What to Do If Your Dog Is Vomiting White Foam

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No dog owner ever wants to see their furry companion in pain. After all, dog owners view their pets as just another member of the family and will do anything to keep them as healthy as possible. If your dog is vomiting white foam, it’s important to get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, sometimes taking care of a pet is not always easy, especially if they fall ill with a sickness or are in any form of visible discomfort. Although they may not be able to communicate that to you, you can still tell when your pup is not feeling at their best.

You can tell your dog is suffering by their body language and symptoms, but what could be the cause? They may be lethargic, vomiting, or have a loss of appetite. However, these are generalized symptoms that can be applied to just about every illness. Is it something serious or did your dog ingest something that is upsetting their stomach? It’s fairly common that dogs vomit, but chronic vomiting and symptoms of dehydration could mean your pupper needs a type of dog vomiting treatment.

Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from vomiting or other stomach issues when they are sick. Although this may be an alarming sign that catches your attention, just remember that this is a common side effect of many things, and is usually only a minor issue.

What might really startle you is if your dog is vomiting white foam. You may begin to ask yourself, “Is this normal? Why is my dog vomiting white foam? Is this indicative of a more severe underlying issue that is harming their body? What can I do to alleviate their illness?”

If you are wondering why your dog is vomiting white or how to cure their symptoms, then you have come to the right place. This article will go over all the possible causes of why your dog is getting sick and what you should be doing as their owner to help them get better.

What Causes Vomiting in Dogs?

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Vomiting is characterized by the forceful rejection of stomach contents that have already been partially digested. This usually occurs when a dog has consumed something that is indigestible, has eaten quickly, or has exercised after a large meal. Before the dog actually vomits, notice if they have a change in their behavior. Most of the time, before a dog is about to vomit, they will usually show symptoms such as nausea, drooling, contractions, or retching.

As previously stated, vomiting is most often a benign symptom. Just like how humans get a stomach bug, so can our beloved pets. You wouldn’t run straight to the doctors after having a stomach ache for just one night would you? The same goes for your dog.

Whether it’s food poisoning or a reaction to something they ate, sometimes a person will feel a hundred times better as soon as they throw up and rid their body of whatever substance was causing the reaction. When we compare this to dogs, the same applies. Some harmless causes of vomiting in dogs may include:

  • Bilious vomiting symptom
  • Eating foreign substances (dietary indiscretion)
  • Working out after a large meal (regurgitation)
  • Eating too quickly
  • Motion sickness

On the flip side, since vomiting is such a broad symptom, it can also be a sign of a larger health complication. Some possible health problems that are linked to vomiting can include:

  • Ingesting toxins
  • Parasites
  • Allergies
  • Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections
  • Heat stroke
  • Trauma
  • Side effects of medication
  • Ulcers
  • Change in diet
  • Gastroenteritis (digestive tract infection)
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Certain forms of cancer

What Does it Mean When Your Dog Is Vomiting White Foam?

Now that you have learned the general symptoms of regular vomiting, it’s important to understand the actual causes of vomiting white foam specifically. Even though a dog can vomit white foam from any of the causes in the above sections, this type usually has a more specific reason compared to generalized health concerns. Some specific severe health concerns that may cause dogs to vomit white foam include:


Throwing up white foam is a common symptom that your dog’s body is trying to rid itself of a substance that is in their system. More often than not, this can be a sign of eating too much grass or digesting too much dirt. Often times dogs eat stuff off the ground thinking it’s food and this leads to dietary indiscretion. As long as they are not throwing up constantly, a little indigestion is completely normal.

Kennel Cough

Common symptoms of kennel cough in dogs include eye drainage, nasal discharge, lethargy, excessive coughing, and you guessed it, vomiting white foam. This highly contagious respiratory disease can be easily transmitted from one dog to another just by coming into contact with a contaminated area. Luckily, once this condition has been properly diagnosed, the animal can expect a full recovery through treatment.

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Bloat in dogs is a life-threatening condition that should be dealt with at the first onsight of symptoms. This condition occurs when a dog’s stomach becomes full of gas, liquid or air, which creates extra pressure on nearby organs. In severe cases, the stomach can actually twist and restrict the dog from expelling this gas through belching or throwing up. Once this happens, the blood circulation to the heart is restricted and the fear of going into shock becomes a frightening reality.

Aside from vomiting white foam, dogs will also experience several symptoms including an inability to defecate, coughing, pale gums, a bloated abdomen, and excessive drooling. If you think your dog is suffering from bloat, take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease in dogs is an uncomfortable situation where a dog’s stomach and/or intestines becomes inflamed due to a high number of cells are inflamed. This disrupts the digestion process and can cause chronic vomiting and diarrhea.


Pancreatitis in dogs occurs when the pancreas swells and becomes inflamed. In a healthy pancreas, dog food can be easily broken down and digested. When the pancreas is not operating how it should, it will have difficulty processing the food and will have to find another way to rid the body of the excess ingested substance. That is why many dogs suffering from pancreatitis will regurgitate their food on a frequent basis.

Other signs of this condition includes weakness, hunched back, repeated vomiting, abdominal pain, dehydration, and loss of appetite in dogs.

Gastric Hypomotility

Your dog could be suffering from a condition known as Gastrointestinal hypomotility. This is a syndrome in which the muscles of the digestive system show poor contraction. Because of this food can not move adequately through the  resulting in abnormally slow movement of ingested food through the digestive tract.

Reflux Gastritis

Pay close attention to when your dog is vomiting. If this occurrence is most common in the morning, it could be that your dog is suffering from reflux gastritis. This condition occurs when the stomach becomes irritated by acid, usually when it is empty (hence why it is so bad in the morning).

In severe cases, the gastric stomach acid can cause damage to the esophagus and put the dog in significant pain when it’s time for feeding. Dogs suffering from reflux gastritis may throw up white or yellowish vomit due to an irritation in their stomach.

Kidney Disease

If your dog has a total loss of appetite, is physically weak, becomes disoriented, is struggling to urinate, or is vomiting white foam, they could be suffering from kidney disease. Prolonged kidney disease will eventually lead to complete kidney failure in dogs if left untreated. If you think your dog may be suffering from issues with their kidneys, it is highly advised to take them in for a physical examination. <