Why is My Dog Vomiting White Foam and Not Eating?

What Are The Reasons Why Your Dog Vomiting White Foam and Not Eating?

Dog Vomiting White Foam and Not Eating? A Guide for Concerned Pet Parents

Few things worry a dog owner more than when their furry friend falls sick. One of the common but perplexing issues dog owners may encounter a pet that's vomiting white foam and refusing to eat. If you're in this predicament, it's understandable to feel alarmed. However, this symptom can stem from several causes, ranging from minor to serious. Let's dive into some possible reasons and potential remedies.

Indigestion or Gastric Reflux

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from indigestion or gastric reflux, and the resulting irritation can cause them to vomit white or clear foam. This can be due to dietary indiscretions such as eating too quickly, eating grass, or consuming something unsuitable. Generally, if indigestion is the culprit, your dog might vomit foam once or twice and then move on as if nothing happened.

Bilious Vomiting Syndrome

Bilious vomiting syndrome occurs when bile leaks into the stomach from the small intestine, causing irritation and potentially leading to the dog vomiting white or yellow foam, usually on an empty stomach. Dogs with this syndrome often feel better after eating a small amount of food.


Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, can also lead to a dog vomiting white foam and refusing to eat. Other symptoms may include a hunched back, repeated lip-smacking, and abdominal pain. Pancreatitis can be brought on by a high-fat diet or certain medications, and it requires immediate veterinary attention.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough, a common canine respiratory infection, can sometimes cause a dog to vomit white foam, particularly after coughing fits. If your dog has recently been in a setting with other dogs (such as a kennel, dog park, or groomer) and is coughing frequently, a visit to the vet is warranted to get appropriate treatment.

Canine Parvovirus

A more serious but less common cause of vomiting white foam is canine parvovirus. This highly contagious viral illness can cause severe vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, and bloody diarrhea. It's most common in unvaccinated puppies but can affect older dogs as well. Immediate veterinary care is essential.


In the final stages of rabies, a fatal viral disease, dogs may start to vomit, foam at the mouth, and refuse to eat or drink. It's worth noting that rabies is extremely rare in dogs in many regions, especially those that have been vaccinated against it.

When to See a Vet?

While occasional vomiting may not be cause for concern, it's essential to monitor your dog closely. If the vomiting persists, if your dog appears lethargic, if there are other symptoms like diarrhea or pain, or if your dog is a puppy or has a known health condition, contact your vet right away. Any suspicion of a serious issue like pancreatitis, parvovirus, or rabies warrants immediate veterinary attention.


As a pet owner, seeing your dog sick is distressing. While vomiting white foam and refusing to eat can be symptoms of various conditions, understanding the possible causes equips you to take better care of your furry friend. Monitor your pet's condition closely and never hesitate to seek professional help. After all, it's better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your pet's health.