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Health & Wellness

6 reasons your dog might be vomiting up white foam

And the treatment options to consider.

When your dog throws up, you're unfortunately designated to clean up the mess. While it's not the most pleasant cleanup job, it's not all bad. A closer look at your dog's vomit can give hints of what's wrong — white foam, for one, can explain a lot.

And when there is white foam, your dog could be experiencing other signs of sickness. Here's what's behind the throw up, and how to help your best friend feel better.

Why do dogs vomit white foam? 

White foam, a makeup of mucus and fluid from a dog’s respiratory tract, can appear as vomit for several reasons. It could be because of gastrointestinal parasite infection (or other infections), pancreatitis, foreign body ingestion or consumed toxins, Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch’s on-staff veterinarian, says. 

“In some cases, dogs with respiratory illness such as kennel cough (a canine infectious respiratory disease complex) or brachycephalic airway syndrome can cause dogs to vomit a white foamy substance,” she adds.

Contact your veterinarian if your pup is vomiting (or coughing up) white foam, Dr. McCullough recommends. Visiting your vet’s office will help you to figure out what’s causing this throw up. 

Are there any other symptoms that accompany white foam in dogs’ vomit? 

When a dog vomits white foam, they can show other health abnormalities, like lethargy, a decreased appetite, diarrhea or abdominal pain, Dr. McCullough explains. 

If a respiratory infection causes the white foam, your pup might also cough, hack or have difficulty breathing, she adds. 

RELATED: Tips on helping your dog throw up

What are the treatment options for white foam in dogs’ vomit? 

Because there are many causes of white foam in dogs’ vomit, the treatment options vary. “If a dog has a foreign body, surgery or an endoscopy (when vets use a special light and camera to remove the foreign material) may be necessary,” Dr. McCullough says. “If a dog has a respiratory disease, antibiotics could help.” 

Are there any home remedies for white foam in dogs’ vomit? 

Always check with your veterinarian before trying home remedies to cure your pup’s sickness. However, Dr. McCullough shares that vets often recommend a bland diet for stomach-related issues causing white foam. Alternatively, they might suggest humidification if your dog has a respiratory problem. 

“Pet parents should follow the advice of their veterinarian, including home care and giving their dog medications as directed,” Dr. McCullough explains. “They may want to confine their dog to an easy-to-clean home area such as a bathroom or kitchen during this time.” 

The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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