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Dog Vomit: A Color Guide

Sick Dog

Dog vomit: it happens. Whether your furry friend ate his dinner too fast, or munched on a bit of grass outside, there are plenty of (usually harmless) reasons your dog may be throwing up. Still, it’s helpful to know a few key things to look out for to make sure you don’t have more serious issues on your hands, from the frequency to the color of your dog’s vomit.

Before evaluating your dog’s vomit for color or consistency, it’s helpful to make sure that’s what it actually is in the first place. 


While dog regurgitation looks an awful lot like vomiting, it’s actually a different function altogether; with regurgitation, food or water your dog has just consumed is expelled from your dog’s esophagus immediately after eating. Regurgitation is typically caused by your dog eating too quickly, or being active right after eating, and isn’t usually a cause for concern. 


Vomiting, on the other hand, is when your dog is expelling food from his or her stomach, and is recognizable by the presence of digested content and accompanying signs of nausea or additional distress (for instance, lethargy, lack of interest in food or treats, etc.).

Frequency of vomiting is also very important to consider when evaluating whether your dog’s stomach problems are something to be concerned about. If your dog is vomiting repeatedly in a short period of time, you should take him to the vet immediately. 

Evaluating Dog Vomit Color

When evaluating the color of your dog’s vomit, it’s also a good idea to take note of the consistency. Liquid vomit tends to be more concerning than chunky vomit, since it means your dog is throwing up even without food in his or her stomach. You may also find a foreign object (or two) in your dog’s vomit (think: that pair of socks you’ve been missing). Finding an object in your dog’s vomit is a good indicator that you need to keep a closer eye on him in the future, and make sure he is crated or otherwise contained when you leave the home.

Dog Vomit Color Guide

Yellow dog vomit, red dog vomit, green dog vomit. What’s it matter if it’s all… dog vomit? Unseemly as they all may seem, the color is often the fastest way of narrowing down the cause of your dog’s vomit. But before you go searching for a color wheel and a magnifying glass, feel free to refer to our handy chart and some common sense to figure out what the color of your dog’s vomit might mean:

Dog Vomit Color Guide

When Your Dog Is Vomiting White Foam

One of the most common causes for concern — especially for new dog owners — is white foam. Dogs can vomit white foam for any number of reasons, including everything from a touch of indigestion all the way up to rabies. The most common causes for your dog vomiting white foam are:

  • Acid reflux
  • Common indigestion
  • Kennel cough

None of which are particularly dangerous, especially when treated swiftly. That said, white foam could also be an indicator for pancreatitis, bloat, kidney problems or ingestion of an inedible object. All of which are cause for more serious concern.

If the white foam expulsion appears to be more than an isolated incident, get in touch with your vet ASAP.

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