Is Your Dog Throwing Up Yellow? Causes and Simple Fixes

dog throwing up yellow

Witnessing your dog throwing up yellow can be unsettling. But don’t worry, you’re not alone in this. Many dog owners face this peculiar issue, often left wondering about its causes and seeking safe solutions. This color, typically a sign of bile, suggests an empty stomach or a possible irritation.

In this article, we’ll delve into the reasons behind your dog’s yellow vomit and explore natural remedies to provide relief. From understanding the role of diet to discussing gentle, holistic approaches, we aim to arm you with knowledge and practical solutions. We believe in nurturing our canine companions naturally, steering clear of harsh chemicals or invasive treatments.

So, if you’re seeking natural options to help your furry friend, you’re in the right place. Let’s decode this yellow mystery and find soothing, natural paths to your dog’s well-being.

Understanding Yellow Dog Vomit

Yellow vomiting in dogs is a symptom that often causes concern among pet owners. It’s important to understand what this symptom means and why it occurs, as it can help in identifying the best course of action for your dog’s health and well-being.

The timing of yellow vomiting can provide clues about its cause. For example, if it occurs in the morning or after a long period without eating, it may simply be due to the stomach being empty. Alternatively, if it occurs soon after eating, it could be related to dietary issues or other health concerns such as dog diarrhea.

Common Causes of Yellow Vomit in Dogs

Here are some of the common reasons for a dog to vomit yellow foam or bile …

Dietary Influences on Yellow Vomiting

Diet is a key factor in understanding why dogs experience yellow vomiting. The food a dog consumes directly impacts its digestive health, often manifesting in symptoms like vomiting bile, especially on an empty stomach. Changes in dog food, inappropriate treats, or accidental human food ingestion can disrupt a dog’s digestive system, leading to this condition.

  1. Dietary Changes: Sudden changes in your dog’s diet can upset their stomach and disrupt their normal digestion, leading to the expulsion of bile.
  2. Food Intolerance or Allergies: Some dogs may be intolerant or allergic to certain ingredients in their food, which can lead to gastrointestinal upset and vomiting of bile.

Health and Environmental Factors

Various health and environmental factors can contribute to dogs throwing up yellow vomit. It’s essential to consider these elements, as they can play a significant role in the well-being of our dogs.

  1. Bile on an Empty Stomach: Often, dogs throw up yellow vomit because their stomachs are empty. The yellow color comes from bile, a digestive fluid that’s normally processed in the intestines. On an empty stomach, bile can irritate the stomach lining and cause vomiting. Bile comes from the liver and gallbladder.  It breaks down fats and oils in the small intestine; it helps your dog’s body absorb nutrients. Bile comes from recycled red blood cells that get converted into billirubin through cellular metabolic processes in the liver. Billirubin goes through the bile ducts into the gall bladder and breaks down dietary fats for digestion. Bile is very alkaline so it helps neutralize the acidic stomach contents, protecting the sensitive small intestinal lining. The acidic content of the stomach passes through the pyloric valve into the duodenum … then the pyloric sphincter closes. If It doesn’t close, bile leaks into the stomach and reacts with the acid left in the stomach. This is what you see when your dog vomits up yellow vomit.
  2. Gastrointestinal Irritation: Dogs can experience gastrointestinal irritation from eating spicy foods, consuming garbage, or ingesting non-food items. These irritants can prompt the stomach to expel its contents, including bile, resulting in yellow vomit.
  3. Gastric Reflux: Gastric reflux, or acid reflux, can cause the stomach’s contents, including bile, to flow back into the esophagus, resulting in yellow vomiting, especially in the morning or after a nap.
  4. Ingestion of Toxins: If a dog ingests something toxic, their body may respond by vomiting. In cases where the stomach is relatively empty, the vomit may appear yellow due to the presence of bile.
  5. Motion Sickness: Just like humans, dogs can experience motion sickness during car rides or other forms of travel, leading to vomiting of bile.
  6. Underlying Health Conditions: Certain health issues, such as liver problems, pancreatitis, or gastrointestinal diseases, can cause a dog to vomit bile. These conditions require attention from a professional with expertise in natural canine health care.

Natural Treatment Options for Yellow Vomiting

Home Remedies and Herbal Treatments

Here are some herbs you can use to help with your dog’s yellow vomit recommended by Canine Herbalist Rita Hogan


  • Properties: Good for acidity, over-reactivity, and pain in the stomach. Ideal for dogs who are thin, cool, and lacking vitality.
  • Dosage:
    • Dried Meadowsweet: 150 mg for every 20-25 lbs of body weight, twice daily with food.
    • Tincture: 1 drop for every 10 pounds, twice daily before eating. Dilute in water and administer orally.

Marshmallow Root:

  • Properties: Calms the stomach, reduces heat, and soothes the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Dosage:
    • Capsules: 1/2 for small, 1 for medium to large, 3 for extra-large dogs, twice daily.
    • Infusion: 2 Tbsp root in 2 cups water overnight. Give 2 tsp for extra small, 3 tsp for small, 2 Tbsp for large, 4 Tbsp for extra large dogs, twice daily.


  • Properties: Reduces spasms and inflammation in the digestive tract, prevents acid and bile reflux.
  • Dosage: Infusion with 2 Tbsp chamomile to 1 cup water. Steep 30 mins. Give 1-2 tsp for extra small, 3 tsp for small, 1-2 Tbsp for large, 3-4 Tbsp for extra large dogs, 2-3 times a day.

Herbal Blend for Inflammation:

  • Ingredients: Chamomile, lemon balm leaf infusion, marshmallow glycerite.
  • Directions: Infuse herbs, mix 4 oz infusion with 20 drops marshmallow. Follow chamomile infusion dosage schedule.

Blend for Yellow Vomiting (by Cheryl Swartz):

  • Ingredients: Goldenseal root, dandelion root, chamomile.
  • Directions: Blend 1 oz water, 10 drops goldenseal, 5 drops each of dandelion root and chamomile tincture. Give 1/2 dropper for small, 1-2 droppers for medium, 2-3 droppers for large dogs, 2-3 times a day.


  • Properties: Coats the digestive tract, cooling effect, good for acute bile vomiting and heartburn.
  • Dosage: Licorice glycerine extract, 3 drops for extra small, 5 for small, 8 for medium, 12 for large, 15 for extra large dogs, twice daily, on an empty stomach, for 1-10 days during active vomiting.

Note: In most cases, vomiting bile is something you can resolve yourself at home. But there are some times when you might need to consult your holistic veterinarian. 

Dietary Adjustments for Prevention and Care

Timing Your Dogs Meals

Lack of food can cause bile to build up and irritate your dog’s stomach lining. So, depending on when your dog normally has his meals … you may see your dog vomiting yellow bile at night, or in the early morning. 

As dogs age, vomit happens more due to an empty stomach. Fortunately, this condition has an easy fix: 

  • Feed smaller meals and …
  • Give your dog a snack at bedtime 

These two things will help you avoid a dog throwing up yellow bile in morning.

Sensitivities to Food

While there are common reactive foods like soy, corn and wheat … any type of food can cause a reaction. Food sensitivities can develop over time and they’re usually a sign of an unhealthy gut. 

Your dog’s gut is lined with a mucous membrane that stops pathogens from getting into your dog’s blood stream. But it can get damaged by things like poor diet, antibiotics, NSAIDs and other drugs, stress and environmental toxins. Then the spaces in the gut lining expand and allow substances like bacteria, viruses and undigested food particles into the blood stream. This is known as leaky gut syndrome and it leads to chronic problems like allergies or food intolerances … as well as more serious long-term problems like arthritis, autoimmune disease and even cancer. 

So, if your dog’s gut is unhealthy, new foods can also be the reason for your dog vomiting yellow. When you introduce a new food, try it first in a separate meal before adding it to your dog’s regular food so it doesn’t cause an irritated stomach (called gastritis). 

Sometimes you’ll see your dog eat grass or dirt … and then throw up yellow bile mixed with grass. Dogs do this to help cleanse the digestive system and it’s not usually anything to worry about.  

When to Be Concerned: Recognizing Serious Symptoms

A dog vomiting yellow bile is a common occurrence. But If your dog frequently vomits yellow bile or foam and the above solutions don’t help, then it’s not a simple cause and you should see your vet. Here are some examples. 

  1. Intestinal Blockage: Some dogs will eat things that aren’t edible … like socks or hard toys. These objects can cause a blockage inside the digestive tract. If you see your dog vomiting yellow bile when he also has constipation or can’t keep any fluids down … take him to the vet right away.  
  2. Bloat or GDV: If your dog repeatedly vomits yellow or white foam, or he’s trying to vomit with nothing coming out, it could be a sign of bloat (also called GDV – gastric dilatation and volvulus). If your dog’s gums are pale, his stomach is tight, he’s restless and distressed, don’t delay and get to a vet.  GDV is deadly because the stomach can fill with gas and twist, closing it off at both ends. 
    Don’t stop to wonder about it. Timing is everything when it comes to bloat. 
  3. Giardia: If you see your dog vomiting yellow, giardia could be a possible cause. This parasite will cause other symptoms, including profuse diarrhea and possible lethargy.  If you suspect that your dog has giardia, take a fecal sample to the vet for analysis.
  4. Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas is painful and sometimes serious.  Pancreatitis is usually because your dog can’t digest fats and oils. Pancreatitis can be either acute or chronic.  Symptoms include lethargy, spasms, decreased appetite, diarrhea and abdominal pain. If you see these symptoms, it’s best to get your dog into the vet for an exam.
  5. Severe Gastrointestinal Upset: If your dog is dog vomiting yellow on a regular basis, it can be a symptom of a larger gastrointestinal issue. This could include things like cancer, ulcers, or chronic inflammation. In these cases your dog may have additional symptoms like … loss of appetite, lethargy, dehydration, fever or weight loss.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Should I Feed My Dog After Vomiting Yellow Bile?
Answer: A dog throwing up yellow foam or bile at night or in the morning can often be caused by an empty stomach. A lack of food can cause bile to build up and irritate your dog’s stomach lining, so in this case, it’s a good idea to feed your dog after you see him vomiting yellow.

Question: Is Throwing Up Yellow Normal In Dogs?
Answer: It all depends. If you see your dog throwing up yellow when he’s hungry, then it’s probably just a build up of bile irritating the stomach. However, there can be more sinister causes of yellow dog vomit, including pancreatitis or bloat.

Question: Is it bad if a dog throws up yellow?
Answer: While occasional episodes of vomiting yellow bile are not usually a cause for serious concern, it’s important to observe the frequency and any accompanying symptoms. If your dog is vomiting yellow bile regularly, or if this symptom is accompanied by other signs of distress such as lethargy, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or changes in behavior, it could indicate an underlying issue that needs attention.

Question: Why is my dog throwing up yellow liquid?
Answer: If your dog is vomiting yellow liquid, it’s likely bile. This can happen when their stomach is empty for an extended period, such as overnight. Sometimes, it’s due to dietary changes or eating something unusual.

If you see your dog occasionally throwing up yellow bile without any other symptoms, it isn’t anything to worry about. Just keep in mind the above situations that warrant a trip to the vet. 

Most of the time, you can troubleshoot yellow dog vomit at home.

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