October 23, 2021
vomiting in a dog

Vomiting dog white foam | Causes | Treatment

Vomiting white foam in a dog is a very common presenting problem. Your dog can vomit due to many causes, some more serious than others. Dietary indiscretion is the number one reason for vomiting in dogs. However, vomiting may also be caused by something more serious, such as kidney disease, liver disease, toxin ingestion, gastrointestinal disease, pancreatitis, and many more.

What is the difference between regurgitation and vomiting in a dog?

Sometimes, vomiting can be confused with regurgitation. Vomiting is the active forceful ejection of contents from the stomach or upper intestine. In vomit,  vomitus may contain partially digested food, yellow fluid, fresh or digested blood. Regurgitation is the passive ejection of contents from the esophagus without effort. Regurgitated content is usually undigested food with mucus and tubular shape. 

What Causes Vomiting white foam in a dog?

Causes of vomiting can be  divided into primary  or secondary causes. Primary causes are directly linked to diseases of the stomach and intestinal tract. Secondary causes of vomiting in a dog are  linked to other body organs like kidney, liver, pancreas, tumor etc.  

vomiting in a dog

Primary causes:

  • Bacterial or viral infection of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Foreign body or material in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Diet change
  • Food intolerance
  • Ingestion of garbage
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Gastric ulcers

Secondary causes:

  • Kidney failure
  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Post-anesthetic nausea
  • Toxin ingestion
  • Certain medications
  • Pyometra (pus in the uterus)
  • Diabetes
  • Addison’s disease
  • Ear diseases
  • Cancers
  • Many more

What Other Symptoms Should I Watch For?

vomiting can occur alone or along with other following symptoms depending upon the ongoing cause.

  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia
  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Increase or decrease in thirst or urination
  • Change in appetite

How is vomiting in a dog diagnosed?

Diagnosis of vomiting involves some common steps. Some routine diagnostics tests are also done by your veterinarian to find out the exact cause of vomiting.

vomiting in a dog
  • A thorough history related to diet change,toxin exposure, ongoing medication etc.
  • Thorough physical examination of the pet
  • Complete blood count (CBC) to see dehydration, WBC count, RBC count
  • Biochemical test of the blood can rule out any kidney, liver, or internal organs malfunctioning
  • X-rays to rule of any foreign body in the GI tract
  • Urinalysis to check kidneys functioning
  • Ultrasonography to see structural abnormality in internal organs
  • Exploratory abdominal surgery, in some cases

What Are Some Treatment Options?

It really depends upon the cause of the vomiting. Fasting for 6-8 hours in dietary indiscretion is advised. Then you can give him homemade food such as boiled potatoes, rice. In certain situations, your dog may require intravenous fluid therapy, antibiotics, and supportive medications at the veterinary clinic.

Some important question on vomiting dog white foam

Is vomiting white foam in dogs serious?

It depends on the cause of the vomiting. Isolated episodes of acute vomiting generally do not require any veterinary attention. If the vomiting is more frequent or it occurs with other symptoms like fever, diarrhea or abdominal pain. Then veterinary attention should be sought to determine the cause of vomiting.

What can you give a dog that is vomiting white foam?

Keep off feeding your dog for 6-8 hours, Then you can give him homemade food such as boiled potatoes, rice, cooked skinless chicken. If the problem persists,then consult your veterinarian.

Why is my dog throwing up yellow liquid?

Dogs sometimes vomit up yellow liquid. This yellow liquid is bile. It is a serious concern. Do not ignore it, immediately consult your vet.

Should you give a dog water after vomiting white foam?

Give some time to  your dog’s stomach to settle down by withholding food and water for at least a couple of hours. Then give a small amount of cold water before anything else.

Do dogs vomit white foam for no reason?

Sometimes, healthy dogs can vomit for no apparent reason.it is considered normal in pets.

Some other important articles:   

IMHA in Dogs

Diabetes in Dogs

Cushing’s disease in Dogs

Pyometra in Dogs

Pancreatitis in Dogs

This information is NOT intended as a substitute for veterinary consultation for any of your pet’s diseases. Always consult your veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment plan.


  • Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Canine and Feline by Larry P. Tilley, Francis W. K. Smith
  • Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice by Robert G. Sherding and Stephen J. Birchard
  • Emergency Procedures for the Small Animal Veterinarian by Signe J. Plunkett
  • Merck Veterinary Manual by  Susan Aiello
  • 100 Top Consultations in Small Animal General Practice by Peter Hill, Sheena Warman, Geoff Shawcross
  • Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook by Donald C. Plumb
  • Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Manual, 3rd Edition by Karol A. Mathews

Dr Gurpal Chahal, DVM

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

View all posts by Dr Gurpal Chahal, DVM →

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