Why is My Puppy Throwing Up Yellow?

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My Puppy Throwing Up YellowDog vomiting is a normal occurrence every now and then, especially if they’ve gobbled up too much food too fast, leaving partially digested food around your home. For most of us, these one-off vomiting cases are nothing to worry about, but what happens if your dog throws up something you haven’t seen before? This guide aims to answer the question, “Why is my puppy throwing up yellow?”

What is Yellow Bile? 

Yellow vomit is an indicator in dogs that give away the presence of bile, a digestive fluid that has a green or yellow color. Bile is produced inside the liver and is stored in the dog’s gallbladder until the body needs it. When our dogs eat, the bile is released into the small intestine where it mixes with the food to help them digest it. 

In other words, bile helps to break down food into smaller pieces that will allow the body to absorb nutrients. Bile is a normal and important part of your dog’s digestive system, but why does it mix with their vomit, and should it be a cause for concern? Below, we provide the answers to your questions. 

How to Tell if Your Dog is Throwing Up Bile

You’ll be able to tell if there’s bile present in your dog’s vomit depending on what they ate last and how long ago their last meal was. A dog will usually vomit when it has an empty stomach, and the bile in its vomit will look like a thick yellow liquid or it may also look like yellow foam. However, when dogs throw up without any bile present, they may produce a white foam instead.

Why Do Dogs Throw Up Bile? 

There is a wide range of causes as to why a dog throws up such as diseases like the parvovirus and distemper, eating garbage, and even parasitic infections. However, when your dog experiences bile reflux, you’ll be able to narrow down the possible causes, which are discussed below. 

Your Dog’s Stomach is Empty

If you leave your dog without meals for a long time, then bile can begin to travel back up to the dog’s stomach from the small intestine. This can irritate the stomach lining and cause pups and adult dogs to vomit. Known as bilious vomiting syndrome (BVS), this is one of the most common causes of yellow vomit in canines. 

While some dogs are able to function normally without food longer than other dogs, this condition tends to take place overnight right before your dog eats its breakfast. BVS is also similar to acid reflux experienced by humans, but it happens further down their digestive tract. This condition can be easily solved by dividing your dog’s food allowance into small meals spread throughout the day. 

Providing your pooch with smaller, more frequent meals rather than feeding him once or twice a day will help to reduce the instances of BVS. Another good idea is to feed your puppy a light meal right before it goes to sleep to help keep its tummy full overnight. 


Known as an inflammation of the pancreas, this condition is both painful and can be life-threatening to dogs. It is usually triggered by the consumption of fatty foods, but may also occur without an obvious reason. Apart from chronic vomiting, other symptoms of this disease may include lethargy, abdominal pain, as well as diarrhea. 

Treating pancreatitis will need supportive care such as painkillers, gut-protectants, and medications that can help to alleviate sickness. Depending on the severity of your dog’s sickness, it may also be necessary for them to stay at a hospital to receive intravenous fluids. In serious cases, your pup may also be subjected to intensive nursing care. 

Gastrointestinal Disease

Plenty of gastrointestinal problems may result in a dog’s vomit becoming yellow. If your pup is suffering from this medical condition, you may also observe other signs such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, and lethargy. Examples of this disease include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), liver disease, and cancer. 

In order to diagnose this disease, your vet will likely need to perform various diagnostic tests such as scans, blood tests, and X-rays. 

Gastrointestinal Obstruction

Intestinal blockages can occur when a dog consumes a foreign object that it can’t digest, such as a sock, stone, bone, or toy. Unfortunately, dogs have no limit to what they will swallow, so an obstruction can happen at any time. This is a serious condition that can become life-threatening if it isn’t addressed immediately, so be sure to contact your vet straight away if you think your pup may have swallowed something it shouldn’t have. 

Dogs won’t be able to pass the item by themselves, so the best course of action would be to get surgery which should be followed by having your dog stay in the hospital while it recovers. 

Food Allergies

Yellow dog vomit can also occur due to an allergic reaction to food or due to food intolerances. Common causes behind food allergies include a particular ingredient that may irritate the lining of the stomach, leading to your puppy vomiting. This will also come with other symptoms such as itchy skin or diarrhea. 

An obvious sign of food allergy in dogs includes chewing or licking their paws excessively after they eat. Generally, eliminating the ingredient from your dog’s diet is enough to solve this condition. Unfortunately, you might find it difficult to determine the kind of food that triggers your dog’s allergies, especially if there’s more than one particular ingredient. 

If this is the case, you may need to start a diet trial — a process where most ingredients are taken away temporarily, then re-introduced slowly to determine which causes a reaction. You can also ask your veterinarian for their available prescription diets to help introduce new food that will be suitable for your dog’s stomach. 

Intestinal Parasites

One of the most common reasons behind gastrointestinal tract irritation is being plagued by worms, which can cause your pup to throw up bile. To prevent this from happening, make sure that your dog regularly gets veterinary care along with a deworming regime. Talk to your veterinarian today about the best treatments for your dog’s digestive tract to keep it free from worms. 

When Should My Dog See a Veterinarian?

Dogs with sensitive stomachs can be treated at home using a probiotic that encourages the growth of healthy flora, making them less likely to develop an upset stomach. However, seeing continued vomit with the presence of yellow mucus can be a big cause for concern. This means that your pup might be suffering from signs of illness listed above and should be given immediate veterinary care. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to concerns that involve puppy vomit, along with what you can do about it. 

Why is My Puppy’s Vomit Yellow? 

There are many possible causes behind yellow vomit in dogs. Yellow vomit will usually indicate the presence of bile as a result of an empty stomach and will tell you that your dog hasn’t eaten in a while. The color of your dog’s bile can also come in the form of green vomit, but this can also indicate that your dog has been eating grass. 

It’s also important to note that sometimes dogs will vomit a few times before stopping, which could indicate that whatever is causing the irritation in their digestive system has passed. While the color of their vomit may tell you a few things, it won’t give you everything you need to determine your dog’s health. The best way to find out is to take your pup to the vet, especially if the vomiting doesn’t subside. 

What Should I Do if My Puppy’s Vomit is Yellow?

Yellow vomit is a general indicator that stomach acids have been building up in your dog’s empty stomach, or that your pup has eaten too much. It also reveals the presence of bile, which comes through some form of stomach irritation. The good news is that you can always take your pup to the vet if you’re unsure about what’s triggering your dog to vomit yellow liquid. 

How Do I Stop Yellow Bile from Affecting My Dog?

The first thing you need to do if you want to prevent your dog from vomiting yellow bile is to visit the vet to get a diagnosis. This may help to find an underlying cause of your dog’s condition and may help to devise a treatment plan. In many cases that don’t involve an obstruction or an underlying condition, your vet may recommend putting your pet on a bland diet for a few days. 

This means feeding your pooch bland food that consists of white rice and boiled chicken served in smaller meals, and they may also suggest a high-fiber diet. 

When Should I Go to the Veterinarian?

If you can’t determine the possible causes of vomiting in your dog, or you know that it has eaten something that it can’t digest, be sure to contact your veterinarian right away. Whether you have older dogs or younger dogs, a responsible dog owner will always put their pooch’s health and safety — it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Reasons Behind a Puppy Throwing Up Yellow

The article above discussed a few of the most common reasons behind throwing up yellow bile in dogs, but keep in mind that there are other less common reasons too. Small amounts of vomit now and then shouldn’t be a cause for concern, but dietary indiscretion in dogs and feeding them human food can lead to more frequent occurrences of this unpleasant condition. When you don’t know what’s causing your pup to vomit, it’s always a good idea to contact your vet, even through video chat. 

A good dog parent should never risk getting their puppy treated later when symptoms look serious. If your puppy continues to vomit even after you’ve provided them with care or if they have swallowed a foreign body, take them to the vet right away.