Dog Vomit Color Chart: 7 Shades Of Barf

Just as in humans, vomit in dogs isn’t exactly a pleasant topic of conversation. However, it’s an essential part of keeping our furry companions healthy and happy.

The color of your dog’s vomit can give you insights into what’s going on inside their body. But remember, determining a health condition based solely on the color of dog vomit isn’t foolproof.

It merely provides possible clues towards understanding your pet’s current health status.

Before We Begin: Vomiting vs Regurgitating

Before analyzing vomit colors, it’s crucial to distinguish between vomiting and regurgitation so you don’t confuse the two processes.

Vomiting is an active process where your dog appears nauseous before ejecting stomach contents forcefully. This act involves noticeable heaving motions of the neck and possible abdominal contractions, just like it happens in humans too. There’s clear sight of discomfort, and what comes out from the mouth can be of various textures and colors but often digested.

On the other hand, when your dog is regurgitation, you’ll observe the whole situation to be somewhat passive and you won’t notice any retching or abdominal contractions. It’s more like getting rid of something that’s isn’t pleasant.

Regurgitated material is typically undigested food or liquid that has barely left the esophagus, and it makes sense, right? The process typically happens a couple of minutes after the dog has consumed the food, and you should see the food covered up in slime.

The Different Colors of Dog Vomit and What They Could Mean

The Quick Chart:

ColorPossible causes
Clear liquidRegurgitating saliva, empty stomach, drinking water too quickly
White foamBilious vomiting syndrome, foreign body, pancreatitis, dietary concerns, empty stomach, kennel cough
YellowBile, yellow food
RedBlood, red food coloring, ulcers, bloody diarrhea, parasites
Black or dark brownDigested blood, dark-colored food
GreenIngested grass, rat bait, gall bladder problems
OrangeBile, colored food, medications, gastric reflux

Clear Liquid Dog Vomit

Sometimes, you may notice that your dog’s vomit is a clear liquid. While this may initially seem worrying, it’s not always a cause for concern. Here are what some of these scenarios could possibly mean:

Regurgitating Saliva

When your dog vomits a clear liquid, it might be that it is just regurgitating saliva. This condition can arise due to several reasons including drinking too much water, and while sometimes it’s perfectly normal – if you notice other signs of distress or if the vomiting continues, contacting your vet would be the best action.

Empty Stomach

Vomiting clear fluid can also imply an empty stomach. Some dogs have sensitive stomachs and may vomit bile or a clear liquid when they’ve gone too long without eating. If this happens occasionally and your dog appears otherwise healthy (active and eating well), there likely isn’t anything to worry about. However, if bouts of vomiting continue or increase in frequency, consult with your vet as soon as possible.

Dog Drank Water Too Quickly

Another possible explanation for clear vomit in dogs is simply drinking water too quickly. Similar to humans who gulp down liquids too fast, dogs can also react by vomiting the excess water. To prevent this from happening frequently, provide smaller amounts of water throughout the day instead of one large bowl

While a single occurrence of vomiting (especially after drinking a lot quickly) is typically not serious enough to bring up with the vet, regular episodes should be investigated further to rule out underlying health complications such as organ problems or esophageal disease.

White Foam Dog Vomit

White foam or frothy vomit in dogs is usually associated with vomiting bile. Here’s a rundown of the main causes:

Bilious Vomiting Syndrome

Bilious vomiting syndrome happens when your dog’s digestive system generates excess bile, leading to an irritated stomach and the throwing up of white foam. It most commonly occurs in dogs with empty stomachs early in the morning and can often be resolved by feeding your pet smaller meals more frequently throughout the day.

Foreign Body

A foreign body refers to anything your dog might have ingested that is not food, such as a toy or small household object. This foreign object can irritate the stomach lining causing white foamy vomit. If you suspect your pet has swallowed a non-food item, it’s crucial to get them to a vet promptly as this can become a life-threatening situation.


Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, an organ that aids in digestion and hormone production. One symptom can include vomiting white or yellow foam. Other symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. In case these symptoms persist, medical attention should be sought immediately.

Dietary Concerns

Certain types of diets may also cause your dog to vomit white foam. This could be due to allergies, sensitivities or simply because your dog ate too quickly or overindulged. Try changing the diet gradually while monitoring for any changes in vomiting patterns.

Empty Stomach

Sometimes an empty stomach may cause dogs to throw up white foam. When there’s no food for bile to digest, it may cause discomfort with nausea leading to vomiting. Regular meals can help prevent this type of vomiting.

A Hacking Cough (Kennel Cough)

If your pup has a hacking cough that results in white foam, it might be due to kennel cough – a highly contagious respiratory disease often spread in areas where dogs are highly concentrated like kennels and dog parks. A dry cough followed by a sort of ‘gagging’ motion producing some frothy mucus can characterize kennel cough.

Yellow Dog Vomit

If your dog’s vomit is yellowish, this might mean that there isn’t any food in its stomach to throw up which makes bile the prominent substance being regurgitated. It could also be because your dog ate some yellow food.

While occasional yellow vomit shouldn’t be a cause for concern, frequent yellowish vomiting might indicate gastroenteritis, pancreatitis or liver disease among other conditions; hence consulting with a vet would be necessary.

Red Dog Vomit

Seeing red in your dog’s throw-up can naturally be alarming as this usually signifies the presence of blood.

However it could also simply be due to something harmless that was eaten like red food coloring.

Red streaks could also mean ulcers, bloody diarrhea or even presence of parasites.

In cases where you observe substantial amounts of fresh red blood though, it becomes vital to immediately visit a veterinarian as this could signify severe gastroenteric damage.

Black or Dark Brown Vomit

Credit: seniortailwaggers

Similar to red vomit, black or dark brown vomit can prove worrisome since it might represent digested blood caused by internal bleeding from ulcers, tumors or gastritis.

It may also simply reflect that your dog ate something dark-colored like soil; though if continually observed should indeed prompt immediate veterinary consultation due to its potential severity.

Green Dog Vomit

Photo Source: Veterinary Emergency, Critical Care & Referral Hospital

Green dog vomit primarily indicates that your pal has been eating grass—an activity common in many dogs who instinctively consume grass when feeling nauseous.

Remember this observation does not provide definite diagnosis but if consistently seen along with signs like lethargy and loss of appetite, it may hint towards more serious issues like ingestion of rat bait or gall bladder problems hence demanding veterinary attention.

Orange Dog Vomit

Orange dog vomit can be a little alarming when you first notice it, but the reason behind it is usually more benign than you might think.

It could be because of Bile, which aids digestion, and can change the color of the vomit to orange or yellow tones if your dog throws up on an empty stomach, consuming colored food, from foods like carrots or certain brands of commercial dog treats and foods with added colorants.

Certain medications and even gastric reflux where gastric juice may mix with bile to cause an orangey hue to the ejected material.

When To take Your Dog To See A Veterinarian

If your pet experienced isolated instances of vomiting and then quickly returns back to normal state without any observable discomfort noise, you typically wouldn’t need to worry.

However persistent vomiting spanning several days, intense bouts leaving them visibly weak, vomiting accompanied by intense pain such as yelping/whimpering, and instances where they cannot keep water down necessitates prompt checkups at the vet clinic.

Final Thoughts

Remember though that while each color gives us insight, it doesn’t give us guarantees—what truly matters is vigilant observations along with professional veterinarian aid to ensure our beloved friends receive appropriate treatment, care, and respect they deserve.