We love our dogs as part of our family, so when we see them in distress, it is equally as distressing for us. As with humans, there are many reasons why a dog might need to vomit, and most of the time this is a totally normal occurrence, and even quite common.
On the other hand, it’s important to be aware of the circumstances in which you might need to seek out Vet-related help, to ensure your dog’s health and well-being.
A common sight for many dog owners over the course of their time with their pet is a dog vomiting a white foam or slime substance.
In most cases, this is normal and nothing to worry about, but it is important to get to the bottom of why it is happening, so you can decide whether or not to seek further help.
Is it normal for dogs to vomit white foam slime?
- Is it normal for dogs to vomit white foam slime?
- Causes of White Foam Slime Vomiting
- 1. Stomach Upset
- 2. Bilious Vomiting Syndrome
- 3. Stomach Bloating
- 4. Rabies
- 4. Kennel Cough
- 5. Pregnancy
- Possible Symptoms to Accompany the Problem
- Eating grass
- Not eating, and vomiting foam
- Vomiting white foam containing blood
- Vomiting a thick, foamy mucous substance
- Your dog is shaking
- Vomiting in the Mornings
- Treatment Options & Home Remedies to Try
- Over the Counter Pepto-Bismol
- Try Probiotics
- Try Ginger
- Try Herbal Slippery Elm Bark
- Try Massage
- When to See a Veterinarian
In most cases, yes. There are instances when it isn’t normal, and we will talk a little later on about when to seek help. It’s important to realize why your dog is vomiting up this white, foamy or slimy consistency in the first place.
Basically, there are many reasons why this could be happening, and you can usually tell what it is down to by examining the vomit.
Yes, that sounds rather grim, but it’s the only way you’re going to be able to really come to a solid conclusion over whether there is a problem, or whether it’s simply your dog trying to make him or herself feel better after eating something they shouldn’t have.
Causes of White Foam Slime Vomiting
The main causes for vomiting a white foamy or slimy type of vomit include the following.
1. Stomach Upset
Your dog might have eaten something that didn’t agree with them. As a human, you will know the feeling of having eaten something which your stomach just doesn’t like, and the churning, uncomfortable, nauseating sensation.
You will also know that as unpleasant as it is, when you’ve been sick, you actually feel better. This is your dog’s situation if he or she has eaten something which their stomach just didn’t agree with.
The foamy or slime-like vomit is therefore nothing to worry about, unless it is accompanied by copious amounts of blood, anything green, or if your dog exhibits other symptoms which could point to a possible food poisoning situation.
It could also be the case that your dog simply ate their dinner a little too fast, or even drinks water too fast.
In this case, the digestive system is overloaded too quickly, and its response is to get rid of a little of what is in there, in order to cope and process everything. In this case, you’ll most likely see this type of vomit.
2. Bilious Vomiting Syndrome
Some dogs can suffer from a condition called bilious vomiting syndrome, and in this case, your dog is likely to vomit this type of consistency when they wake up in the mornings.
The condition is down to the amount of stomach acid which its produced, and the only way to rid the body of too much of it, is to be sick.
From that description, you can tell that bilious vomiting syndrome is a digestive complaint which is either inherited or which your dog develops/is born with.
It can also be down to other stomach issues, such as an ulcer, or it can also be down to inflammatory bowel disease.
If you notice your dog being sick like this when they wake up on a regular basis, it’s perhaps a good idea to go and get a check up with a Vet, to see what the underlying issue is and to get treatment to relieve the vomiting over time.
3. Stomach Bloating
You will know this feeling from past experience we’re sure – stomach bloating is not comfortable, and it is something which dogs can experience, just like humans.
In this case, the dog’s stomach is overloaded with gas, and it appears distended and swollen up.
It can be due to eating too much, eating too fast, or eating too quickly after exercising. The gassy build up in the stomach can cause vomiting, and the white foam or slime is due to the stomach acids.
You may also notice your dog having the following signs:
- Wandering around a lot during this time, seeming restless
- Not wanting to sit or lay in a certain position.
This shouldn’t last too long, so keep an eye on your dog during this time.
Of course, bloating on a regular basis can also be a sign of concern, so if you notice this is happening more than a time or two, get a checkup with your Vet.
Rabies is a serious condition, and white foaming vomit is a classic sign. Whilst it is rare, and probably the last condition you should be thinking about, it is one which you need to be aware of, just in case, and bear in mind the other accompanying symptoms.
If you notice them, you should get help straight away. In this case, the white foaming is one of the last symptoms to appear, so you will have noticed your dog being unwell prior to this.
The white foam or slime can make it difficult for your dog to swallow, and the whole condition is down to mouth and throat nerve damage. Again, seek help immediately.
4. Kennel Cough
If you have recently acquired your new dog from a kennel or breeder, or your dog has been in the kennels whilst you’ve been away on holiday, you should be on the lookout for kennel cough.
White foam or slimy vomiting can be a sign of this, accompanied by other symptoms, such as coughing, a runny nose, and runny eyes.
Kennel cough is distressing, but it’s not usually serious, and should last no longer than 2 weeks maximum. If it is going on for longer than this, seek out help from your Vet. If the vomiting is a very regular occurrence, you should seek help sooner.
Is there a chance your dog could be pregnant? The morning sickness condition isn’t only reserved for humans, and if your dog is possibly pregnant, she could be vomiting this white foam or slime in the mornings. This is one to rule out as a possible cause.
As you can see, there are some routine causes for white slime/foam vomiting, and there are some more serious causes, and that is why it is important to be able to diagnose loosely yourself what is going on, and seek help according to what you see.
The accompanying symptoms should tell you a lot about whether you need to seek out help or wait it out, as well as how long the vomiting it going on for, and how often.
Possible Symptoms to Accompany the Problem
You will probably notice other symptoms before, during, or after the vomiting, and they will give you a clue as to what the severity of the issue is.
Most dogs will eat grass in order to make themselves sick, so if you notice your dog scurrying around the garden, eating grass, the chances are that they feel sick and they’re trying to make themselves throw up to feel better.
This in itself isn’t something to worry about, as dogs in general will do this to relieve their discomfort if they have eaten something they shouldn’t have, etc. It’s the dog version of a human sticking their fingers down their throat in many ways!
Other symptoms you might notice include:
- Lack of appetite
- Not wanting to play or engage when he or she normally would
- Blood in the vomit
Some of those accompanying symptoms are a sign of concern, but most aren’t. Let’s explore the possible reasons and combinations, to learn more about when you should seek out help, and what the problem could be down to.
Not eating, and vomiting foam
If your dog isn’t eating and they start to vomit up a foam-like substance, it’s likely that the color will have a yellow tinge, or be yellow completely.
This is normal after a stomach upset, and the color is down to the stomach bile, because there isn’t enough food to vomit back up. This can sometimes also be the case if your dog only eats one meal per day.
Try and give your dog small meals a little more regularly, to see if this helps with the vomiting, and if not head to see your Vet for help.
If your dog is vomiting very often, the yellow color could also be down to the fact that there is no food left in their stomach and they are now onto vomiting bile. If the vomiting is acute, seek help urgently.
Vomiting white foam containing blood
If you notice blood in your dog’s vomit, this is a time to get help. The blood could be down to a blockage or obstruction, which requires urgent attention.
It can also be due to an ulcer or an infection, as well as your dog having eaten something which has sharp edges, and it is then cutting into the tissues within the stomach.
In these cases, there could also be the presence of diarrhea, which may or may not also contain blood.
In any of these situations, seek help urgently to resolve the problem, and if you can, take a sample of the vomit with you, so your Vet can diagnose the issue much faster, saving precious time.
Vomiting a thick, foamy mucous substance
We mentioned kennel cough as being one of the causes for vomiting up foam or slime, and if you notice a thick foamy-like mucous, accompanied with coughing, then you probably have your diagnosis.
It could also be the case that your dog has a cold, if you notice a running nose or eyes without the coughing.
Your dog is shaking
If you notice that your dog is vomiting up a white foam, and they’re shaking, possibly eating grass beforehand, and totally off their food, it’s likely to be down to a stomach upset.
Look at whether you have added anything new into their diet as a possible elimination target, and if not, it could very well be that they have eaten something they shouldn’t have done whilst out foraging on a walk.
The shaking can be worrying to see, but this is likely to be down a fever, or simply because they don’t like the fact they’re being sick, almost like an anxiety. There could be an element of pain, i.e. stomach ache, which is causing the shaking.
A stomach upset can be a one-time passing thing, or it can be something which repeats. If it repeats, look at their diet and see what it could be down to.
Eliminate the possible food item, and then see if the issue improves. This situation should pass, but if your dog is being constantly sick over the course of a couple of days or more, then seek out help.
Vomiting in the Mornings
We mentioned the possibility of pregnancy, and that is one to rule out. If not, then it could very well be down to acid reflux, due to a buildup of stomach acid occurring in the night, and then your dog feels the need to rid it in the mornings when they wake.
This isn’t particularly serious, although if it is causing your dog distress you could get them checked out with your Vet and see if any ongoing treatment could relieve the amount of acid build up.
You could also try non-acid producing foods, such as boiled rice or chicken, to see if that helps.
Treatment Options & Home Remedies to Try
There are a few treatment routes and home remedies you can try to help your dog with their vomiting problem, but always be on the lookout for symptoms which give you an idea that you need to seek out help, rather than try remedies at home.
If your dog has a simple stomach upset and gurgling, and you’re very sure this is the case, it’s best to fast your dog for 24 hours, to allow the problem to pass through their system completely.
This also allows the gastrointestinal tract to recover much quicker. If you have a puppy, don’t fast for more than 12 hours. After this, stick to bland foods, to help the stomach lining build itself back up, with rice being the main staple.
During the vomiting, it’s vital that your dog stays hydrated, so make sure there is plenty of fresh water down for them, and if they can’t keep this down, or don’t seem to want to take you up on the offer, try ice chips.
A few home remedies you can try include:
Over the Counter Pepto-Bismol
Check with your Vet whether this is possible, but if they are agreeable, you could try Pepto-Bismol to alleviate the problem.
Your Vet should also be able to tell you how much to give, according to your dog’s size and age.
We all know that probiotics are great for the gut, and the same goes for your dog. There are many dog-friendly probiotic products you can try, which will help to promote a healthier gut and less in the way of vomiting for your dog.
We all know that ginger helps with nausea and stomach upsets, and there are many dog-friendly products and treats which contain ginger.
If your dog is eating, you could try one of these, and see if it makes a difference.
Try Herbal Slippery Elm Bark
If your dog isn’t taking any other medications, and if they’re 100% not pregnant, you could try slippery bark elm. This is great for helping with stomach upsets, and is also a natural diarrhea treatment and reliever.
Your dog may or may not want to be touched, but if they’re amenable, try a gentle massage.
Dogs love massages because they’re super-relaxing, but be very gentle around the stomach. If the massage causes them to vomit, stop.
When to See a Veterinarian
If your dog seems to be bright and alert, and they don’t have any other worrying symptoms, you can treat the vomiting in your home and wait it out.
If you’re at all worried about what the cause could be, and if there are any other worrying symptoms, seek help immediately.
The main symptoms of concern to be on the lookout for include:
- Constant vomiting
- Blood in the vomit
- Attempting to vomit but nothing happening
- Excessive panting or drooling
- Refusing to eat for a long period of time, and not drinking water either
- A very old dog
- If your dog is known to have severe medical conditions in the background
It’s always much better to be safe than sorry, so if you are at all concerned, seek out help. In addition, if you notice any of the above, an urgent trip to the Vet is required.