2 December, 2021

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Dog Throwing Up White Foam

Dog Throwing Up White Foam

Does your dog vomit white foam regularly or is this the first time you’ve seen your pooch foaming at the mouth? There are various reasons why a dog vomits, but when it’s foam, it could be a sign of a serious illness. Knowing when to seek professional help is crucial but also knowing some reasons why dogs vomit is helpful to avoid panic among pet parents.

Here’s some helpful information about why dogs vomit. Just remember that repetitive vomiting is not safe and therefore warrants serious medical attention.

My dog is throwing up white foam: Do I need to worry?

Causes of throwing up in dogs are varied and thereby warrant careful attention by the pet owner because this will determine whether the vomiting is chronic and serious or acute. Often, observant pet parents would readily know whether the dog has found some bad food from the garbage or if the dog wandered around eating grass from the backyard. Nevertheless, it may help if the pet parent would carefully note the other symptoms aside from vomiting and the frequency of the vomiting episodes.

Also, it should be noted if the dog has stopped eating or has become lethargic. These could be signs of a more serious disease. The appearance of the vomit also tells a lot about the health of the dog.

Run to the vet as soon as possible if the vomiting is accompanied by other symptoms because a series of laboratory tests may need to be done to determine the seriousness of the illness. Some dogs compulsively consume grass when they are suffering from stomachache, which could lead to vomiting as some grass are laden with pesticides or parasites.

What should I do if my dog is throwing up white foam?

Pawleaks.com recommends checking the dog’s food dish to get a clue what the dog consumed before they started throwing up. Experts at the website said dogs throw up to remove or expel some irritants in the intestines. Dogs throwing up white foam may also result from wolfing down food too quickly, resulting in indigestion.

Consuming garbage, grass, or rotten food can also disrupt the canine digestive system. The website recommends giving the dog one tablespoon of pumpkin as it can relieve indigestion. As mentioned, if the dog’s vomiting is not often, there is nothing to be worried about. But if the dog is vomiting too often, medical consultation should be done right away.

Why Is My Dog Throwing Up?

First, the white foam that the dog is ejecting from his system is made up of saliva and gastric juices. If a dog’s digestive system is irritated, gas builds up. If the dog has nothing else to expel, white foam comes out.

If the dog is throwing up a bubbly mix of foam, it may mean the pooch has consumed something which is not good for them.

Acute Dog Vomiting

American Kennel Club (AKC) defines acute vomiting as sudden or one-time or severe vomiting (which may indicate serious illnesses).
For petmd.com, one-time dog vomiting may not be serious and may only indicate a few reasons why vomiting was induced.

Eating something bad

One reason why a dog would suddenly puke is when the pooch ate rotten food or something taken from the garbage. Inquisitive dogs would normally take a trip to the garbage and find something, unfortunately, to ingest. At other times, the dog may eat toxic outdoor plants that would make them sick.

AKC says the following may also be reasons for dogs throwing up white foam:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Heat stroke
  • Adverse reaction to certain drugs
  • Viral infection
  • Change in diet
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Bloating

AKC suggests owners look for these symptoms when helping veterinarians find out the root cause for your pet’s discomfort. As an example, a dog who was left inside a car parked under the glaring heat of the sun may vomit because of heatstroke.

Contagious Diseases

A vomiting dog is often a warning sign of infectious diseases, especially among puppies. According to pawleaks.com, Parvovirus is one common contagious disease and is often seen among dogs living together. Younger dogs are more susceptible to this disease and so are some dog breeds such as sled dogs, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Doberman Pinschers.

Intestinal Parasites

The AKC lists the common parasites among dogs. Their list includes heartworms, hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms, and ringworms, among others. These parasites deprive the dog of nutrients that it should be getting from food.

Heartworms can enter a dog’s bloodstream when a dog is bitten by an infected mosquito. Heartworms grow inside the dog’s heart and could reach up to one foot long. When the dog’s heart becomes clogged, it blocks the blood flow, thereby disrupting the functions of the heart. This could lead to heart failure.

Meanwhile, young puppies usually acquire hookworms from their mothers while nursing. Hookworm larvae typically come from soil and are inadvertently swallowed by curious adult dogs either through eating food on the ground or when the dog is cleaning itself. Hookworms feed on the blood of the pooch resulting in blood loss. The AKC says that parasitic infection among dogs is detected through routine screening in regular checkups.

Contaminated water

Make sure dogs are drinking clean water because dirty water is a source of bacterial infection. Drinking in communal bowls or puddles of water may also bring bacterial infection and stomach ache among dogs, petmd.com warns.

Meanwhile, lake water is a source of blue-green algae that could bring fatal results to a dog.

Chronic dog vomiting

When a dog vomits repeatedly over time, this is a sign of a more serious condition. A veterinarian may use x-rays, biopsies, blood tests, and ultrasound to diagnose the dog’s disease.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

This occurs when the intestinal tract of the dog is irritated. According to vcahospitals.com, inflammatory bowel disease or IBD is often diagnosed among dogs with a history of repeated vomiting, poor eating habits, and diarrhea.

The cause of IBD is often unknown but experts often say it is a kind of allergic response within the dog’s intestines resulting in inflammation in the lining of the intestines. This prohibits the effective absorption of nutrients in the dog’s body. Other possible causes of this disease are parasitic infection, bacterial infection (such as Salmonella and E.Coli infection), and reaction to proteins in the dog’s diet.

Causes for dog throwing up white foam

Caninejournal.com says dogs vomiting white foam should not be a cause of concern, especially if it is not repetitive. As mentioned above, it may only be due to indigestion or eating grass. It becomes a major concern when the dog is suffering from a chronic disease or the vomiting has been occurring for a few days already.


More commonly known as an upset stomach, indigestion is one of the common reasons why a dog throws up white foam. Like humans, dogs also suffer from indigestion, and releasing white foam is just a way for the dog’s system to expel something that is irritating its stomach. This may be due to eating grass, quick eating, or drinking too much water after a long walk in the park.

Acid reflux

The condition is also known as heartburn. When the stomach acid pushes food into the esophagus, it causes a burning pain which makes your dog vomit white foam.

Pawleaks.com says this is especially painful when the dog’s stomach is devoid of food because the intestines are laden with stomach acid. Reducing food servings may prevent acid reflux.

Kennel cough

Does your dog sound like it is honking a horn when coughing? This could be a sign of kennel cough, according to caninejournal.com. This disease is highly contagious but mild. It lasts about seven to ten days. Kennel cough may be accompanied by loss of appetite, weakness, runny nose, and sneezing.


Does your dog have an enlarged abdomen? This could be due to the buildup of gas, food, or fluids. Aside from vomiting white foam, dogs suffering from bloat may also exhibit excessive drooling, pale gums, coughing, and inability to excrete wastes.


This is inflammation of the pancreas, the organ that produces digestive enzymes and regulates hormones. This organ, when inflamed, begins to release digestive enzymes irregularly. This action destroys the inner lining of the stomach. Among dogs, pancreatitis is often accompanied by fever, abdominal pain, weakness, and poor appetite.

Kidney disease

Caninejournal.com warned owners of these signs as these are indicators of kidney disease among dogs: disorientation, weakness, difficulty in urination, and throwing up white foam.


Also known as ‘Parvo’, veterinarians warn of this highly infectious and fatal disease that usually affects puppies. Aside from white vomit, other symptoms of Parvo are fever, weakness, and bloody diarrhea.

Final Thought

If your dog has been vomiting for a good number of hours, do not delay medical treatment. But as mentioned above, if symptoms seem light, then do not worry.

If your dog has consumed grass, they will be fine later. But if you suspect that there is a stronger reason why they are vomiting white foam, then immediate veterinary care is needed.