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Why is My Dog Throwing Up White Foam?

For most dog parents, the sight of their pet throwing up causes immediate concern and can even be outright alarming. You want to know what is causing the vomiting and if it’s something bad. When your dog throws up, the color and consistency of the vomit can provide clues to what might be going on. Dog vomit can be yellow, brown, clear, or white in color and liquid or foamy in consistency. If your dog is throwing up white foam, it may be due to indigestion, infection, pancreatitis, foreign body ingestion, or other reasons.

Don’t delay taking your dog to the veterinarian if your dog has repeated bouts of vomiting or vomiting accompanied by other symptoms such as lethargy, fever, bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, or seizures.

But in the meantime, read on to find out some possible reasons your dog is throwing up white foam and what you can do about it.

When should you be concerned about a dog throwing up?

You should be concerned about a dog throwing up if he or she vomits more than once, vomits a lot at one time, or has recurrent bouts of vomiting for more than 24 hours.

If your dog vomits once but then goes back to eating and pooping normally, it is probably nothing to worry about. It might be the result of a change in diet or eating too much grass.

However, it doesn’t hurt to play it safe. Vomiting in dogs can be a sign of serious diseases and health complications. Getting it checked out by the veterinarian is a good idea, especially if it’s a puppy under 6 weeks of age. Puppies who haven’t received all their vaccinations are especially susceptible to infections that can cause vomiting.

It’s also important to differentiate vomit (stomach contents) from mucus (respiratory secretions). Occasionally throwing up mucus is not a cause for concern, but you should take your dog to the vet if your dog is bringing up mucus frequently.

Is white dog vomit bad?

White dog vomit can be indicative of some easily treatable conditions as well as some more serious conditions. The only way to find out is to make an appointment with the veterinarian. They can figure out what’s going on based on your dog’s other symptoms, physical examination, laboratory studies, and other investigations.

What does white foamy vomit mean?

White foamy vomit in dogs can be from the following conditions:


Your dog may throw up white foam after eating something that does not agree with him, such as spoiled food out of the trash or a dead animal. Sometimes, dogs will even eat their own vomit and other disgusting things like poop. Indigestion can also occur if your dog eats too quickly or engages in vigorous exercise immediately after eating.

Acid reflux

Acid reflux is the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus (food pipe). It can cause white foamy vomit, especially in the morning after the first meal of the day.


Inflammation of the pancreas is a serious condition that can cause vomiting, including causing your dog to throw up white foam if the stomach is empty. Other symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs include loss of appetite and diarrhea. Seek immediate evaluation by a veterinarian if your dog has these symptoms like refusing food.

Viral or bacterial infections

Dogs sometimes vomit white foam when they have a gastrointestinal infection or stomach bug. Serious signs to watch out for include vomiting white foam accompanied by bloody diarrhea, which can be a sign of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, a potentially life-threatening condition. Seek emergency care if your dog has these symptoms.


Signs and symptoms of heatstroke in dogs include lack of energy, excessive panting, difficulty breathing, dull mentation, vomiting, and diarrhea. Never leave your dog unattended in a car (the temperature inside a closed car can rise by 20 degrees within a few minutes, even if the windows are cracked open). If you live in hot climate, restrict walks to early mornings and late evenings. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of cool, clean drinking water around the clock. Seek immediate medical attention if your dog develops signs and symptoms of heatstroke.

Toxins and poisons

Ingestion of toxins, including human foods that are dangerous for dogs, can lead to white foamy vomiting and other serious symptoms like seizures. Common culprits include chocolate, xylitol (a substance found in sugar-free gums), grapes and raisins, rat poisons, fertilizers, and medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and antidepressants.

Kidney failure and liver failure

The kidneys and liver are the organs that remove waste products from the body. If these organs are not working properly, it can lead to a buildup of toxins in your dog’s body. This can cause symptoms such as vomiting, including throwing up white foam, accompanied by lethargy, diarrhea, bad breath, and other symptoms. If your dog appears unwell, has stopped eating normally, and has frequent bouts of vomiting and diarrhea, make an appointment to see the vet without delay.

Medication reactions

Certain medications prescribed to dogs can cause vomiting as a side effect. Tell your vet if your dog has vomited after taking a prescribed medication. They may be able to change the medication or the dose to prevent it from irritating your dog’s digestive system. Also, keep in mind that if your dog vomits after taking medication, they might throw up the medicine and the condition it was mean to treat will remain untreated. Additionally, be aware that if your dog accidently ingests a medication meant for humans or takes too much of their own medicine, this can also cause him to throw up white foam or vomit of some other color.


Persistent vomiting or repeated bouts of vomiting in dogs can be a sign of cancer, especially if it is accompanied by loss of appetite, weight loss, abdominal swelling, bleeding from the mouth, nose, or other parts of the body, problems with breathing, difficulty eating or swallowing, visible lumps or bumps anywhere on the dog’s body, or unexplained pain or swelling (limping). These are serious symptoms and should be evaluated as soon as possible by a veterinarian.

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

If your dog is throwing up white foam, you should take them to the veterinarian right away for a full checkup so that they can rule out potentially serious health issues, figure out the cause, and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

How can I stop my dog throwing up white foam?

As mentioned, always get white foamy vomit checked out by the vet. If the vet has ruled out serious conditions, here are some things you can do to prevent vomiting in dogs:

  • Give your dog small portions of food so that he doesn’t eat too much too quickly. Smaller, more frequent meals can help prevent your dog from throwing up white foam.
  • Ask your veterinarian if your dog has acid reflux and needs an antacid. A small snack at bedtime or first thing in the morning may also help prevent vomiting related to acid reflux.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise immediately after meals.
  • Take precautions to prevent your dog from eating non-food items like poop or dead animals.
  • If your dog has thrown up white foam or any other color vomit, be on the lookout for signs of dehydration, such as panting, dry nose, dry mouth, thick saliva, increased thirst, and loss of skin elasticity. Take your dog to the vet immediately if these signs are present.
  • Keep all medications, cleaning supplies, and gardening supplies safely out of reach of your pet. Accidental ingestion of these substances can make your dog throw up white foam or have green, yellow, or brown colored vomit.
17 February, 2024