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Is Your Dog Throwing Up White Foam? Do This!

Veterinary reviewed by Elizabeth Racine, DVM.

If you’ve seen your dog throw up white foam, it must have been very upsetting to you.

Well, what does it mean? There are numerous reasons dogs vomit white foam, and they are not all related to a digestive system disorder.

Life comes to a complete halt if your little fur baby is sick.

Most of the time, a dog that throws up puddles of white, bubbly foam has nothing more than simple digestive upset.

Indigestion and gas are quite common for dogs.

Vomiting naturally helps the body get rid of whatever in-edible material it devoured.

In these cases, your pooch will recover in a day at the most and be back to wagging his tail happily in no time.

But, if you’re unsure about the cause, keep reading.

In case the white foamy vomiting continues, you should get your dog to the vet as soon as possible as it may indicate something more serious.

Why Is Your Dog Vomiting White Foam?

Common reasons for dogs vomiting white foam include excess gas or air in the stomach, digestive issues, bloat, but also more serious issues like kennel cough, kidney problems, or parvovirus.

Excess gas or air in the dog’s stomach, which means there’s probably nothing left in your dog’s stomach to vomit, that’s why white slime is coming out.

If your dog is throwing up puddles of bubbly, white foam, he may have eaten something he shouldn’t have, as dogs are so prone to doing.

Or your pooch may have eaten in a hurry or exercised too soon after eating.

The composition of the white foam is often a mixture of saliva and gastric juices.

Sometimes the mucous lining becomes irritated and frothy, and your dog will start vomiting white foam.

Dog Coughing Up White Foam and Gagging

Signs such as a dog coughing, feeling lethargic, and having discharge from the eyes or nose point toward canine infectious tracheobronchitis, which is also known as kennel cough.

Dogs with these symptoms usually recover without an issue.

However, some dogs can progress to pneumonia, which can be serious. To be sure, it’s best to consult your vet nonetheless.

Dog Coughing Up Thick White Mucus

Dog cough with thick white mucus is a sign of various problems like kennel cough, parvovirus, and pancreatitis.

The basic reason behind a white mucus cough is that there is nothing else left in the dog’s stomach to vomit.

10 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Vomiting White Foam

There are several reasons for vomiting white foam or slime, and some of them are discussed below.

We’ll also go into detail on which signals you should look out for besides basic sickness signals like heavy breathing.


Indigestion is one of the common reasons for vomiting white slime in dogs.

Normally, when the dog begins throwing up white foam, it means that he is trying to expel the substances that cause irritation in the stomach.

Indigestion also occurs as a result of drinking or eating too fast or too much, consuming grass, trash, or rotten foods that will upset the canine digestive system.

If your dog does not vomit too often, there is nothing to worry about. But if he does vomit occasionally, it may be a serious problem.

The first thing is to check your dog’s food, there may be ingredients present in the food that could be bothering your dog.

Some home remedies may help but you should always contact your vet for proper treatment.

Acid Reflux Symptoms

Acid reflux causes a burning pain known as heartburn. It occurs as a result of stomach acid returning to the food pipe (esophagus).

You will see that your furry friend will vomit white slime in the morning before eating.

Basically, the gastrointestinal tract is irritated by stomach acid, and the condition is more painful when the stomach is empty.

You can prevent this acid reflux symptom by reducing the amount of food in each meal and feeding your dog more frequently.

This practice has many benefits, helps prevent acid buildup, and your dog will not vomit white foam.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a highly contagious infection in dogs and more common in young puppies.

Usually, it is caught at places where there are a lot of dogs together such as kennels (hence the name), animal shelters, and dog shows.

It is important to differentiate between vomiting white foam and coughing up white foam.

The white foam produced as a result of coughing is made up of saliva when filled with air.

So if your dog is coughing up clear liquid and white foam, it might be kennel cough. Kennel cough is similar to the common cold in humans.

It is contagious but has mild signs that usually go away after a few weeks.

The primary symptom of kennel cough is honking or hacking sound, just like a goose honk.

The dog suffering from kennel cough does not always seem sick. They often appear active by drinking, eating as usual while coughing excessively.

However, sometimes your dog also shows signs of vomiting, gagging, eye discharge, and a runny nose. These symptoms appear four to five days after infection.

If your dog is not feeling well, contact your vet immediately. Kennel cough can be prevented by vaccinating your dog.

If you wish to ease the symptoms for your dog in a more natural and organic way, raw honey is a great healthy ingredient to soothe the throat.

Raw honey also has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties so it is super beneficial for overall health.

A medium-sized dog should be given 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of honey up to 4 times a day.


Bloat is a condition in which the stomach is filled with an abnormal accumulation of air.

Bloat is more common in large and giant breeds with deep chests and narrow waists like the Great Dane or Rottweiler.

The dilation of the stomach can be fatal because it results in constriction of the veins and loss of blood flow.

Common symptoms associated with bloat are white foam coming out of the mouth, increased drooling, inability to defecate, and unproductive retching.

Avoid letting your dog devour large meals or do strenuous exercise too soon after eating.

This will reduce the chance of your dog suffering from bloat. Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect your pet pooch is suffering from a bout of bloat.

Kidney problems

Kidney disease is one of the main causes of vomiting white foam.

In mild kidney problems, dogs begin to urinate more than usual, and in severe cases, vomiting can occur, perhaps accompanied by white slime.

Contact your vet right away and discuss what you can do to reduce this problem.

Your vet may recommend some dietary changes with a moderate level of protein and a low level of phosphorus. Kidney diseases can be fatal if left untreated.


Keep your dog up to date with vaccination. If you have followed the vaccination schedule, then it is highly unlikely that the white foam is a sign of rabies.

German Shepherd panting at veterinarian.
Photo by VP Photo Studio on Shutterstock

Dogs that suffer from rabies show many signs like aggression and muscle spasms, and the white foam is one of the last symptoms to appear.

Bilious Vomiting Syndrome

Bilious vomiting syndrome is a condition similar to that of acid reflux in humans. Bile acids produce naturally and aid in the processing and digestion of food.

Bile can cause severe irritation when the dog has an empty stomach. It will ultimately cause anorexia and vomiting in extreme situations.

The vomiting that occurs in bilious vomiting syndrome is white, yellow, green, and brown in color, and is sometimes accompanied by slimy mucus.

The best and easiest way to control this condition is to feed smaller meals at regular intervals ideally 2-3 small meals and snacks in between.

Another remedy is to give your dog medication which your veterinarian can provide.

This approach can be used if the smaller meals don’t seem to be helping or if you don’t have time to feed your dog that often due to a busy lifestyle.


Pancreatitis is defined as inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis will result in an alteration of normal digestive function.

Dogs suffering from diabetes are at high risk of developing pancreatitis, so the white foam in vomiting is sometimes associated with diabetes.

Fever, abdominal pain, and hunched over position are other symptoms related to pancreatitis. A trip to the vet should be your first port of call.


Parvovirus is a deadly condition and may cause vomiting in dogs.

In parvo infection, the inner lining of the intestine is damaged, and when the intestine is damaged, water and food will not be absorbed; as a result, the dog will suffer from malnutrition and dehydration.

During a viral infection, a secondary infection can also appear, and bacteria are seen in the bloodstream.

This combination of malnutrition, dehydration, and infection creates deadly problems.

The common symptoms that appear in Parvo are foamy vomiting and profuse, often bloody diarrhea.

The condition of the dog’s body becomes so weak that when they try to eat or drink, they get sick. There is no easy way to treat parvovirus in dogs.

Hospitalization for supportive care is necessary to prevent dehydration and provide nutritional support while the dog recovers.


Regurgitation is the process in which the dog vomits foamy food that has not yet been digested, and the food ingredients are easily recognized.

This condition is sometimes temporary and occurs as a result of your dog eating food too quickly.

As a result of this, you may see your pup suffering from dog hiccups.

What To Do If Your Dog Vomits White Foam?

If your dog is continuously vomiting white foam, the best idea is to call your vet. If the symptoms are not severe and directly linked to a milder, one-off cause then there is nothing to worry about.

If you know your dog has eaten a lot of grass and vomits white foam, he’ll most likely be fine after a few hours.

If there is any other reason behind the white foam, it is better to seek professional medical help.

With an upset stomach, do not offer your dog food for up to 12 hours and then an easily digestible homemade meal (think rice and chicken) until symptoms subside.

Often a sick dog will intuitively refuse to eat on their own.

Offer food in small amounts to start and see if your dog can tolerate the food without vomiting.

Some dogs sure will eat the strangest of objects. I’ve heard stories of digested tennis balls, unidentifiable garbage, plastic kids toys and other random objects.

If you notice your dog is a furry garbage disposal unit on legs that will consider any object a potential snack try to keep them out of reach as much as possible.

We know it’s not easy to take away every object but especially make sure anything toxic can’t disappear into the mouth of your dog.

Some dog owners, especially those living rurally or on farms, would be shocked if they knew what their dogs had eaten in the past.

Also, eating anything and everything in sight might be a sign your dog is bored and needs more exercise and stimulation.

When Should You See The Vet?

In normal cases where dogs vomit white foam, it may be due to indigestion but serious issues need to be ruled out

If your dog is vomiting white foam due to pancreatitis, parvovirus, bloat, or kidney problems, it’s time to see the vet.

The same applies if your dog also shows any of the following signals for sickness:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Disorientation
  • Dehydration
  • Problems urinating
  • Excessive drooling
  • Inability to defecate
  • Fever
  • Pale gums
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Weakness


The dog may vomit white foam or slime due to infection, indigestion, kidney problems, regurgitation, acid reflux symptom, or sometimes when the stomach is empty.

If your dog is also anorexic and is dehydrated with vomiting white foam, contact your vet immediately.

If you are unsure if your dog just has a case of indigestion or if it might be something more serious, take a trip straight to the veterinarian for your own peace of mind.

Our pets are like our babies and it weighs heavily on our hearts when they are not well. We hope your furry companion is feeling better and back on his paws soon.

Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.

About Danielle

Equipped with 5+ years of expertise as a Rottweiler owner, I partner with licensed veterinarians and trainers to share research-backed and actionable advice for you and your furry friend.


Monday 2nd of January 2023

My dog has been coughing up white sticky foam for about 6 months. My vet has referred her. She has had ct scan blood test x Ray and they have come back ok. Tried different medications. And no of them has worked. No one seems to know what it is. Its costing me thousands of pounds.

Please some one help.


Monday 2nd of January 2023

Hi Julie, please note that I am not a veterinarian and even online vets couldn't offer sound advice without more info and an examination. What does your vet say regarding this issue? They ran the tests, nothing was found, so they surely must have told you what they think would be best from here. Since a lot of diagnostics were run already, I'd first ask them about their evaluation and perhaps seek out a specialized vet and bring them every test result.

I understand that it's expensive but a final evaluation from a specialized vet might not increase the bill substantially and yet it might finally provide insight, especially if your dog's life is affected by this medical issue.

Steve Phillips

Thursday 24th of June 2021

Dog is a stafford pit. Occasional hacking, but only spitting up clear, noticed some discharge (milky) from his penis. Help!


Sunday 27th of June 2021

Hey Steve,

you might've heard this before but when something is unclear, a vet visit should be the first thing that pops into your mind. There can be several reasons for this and the two issues you're describing may or may not be related, only a thorough examination can tell.

Cheers, Danielle


Tuesday 25th of May 2021

I have 2 9 week old schnauzer puppies that have been throwing up clear foam for 3 days now as well as depressed n sickly now they r whining as well and they have had mild diahrea. I can't take them to the vet for 2 more days what can I do to get them thru and ease their misery?


Tuesday 25th of May 2021

Hi Dave, why is no vet available? I'd definitely suggest taking them to the vet for a check-up asap. How is diarrhea looking? Are they eating/drinking? Sometimes puppies skip a meal or twice which can cause them to vomit foam but shouldn't go on too long.

If a pup refuses drinking/eating for consecutive meals, an emergency vet visit may be necessary (same if any blood is involved). Puppies need nutrients.

Hope all goes well, Danielle


Sunday 24th of January 2021

Hi I have a 7 weeks old Dalmatian and he throws up clear phlegm a few minutes after drinking water for the last 3 days. His stools are normal. No diarrhea and he’s very active-for a 7week old pup. He had his first round of shots at 6weeks. Should I take him back to the vet?


Monday 25th of January 2021

Hey Ashley, it may just be that your dog's drinking too fast if it really only occurs then. Depending on what you feed, you could try to soak the kibble in water. If you're feeding raw, water intake should already be partly covered through the diet.

Great that there's no diarrhea and that the stool looks normal but regular water intake is still essential, especially with puppies. Consulting your vet might be a good option if his last shots are just a week ago and to clear any serious issues. 7 weeks is a bit early to get a puppy - is there a breeder behind this? If so, s/he might also be able to offer advice (doesn't substitute veterinary attention, of course).

Cheers, Danielle


Sunday 10th of January 2021

My puppy he has been throwing up from the morning and refusing to eat anything and he has a diarrhea, yesterday he was just fine , I think it is because we are trying to teach him peeing outside and the weather is cold, is it normal or should I take him to the vet???


Tuesday 12th of January 2021

Hi Rawan,

even though puppies can really hate the cold weather, this shouldn't affect their appetite/stool as long as they do go potty outside.

However, if you mean that you're trying to teach him and he does not go outside at all, it's definitely possible that your pup holds the poop or that appetite and thus the stool is affected. Puppies need regular food intake for proper growth, so I'd definitely consult the vet if he's not eating a single bite for an extended time period (24 hours+). Diarrhea is not too big of an issue if it doesn't last long and could be caused by dietary changes or simple stress but can also just be a symptom of something else and visiting the vet will rule out health concerns.

Cheers, Danielle