Why Is My Dog Throwing Up Blood?

No one likes finding blood in their BFF’s vomit.

dog throwing up blood

It’s no fun watching your pup throw up. But if you notice there’s blood in his vomit, you can go from sad to scared real quick.

We spoke with Jamie Fischer, a veterinary nurse with DodoVet, to find out how to help a dog throwing up blood and why it happens in the first place.

Is it serious if my dog’s throwing up blood?

The seriousness of your dog throwing up blood depends on the underlying issue that’s causing it.

“Vomiting blood, or hematemesis, can occur for many different reasons that all come with varying levels of severity,” Fischer told The Dodo.

That being said, if you ever notice your dog throwing up blood, you should call your vet right away.

“It might not always be an emergency situation, but it is difficult to know where or why the bleeding is occuring without proper examination and diagnostic tests,” Fischer said.

Where does the blood come from?

So how does blood even get in your dog’s vomit in the first place?

“It means there is bleeding somewhere along the digestive tract,” Fischer said.

The color of your dog’s blood can be a pretty big clue as to where in his digestive tract it came from.

“If the blood is bright red, that typically indicates the bleeding is somewhere in the upper digestive tract, such as the stomach, esophagus or even in the mouth,” Fischer said. “If the blood is a dark, tarry color, this can indicate digested blood coming from far lower in the digestive tract.”

Why is my dog throwing up blood?

There are a bunch of reasons why your dog might be throwing up blood, including:

What to do if your dog’s throwing up blood

As a good rule of thumb, if your dog is throwing up blood, you shouldn’t let him eat or drink until your vet tells you what to do next. Chatting with your vet will help you better understand exactly what to do in your dog’s specific situation.

“Treatment will vary depending on where the blood is coming from and what is causing it,” Fischer said.

Treatment may include things like:

But your pup’s specific treatment will work to fix the underlying cause of his vomiting, which is why you always have to consult with your vet.

How to prevent your dog from throwing up blood

Because there are so many different things that could make your dog throw up blood, there’s no way to fully guarantee it’ll never happen to him. However, according to Fischer, there are things you can do to keep your pup as safe as possible, like:

  • Keep a close eye on him when he’s playing with his toys to make sure he doesn’t swallow anything.
  • Keep treats and table scraps to a minimum to avoid giving him an upset stomach.
  • Keep toxic things — like antifreeze, bleach or medications — somewhere he can’t get into them.
  • Stay on top of his parasite prevention.
  • Make sure he’s up to date on his vaccines.
  • Bring him to the vet for yearly checkups.

If your dog’s throwing up blood, it can be pretty scary. But the good news is that now you know what to do about it if it happens, and you can get your dog on the road to recovery ASAP.

Want access to a vet 24/7? With DodoVet, you can connect via video chat, phone or text with an empathetic veterinary expert who can help you be the best pet parent you can be. Say goodbye to Dr. Google and have all your pet parent questions answered anytime, anywhere. Learn more here.

We independently pick all the products we recommend because we love them and think you will too. If you buy a product from a link on our site, we may earn a commission.