Dog Vomiting: Reasons, Symptoms & Diagnose

Dog Vomiting: Reasons, Symptoms & Diagnose

Author WDF Staff


The sight of your dog vomiting is not a nice one, but if you are anything like us, you will get immediately worried about your dog. You will ask yourself why your dog is constantly throwing up and what you can do about it. Dog vomiting can be a sign that something is indeed wrong with your dog, but it can also mean that your dog ate something that is not quite sitting well with them. As a dog owner, you should know the difference, which is sometimes hard to distinguish.

There is a lot of truth behind the popular expression “better safe than sorry,” but when it comes to your dog vomiting, sometimes you don’t have to be either of those things. World Dog Finder brings you everything you need to know and how to react to your dog vomiting.


The first thing all dog owners should know is how to differentiate between vomiting and regurgitating. If your dog throws up, that can be a sign of an emergency, but regurgitation is usually not so serious.

There is a subtle difference between those two things, and vomiting can be identified by signs of nausea, like drooling, abdomen contractions, and retching. The vomited substance will most likely be watery and mixed with stomach acid. Regurgitation is a passive motion where undigested food and fluids get out of their system, which will most likely be cylindrical shaped.

An easy way to differentiate vomiting from regurgitating is by examining what the dog threw up.

Is dog vomiting normal?

All experienced dog owners know that a dog throwing up is nothing to be too worried about most of the time. There are plenty of reasons why a dog can vomit, and some of those reasons are;

  • Dog eats too fast
  • Dog swallowed something, and it irritated their stomach
  • Dog ate too much grass

Usually, if something like this happens, your dog will continue their day as if nothing ever happened and leave you cleaning the mess they made. However, you should understand your dog’s behavior and keep a close eye on them so you can notice if anything unusual is going on. If an emergency happens, you have to realize how difficult a situation is and when you should call your vet. If your dog’s problems are something like these, you should contact your vet immediately;

  • Continuous vomiting
  • Vomiting a lot at once
  • Seizure
  • You suspect your dog ate a foreign body
  • Dog is trying to vomit, but nothing comes up
  • Throwing up with fever, weight loss, or low energy
  • Bloody stool
  • Bloody vomit

If anything like this happens, your vet should know right away, and they will most likely advise you to come in with your dog for an examination.

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What is chronic and acute vomiting?

Unfortunately, there are many reasons why a dog can throw up that can be a sign of something serious.


Acute vomiting can be defined as “sudden or severe bouts of vomiting,” and it is usually a sign of a severe problem. As the dog owner, it is your duty to help the vet figure out what the reason for that is. Remember what your dog ate that day, did they exercise in the sun, or if you left them in a hot car even for a short period. Here are some reasons acute vomiting can be caused by;

  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Diet change
  • Poisoning
  • Pancreatitis
  • Bloat
  • Irritating substances (alcohol, chocolate, spices)
  • Bacterial infection
  • Virus
  • Heatstroke
  • Parasites

Unluckily for us, it is impossible to know just by looking at our dogs what is wrong with them, so it would be best to pay the vet a visit.


If your dog is frequently throwing up, it can be a worrying sign. However, chronic vomiting is usually treatable; it only requires some vet intervention. If you notice your dog has repeating stomach problems, call your vet and hear their advice. Keep in mind to observe any other symptoms your dog might have alongside vomiting, symptoms like;

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Blood

These are all worrying signs that could be the symptoms of:

  • Parvovirus
  • Cancer
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney or liver failure
  • Systemic illness
  • Uterine infection
  • Colitis
  • Severe constipation

Luckily, some of these conditions are easily treatable, but they require vet treatment and intervention.

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How vets diagnose a dog that is throwing up?

If your vet advised you to come for an examination because your dog is excessively vomiting, they would most likely ask you a bunch of questions about your dog’s living conditions and recent activities. It would be best to know the answers to those questions because they could help the vet make an accurate diagnosis.

The vet will ask you about any changes in your dog’s regular diet, can they get ahold of any toxins, are there any poisonous plants in your home, etc. That will be a good indication of why your dog might be throwing up, and if there is any need, they will make additional tests such as blood work, endoscopic evaluations, biopsies, x-rays, or ultrasounds.

What if my dog is vomiting yellow bile?

Dogs that vomit yellow bile can seem pretty dangerous, but it is usually an indication that your dog did not eat for some time. It is not dangerous, but you should approach resolving this problem with care. Feed your dog smaller amounts of food until their belly gets used to it again.

What if my dog throws up white foam?

This type of dog vomit is usually an indication of gastrointestinal upset. It happens because a dog gets too much gas in their stomach, which causes them to vomit foamy liquids. It can also be a sign that something didn’t sit right with your dog’s stomach, and they threw up, but they still feel sick. After their stomach is emptied, they might feel they need to throw up, but there is nothing to eject, so it appears in the form of white foam.

What if my dog vomits blood?

There is plenty of reasons dogs can vomit blood; some are serious, some aren’t. As gross as it may sound, there is one thing you should do, and that is to examine the content your dog has thrown up. Small amounts of blood are usually normal if your dog is taking medication, throwing up often, or has a stomach irritation.

If you notice something like coffee grounds in your dog’s vomit, that is usually a sign of long-term stomach bleeding. In that case, you should take your dog to a pet emergency and ask for help.

Now you know how to react if your dog throws up, and if you don’t panic, we are sure everything will be alright. Remember, you can always call your vet if you are unsure about your dog throwing up.

World Dog Finder team

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