Why is my dog throwing up yellow? Get insights on causes of dog vomiting yellow, bile, white form or food, how to treat and the best home remedies.

Bile is created in the liver and stored in the gallbladder until food has been ingested. It is then released into the small intestine to aid in digestion of food and to emulsify the food so that it can be used appropriately by the body.

Bilious vomiting syndrome occurs when bile abnormally enters the stomach from the intestine, causing irritation and vomiting. The presence of bile is indicated by a watery, yellow-green substance in the vomit contents. If vomiting does not occur and the bile remains in the stomach, the irritation to the stomach can lead to gastric reflux.

Vomiting is often seen in the morning or late night just before eating, especially in dogs that are fed once daily. This might be due to prolonged periods between meals, or to related stomach inactivity, which aggravates the bile reflux. This condition is commonly seen in older dogs but can occur at any age. Both genders are equally affected.

Symptoms and Types

  • Chronic intermittent vomiting containing bile
  • Usually takes place in the morning or late night
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss

Dog Throwing up Yellow

Causes of dog throwing up yellow

Dog throwing up yellow

If your dog is bright and alert, and only vomits once, it is probably not necessary to call your veterinarian. Many dogs will vomit after eating grass, for instance. If your dog vomits more than once or appears sick, talk to your vet. He or she will ask you a series of questions to determine how severe the vomiting is. It will be helpful for your veterinarian to know when the vomiting started, how many times your dog has vomited, what the vomit looks like, and if your dog is uncomfortable.

  • It is especially important that you call your veterinarian immediately if:
  • There is blood in the vomit
  • Your dog acts like he wants to vomit, but nothing is expelled
  • Your dog appears bloated or has a swollen abdomen
  • You suspect your dog may have eaten something toxic or poisonous
  • Your dog has a fever or is depressed
  • Your dog’s gums are pale or yellow
  • Your dog is a puppy or has not received all his vaccinations
  • Your dog appears to be in pain
  • Your dog also has diarrhea

Do not give your dog any medications, including over-the-counter human medications unless advised by your veterinarian to do so.

Diagnosis of vomiting cause
It is important to determine the cause so the appropriate treatment can be given. Your veterinarian will combine information from you, the physical exam, and possibly laboratory and other diagnostic tests to determine the cause of the vomiting.

When dogs and cats vomit, their abdominal muscles contract very strongly multiple times before the food is actually ejected from the mouth. It may appear as though the whole body is involved in the effort. Often they will go through this process several times in a row.

Onset of symptoms – How suddenly the symptoms appeared is a good clue to what the cause of the vomiting may be. If the symptoms appeared suddenly, the condition is known as acute. If the symptoms remain over a long period of time, the vomiting is called “chronic”.

Appearance of vomit – Distinguish vomiting from regurgitation, whether the vomit contains food or just fluid, color of vomit, presence of blood or bile in the vomit.

The level of nausea is shown by signs such as licking or smacking of lips, drooling, swallowing, or gulping. Timing of vomiting in relation to meals or drinking should also be noted.

Other signs which may include; Fever, pain, dehydration, urinary changes, depression, weakness, diarrhea, or weight loss. Vomiting is often caused by diseases not directly related to conditions of the digestive tract, such as hepatitis, pancreatitis, diabetes, and kidney disease.

Medical History – Your veterinarian will ask about your dog’s medical history including vaccinations, what type of wormer the dog has received and how often, contact with other dogs, diet, any access to garbage or toxins, and any medications. The more information you can offer, the easier it will be to make a diagnosis.

Physical examination – Your veterinarian will do a complete physical exam including taking your dog’s weight and temperature, checking the heart and respiration, looking in the mouth, palpating the abdomen, checking for dehydration, and performing a rectal exam.

Laboratory and diagnostic tests – In some cases of vomiting, your veterinarian will recommend a fecal flotation. This is a test to check for parasites such as intestinal worms or Giardia. If a bacterial infection is suspected, a fecal culture and sensitivity are performed. In cases of certain viral diseases, such as parvovirus, other tests on the feces may aid in the diagnosis.

Dog Throwing up White Foam

Bearing witness to this excretory display can be disconcerting at the best of times and cause dog owners to panic at the worst. There are so many reasons for digestive upset in dogs, and they share so many similar symptoms, that general upset can be difficult for veterinarians to diagnose quickly.

While some of the causes for foamy, viscous puking  such as, a dog finding rotting food in the garbage or ingesting a foreign object, can occur to any dog at any time, the riskiest and most dangerous can either be managed, treated, or prevented.

A dog that gets sick once before returning to normal is likely to have eaten something she should not have eaten. If a dog throws up several times in a day or for more than a couple of days in a row, on the other hand, schedule a veterinary appointment. The leading causes for frothy foam to appear in a dog’s vomit include internal injury, infection, and inconsistent eating habits. The major ones may involve the following:

  • Ingesting toxins, poisons, foreign objects
  • Bilious vomiting syndrome
  • Bloat
  • Kennel cough
  • Pancreatitis and other digestive inflammations
  • Parvovirus
  • Rabies

Dogs eating strange things

Dog throwing up yellow causes

Dog eating strange things

Eating a foreign object can lead to an upset stomach, indigestion, or intestinal blockages, all of which might reasonably cause a dog to retch. With the exception of dog toys, small, loose objects should be kept well out of the reach of indoor dogs. Toxins for home use especially chemical cleaners and pesticides directed toward insects or rodents can also cause adverse reactions.

If you put out rat, roach, or mouse traps, ensure that they, too, are deployed in spots where your dog cannot be tempted by curiosity. Note the presence of any of these in your home. It may be of critical importance to a veterinarian if a dog is vomiting white foam.

Bilious vomiting syndrome

Bile and stomach acids are naturally occurring fluids that aid in the digestion and processing of food. On an empty stomach, however, they can cause irritation. That irritation can lead an otherwise healthy and hungry dog to ignore meals, or, in more extreme situations, vomit to expel the excess. The vomit produced can be colored white, yellow, green, orange, brown, or some mixture, and is accompanied by slimy mucus.

Feeding active dog smaller meals at regular intervals throughout the day — including a small snack first thing in the morning and last thing at night — may be the best and easiest way to address what could become a more serious problem.

An alternate solution is acid-reducing medications. Consult with your dog’s veterinarian, who can recommend an antacid which may also help relieve your dog’s suffering, especially if your work schedule prevents you from being able to physically give your dog meals throughout the day.


Also known as stomach dilation is an extremely serious condition in dogs. In the worst cases, a dog’s stomach literally becomes twisted from its normal position in the abdomen. This not only traps air, food, and fluids in the stomach, but it also restrict blood flow. One of its early symptoms, before all movement into and out of the stomach is cut off, is white foam in the dog’s vomit.

This condition most commonly occurs in deep-chested adult and senior dogs. While the precise reasons for it are unclear, prevention consists mainly of making sure dogs are not overactive just after meals.

Why dogs vomit white foam: many reasons, many solutions

Knowing your dog’s eating habits, noting any deviations, and being able to adjust as circumstances require is important. Changing the portions and frequency of a dog’s meals, whether she is a growing puppy or an active adult, can help prevent the buildup of bile and acid, which causes later-life digestive problems.

Keeping a dog in a clean environment, including regularly sanitized food and water bowls minimizes the risk of contracting parasites as well as bacterial infections.

The two most dangerous reasons why a dog spews white foam are parvo and rabies which are largely preventable with proper vaccination.

Dog Throwing up Bile

If your dog is vomiting yellow fluid, unless he lapped up something yellow, there are chances it’s your dog’s bile. Bile is something that dogs produce. While it’s commonly yellow, it’s a bitter tasting fluid ranging in color from dark green to yellow brown or bright yellow in some cases. Because it’s bitter in taste, most dogs will not re-ingest it as they may do when they bring back up food that was recently ingested.

You are hardly aware of bile and digestive juices in dogs until they vomit it up and stain your carpets. Bile vomiting, at times accompanied by a white, frothy liquid, typically happens when the dog vomits on an empty stomach or after repeated vomiting once all the food has been brought up. Bile is irritating to the stomach when no food is present, so it’s best to find out why the bile is presenting in the first place.

Why Would Dogs Vomit Bile?

There isn’t a direct, universal cure for all types of vomiting because the vomiting may have many causes. You will therefore need to have your vet run diagnostic tests if your dog is vomiting continuously, so the underlying cause can be addressed. Following are some possible causes for vomiting bile in dogs; obviously, you’ll need to see your vet for an accurate diagnosis, so this list is not to be used for diagnostic purposes.

Also, keep in mind that bile vomiting can take place any time a dog vomits on an empty stomach, or has vomited so much, the stomach has been emptied completely of food and now bile is being brought back up.

Intestinal Blockage

A with intestinal blockage will keep on vomiting for the simple fact that mechanically, food cannot make it past the blockage. Everything eaten therefore will be brought back up. At times, the vomiting can be forcefully expelled Affected dogs may have repeated vomiting, severe abdominal pain, loss of appetite, dehydration, constipation.

Dog Throwing up Blood

Dog throwing up blood causes

Dog throwing up blood

Hematemesis, or the vomiting of blood, can be the result of a number of causes. There may be a disruption in the lining of the esophagus, or an irritation of the stomach or intestines, which can lead to inflammation, bleeding, and, eventually, the expulsion of blood through vomiting. Alternatively, the blood may originate from an inflammation or injury in the mouth or lungs, after which it is swallowed and then thrown up.

Hematemesis is relatively common in dogs, and can affect a wide range of systems depending on the source. The gastrointestinal system may be affected due to trauma, ulcer, inflammation, or the presence of a foreign object. It may affect the heart (cardiovascular system), resulting in a heart low blood pressure. Abnormally fast breathing due to severe hemorrhage can also occur. A clotting disorder can lead to hemorrhage in the stomach or intestines, and can also lead to hematemesis.

Symptoms and Types

The primary symptom is the presence of blood in vomit, which may appear as fresh blood, formed clots, or digested blood which resembles coffee grounds. Other symptoms include lack of appetite, abdominal pain, and blackish tar-like feces.

A physical examination may also find a low red blood cell count (anemia), in which case additional symptoms can include heart murmur, weakness to the point of collapse, and a rapid heartbeat.

Dog Throwing up Food

If it is your dog that is having a problem, you are most likely going to wonder what is causing it and what you can do. Causes can be mild to severe and you need to look at the total picture before jumping to conclusions.  Most of the time, the cause is something mundane that you have control of, but not always.  We can often divide causes into several categories:

How He’s Eating:  Typical Eating Habits

  • Did he eat too fast?
  • Did he eat too much?
  • Did he drink too much water after gulping down his food?
  • Was he too active after eating his dinner?
  • Was he experiencing any stress during mealtime?

What He’s Eating

If you can’t rule out the simple causes, you need to look a little deeper.

  • Did he get into something he should not be eating? (Chocolate)
  • Is the dog food fresh and healthy?
  • Did he swallow something that he shouldn’t have eaten such as a toy or chew bone.
  • Has he been eating grass or something else outside?
  • Did he eat his or another animal’s poop?
  • Did he experience a sudden change of food?

What substances go into the stomach may have a big impact on later vomiting.  This is how the body protects itself but eliminating nasty substances that could make the dog even sicker.  If this is the case, the dog is actually better off throwing it back up.

A Dog Throwing Up Undigested Food Could Mean Health Problems

If your dog throws up undigested food once and only once, then there is not likely to be a health problem brewing but if the dog throwing up undigested food becomes a habit or chronic, there could be some problems.  If your dog regularly throws up, you need to seek veterinary care.  Some of the more serious reasons for vomiting in, liver disease, pancreatitis, kidney failure, cancer, stomach ulcers, viral or bacterial infections and intestinal parasites

Many of these serious problems are also accompanied by other signs such as lethargy, blood in urine or stool, fever and dehydration.  These are problems that need veterinary attention.

Normal Behavior

Another term used for the dog throwing up undigested food is regurgitation.  Mother dogs in the wild do this all the time to feed their growing puppies.

Dog Throwing Up Treatment

If your pet got into something non-edible or something very toxic (like dark chocolate), induce vomiting by giving 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide. This will result in a foamy vomit (so do this outdoors, or have some newspaper handy for cleanup). After the vomiting stops, wait 2 hours and administer the following mixture with a syringe:

  • 1 capsule of probiotics (acidophilus)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of warm water

 Note: If chocolate was ingested longer than 1 hour ago, and symptoms such as drooling, shaking, or trembling occur, see your emergency veterinarian immediately.

Home Remedies for Vomiting in Cats & Dogs

Refrain from feeding more food. If your pet is vomiting, you’ll want to remove the rest of their food and follow the instructions below to help stop the vomiting.

Home remedies for dog throwing up yellow

Dog throwing up yellow or blood remedies

Baking soda water – Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a ½ cup of water. Give a little bit (tiny sips) of this mixture every 2 hours. When the vomiting stops, you can follow this up with a little bit of ginger tea (listed below).

Ginger tea – Grate 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger root or use 1 teaspoon of ginger powder and gently simmer it with ½ cup of coconut milk (found in the Asian section or canned milk section of your grocery store) for about 10 minutes.  Store this in a glass or mug for easy use.  Give 1 to 3 teaspoons every 1-2 hours.

Acidophilus – Give your dog or cat acidophilus capsules mixed with water or a small amount of live cultured yogurt or kefir (see dose instructions below). Give yogurt once every hour (up to three times) after the vomiting has ceased.

  • 1 -2 teaspoons for a cat or small dog
  • 1 -2 tablespoons for medium sized dogs
  • 2-4 tablespoons for large dogs

Pepto-Bismol – For dogs only. This is toxic to cats! Give the following dosages after vomiting subsides, every 8 hours for one day only. If vomiting or diarrhea persists, see your vet.

  • ¼ tab for small dogs
  • ½ tab for medium size dogs
  • 1 tab for large dogs

 Home Remedies for Dehydration

If your pet becomes dehydrated, and the vet clinics are not open, you can try hydrating your pet by giving them coconut water or coconut juice (found at most grocery stores or health food stores).

  • Give 5 cc every 2 hours for small dogs and cats
  • Give 10cc every 2 hours for medium size dogs
  • Give 20 cc every 2 hours for larger dogs
  • Give 40 cc every 2 hours for giant breeds

Home Remedies for Diarrhea in Dogs

To stop diarrhea in dogs, mix and feed the following every 3-4 hours:

  • 1 cup of cooked white rice
  • 1/4 cup of canned coconut milk

Feeding Instructions:

  • Give 1 -2 tablespoons every 3-4 hours for small dogs (10 to 20 lbs.)
  • Give ½ cup every 3-4 hours for medium size dogs (25 to 40 lbs.)
  • Give 1 cup every 3-4 hours for large dogs (above 40 lbs.)

When the diarrhea seems to be getting better (after 1-3 days diarrhea should be less frequent, and stools should have hardened) add boiled chicken or beef to the diet. Give ¼ cup of boiled meat per 1 cup of white rice. Feed three times a day in small portions.

More references

  1. Vomiting with bile in dogs:
  2. Vomiting in dogs:
  3. Why dogs vomit white form:
  4. Causes of dog vomiting bile:
  5. Vomiting of blood in dogs:
  6. Why dogs through up undigested food:
  7. Remedies for digestive emergencies in pets: