Why Is My Dog Throwing Up Yellow?

Just like you and I, our dogs will have an upset stomach from time to time. Their gurgling stomach may even cause them to vomit, sometimes producing a pile of yellow liquid on your floor.

Dog vomit is worrying enough, but yellow vomit often heightens the level of concern for pet parents.

Is yellow dog vomit a big deal, and if so, what would cause this strange symptom?

Why Is My Dog Throwing Up Yellow Vomit Color

My Dog Is Vomiting, Is This Normal?

Before we discuss the many potential causes of yellow vomit in dogs, we should first answer the question of whether or not vomiting is normal in our canine friends. All dogs will get an upset stomach at some point throughout their lives, and sometimes this GI upset will cause them to vomit.

If it only happens once and your dog appears normal otherwise, then it typically does not warrant an immediate medical intervention.

Yes, dogs throw up from time to time, but it doesn’t mean we should turn a blind eye. Vomiting in dogs is a common symptom of many underlying conditions, so a pet parent should always be on alert any time their dog is vomiting.

While it may not be a serious threat to the health, vomiting in dogs should never be considered normal enough to ignore.

7 Reasons Why Your Dog’s Vomit Is Yellow Color

Now that you are aware of the fact that a pile of dog vomit should always get your attention, let’s discuss a list of potential causes behind yellow vomit in dogs. Ranging from minor nausea due to an empty stomach to serious gastrointestinal diseases, let’s break down the options below.

1.) They Are Throwing Up Yellow Bile

If your dog is throwing up yellow fluid, it is very likely that they are vomiting bile. Bile is a substance that exists in the dog’s stomach, helping to digest the food they consume each day.

When a dog has not eaten for an extended period for whatever reason, this bile can build up within the stomach. This bile will often irritate the stomach lining, leading to nausea and vomiting in dogs.

Due to the fact that dogs often vomit yellow bile when they are not eating regularly, this means that it can be a result of any disturbance in their regular eating routine.

This can be a result of nausea from:

  • Accidentally missing a meal
  • Abdominal pain
  • Motion sickness
  • Medication side effects
  • Food allergy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Pancreatitis

2.) They Require More Frequent Meals

Some dogs just need to be fed more frequent meals throughout the day. Waiting too long in between meals can cause bile buildup in some dogs, causing irritation of the dog’s stomach lining and eventual nausea.

Some dogs even suffer from a condition known as bilious vomiting syndrome, which is a condition that often causes dogs to vomit yellow bile in the morning. This is simply a result of stomach acid buildup overnight, leading to significant nausea once they wake up.

If your dog often vomits when going too long in between meals, they may benefit from being fed more often. You can do this by breaking up their standard feeding amounts into multiple small meals throughout the day.

This can help to essentially protect the stomach from acid buildup and prevent vomiting in sensitive pups. You can also start offering your dog a bedtime snack to help keep their stomach full throughout the night.

3.) They Are Eating Grass

It may seem strange to us, but many dogs eat grass for their own enjoyment. Though many believe that dogs only eat grass when they are trying to make themselves vomit, this is actually quite rare.

Most dogs eat grass due to grazing behaviors, trying to obtain fiber, and simply liking the taste and crunch.

If your dog does happen to vomit soon after eating grass, it can cause their vomit to be a yellow or light green color. You may also see remnants of plant material in the vomit.

4.) They Ate Fatty Foods

There’s a reason why vets tell pet parents to keep any fatty food away from their furry friends. Fatty foods can cause GI irritation and an inflammatory condition known as pancreatitis in dogs, often leading to anorexia and vomiting.

If a dog is experiencing GI upset as a result of eating human food, this can lead to them vomiting up yellow bile or vomit.

Other symptoms from eating fatty foods include diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, and even fever. If you think your dog is experiencing GI upset from eating food that is high in fat, we always suggest seeking immediate veterinary care.

5.) They Ate Something Toxic

If your dog has eaten something toxic or poisonous recently, it can certainly cause them to experience a vomiting episode. There are many items or substances that are considered toxic to dogs, ranging from certain houseplants to human foods.

If your dog gets their paws on something that can harm them, this can lead to symptoms ranging from a minor upset stomach to life-threatening complications. Many dogs will vomit so many times that they begin to throw up bile, leading to the yellow vomit you find on the floor.

Some of the most common toxicities we see in dogs include consumption of human food, poisonous plants, cleaning supplies, human medications, pesticides, and dangerous items that are thrown in the trash.

If you think your dog has eaten something potentially toxic, we suggest having them seen by a vet immediately. You can also reach out to the Pet Poison Helpline for guidance.

6.) They Have A Gastrointestinal Obstruction

If your dog vomits up yellow liquid, it is possible that they are experiencing a GI obstruction or intestinal blockage. This occurs when your dog eats something they are unable to pass in their digestive system, leading to a life-threatening blockage along their gastrointestinal tract.

Stomach and intestinal contents are unable to pass as it normally would in these situations, often causing the dog to experience repetitive vomiting.

Dogs with an intestinal obstruction may also experience abdominal pain, drooling, lethargy, weakness, fever, and collapse. If your dog is known to eat things they should not and they are vomiting multiple rounds of yellow bile, we suggest having them seen by a vet immediately. This is also the case if you catch your dog in the act of eating a non-food item.

7.) They Have Kidney Or Liver Disease

While this should not be the first assumption when your dog is vomiting, kidney and liver disease in dogs is known to cause chronic vomiting in dogs. This is not as common in younger dogs, but it is a reason why a vomiting senior dog should always be taken seriously.

Additional symptoms of kidney and liver disease in dogs includes:

  • A decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Disinterest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Changes in personality

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it’s time to seek veterinary advice. Your vet can perform blood work if they suspect a serious condition like kidney or liver disease.

Should I Take My Dog To The Vet For Yellow Vomit?

Yellow vomit in dogs can be a result of simple issues such as acid reflux or minor GI upset, but it can also point to serious underlying gastrointestinal diseases.

One round of vomit may not require an immediate trip to the vet, but any dog that vomits more than once in a 24 hour period should be seen by a vet quickly.

Dogs can dehydrate rapidly with repetitive vomiting, so it is always best to have them seen as soon as possible if their GI upset is persisting.

Once you are at the vet for your dog’s yellow vomit, they will likely suggest a few different diagnostics to get to the bottom of their symptoms. This often includes blood work, radiographs, and even a urine test in some situations.

Based on the results of these tests, your vet can determine the best treatment plan moving forward.

Treatment For Dogs Vomiting Yellow

Treatment for a dog vomiting yellow bile will vary based on the underlying cause of their symptoms. For example, a dog with pancreatitis will often need to stay in the hospital to receive intravenous fluids and symptomatic care, while a dog that has acid reflux may just need frequent meals and antacids.

Every treatment plan will vary based on their diagnosis, so we suggest asking your vet about the details of their treatment plan moving forward.

Final Thoughts On Yellow Vomiting In Dogs

Your dog’s vomiting can be a result of many underlying factors, which is why we always suggest keeping a close eye on any dog that is experiencing GI upset.

If your dog has vomited yellow more than once over a 24-hour period, we suggest having them seen by your veterinary team.

Resources:

1.) https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu

2.) https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com

3.) https://vcahospitals.com

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