However, before you start rebuking them for their poor eating decisions, make sure the vomiting is not a symptom of an underlying disease or health condition. Sometimes, the causes may be more serious than you think and would require a visit to the vet.

Learn to know the difference between just vomiting and a case of chronic illness. The causes and treatment are not the same for both, and once you have figured that out, you will easily know what to do next.

Vomiting and Regurgitation

While you should pay attention to both conditions, vomiting is more serious than regurgitation. The former happens when the dog may eat something sharp, toxic, or inedible, and they force the contents out from their stomach or upper intestine. 

Vomiting is usually followed by nausea, drooling, uncontrollable swallowing, etc. They would also be actively heaving or retching. It happens mostly right after they eat or within the hour it takes for the contents to travel through their body. 

If you see your dog munching on some grass while showing the earlier signs, do not stop them right away but ensure they only eat a small amount. The grass can induce vomiting while protecting its esophagus from getting protruded. But too much can make them even sicker.

Also, try to keep the water bowl away and only allow small amounts. Dehydration after throwing up can cause them to overconsume water which would make matters only worse.

On the other hand, regurgitation happens when a dog is unable to digest the food and ejects it before it has even traveled to its stomach. This is quite common and is nothing to worry about.

How Does the Vomit Appear? 

Once you have confirmed that your dog is vomiting, not regurgitating, you can keep an eye out for the appearance before trying to find the cause of vomiting.

Their vomits would likely consist of undigested dog food, yellow bile, fluid, mucus, and the substance causing them to throw up. Once you have identified the cause, it would save you a lot of unnecessary worrying.

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Yellow or White Vomit

Acid reflux occurs in dogs just like they do in humans. And this can cause vomiting on an empty stomach. The digestive juice secretions present in the vomit make it appear yellow.

At other moments, vomits from acid build-ups may even appear white. It has a slightly foamy texture due to the air contact or from being churned over in the stomach.

Transparent Vomit

When dogs cannot keep water down, it can pool within their bodies and then be ejected. The clear, liquid vomit is a mixture of water and saliva. It may or may not have foamy parts to it.

Slimy Barf

Mucus vomiting consists of phlegm-like substances and is white. Throwing up mucus is not a cause for concern until it happens regularly and is accompanied by other symptoms. They could be fever, stomach inflation, pain, etc.

Bloody Puke

Bloody vomit can be of two colors: pink or red. A pink tinge is not urgent, but you should not ignore it, nonetheless. But if it is red and resembles clots, then take your dog to the vet immediately.

Sometimes, bloody vomits can appear brown too. But regurgitated vomit may also look brown, and it can be slightly difficult to distinguish between the two. If it looks like half-eaten kibbles, then it is most likely the latter.

Green Puke

We already talked about this earlier. Grass induces vomit, and it makes the vomit see green. On the other hand, bile in the stomach can also give it such tint.

Causes of Dog Vomiting

There are many external and internal factors behind vomiting in dogs. Their ages, breeds, or diets should also be factored in to determine the cause. But these are some of the most common ones:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Bloating
  • Brain Tumour
  • Cancer
  • Constipation
  • Consuming grass
  • Consuming feces
  • Contaminated water
  • Diabetes
  • Eat too fast
  • Exercising 
  • Food intolerance
  • Gastritis or Gastroenteritis 
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers
  • Head trauma
  • Heatstroke
  • Infections
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Ingestion of toxic substances
  • Intestinal obstruction from a foreign substance
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Medication side-effects
  • Megaesophagus
  • Meningitis
  • Middle ear imbalance
  • Motion sickness
  • Pancreatitis
  • Parasites
  • Parvovirus
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Causes for Acute Vomiting 

If your puppy is barfing occasionally, then the reasons can be shortlisted even further. Check out this list to find a probable cause:

Ate Too Much or Something Inedible

Dogs put everything in their mouth, and poisonous plants and rat poisons seem to be some of their favorite things to munch on. While these do not seem urgent initially, if left untreated, it could then lead to chronic conditions.

Contagious Diseases

Dogs can catch viruses just like humans do. And getting sick, fever, nausea, pain, etc., are some of the common symptoms of the parvovirus.

Some breeds have a weaker immune system than others and are more vulnerable to it. Among them, Rottweilers, pugs, German Shepherds, Labrador, Retrievers are most often the victims.


If you notice worms in their puke or eggs in their stool, then it is because of intestinal parasite infestations. There are no preceding signs to warn about this. One minute the dogs are fun; next, they are throwing up worms.

Contaminated Water

When we say canines do not care what they put in their mouth, they do not. They do not mind drinking from dirty puddles or bodies of water that are generally filled with bacteria. Drinking bacteria-contaminated water can be fatal.


Large-breed and deep-chested canines are often the victims of bloating or gastric dilatation. Their large cavities cause more air to be sucked in, which then causes the stomach and intestines to knot up and cut off the circulation.

German Shepherds, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Danes are some of the breeds frequently suffering from this condition.

Causes for Chronic Vomiting

This may be developed over time or suddenly appear due to underlying diseases or health issues. Here are some of the common reasons:

  • Neoplasia

Neoplasia maybe sometimes interchangeably used for cancer or tumor and is used to denote abnormal growth. It can be benign or malignant, and its symptoms are anemia, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, fatigue, chills, diarrhea, fever, along with persistent vomiting.

  • Pancreatitis

High-fat diets or hereditary disorders regarding fat metabolism are assumed to be the cause behind developing pancreatitis, even though the actual causes usually remain unknown.

While the clinical signs are quite common, such as nausea, fever, lethargy, abdominal pain, etc., Canines getting into a praying position besides vomiting is a symptom as well.

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At this moment, they elevate their rear ends while lowering their head and front two paws.

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

IBD may be developed due to food allergies, abnormal immune systems, parasites, bacteria, and even genetics. It usually lasts for around 4 weeks or more, being persistent or intermittent during the period. The severity of the episode of vomiting may also be highly variable.


As soon as your dog starts getting sick, start fluid therapy to avoid dehydration. But only allow small amounts to avoid making the situation worse. The rest of the treatments depends on the condition.

For bacterial overgrowth, antibiotics must be prescribed, while steroids should be used to counter IBD.

Make sure all the poisonous plants and toxic chemicals are out of your dog’s reach, so they do not try to consume them again. If you are worried and think that the vomiting is a sign of something serious, schedule an appointment with your local veterinarian.

They would perform different diagnostic tests to rule out problems and also have an arsenal of medication to treat the symptoms quickly.

But if your dog has been barfing for more than a couple of days or multiple times a week, then call your vet right away.

Final Words

Most of the time, cases of vomiting are very normal, but it is okay to be concerned about your dog throwing up. But if you want to be safe rather than sorry, you can pay attention to the symptoms and track the type of vomit along with the contents in it.

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