Periodic dog puke is practically a given when you’re a pet parent. Aside from the hassle of having to clean it up, should you be concerned when your dog spits up white foam?
7 Causes For Dog Throwing Up White Foam
NOTE: In most cases, a dog vomiting white foam isn’t a cause for serious concern. However, sometimes it could require a visit to your vet for your dog, especially if they have other symptoms.
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It could be that your dog ate too much grass, wolfed down their food or ate and drank excessively right after exercising. As long as your dog isn’t vomiting consistently, they’re likely just experiencing regular indigestion.
2. Acid Reflux
Is your dog vomiting white foam in the morning before eating? It could mean it has reflux gastritis, also called acid reflux. This condition occurs when your dog’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract becomes irritated by stomach acid, which happens more often when the stomach is empty. Dogs suffering from acid reflux often vomit white or yellow foam.
Tip: Reducing the portions while increasing the frequency of your dog’s meals can help prevent the buildup of stomach bile and acid, which causes digestive problems down the road.
3. Kennel Cough
If your dog has recently been in close quarters with other dogs and is now coughing up white foam, they may have contracted kennel cough. This upper respiratory infection is very contagious but mild and usually clears up on its own in 7-10 days.
Kennel cough is usually easy to diagnose as its primary symptom is a pronounced hacking or honking cough that can produce white foam. Other symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, lethargy and a loss of appetite.
A severe condition, bloat most commonly occurs in deep-chested adult and senior dogs. Bloat causes a dog’s stomach to fill with gas, fluid or food, making it expand. One of its early symptoms is a dog spitting up white foam.
Besides an enlarged abdomen and vomiting white foam, dogs will suffer several other symptoms from bloat, including the inability to defecate, pale gums, excessive drooling and coughing.
If you suspect your dog has bloat, take them to your vet immediately. Without treatment, dogs can die from bloat because the enlarged abdomen can restrict blood flow to your dog’s heart and put pressure on the lungs, making breathing difficult.
Pancreatitis causes inflammation in the pancreas, an organ that’s vital for healthy digestion in mammals. Dogs suffering from pancreatitis throw up their food frequently, and this vomit could include white foam.
Other symptoms include a hunched back, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness and dehydration. If you notice all or some of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
6. Kidney Disease
A dog throwing up white foam, accompanied by problems urinating, lethargy and disorientation could be suffering from kidney problems. Kidney disease, left untreated, eventually will result in complete kidney failure. If you notice these symptoms, take your dog to your vet to test their kidney functions.
Parvovirus is a highly-infectious and potentially-deadly virus that typically affects puppies and very young dogs. One of the initial symptoms is your puppy throwing up white foam. Other symptoms include bloody diarrhea, lethargy and a fever.
If you’re worried your puppy may have parvovirus, the video below gives you a rundown of causes, symptoms and treatments.
What Do I Do If My Dog Vomits White Foam? (When To See The Vet)
If your dog is a puppy, elderly or has pre-existing medical problems, you should see your veterinarian immediately if they’re throwing up a lot of white foam.
In addition to identifying a severe underlying condition, your vet can treat your dog for dehydration from vomiting.
If your adult dog is otherwise healthy and only occasionally spits up white foam, it’s likely just regular indigestion.
You should see your vet to rule out any medical problems if the vomiting episodes become more frequent, your pet exhibits other symptoms or is behaving abnormally.
Tips On Feeding My Dog
Many people don’t realize that some common human foods are dangerous for dogs (and cats). Make sure you’re not feeding them human foods that are toxic for dogs.
If you suspect your dog has eaten a potentially toxic food or substance, read our guide on how to treat a poisoned dog. But if your pup only has the occasional upset stomach, be sure to check out our tips to cure your dog’s upset stomach.
What digestive issues does your dog suffer?