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 all related to the 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 its 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.
The white foam could be an indication of 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
Sometimes, dogs are constantly nauseous and make sounds like suffocation, as these are the signs of canine infectious tracheobronchitis, which is also known as kennel cough. These signs are generally not serious, and dogs recover without treatment.
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. Indigestion in your dog is as common as in humans; the only difference is that your dog will vomit more than humans.
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.
Contact your vet for proper treatment. You can also give your dog a tablespoon of pumpkin as it works well for indigestion.
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. 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 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’s 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 seem sick. They 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 with the Bordetella vaccine.
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 half 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. Swelling is more common in large and giant breeds with deep chests and narrow waists like the Great Dane or Rottweiler.
The swelling can be fatal because it resulted in constriction of the veins and blood flow.
Common symptoms associated with swelling are white foam coming out of the mouth, increased drooling, inability to defecate, and cough.
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 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 occurs with 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 there is no chance that the white foam is a sign of rabies.
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. When food is not properly digested or undigested, then processed food has no choice but to eliminate it except vomiting. The vomit that occurs as a result of pancreatitis is white and frothy.
Dogs suffering from diabetes are at high risk of developing pancreatitis, so the white foam in vomiting is associated with diabetes.
Fever, abdominal pain, and hunched over position are other symptoms related to pancreatitis. A trip to the vet should be made right away.
Parvovirus is a deadly condition that can lead to the death of 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 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.
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 not serious and occurs as a result of your dog eating food too quickly.
As a result of this, you may see your pup suffering from (mostly harmless) 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, then there is nothing to worry about. If you know your dog has eaten a lot of grass and vomits white foam, don’t worry, he will be fine after a few hours.
If there is any other reason behind the white foam, it is better to seek professional medical help. Under normal stomach upset, your goal should be worry to calm foaming in the intestine.
Do not offer your dog food for up to 12 hours, and then offer ice instead of water until symptoms subside. Often a sick dog will do this itself intuitively and refuse to eat.
When you think your dog is ready to eat, offer him easily digestible food like rice and boiled chicken. Offer food in small amounts, and if he tolerates it, your puppy is free of infection.
Some dogs sure will eat the strangest of objects. We have 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, especially if they are also scratching and digging things around the home.
When Should You See The Vet?
In normal cases, when the dog vomits white foam, it may be due to indigestion.
If your dog is vomiting white foam due to pancreatitis, parvovirus, swelling, and kidney problem, it’s time to see the vet.
The same applies if your dog also shows any of the following signals for sickness:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Problems urinating
- Excessive drooling
- Inability to defecate
- Pale gums
- Pain in the abdomen
The dog may vomit white foam or slime due to different reasons. It can be an 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 doesn’t substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. If your dog shows any signs of illness, call your vet immediately.