit could be a sign of bleeding that can be caused due to gastrointestinal diseases, inflammation of the stomach, or an injury. It can also be a sign of stomach ulcer or intestinal blockage. It is important that you take your dog to see your veterinarian immediately.

 

Step 2: Monitor the frequency

As mentioned before, one-off vomiting usually isn’t a cause of concern. They might be throwing up undigested food, it might be a natural reaction to eating too fast, or getting too excited. 

But if your dog is suffering from chronic vomiting then it can be a sign of an underlying disease. It can also lead to inadequate nutrition and dehydration. If you notice your dog is throwing up more frequently, you should provide them with proper treatment by a veterinarian.

Step 3: Presence of Foam 

Foamy vomit can be a sign of excess gas in your dog's stomach. Yellow foam is caused due to an empty stomach and the presence of bile. White foam can be caused due to upper respiratory infection or digestive issues. 

Main Causes of Dog Vomiting

There can be several causes of vomiting in dogs but the 4 most common reasons are:

Bilious Vomiting Syndrome

Bilious vomiting syndrome (BVS) occurs when the bile in the small intestine leaks into the stomach. It happens when your dog's stomach stays empty for a while or when they eat an abnormally large amount of fatty food. It causes your dog to vomit yellow fluid or froth. 

To help avoid BVS, feed your dog multiple smaller meals instead of one large meal. Also, make sure their food has low-fat content and high fiber. You can even give them a healthy snack before bedtime so their stomach doesn't stay empty all night. 

Gastrointestinal Diseases

There can be multiple conditions that can affect the digestive system or gastrointestinal tract of your dog. For example, inflammatory diseases, parasites, ulcers, pancreatitis, toxic substances, and bacterial/viral infections can cause digestive distress. 

Vomiting can be a sign of such gastrointestinal disorders only when it's paired with some other symptoms like loss of appetite, laziness, diarrhea, weight loss, dehydration, yellow skin, gums, or eyes, etc.

Dry Dog Food or “Kibble”

Dry food also known as kibble can cause your dog to vomit yellow bile. Kibble is a dry food that sits inside the dog's stomach, here it swells and becomes twice the size which can cause the stomach to expand and over produce stomach acids. 

A possible remedy for this situation is to substitute kibble with good-quality cold-pressed dog food. It’s an alternative to dry food thats focused on creating and sustaining a healthy digestive system. Cold-pressed dog food doesn't swell in the stomach but breaks down to reduce bloating and allows the dog to quickly start absorbing the necessary nutrients. 

Cold-pressed dog food is made by gently cooking high-quality ingredients with low heat for a short amount of time, helping it retain more of the natural nutrients in the ingredients. Kibble is produced by cooking with high heat and steam which burns off many of the nutrients.

Allergies

Allergies or sensitivity to certain food ingredients can cause vomiting in dogs. Even if you have been feeding them the same diet, allergies can develop at any point in time. 

In such cases, we recommend reaching out to a veterinarian or nutritionist who can suggest a diet that removes the allergen without affecting the health of your dog.

How to Prevent Vomiting in Dogs

It's inevitable that your dog will find and eat something they shouldn’t. But here are a few things you can do to minimize the risks of vomiting:

  • Feed them a proper diet at regular intervals 
  • Don’t leave them on an empty stomach for too long
  • Switch to a highly digestible food like cold-pressed
  • If your dog eats too fast, get them a "puzzle feeder"

In the end, vomiting may turn out to be nothing to worry about, but as a parent, you should always be aware of the red flags. Ignoring the warning signs and delaying the veterinary visit could make matters worse. 

FAQs 

1. Why is my dog vomiting yellow?

Yellow vomit is caused due to bile. It suggests your dog has had an empty stomach for a while. To help prevent this, break their meals into smaller meals and feed them at regular intervals. Try to switch their diet from dry kibble to highly digestible and nutritious cold-pressed food. 

2. Should my dog drink water after vomiting?

Drinking a lot of water after throwing up can cause more vomiting and not drinking enough water can cause dehydration. Hence, it’s best to offer them 1 teaspoon of water for every pound of their weight every hour. Do this for 4-5 hours, if they don’t vomit again you can continue to give them water normally.

3. How can I settle my dog's stomach after vomiting?

Try offering them ice cubes or a few teaspoons of water to avoid dehydration. If the dog hasn't vomited for 5-6 hours, you can offer them a 1/3 of 8oz. cup of bland food like plain white rice with boiled chicken. 

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Source:

https://www.foundanimals.org/dog-vomiting-101-why-dogs-vomit/ 

https://www.petmd.com/dog/general-health/5-reasons-why-your-dog-throwing-bile

https://www.thefarmersdog.com/digest/wikipup-decoding-dog-vomit/

https://www.pethonesty.com/blogs/blog/my-dog-is-vomiting-yellow-what-should-i-do

https://www.thesprucepets.com/dog-vomiting-yellow-bile-4846474

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