It might sound gross, but paying attention to your pup’s digestion is important! If you notice them vomiting more than usual, let’s talk about what you should look for and what to do about it.
First, let’s discuss the difference between regurgitating and vomiting. Regurgitation is much less active of an action than vomiting, and happens when the contents (liquid or solid) of the mouth, pharynx, or esophagus are expelled – not the stomach. This is usually noticed around feeding time. There is no abdominal heaving if your pet is regurgitating, and may often appear as a burp or may show undigested food.
Vomiting, however, is much more involved. Vomiting happens when your pet’s stomach or upper intestine contents are expelled forcefully out of their system. Vomiting is much more active of an action than regurgitation, and will likely be accompanied by abdominal heaving, drooling, growling/bubbling stomach sounds, or full retching. Vomiting also often smells much more potent than regurgitation.
Now that we’ve discussed the different types, let’s dive into some lesser known details.
That’s right! You can tell a lot about what’s going on in your pet’s stomach by the color of their vomit.
Yellow or clear vomit is more often than not seen as stomach bile, which would come up if your pup’s stomach is empty. Bile is a liquid-like consistency and is produced by your liver during digestion. Unless your pet is otherwise unhealthy or showing other symptoms, bile is usually seen as harmless.
Green vomit often occurs after a large amount of grass is eaten. Often, dogs will look to grass is they have an upset stomach. If this is a rare situation, it may not be anything to cause worry, but if it becomes more frequent then your vet should be consulted.
Dark brown or black vomit could be a sign of a larger problem with your pup. This could be a sign of an ulcer or intestinal blockage. Take your dog to the vet immediately if you notice this. Brown vomit could also be a sign of (you guessed it!) – consuming poo. Keep an eye on your pup to make sure they are not getting into anything they shouldn’t be.
Red vomit, no matter the consistency, could mean there is some type of internal bleeding and should be reported to your vet immediately. A brighter or fresh red could mean bleeding of a stomach lining or inflammation. A darker red could suggest it’s been in their system for a while and caused by something more serious, like an ulcer.
Liquid vomit can relate to the aforementioned stomach bile/digestive fluid. It can also hint that your dog has drank too much water too fast! Pay attention to the consistency and try to recall when they last ate to see if this is digestive fluid, or possibly a more serious issue.
Chunky vomit often appears as undigested food. If your pup is expelling their food, it means it has not been in the stomach for long and has not been fully digested. This can sometimes happen if your pup exercises too much right after eating or if they are eating too fast! Give them a break after meals to help with digestion, and try adding a tennis ball to their bowl or using a special slow-feed bowl. This will force them to eat around it and slow them down.
Foamy vomit may not actually be vomit at all, but more like phlegm. While this could also be bile, if this is not normal for your pup then it might mean they have something a bit more serious like kennel cough, acid reflux, or kidney issues.
Of course, vomiting can occur if your pup gets into something they shouldn’t. Examples of this are garbage cans, toxic plants, excrement, or drinking contaminated water. Be sure that your garbage cans are secure and that the outdoor environment that they spend time in is free and clear of any potentially harmful items.
The more serious causes of vomiting can hint a larger problem with your pet, such as anxiety, kidney disease, bloat, stomach/intestinal blockage, and more. Be sure to contact your vet if vomiting persists.
Vomiting can also simply be due to the way they are eating. As previously stated, vomiting can happen if your pup is eating too fast, or if their food is too low to the ground. If you think their bowl is too low, try raising it up onto a bowl stand or an elevated surface.
Another factor to keep in mind are the dynamics around their vomiting. If your dog has been outside in the hot sun or in a hot car before vomiting, this could be due to heat stroke and they would need to see a vet immediately. If you notice your dog not being able to keep their food down after switching foods or treats, they might have food sensitivities. Solid Gold makes formulas specially crafted for pups with sensitive stomachs ! With ingredients including lean proteins like cold water salmon , venison , and quail , as well as pumpkin to aid digestion, your pup will love the taste and have an easy time keeping it down.