Pet owners get very concerned when their dogs vomit. Even more when the vomit has a strange color. However, attentive dog owners know that the color of their dog’s vomit can tell them a lot about their pet’s health.
If you are a pet parent, knowing what the color of your dog’s vomit means is important. Here’s a dog vomit color guide for you so the next time your dog throws up you know exactly what’s going on.
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What Does Your Dog’s Vomit Say About Their Health?
As mentioned before, a dog’s vomit color can tell you a million things about your dog’s health. Pet owners can learn to memorize what different colored vomit means.
With a keen eye out for other symptoms as well, vigilant pet parents can make a working diagnosis for their dog before they even visit a veterinary doctor.
What Causes Vomiting In Dogs And Puppies
Vomiting in dogs can have a few different causes. Some causes are benign, meaning that they are nothing to worry about. Other causes, however, are more serious and warrant a thorough checkup from your dog’s veterinarian.
An upset stomach is the number one cause of dog vomit. Dogs can get upset stomachs if they have food allergies. Your dog’s food may also cause an upset stomach if it goes bad. Similarly, greasy food can also lead to bouts of vomiting.
Other causes of dog vomit include:
- Poor quality dog foods,
- foreign object ingestion
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Viral or bacterial infections
- Liver or kidney disorders
- GIT obstruction
- Bilious vomiting syndrome
Dog Vomit Color Guide
A dog vomit color chart indicates the color of the vomitus in certain conditions. Knowing what a certain dog vomit color is can help you recognize your dog’s problem sooner.
It can also help you figure out what to do if your dog’s vomiting rainbows.
1. Yellow Vomit
Yellow is the most common color listed in this dog vomit color guide. Yellow vomit usually just means that your dog is throwing up bile, a digestive liquid secreted from the gallbladder.
It’s harmless most of the time unless your dog brings up yellow liquid from his mouth regularly. Your dog might have Bilious Vomiting Syndrome if that’s the case.
Pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas, can also cause yellow-colored liquid vomit to come out of your dog’s mouth.
2. Bright Red or Red Dog Vomit
Red dog vomit is almost always an emergency. Red dog vomit indicates an active bleed from the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract(GIT) of the dog.
Red vomit is common in clotting disorders, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, and a ruptured peptic ulcer. Your dog may need IV fluid resuscitation following a red dog vomit episode.
3. Coffee Grounds/Black Dog Vomit
Dark vomit always indicates an internal injury.
Black vomit, also often described as having a coffee-granules-like texture, is caused by internal bleeding in the lower section of your dog’s GIT.
This blood stays in the gut longer and remains exposed to enzymes throughout. Since the blood is completely broken down when it comes out as dog vomit, the digested blood appears like dark-colored vomit.
Dog vomit, however, can also occur from an injury in the upper GIT, like stomach ulcers. Stomach acid can cause acid reflux bleeding as well and can break down blood enough to appear dark.
4. Dark Brown Vomit
While black dog vomit is an indicator of a serious injury, brown and sometimes even dark brown dog vomit usually only indicates that your dog ate their own poop.
You might need to install cameras in your home, especially if your dog has a buddy. Your furry friend would 10/10 feast on the other animal’s poop.
5. Green Vomit
Green dog vomit usually indicates one of two things: Either your dog has been eating grass, or your dog has an empty stomach.
Dogs eat grass all the time. A common assumption is that dogs eat grass because it helps them get rid of nausea.
Whether that’s true or not, still, if your dog throws up green vomit, it usually just means that their day was adventurous. The next best guess is that your dog is throwing up bile.
6. White Foam Vomit
White dog vomit is usually pretty harmless. If your dog brings up small white foam puddles every now and then, it just means that they have an empty stomach.
Dog Vomiting Vs. Regurgitation
Dog vomiting is basically when your dog throws up digested food. Regurgitation, on the other hand, is when your dog brings back undigested food, or partially digested food, out from their mouth.
Regurgitated food, also called chunky dog vomit, usually has chunky food particles floating about, and it can also have a cylindrical shape due to the compression by the food pipe.
Dog Vomit Colors: Which Indicates An Emergency?
Dogs vomit all the time and not every vomit is an emergency. Some are simply caused by your dog’s stomach irritability.
Knowing dog vomit colors and what they mean can help you figure out if your dog’s vomit is an emergency situation.
A dog vomit color chart is especially useful when your dog has a vomiting episode. If your dog vomits green, brown, or yellow liquid, it’s usually harmless.
But if your dog’s vomiting red liquid, or even black vomit with a coffee-grounds appearance, it can mean bleeding from your dog’s stomach or other parts of the GIT.
This can be an emergency and you would need to contact your vet immediately.
You should also seek veterinary advice when your dog is vomiting more frequently, regardless of the color of the dog’s vomit.
Dogs vomit all the time, but sometimes it can be serious. Digested blood appearing as black vomit, or bright red vomit is always an emergency and you should contact your vet immediately.
On the other hand, a dog vomiting yellow or green liquid might not be harmful at all. Chunky dog vomit is when a dog regurgitates partially digested or undigested food from their mouth – which is also not an emergency.
Keeping a dog vomit color guide can help dog owners figure out when exactly is your dog throwing up a problem.
What color is pancreatitis vomit in dogs?
Pancreatitis can cause yellow dog vomit if your dog consumes large amounts of greasy food.
How do I know if my dog throwing up is serious?
Yellow, green, and brown vomit is usually not an emergency. But if your dog is vomiting blood out of their mouth, you might want to contact your vet.
What do different types of dog vomit mean?
A dark-colored dog vomit is serious, but a yellow or green liquid vomit might mean nothing at all. A chunky vomit is also just regurgitated food and is rarely problematic.