If your dog is throwing up, that’s always a cause for concern. But a dog vomiting yellow can be particularly worrisome for a pet owner.

These are some of the potential reasons why your dog’s vomit is yellow and other symptoms that may indicate that your dog is sick.

Dog Vomiting Yellow Bile

A dog vomiting yellow bile could be a sign that something is seriously wrong, especially if your pup is throwing up more than once in a while.

Bile is a very important liquid, not only for your dog but for yourself as well. When food enters the digestive system, the liver produces bile, which then goes to the small intestine. Bile helps to break food down so that it can be properly digested, allowing the body to get the nutrients it needs.1 In addition, when the stomach produces too much acid, bile helps to neutralize it.2

Sometimes, though, the liver produces too much of this liquid. When this happens, it can leak into the stomach and make your dog sick.

One reason why a dog vomiting yellow bile is a problem is a condition known as bilious vomiting syndrome. This may happen if your dog hasn’t had any food in a long time. It could also happen if your dog eats a lot of fatty food.3

Dog Vomiting Yellow | Dr Marty PetsIn some cases, your dog might throw up yellow bile after drinking more water than usual, or after eating a lot of grass.4

Bile is usually yellow, but it can be other colors as well. It can be a combination of brown and yellow, brown, or even dark green in some instances.5 If your dog is throwing up yellow foam or liquid repeatedly, get them to your vet to find out what is happening. These are some of the potential causes of a dog throwing up yellow liquid:

A Disease Affecting the Gastrointestinal System

A dog vomiting yellow is sometimes one of the symptoms of a problem in the gastrointestinal tract. It could be an indication of an ulcer, a parasite, or one of many other potential issues.6

Intestinal Obstruction

If your dog is like most, then you know they sometimes get into things they shouldn’t, like the garbage. They may also eat things they shouldn’t, including sticks or toys. When a dog eats something that’s not food, an intestinal blockage could result. This is a medical emergency.

If your dog has an intestinal blockage, they may continue throwing up for extended periods of time. This happens because the food they’re eating can’t make it past the obstruction. As a result, everything your dog eats will come back up. Symptoms of a blockage not only include vomiting, but also a pain in the abdomen, constipation, dehydration, and a lack of interest in eating.7


A dog vomiting yellow could also mean there’s something wrong with the pancreas. This usually happens after a dog eats too much greasy, oily food. Pancreatitis will often lead to abdominal pain, severe vomiting, and fever. Veterinarians will often recommend the use of antibiotics, as well as specially prescribed food, in order to address this problem.8

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Dog Vomiting Yellow | Dr Marty PetsJust like humans, dogs can also develop inflammatory bowel disease. This occurs when their intestinal tract is continually irritated. One of the signs of inflammatory bowel disease in dogs is vomiting bile. In many instances, switching to a higher-quality diet could help. This means feeding your pet products that don’t have any fillers, by-products, or grains.9

Talk to your vet about how changing your dog’s diet could help ease your pet’s symptoms.

Other Symptoms of a Potentially Serious Problem

In most cases, when your dog throws up, it’s not a sign of major illness. Yes, it’s unpleasant, but you probably aren’t dealing with any sort of emergency.10

There are other instances, however, where yellow vomit is one of the symptoms of a possibly serious issue. A dog that vomits yellow, or any other color, is at risk for dehydration. Younger dogs are especially at risk.

If you notice your dog vomiting yellow accompanied by any of these signs, get to your vet:

  • The vomiting lasts for more than a day or occurs more than three times in an hour.

  • Your dog appears to be in pain, or lethargic.

  • You see blood in the vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

  • Your dog can’t keep water down.

  • The vomiting is violent and projectile in form.

  • You have any reason to believe your dog ingested something toxic, or may have a blockage due to eating a non-food item.

  • Your pet is either very young or is a senior dog.11

Wrapping it Up

Again, a dog vomiting yellow isn’t something to worry about – as long as it only happens occasionally. That yellow liquid is bile, and it’s important for your dog’s healthy digestion. But if it happens more often, or if it is accompanied by signs such as lethargy, a loss of appetite, or other problems, then you should seriously consider getting your dog to the vet as soon as you can.

These symptoms are indications of a possible medical emergency. Keep a close eye on your pet if they’re vomiting, and be ready to take action if the need arises.

Learn More About Dog Vomiting:
How To Induce Vomiting In Your Pup
Is Your Dog Vomiting White Foam? Here’s a List of 7 Possible Reasons
Why is My Dog Vomiting Dark Brown?