Dog Vomiting White Foam

Dog vomiting can occur for many reasons, some mild and some quite serious. It will often be accompanied by other symptoms, which can help you identify the cause.

Upset Stomach

The most common cause of vomiting white foam is some type of stomach upset. It will often occur if your dog drank water too quickly after exercising or ate something that disagreed with him, such as grass or an inedible substance. If the vomiting continues, visit your veterinarian to make sure your dog hasn't swallowed something that he can't digest.

Your dog also may be suffering from bilious vomiting syndrome, which usually occurs soon after your dog wakes up. This is caused by too much acid in the dog's stomach and is more common in dogs with digestive problems.

If it happens regularly, your dog may have an ulcer or inflammatory bowel disease and may need medical treatment. However, it can often be cured with 12 hours of fasting or a couple meals of boiled chicken and rice. Your dog also may need to have a bland bedtime snack that will coat his stomach and reduce acid while sleeping.


White foam is one of the characteristic symptoms of bloat, which is the swelling of the stomach that causes it to rotate, trapping the stomach's contents in the stomach and obstructing veins around the stomach. This can quickly lead to death if not treated, so it should be addressed immediately.

Bloat most often occurs after eating or exercise and is more likely in deep chested dogs such as German Shepherds, Doberman, Mastiffs and Newfoundlands. Additional symptoms include unsuccessful attempts to vomit, pacing, anxiety, restlessness, attempts to hide, desire to go outside at odd times, a hunched up appearance, bloated abdomen that feels like a drum and refusal to sit or lie down.

Kennel Cough

Dogs will often cough up a yellow mucous or white foam when suffering from kennel cough, an upper respiratory disease contracted from other dogs. The most common symptom of kennel cough is a dry hacking cough. Additional symptoms include eye and nasal discharge, fever, lethargy and loss of appetite.

Similar illnesses, such as parainfluenza or other colds, may also cause your dog to vomit white foam. Usually, these will include other cold-like symptoms, such as eye and nasal discharge, sneezing and fever.


Many people associate white foam with rabies, but vomiting white foam is a rabies symptom. The foaming of the mouth characteristic of rabies is caused by nerve damage to the mouth and throat that prevents the dog from swallowing. And though this is one of the most well-known rabies symptoms, it usually won't appear until the very end of the disease, after many other symptoms, such as severe aggression, have already appeared.

Additional Causes

Vomiting white foam can also be caused by illnesses of the digestive tract that need further treatment. Illnesses that can cause vomiting include hepatitis, pancreatitis, diabetes, and kidney disease. If the vomiting persists a few days, even with a bland diet, consult your veterinarian.

Though most cases of vomit are mild, if it is accompanied by other symptoms, it could be indicative of a serious illness. When in doubt, always consult a professional.