What Are the Causes of Dogs Vomiting White Foam?

It's said that if you are not feeling well, you should never look up your symptoms online, or you might start thinking the symptoms of your common cold are something that could kill you. The same can sometimes be true about looking up information about your pet's health. The good news is that if your dog is throwing up white foam, you're probably in the clear because it is probably not a cause for serious concern. Of course, in most cases, it is better to have him looked over by a veterinarian just to be sure.

owner petting his dog, Hands holding paws dog are taking shake hand together while he is sleeping or resting with closed eyes. empty space for text.
The good news is that if your dog is throwing up white foam, you're probably in the clear because it is probably not a cause for serious concern.
credit: Rattankun Thongbun/iStock/GettyImages

Dog throwing up white foam

One of the most common reasons for a dog to be vomiting white foam or slime is simply because she has indigestion. Dogs get indigestion just as often as people, only vomiting is a more common symptom in canines. Usually, when dogs throw up white foam, it is just to expel the substance that's bothering their stomach. Indigestion can be caused by eating or drinking too fast, eating too much, eating trash, eating too much grass, having an issue with something in their food, or many other things that can upset a stomach.

As long as your dog isn't vomiting too frequently, you shouldn't be too concerned. If she does have these types of symptoms regularly, check her food because she could have an issue with one of the ingredients, or she may be eating too quickly. You can try giving her a spoonful of pumpkin to see if that soothes the stomach. If she continues vomiting or is doing so on a regular basis, take her to the vet.

Acid reflux symptoms

If your dog tends to vomit white or yellow foam before eating in the morning, your pooch might have acid reflux, which happens when your dog's gastrointestinal tract is irritated by stomach acid, which is more problematic when the stomach is empty. Reducing the amount of food you give your dog at each feeding and feeding him more often can help prevent the buildup of stomach acid and reduce the likelihood that he'll vomit.

Coughing up foam

It is important to note that it can be easy to mistake vomiting up white foam for coughing, which can result in white foam since saliva becomes foamy when filled with air. This is a common mistake to make, and dogs coughing up white foam and clear liquid could have kennel cough.

Kennel cough is sort of like the dog version of a common cold, as it is incredibly contagious but usually mild, generally clearing up on its own after a week or so. The most common symptom is a notable hacking or honking cough that sometimes produces white foam, although other symptoms can include lethargy, a runny nose, and reduced appetite.

You can prevent your dog from getting kennel cough completely by ensuring her Bordetella vaccine is up to date.

When to seek help immediately

While most cases of dogs vomiting white foam are nothing more than indigestion, it can be a symptom of something much more dangerous. A dog vomiting white foam could also be showing signs of parvovirus, pancreatitis, kidney problems, or bloat.

If your dog demonstrates any of the following symptoms, he could have a potentially deadly condition and should immediately be brought to the vet:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Disorientation
  • Excessive drooling
  • Fever
  • Inability to defecate
  • Lowering his head and front legs while keeping his rear end in the air
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Pale gums
  • Problems urinating
  • Weakness