What Does the Color of Vomit in Dogs Mean?

Dog Health

Vomiting in dogs, as in all other mammals, is the expulsion of undigested food or gastric juice through the mouth. Vomiting is a natural response to a variety of potential triggers. It’s normal for your dog to vomit to worry you. However, it is necessary to understand why vomiting occurs and act according to the cause. The color of vomit in dogs provides a lot of different information about the dog’s current health. The type of vomit, the potential causes of vomit and what can be done differ according to the color of the vomit in dogs, in summary, the vomit color helps to make a differential diagnosis about the cause of vomit.

dog standing on grass and about to throw up

What is vomiting?

It is the elimination of partially digested food from the body by vomiting in dogs. Different symptoms such as abdominal cramping, retching, licking of the lips or drooling may occur before or after vomiting. The vomit may contain semi-digested food and yellow bile.

Vomiting is often confused with backflow, called regurgitation. In regurgitation, no contraction occurs in the abdominal region. Regurgitation usually occurs in the esophagus or pharynx. For this reason, the food is thrown out undigested. Since the food has not yet descended into the stomach, it is covered with saliva or mucus. Symptoms such as retching before vomiting or contraction of the abdominal muscles do not occur in regurgitation.

unhappy dog ​​lying next to food plate

Why Do Dogs Vomit?

There can be many reasons why dogs vomit. Dogs may vomit due to food intolerance, fast food consumption, food allergy and various health problems.

Fast Food Consumption

It is common for dogs to consume food too quickly. Vomiting may occur due to rapid consumption of food. Fast food consumption can be observed in dogs that are fed only one meal a day, have a feeling of competition in an environment where more than one pet lives, have an open appetite or have trauma due to being hungry for a period. As a result of rapid food ingestion, the dog does not digest the food and vomits shortly after eating the food. When vomiting occurs due to rapid food consumption, there are undigested kibbles in the vomit. The color of the vomit varies according to the color of the food, but is generally expected to be in the brown to gray color range. In order to make dogs eat more slowly, it is necessary to increase the number of meals, to give small amounts of food frequently, or to prefer special food containers called slow food bowls. You can view the food containers that help dogs eat slowly by clicking here.

Food Intolerance

One of the most common causes of vomiting is intolerance. Food intolerance, one of the most common causes of vomiting in dogs, is quite different from food allergy. Because the body’s immune system has no effect on food intolerance. Although the exact cause of food intolerance in dogs is not known, some ingredients in dog foods can cause intolerance, although very rarely. In such a case, following your dog’s eating habits and finding the food component that causes the problem and ensuring that the dog does not consume it will also prevent vomiting.

Food Allergy

Another cause of vomiting in dogs is food allergies. Although food allergies can be detected very easily in humans, it usually presents as a skin or gastrointestinal problem in dogs. One of the most common symptoms of food allergy in dogs is vomiting. However, there may be other symptoms such as excessive itching in a particular area due to a skin condition, or hair loss due to excessive scratching. If he is sure of a food allergy, it is necessary to find out which food causes the allergy and make sure that the dog does not consume this food.


Another cause of vomiting in dogs is gastroenteritis, known as inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Gastroenteritis occurs when a sudden change in the dog’s food is consumed or a foreign object is swallowed by the dog. The most common symptoms of gastroenteritis include diarrhea or constipation with vomiting. If you suspect that your dog has gastroenteritis, you should consult your veterinarian.


Many diseases can cause vomiting in dogs. Cancer, kidney diseases, adrenal gland problems, pancreatitis, liver disease, diabetes, parasite problems, exposure to toxins, infection, motion sickness, inflammatory bowel disease and various drugs can cause vomiting in dogs. For this reason, when your dog vomits, it is recommended to follow it closely and observe the changes that occur in it.

dog lying sluggish on the ground

Vomit Colors and Causes in Dogs?

Dog vomit can be of different colors. Sometimes the type and color of the vomit tells us exactly what the cause of the vomit is. When your dog vomits, you can have an idea about the cause of this situation by carefully examining it.

Green Vomit

Green vomit in dogs is usually due to very few causes. Dogs can sometimes eat too much grass or grass when outside. In this case, their vomit is bright green in color. In addition, undigested grass fragments may also be present in the vomit. Another reason for green-colored vomit is that it contains bile. Bile-colored vomit is usually seen when the dog is hungry or has reflux. In such a case, it is recommended to contact a specialist veterinarian.

White Vomit

White vomit in dogs is usually in the form of white foam. If the dog vomits water, it is usually caused by eating grass. But your dog’s foamless white vomit is different. This could be a sign of a gastrointestinal problem or bloating. Although it is not a problem for dogs to vomit white foam, white vomit can be a serious condition. For this reason, it is necessary to consult a veterinarian without wasting time.

Red Vomit

If there is no red food coloring in the treats or additional foods you give your dog, red vomit indicates that he has vomited blood. After vomiting red, the dog should be taken to the veterinarian immediately. Because this usually indicates a serious health problem or inflammation in the stomach. A light red vomit indicates that the blood is fresh. If it is dark red, it indicates that the bleeding occurred some time ago. Dark red vomit is usually a sign of ulcers in dogs.

Brown Vomit

Brown vomit in dogs can have multiple causes. The color of the prize food, coprophagia or bleeding are among the causes of brown vomit. Coprophagia, known as fecal eating, is a generally rare behavioral disorder among dogs. You can tell by the smell of brown vomit whether it is due to eating faeces.

Yellow Vomit

“Why do dogs vomit yellow?” The answer to the question is that there is bile in the vomit. Yellow vomit in dogs often occurs as a symptom of reflux. This is also an indication that the dog is not vomiting from a food he ate. Yellow vomit indicates that the dog’s stomach is empty. Veterinary examination is required without wasting time.

Black Vomit

Black vomit is usually an indication that your dog ate mud or dirt while playing. Although it is not very common, you can train it so that it does not repeat this behavior. On the other hand, if you examine the vomit closely and see that it is dark red close to black, this indicates that there is blood in the vomit. Stomach ulcers, a swallowed and undigested toxin can cause black vomit. Such a situation is considered an emergency and you should have your dog checked by the veterinarian.

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