Is your dog throwing up white foam? Are you worried?
Well, as a dog parent, you might worry a lot. After all, it is your beloved four-legged buddy we are talking about. Your doggo throwing up white foam can look a little disturbing. And it may seem that your pup is in distress.
But listen, the chances are that they will be fine even before you know it.
So, what exactly is white foam?
What are the reasons your dog is vomiting white foam?
How can you treat your dog if they vomit white foam?
Is there any way to prevent your dog from throwing up white foam?
You will find answers to all your questions about white foam and dogs from this post.
What Exactly is the White Foamy Vomit?
Generally, your dog vomits white foam when the digestive secretions and saliva mix with air in their tummy. This results in vomit that looks like soap suds.
Of course, this indicates some kind of trigger or irritation that causes the vomit to be foamy.
If you notice, you will see that this vomit is not like the common orange-yellow vomit that they generally do. The normal one indicates that there is bile in it.
Now, your doggo may be regurgitating white foam. If it is the latter, your pup will not heave or act like they are going to throw up something. In almost all cases, regurgitation is clear or white fluid. It can be with food or without food. If it is with food, then know that they have consumed the food recently and couldn’t digest it.
What if you are not sure whether your doggo has regurgitated or vomited?
Well, make sure to tell your vet about the conditions and the symptoms of your dog. They will guide you better.
Why is Your Dog Vomiting White Foam?
Well, the reason can be many. So here, I have put together a list of all the possible causes why your dog is throwing up white foam.
Please note that if your dog vomits white foam in most cases, it is not a serious concern. However, if your pup has other symptoms, you may need to take them to your vet.
#1. Acid Reflux
Is there any specific time when your four-legged buddy is throwing up white foam? For example, is it in the morning before they eat?
If your answer to both these questions is “yes,” then it could mean that they have reflux gastritis, commonly known as acid reflux.
So, why does it occur?
In your pup’s intestine, the bile moves backward in their tummy when they eat something after not eating anything for several hours or overnight. This leads to acid reflux irritating your pup’s stomach.
If your doggo is suffering from acid reflux, they will vomit yellow or white foam very often. And this health condition is known as bilious vomiting syndrome.
So, what to do if your dog has this condition?
Increase the frequency of your pup’s meal. But make sure to reduce the portion of their meal. Decreasing the quantity of meal can stop bile from entering your pal’s tummy. In the long run, this can decrease their digestive issues.
Dyspepsia is the other name of indigestion. It only indicates an upset stomach.
And did you know that indigestion is the most common cause of a pup vomiting white foam?
Just like humans, your dog can have indigestion too. The only difference is that they throw up at fewer intervals. In most cases, what happens is that your canine buddy’s body tries to get rid of the substance entirely that is upsetting their stomach.
They might have wolfed down their food, eaten a lot of grass, or drunk a lot just after doing exercise – it could be anything!
Is your pup not throwing up constantly?
Then they might just be experiencing regular indigestion. And you don’t need to worry about it.
Are you a parent to a senior or a deep-chested adult dog?
Senior or deep-chested dogs are most likely to suffer from bloat – a serious condition.
Your pup feels bloated when their stomach gets filled with gas, food, or fluid. These symptoms show expansion in their stomach.
Now, how will you know if your dog is bloated?
Spitting up white foam is one of the earliest symptoms of bloat. Apart from throwing up white foam and having an enlarged abdomen, there are several other symptoms that your dog can suffer from if they bloat. It includes pale gums, coughing, excessive drooling, and inability to defecate.
Do you suspect that your doggo has bloat?
Then take them to your vet as soon as you can. If your dog doesn’t receive any treatment after having bloat, they can even die.
The blood flow to your pup’s heart gets restricted due to their enlarged abdomen. And this enlargement can pressurize its lungs and make it difficult to breathe.
#4. Kennel Cough
Has your furry buddy recently been very close to other doggos? Is your pal coughing up white foam now?
Then the chances are that they have contracted kennel cough.
What is kennel cough?
Kennel cough is an infection in the upper respiratory system of your pup. Although it is highly contagious, it is mild, and in normal circumstances, it takes seven to ten days to get cleared up on its own.
It is quite easy to diagnose kennel cough. The main symptom is a honking cough or a clear hacking, which, in turn, produces white foam. Some other symptoms may include sneezing, runny nose, loss of appetite, and lethargy.
Now, before you board your pup, make sure to take them to your vet and give them the Bordetella vaccine. The bacteria named Bordetella bronchiseptica causes kennel cough. And the vaccine, as mentioned earlier, will protect your furry buddy from it.
Parvovirus is extremely infectious and can be deadly at times. It is commonly known as Parvo, and it generally affects dogs of young ages and puppies.
If a dog gets this virus, the earliest symptoms is white foamy vomit. Some other symptoms include fever, lethargy, and bloody diarrhea.
Parvovirus can cause a fatal illness in young dogs and puppies in as little as two days.
So, if you suspect that your favorite doggo has this virus, make sure to take them to your vet immediately.
#6. Kidney Disease
Is your pup throwing up white foam? Do they have other symptoms such as disorientation, lethargy, and urination issues?
Then the chances are that they are suffering from kidney issues. When a dog has kidney disease, it can be chronic or acute.
If your doggo has chronic kidney disease, which takes months to develop, in that situation you can manage it with a healthy diet and different medications.
If your doggo ingested something toxic, it can lead to acute kidney disease. In most cases, it needs aggressive and immediate treatment.
And don’t forget to take your canine friend to your vet. To evaluate your pup’s kidney functions, they will perform some tests along with blood work.
The pancreas is an essential organ in mammals as it promotes healthy digestion. When a dog suffers from pancreatitis, it causes inflammation in this organ. If your pup is suffering from pancreatitis, it will vomit frequently. And it can be white foam too.
The other symptoms of this disease include dehydration, weakness, loss of appetite, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and a hunched back.
What if you notice some or all of these symptoms?
Call your vet immediately.
How to React When Your Dog Vomits White Foam?
Do you suspect that your dog is throwing up white foam because of some serious problem? Or, is your pup experiencing some other symptoms too?
Take them to your vet immediately. If it is after hours and your vet is not available, find a local 24/7 vet emergency hospital in your area.
Is it just once your pup has vomited white foam, and are they still eating and happy?
Then the chances are that they are suffering from a mild upset stomach. In that case, don’t feed them anything for at least twelve hours. Give them only water. This will calm their stomach.
For more serious symptoms, make sure to monitor them closely.
Once the first twelve hours are passed, and your dog is doing fine, you can give them food again. Of course, it should be a bland diet. It can be rice. Give this for the next day. And then give them their normal diet slowly. Doing so will settle their stomach.
However, in case of persisting symptoms of white foam, pain, lethargy, difficulty in breathing, and diarrhea – take your pet immediately to a vet.
Now, if your furry buddy throws up white foam more than twice in a day, or if their vomit doesn’t stop even after two days, see a vet immediately. They can tell you what is causing them to throw up. Also, to stop it, they can give injections to your pup.
Is There Any Way to Prevent Your Dog from Throwing up White Foam?
There are no sure-shot ways to prevent your doggo from vomiting all the time. But, of course, you can do a few things to limit it as much as you can.
- Don’t give them treats that are not healthy. Your pup should always eat healthy dog food.
- Don’t keep tempting objects or food near your pup’s area. Make sure to keep the floor clean too.
- Don’t pamper them with a lot of treats throughout the day.
- Don’t let your dog eat grass and other outdoor plants, as they can be poisonous to them.
- Take your pup for regular checkups even if you think your dog is perfectly fine. This way, if they catch any new disease, your vet can detect it early and start their treatment. This will increase their chances of early recovery.
- For digestion concerns, consider the advantages of CBD treats and oils.
- Always keep a close eye on what your doggo is eating. Keep them away from human food. Also, they should not eat inedible objects.
- Make sure to clean their water and food bowls clean.
- If you are introducing your furry buddy to a new diet, do that gradually so that they get time to adjust.
What is the Treatment for Dogs Throwing up White Foam?
If your dog throws up white foam more than twice, take them to your vet as soon as you can.
Once you take your pup to your vet, they will examine your doggo thoroughly. Does your pup have other health conditions? Are they taking medications for that?
Make sure to let your vet know all about your dog’s long-term and recent medical history. Also, let them know if you suspect your pup has ingested anything toxic, including chemicals, plants, and poisonous food.
To look for the reason behind your pup’s vomiting, your vet may go for further diagnostic testing. This may include urine and blood testing, ultrasounds, radiographs, or X-rays.
Generally, the treatment starts with administering gastric protectants and anti-nausea medications. Your vet may give initial doses of these medications through injection to avoid further vomiting.
Suppose symptoms of pancreatitis, dehydration, or anything else exist in your dog. In that case, you may need to hospitalize them for frequent doses of medication and intravenous fluids.
If your vet thinks that your dog is throwing up white foam because of a GI obstruction, they may perform surgery or endoscopy to remove it. In this case, too, you may need to hospitalize your doggo for post-operative care.
If your dog was vomiting because of their exposure to a toxin, your vet would follow medical protocols for treating them. And it may involve hospitalization.
Your vet will take immediate action if they suspect that your doggo has bloat. In that emergency, they may need to decompress your pup’s stomach gases through gastric lavage. And then, they may perform surgery.
Call your vet immediately if you notice any of the symptoms discussed above. If you delay, it can make things worse.
Treatment for Vomiting in Dogs
No pet parent will love when their furry pals start to vomit. Just like humans, vomiting can be strenuous on a dog’s physique. It can result in the rapid depletion of salt levels in dogs. Besides, it can also make a dog weak and lethargic.
Most of the time, vomiting in dogs is regular, and once your dog has vomited, it should feel normal. Otherwise, vomiting in dogs may indicate some underlying health issues, and in such cases, your dog may need medical assistance.
Vomiting in dogs can be chronic or acute, resulting from various issues like parasite infection, inability to digest something, stress-related problems, reaction to medicine or drugs, malfunctioning organs, or food allergies.
With chronic vomiting, hydrochloric acid levels deplete within a dog’s body. They also fail to absorb an adequate amount of nutrients. Chronic vomits can also imply underlying severe conditions like tumors and liver and kidney disorders.
Let’s now look at some treatment options available if your dog is vomiting.
There are some gastrointestinal diets specifically developed for vomiting in dogs. Take your dog to the vet, and the vet will probably change its diet for a few days, which will help your dog.
Similarly, there are lots of anti-nausea medicines these days which have been specially formulated for dogs. If your vet feels your dog needs some, they will prescribe some required medicines.
If your dog has become severely dehydrated, your vet may also recommend for intravenous fluids be administered to your dog. This helps hydrate your dog and maintain a balance of nutrients in its body.
A dog that has vomited a couple of times can run the risk of being dehydrated. Besides, water can make them feel more pukish. Ask your vet to recommend some electrolytes, as simple water won’t suffice in this case.
So, let the vet decide which electrolyte should work for your dog, and carefully follow the instructions. Feeding some electrolytes with water will replenish your dog’s lost nutrients and maintain a proper balance of nutrients and essential vitamins in its body.
At times, your vet will also recommend some probiotics, generally supplied by manufacturing firms, focussing on pet medications.
Not only do these soothe your dog’s stomach, but if consumed regularly, they can promote gut health, enhancing your dog’s digestive system.
Pepto-Bismol is one of the easiest solutions for dogs that are vomiting. Your vet will be better positioned to decide if your dog should be administered Pepto-Bismol or not. Moreover, they will help you decide the medicine dosage as well.
Unfortunately, aspirin is used as one of the active ingredients in Pepto. Some dogs are allergic to aspirin, so this medicine is unsuitable for all dogs. Besides, there may be some mild side effects of this medicine. Ask your vet about the suitability of this medicine.
Can I Treat My Dog’s Vomiting At Home?
While it is possible to treat a dog at home, if it is vomiting at home, it is not always the recommended method. To begin, try treating your dog’s vomiting at home only when you feel it is due to overeating or some sudden change in its diet.
Additionally, ensure that your dog has not vomited more than twice and is alert and playful.
On the other hand, there are certain conditions when you should not waste time with home remedies and take your dog straight to the vet.
For instance, if your dog is constantly vomiting, don’t take any chances at home. Also, you will find that dogs sometimes attempt to vomit to relieve themselves but cannot throw up. In such cases, could you take it to the vet as well?
Besides, if it is becoming lethargic, drooling, or rapidly losing appetite, take it to a vet as soon as possible. You should also take any risk if your dog is a puppy, or is an old dog, or pregnant.
These dogs become weak quickly and may faint or become unconscious with repeated vomiting.
Last, suppose your dog is already suffering from some illness and has been on medication. In that case, it may be throwing up because of some reaction caused by the medicine. In this case, don’t waste any time; consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Nevertheless, if you are planning to treat your dog at home, these are some of the easy home remedies that you can use on your dog to relieve it from vomiting.
Like humans, dogs can also lose a lot of electrolytes by vomiting, which can cause weakness and dehydration. The simplest solution, in this case, would be to administer some electrolytes.
Most of us have some electrolytes in our kitchens, like Gatorade or Pedialyte. While some people argue that you can administer these, others observe that these solutions are meant for humans.
In addition, they may contain artificial sweeteners and added flavors, both of which are harmful to dogs.
At the same time, please remember that if you have a toy breed, you have less time, as these dogs tend to dehydrate faster than large dogs. So time is crucial in such cases.
Hence, you can give a very small amount of Gatorade or Pedialyte, but as soon as you get a chance, get an electrolyte from the nearest pet store which can be safely administered to dogs.
Ensure that the electrolyte that you are choosing from the local pet store doesn’t contain any chemical compound called xylitol. This artificial sweetener can not only harm your dog. Still, it can also prove lethal if consumed in large quantities.
Ginger is easily available in our kitchen, and it can be used to treat your dog’s vomiting. But feeding ginger, whether in powder or raw form, is tricky, as the dosage is difficult to ascertain. So, ask and confirm with your vet once about the dosage.
Dogs are not very fond of ginger’s taste. On the positive side, ginger is a safe solution. Ginger has some antiemetic effects that can block the receptors in the guts. So, you can mix it in tea and then feed it to your dog.
This stops nausea and should relieve your dog from vomiting tendencies.
3. Slippery Elm Bark
This is a herbal remedy, and it contains tannins that have properties to lessen inflammation.
Not only is it loaded with vitamins, which are beneficial for your dog’s health, but it can also cure diarrhea and soothe upset stomachs. But they are not meant for sick dogs under medication or pregnant dogs.
4. Massage Your Dog’s Belly
This method can relieve your dog, especially if it suffers from indigestion issues leading to repeated vomiting. But please remember to massage gently over the stomach. Do not press hard, or it may feel pain as well.
Besides, while massaging, your dog may throw up as well. In this case, discontinue and stop massaging it.
5. Ice chips
While this may sound shocking, ice chips can help vomiting dogs. Interestingly, ice chips have no chemical properties to lessen vomiting, but your dog must be hydrated after puking.
There is a good chance that your dog won’t be able to drink water when feeling nauseated. Ice chips can be an excellent solution in such situations, as they never trigger vomiting.
So, even if your dog cannot have water, it can surely have some ice chips to stay hydrated. Then, later, you can give it water when it is a little stable.
Your dog is probably throwing up white foam due to GI distress, a group of digestive disorders. This often comprises bloating, nausea, diarrhea, cramping, constipation, reflux, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Food intolerance, autoimmune disease, infections, and food allergies primarily caused these gastrointestinal diseases.
No, you don’t need to worry if your dog throws up white foam only once. White foam is gas and saliva mixed. But if your pet is repeatedly vomiting white foam and has other symptoms like lethargy, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and weakness, take it to the vet.
If your dog is gagging and coughing up white foam, it probably suffers from Kennel Cough or gastrointestinal problems. While vomiting white foam is not that alarming, if your dog is gagging up, don’t waste more time and take it to a vet immediately.
As long as your dog is not repeatedly vomiting, there is nothing to be concerned about. Besides, notice if there is blood or mucus in its vomit. Also, if your dog becomes lethargic, begins to drool, or loses its appetite, you should take it to a vet.
It is fine if your dog has thrown up white only once. Besides, it should be content and eat meals from time to time. So monitor them closely for the next 24 hours. It is fine if they do not deteriorate further and remain happy and content.
But if there are any further complications like blood or mucus in its vomit, or if it is not interested in eating its meals, take it to the vet.
To settle a dog’s upset stomach, follow these simple steps:
• Give it plenty of fluids.
• Simple-to-digest meals can help.
• Give ice chips to your dog to keep it hydrated.
• Ensure that it is getting enough electrolytes.
• Give ginger and slippery elm bark to your dog.
• Use lavender oil to deal with its nausea.
• Some herbs, like chamomile, can also help in alleviating the condition.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.