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Dog Throwing Up White Foam – Causes, Treatments & FAQ

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Six common causes of white foam vomit in dogs are indigestion, acid reflux, kennel cough, bloat, fungal infection, and dehydration.
  • Treatment and cure options depend on the cause of the vomiting, and a vet visit may or may not be necessary.
  • Suggestions for at-home care include providing a gentle diet, plenty of water, and rest.
  • If your dog only vomits white foam once and has no other symptoms, it might not indicate an illness. However, if there are accompanying worrisome symptoms, a vet visit is necessary.
  • Recovery time from vomiting depends on the cause, but some dogs can start feeling better within a few hours to a day or two.
Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Zoo and wildlife doctor in veterinary medicine passionate about animal welfare and preventive medicine.
Published on
Tuesday 8 February 2022
Last updated on
Friday 14 July 2023
throwing up white foam in dogs
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Like with ourselves, sometimes our dogs are going to fall ill. Knowing the various symptoms and what they mean will allow you to know if something is just a cold, or if there is a bigger concern. It can be distressing to see your dog vomiting white foam. This way, the focus is on the action rather than the person. Sometimes vet visits may be required and other times your dog may just need a drink and to rest. But how do you know when it is serious?

In this article we will be going through the causes for white vomit in dogs, and when you need to visit a vet. Not only can a vet visit be stressful and possibly unnecessarily, but it can add costs too. On the other hand, if your dog is ill and you ignore something concerning, then your dog could be suffering. We will guide you through our recommendations to help you in this scenario. So let’s take a look!

What are the Causes

There are many reasons your dog may be throwing up white foam. We are going to go through the six most common causes to help you try to identify why your dog may be vomiting white foam.


Indigestion is a term used to describe an upset stomach. Dogs vomit when they feel nauseous to rid their stomach of the offending material. Sometimes dogs vomit with little in their stomachs, and the mixture of saliva and stomach juices create a frothy white vomit. The first vomit is usually the contents of the stomach, and subsequent vomits will only contain frothy white liquid. Although it’s normal for a dog to have indigestion sometimes, frequent indigestion is abnormal.

white foam vomit causes
Gastric distress is a group of digestive disorders.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a common cause of indigestion, which can lead to white foam vomiting. When stomach acid works its way up your dog’s throat, it causes heartburn and an unpleasant taste. The acidity in the stomach mixes with an empty stomach, resulting in acidic frothy vomit. Although it can occur occasionally, frequent acid reflux can cause damage over time. The stomach acid will erode the esophagus and damage your dog’s teeth, which can lead to pain, bad breath, and difficulty eating. It’s essential to consult a veterinarian if your dog vomits white foam regularly.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a contagious disease that leads to a strong, hacking cough. The coughing can lead to irritation and straining, resulting in white foam vomiting. Due to coughing and chest and stomach muscle exertion, dogs may vomit small amounts of white foam even before consuming food.


Deep-chested dogs are prone to bloat, a severe condition resulting from consuming air that causes a twisted stomach. The twisted stomach is life-threatening, and if you suspect your dog has bloat, take them to an emergency vet immediately. One of the body’s reactions to bloat is gagging and vomiting. Due to the twisted stomach, dogs can only move saliva and stomach fluids, resulting in white foam vomiting. Other symptoms of bloat include coughing, drooling, pale gums, and extreme fatigue.

Fungal Infection

Vomiting is a symptom of a fungal infection in dogs, depending on the type of fungus affecting them. Different fungi affect the dog’s body in various ways, attacking organs, specific systems, and even the brain. If the fungus affects the stomach, surrounding muscles, or the diaphragm, dogs may vomit. Consistent vomiting will inevitably lead to white frothy vomiting, indicating an empty stomach. Other symptoms of fungal infections include shaking, disorientation, weight loss, and coughing.


Dogs that lack enough water in their systems may suffer from fatigue, panting, drooling, disorientation, and vomiting. Vomiting can occur from drinking water too quickly or in cases of severe dehydration that requires veterinary assistance. Vomiting can occur due to nausea caused by a lack of water. Note that vomiting is a symptom of heatstroke, a condition that requires immediate veterinary attention and fluids. To test if your dog is dehydrated, gently pinch the skin. If it returns to its normal position immediately, your dog is not dehydrated. If it takes time to return to its original position, it shows a lack of water in your dog’s system.

Treatments And Cures

When it comes to white, frothy vomiting in dogs, it’s important to consider the cause before taking any action. If you’re not sure what’s causing your dog’s vomiting, it’s always best to take them to the vet. However, if you’re confident in the cause and it’s something that can be managed at home, a trip to the vet may not be necessary.

If your dog has vomited white, frothy foam just once and doesn’t show any other symptoms, it’s worth keeping an eye on them. Sometimes dogs may vomit due to eating too quickly or having a furball, which doesn’t necessarily indicate an illness. However, if your dog has multiple episodes of vomiting, appears unsteady, or is whining, it’s important to seek veterinary attention urgently. On the other hand, if your dog has vomited after eating grass and it’s just a small amount of foam with grass, you can monitor them at home.

In general, it’s best to provide your dog with a gentle diet, and plenty of water, and ensure they rest. A mix of cooked chicken breast and rice can help them feel better, but make sure the rice has no added seasoning that could be harmful to your dog. Always make sure your dog has access to water as vomiting can cause dehydration.

Remember that white, frothy vomit in dogs could be a sign of a more significant health problem, so it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Avoiding jargon and using plain language can help make scientific facts more accessible to a non-scientific audience.

white foam vomit vet consultation
White foamy vomit could be a symptom of bigger health issues and it’s important that you consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Dog Throwing Up White Foam – FAQs

You may have some further questions about white foam vomit in dogs. Have a look at some further answers to frequently searched questions, below.

How long does it take a dog to recover from vomiting?

This depends on why your dog vomits. Some dogs can start to feel a bit better after a few hours, however, VCA animal hospital says dogs feel back to normal from two to four hours. This is an average measurement though. If the vomiting was mild and your dog had no accompanying symptoms, then it will likely take a lot less time for your dog to feel normal. However, if your dog has been significantly ill and vomited repeatedly, it may take longer than a day or two for your dog to start feeling better.

How do I comfort my dog after vomiting?

Some of the things you can do to help your dog after vomiting include:

– Offering your dog water
– Providing small, and simple meals like rice or chicken
– Keeping things quiet in their location
– Offering gentle affection if they search for it

Be sure to follow the advice of your vet if the vomiting is a sign of something bigger, for example a stomach bug. Tailored advice is always better than generalized if you are able to receive it.

What to feed a dog that is throwing up?

It is important to offer a bland and easily digestible diet. Rice and chicken are the go-to diet for a dog that has been vomiting. It helps to soothe your dog’s stomach and hopefully reduce the chance of your dog vomiting again. Furthermore, making sure that your dog can get some food down them can help them to feel better as well as prevent them from losing weight.

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

You need to inspect and monitor your dog for any other symptoms. However, if it is just one occasion and your dog is otherwise healthy, it may just be a case of checking if any symptoms do arise and heading to the vet if that occurs. Just be extra gentle and sweet with your dog after they have vomited. It can be quite unpleasant and stressful, so a little bit of extra love is always appreciated.

Should I give my dog water after throwing up?

Always make sure that your dog has access to water after throwing up. It can dehydrate your dog as well as leave an unpleasant taste in their mouth. Water will rehydrate them as well as wash the bad taste out of their mouth, something which could make them vomit again. Dehydration is also an issue that can both make your dog vomit, and also make them severely unwell in other areas. If your dog is unwell, to make sure they recover properly they need to be encouraged to drink water. Just be sure they are not doing so too fast and swallowing water, something which could lead to them throwing up again.

If your dog is throwing up white foam then it is important to evaluate other affecting factors and symptoms your dog is displaying. It can help you understand if the vomiting has originated from something minor or major. Understanding the cause will help you and the vet to find proper treatment and support your dog appropriately. We hope that we have helped you understand why your dog is throwing up white foam and you can make the best decision for your dog.

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