Dog Vomit

Is Your Pup Throwing Up Blood? Your Go-To Guide

  • Kirsten Thornhill - 28.01.2020

We know and understand how heart-wrenching it be when your pup isn’t feeling well. We know they mean the world to you! 

We understand just how scary it may be to see your dog vomiting, especially when they vomit blood. It’s extremely hard not to go into a full-freak out mode when you found out that your pup is vomiting blood, however, try and remain calm. 

There are numerous reasons why your dog may be throwing up blood - it’s super important that you figure out the underlying cause(s) in order to properly and effectively treat it. 

First - we recommend a proper veterinary diagnosis to determine what exactly is going on with your doggo. The sooner you get a diagnosis, the better your doggo may feel and give way for a full recovery.

In today’s article, we will help inform you of what may be causing the bloody vomit, and how to go about getting your four-legged friend the best care possible. 


Hematemesis is the medical term for bloody vomit. There are various potential causes of a dog vomiting blood. Blood in your dog’s vomit may be the result of esophageal disruption. The esophagus connects the mouth to the throat to the stomach. 

Another potential reason for your dog’s blood vomit may be an irritation in their intestines or stomach. This irritation can lead to inflammation, bleeding in the intestines, and the expulsion of blood in the vomit. 

Seen commonly, a cause of bloody vomit is the ingestion of a foreign object. This foreign object can cause inflammation or injury to the lungs, stomach, mouth, esophagus, and many other organs. If the object is thrown up, it is often accompanied with blood. 

Depending on the problem’s source, hematemesis can affect several different parts of the dog’s physiological functions. For instance, the gastrointestinal (GI) system may be affected by the ingestion of the object, trauma, inflammation, poisoning, drugs, or even an ulcer. 

Also affected by hematemesis, the cardiovascular system may be damaged if this has been ongoing. Furthermore, if your dog has a clotting disorder, the stomach or intestines are too affected.



The primary sign of hematemesis is, as I’m sure you can guess, is seeing blood in the vomit. What paw parents may not know though, is that blood can appear in different forms.

 The blood may be digested, fresh, or even appear as clotted blood. Other signs to look for include a loss or lack of appetite, stomach pains, and black diarrhea. 



Your veterinarian can determine if your dog is possibly anemic, has a rapid heart rate, a heart murmur, or any overall weakness. 


Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

The least severe explanation of blood in your doggo’s vomit could be a potential cut in their mouth from chewing on a rough bone or possibly rough housing with another dog. 

However, dog vomit with blood can also be a sign of internal bleeding along the digestive tract or from other associated organs. Furthermore, other severe, worrisome conditions can also cause blood to be present in vomit, such as cancer or parvo (parvovirus infection). 

Of course we don’t want to scare you anymore than need be, but we DO want to emphasize that it is essential to see a vet right away, especially if you find more than a few drops of blood in your pup’s vomit. 



As pet owners, we also want to share with you how to differentiate and recognize what kind of blood may be in your dog’s vomit. If you find their vomit is high in mucus and what looks like fresh, bright red blood, their GI tract may be bleeding, inflamed, or even ulcerated. 

However, when the blood is dark red, it usually means that the blood has already been partially digested by the stomach. The bleeding may have even been going on for quite some time, unfortunately. This dark blood may also have a bad smell associated. 

A diagnosis from your vet is highly recommended (and necessary in more than most cases) to determine the source of blood, unless it’s obvious reason for bleeding has been deemed by the pet owner. The vet will likely ask you a series of questions, including all things regarding your dog’s diet, activity, and behavior.

It is important to share with your vet all the information you possibly can to help your beloved fur baby. This will help in achieving that a timely diagnosis is made and that an appropriate treatment plan is in order.


In addition, if you can, bring in a sample of the vomit to the vet. Before cleaning it up, take a picture of the vomit to show the appearance of the blood too. This will help your vet see and understand exactly what you saw; it’ll help speed up the diagnosis process too! 

Be prepared for potential blood tests, analyses of your pup’s urine and feces, and maybe even some x-rays. This may seem expensive and extensive, but if your vet encourages performing these tests, it’s because they are necessary. 


There may be many reasons why your doggo may be throwing up blood. While a proper diagnosis from a vet is definitely mandatory in most cases, we hope to give you some important details of the possible causes to the bloody vomit.

First step - figure out the cause of the bloody vomit by recognizing its appearance. If the blood is fresh, it will be bright red, typically. The blood may be streakish or look like specs. 

You may also see bright red clots in the vomit. As mentioned above, if the blood has already been digested in the stomach or if it’s older blood, it will have a darker appearance. Older blood, that is partially digested, will typically look like coffee grounds. 

It’s important to take note of the color of the blood because this will help your vet determine how long the bleeding has been occurring. This will also help pinpoint which part of the dog’s digestive tract is bleeding. 

Bright red vomit is typically a sign of bleeding that is occurring in the mouth or throat. 

Dark red blood may mean that your dog has a stomach ulcer or has been bleeding for a long time. 

Furthermore, when your dog throws up from drinking water too fast or eating too quickly, the vomit is usually clear or watery or simply is just the undigested food. 

Even if you notice there’s no blood in the vomit, there still may be an underlying problem that needs addressing.




Bones and other byproducts can cause numerous issues for your dog’s digestive tract. Nevertheless, dogs have been chewing on bones long before they were part of your household, and we understand that you may be purchasing bones for your dogs. We just want you to know about the potential dangers of bones.

If the bones your pup is chewing tend to shatter, they will typically break into small, sharp pieces. While many and most of these will typically break and be broken down by the stomach’s acidity, they still do have the ability to cause injury to the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and intestines. 

If your dog vomits after chewing on a bone, it could be due to a cut in the mouth from the sharp, small pieces chewed off of the bone. However, it’s possible that these tiny fragments can get stuck in the dog’s throat, esophagus, and stomach. 


Dogs seem to love getting into things they aren’t supposed to. Most times, if it smells good, maybe even looks good, your doggo will take a bite! 

One of the most common causes of bloody dog vomit is the ingestion of something they shouldn’t have ingested in the first place. This often occurs with puppies, but of course, all dogs love trash and chewing on foreign objects. 

Bloody vomit can be the result of anything - socks, jewelry, hair ties, tennis balls, paper, coin change, the list goes on and on…….


One of the deadliest diseases among puppies and dogs alike is this parvovirus infection, commonly referred to as parvo.

If your dog gets parvo, they will become sick extremely quickly. Unfortunately, there is no cure.

With aggressive emergency treatment and care, survival for your pup is possible. 


If bloody vomit is diagnosed as being caused by internal bleeding, it’s often due to a blood-clotting disorder. 

It may be due to possible liver failure or cancer, perhaps. If your pup is exposed to pesticides and or toxins, more problems may arise that lead to defects in the blood and its clotting abilities, therefore, your pup vomits up blood. 


Consider all the possible things your pup may have ate or drank, as well as any changes in your dog’s lifestyle, behavior, diet, etc.


The more information that you can provide to your vet, the more efficient a diagnose can be. For most conditions associated with blood in vomit, a timely diagnosis is absolutely crucial. 


When all is said and done, we know how worrisome it can be to see blood in your dog’s throw up. No one guaranteed that being a pet owner was going to be a piece of cake. 

Yet, when issues come up, it can be frustrating and upsetting for a pet owner.

Recognizing that a problem is present is the first step to fixing it! We encourage you to seek your vet right away if you see unexplainable blood in your pup’s vomit. 

A timely diagnosis and proper treatment plan are your pup’s primary ways of getting better quickly, safely, and appropriately. We know this can be a scary time, but there is hope!

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