If your dog is throwing up white foam, your first reaction may be worry or fear. But there’s no reason to panic. In many cases dogs who occasionally vomit white foam are simply experiencing temporary digestive upset that can be addressed at home. But if your pup is throwing up repeatedly there may be cause for concern.
Here’s what you need to know about why dogs vomit white foam and how you can help your sick pup.
Pale frothy vomit that resembles foam or bubbly saliva (as opposed to chunkier dog vomit containing undigested food) can occur because of excess air or gas in the stomach. Your dog is most likely throwing up this white foamy liquid—a mix of saliva and gastric juices—because there’s little else in their stomach to purge.
Gastrointestinal (GI) distress is the most common reason why dogs vomit white foam. Foamy vomit may also occur if a dog has excess gas in their stomach, which can lead to abdominal discomfort and nausea. If your dog is experiencing indigestion and their stomach is empty, they may vomit this pale, frothy liquid or foam.
But what’s causing your pup’s digestive dilemma? Gastrointestinal distress is a common response to many situations and circumstances. Single-episode vomiting may be caused by benign irritants such as:
In some cases, vomiting white foam can indicate a more serious underlying health problem, especially if it’s occurring frequently or accompanied by other illness signs such as coughing, difficulty breathing, lethargy, or tremors. Call your veterinarian if you are concerned by your pup’s behavior or clinical signs. Serious conditions associated with foamy, white vomit include:
Immediately contact your veterinarian if your pup is experiencing any concerning signs. These situations require professional veterinary intervention. Do not attempt at-home treatment.
However, if you know your pup chowed down on some grass earlier and they’re otherwise behaving normally, it is probably safe to monitor them at home.
You may attempt to calm your pup’s irritated gut by withholding food for up to 12 hours. Offer ice cubes instead of water until their visible signs subside. When your dog is ready to eat again, offer a small amount of easily-digestible food such as boiled chicken and rice. If they tolerate the meal, gradually ease your pup back to their normal diet over the next 48 to 72 hours and watch for further vomiting.
Although initially it’s a relief to learn that your veterinarian can’t determine a medical cause for your pup’s persistent vomiting, it can also be frustrating. Fortunately, there are a few things you can try at home to minimize the mess and stop your pup from throwing up.
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The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.
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