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Dog Vomiting White Mucus: Top Reasons & Home Remedies

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Dog Vomiting White Mucus

Vomiting dogs are a daily part of veterinary medicine. As a vet, I’ve seen vomit of all colors and consistencies. However, one of the most common types of vomiting that most dog parents don’t even consider vomiting is when a dog throws up white mucus. Here’s what you need to know about a dog vomiting white mucus and what you can do about it.

Dog pet sick vomit liquid

What vomiting white mucus looks like in dogs

While it’s concerning any time our dogs vomit, when their vomit is accompanied by white mucus it may cause extra worry. The white mucus might look like slimy foam, and the vomit may be tinged with yellow or clear in color. Sometimes food or grass is present too.

Green grass in the white foam of dog vomit

Why is my dog vomiting white mucus?

Vomit with white mucus can be caused by a variety of conditions, ranging from minor stomach irritation to more serious conditions like bloat or an obstruction. It’s important to think back and consider anything that’s been going on with your dog recently before deciding on a cause. Note if they’ve been acting different, if there are any other sign of illness, and if they could have had exposure to something or ate something they shouldn’t have.

What are the causes of white mucus vomit in dogs?

1) General digestive upset

Nausea often goes hand-in-hand with an episode of general stomach upset. There are lots of normal, healthy bacterial populations in the gut that may become unbalanced for one reason or another, including the introduction of other bacteria, passing viral infections, or even inflammation from a minor food reaction. If your dog has both diarrhea and vomiting that looks like it contains white mucus, this may be due to increased salivation from nausea that your dog swallowed and then vomited back up.

At home, you could try withholding food for a short period of 6-8 hours, but continue to offer plenty of water. If your vet advises it, try administering a dog-specific probiotic. If the issue persists for longer than 24-48 hours or if signs worsen, contact your veterinarian for treatment recommendations, which may include coming in for an exam and treatment.

2) Reflux

Acid reflux can occur in animals as it does with humans. Often you’ll notice a yellowish-white vomit accompanied by mucus. Mild, intermittent cases may resolve on their own, so you can observe at first. However, if it happens with any degree of regularity it’s important to discuss it with your veterinarian, since there may be an underlying medical condition causing it.

3) Heat stroke

Dogs suffering from heat stroke might vomit from the stress and overheating. It’s critical to get veterinary care immediately if your dog has overheated so they can get the care they need. Dogs with heat stroke pant excessively and often drool too. This leads to gagging or coughing and vomiting, and the excessive saliva that was swallowed comes back up. You may start to cool your dog with cool compresses on their feet, belly and face and then get to them to the veterinarain. This is an emergency situation as this condition is life-threatening.

4) Eating something they shouldn’t

Some dogs don’t discrimate when it comes to putting things in their belly. These dogs are at a high risk of eating things they shouldn’t, including rotten or moldy food or toxins. Getting into the garbage, or finding toxic cleaning substances or yard products can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. If your dog got into the garbage, contact your veterinarian. If signs are mild, you may monitor your dog for a couple of days, but don’t hesitate to call your vet if things get worse.

If you think it’s possible your dog’s vomiting came from exposure to something toxic, the ASPCA Pet Poison Control Hotline is a great resource, as long as you know what they got into. They’ll be able to offer recommendations on how to treat. If the cause is unknown you should take your dog to a veterinarian for care, as they can take measures to mitigate even unknown toxicities.

5) Foreign Body

Most foreign bodies aren’t digestible and some can even become lodged in the stomach or small intestine. This often leads to stomach pain, not eating, and not pooping. It can even cause vomiting of white mucus. If a dog ingests a foreign body, they should be seen by a vet. These often don’t pass on their own and need a little aid and sometimes even surgery to remove.

6) Other causes

There are a variety of other causes that can lead to vomiting white mucus in dogs. Basically, vomiting white mucus without any food indicates that a dog isn’t eating and has some kind of stomach upset that they’re trying to clear. This could mean pancreatitis, liver issues, kidney disease, and cancer, to name a few. If your dog’s vomiting white mucus doesn’t clear up within a day or two or they start showing other signs, see your vet.

Best home remedies for dog vomiting white mucus:

In general, vomiting should be treated by your veterinarian. However, if your dog’s signs are mild there are some home-care steps you can take early on.

Dog vomit in the living room on the floor
  • Hydration: Offer small amounts of water frequently to prevent dehydration. Smaller amounts will help keep your dog from drinking too much at once which may lead to more vomiting. If your dog is less interested in water, consider offering low sodium chicken broth instead.
  • Bland food: If your dog doesn’t have any food sensitivities, you can offer boiled chicken and cooked white rice (no seasonings) in small, frequent amounts for a day or two to see if this helps your dog’s stomach settle
  • Probiotics: These can help restore gut balance and alleviate digestive issues, be sure to offer one that is specific for dogs or one that’s been previously provided by a veterinarian. For example,
    Nutramax Proviable Digestive Health Supplement Multi-Strain Probiotics, as shown below:
Nutramax Proviable Digestive Health...
  • Digestive Health Support for Dogs and Cats: Proviable, a multi-strain probiotic supplement for dogs and cats, contains 5 billion colony forming units (CFUs) of beneficial bacteria to help support a healthy intestinal balance

Please note that these are just basic first steps, and if your dog has a more significant condition such as toxin exposure or a foreign body, there will not likely be improvement with these home interventions.

Steps to take when you notice vomiting with white mucus

  1. Consider your dog’s overall condition and severity of symptoms, and use that to guide your decisions for care.
  2. If the vomiting is infrequent and the dog is otherwise normal, you might feel comfortable monitoring for a day or two.
  3. Offer small amounts of water and withhold food temporarily-only 6-8 hours.
  4. Contact your veterinarian if vomiting persists for longer than 24-48 hours, or if your dog shows any other signs of illness.

Best products to help at home:

Oral rehydration: Oral rehydration solutions are not a replacement for fluids administered by a veterinarian, but can he helpful as a short term first-aid measure if your dog is vomiting.
Vet Classics Pet-A-Lyte Oral Electrolyte Solution for Dogs and Cats

Nutramax Proviable Digestive Health...
  • Digestive Health Support for Dogs and Cats: Proviable, a multi-strain probiotic supplement for dogs and cats, contains 5 billion colony forming units (CFUs) of beneficial bacteria to help support a healthy intestinal balance

Probiotic supplements: probiotics can help rebalance your dog’s normal gastrointestinal bacteria, be sure to choose one that is specifically formulated for dogs
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements FortiFlora Dog Probiotic

Purina Fortiflora Probiotics for Dogs, Pro...
  • Number one probiotic supplement recommended by veterinarians (Kantar Veterinary Tracker, 2020)

Early signs to look for when a dog vomits white mucus:

While vomiting is a pretty obvious sign that something is wrong, there are other more subtle signs leading up to, or associated with vomiting, that may indicate something is awry:

  • Increased salivation, lip-licking, or licking unusual objects like blankets or carpeting
  • Lethargy and decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea or changes in stool consistency
  • Excessive drooling or excessive thirst
  • Stomach pain or discomfort

Can you wait and see before calling the vet? How long can you wait?

If your dog vomits white mucus occasionally, appears otherwise healthy, and shows no concerning symptoms, it might be safe to monitor for a little while before reaching out to your dog’s veterinarian. However, if it happens repeatedly, or often, or is accompanied by other worrisome signs, err on the side of caution and contact your veterinarian.

Treatment options, costs, and recovery:

Treatment for dog vomiting can vary depending on the cause and severity, though costs may be less if the treatment is started early after signs start. It’s more difficult and potentially more costly to treat a dog who is more sick.

Disclaimer: This content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your vet for health decisions. Learn more.

  • Exam with a veterinarian – if you take your pet in for a routine examination the cost may be somewhere around $30 – $70, but an emergency exam will be more costly.
  • If your dog is otherwise in good condition, and there’s no suspicion of a bigger issue, an anti-nausea medication may be administered, along with fluids under the skin for hydration, and medications to treat the symptoms and help your dog feel better as they recover. A visit like this may cost between $200 – $300 or more.

If a more concerning cause of vomiting white mucus is suspected, costs will be higher.

  • Treatment for toxin exposure can include medications to induce vomiting, as well as IV fluids and medications, and short or even extended hospital stays. A typical cost range is likely between $1500 – $2500 or more.
  • Treatment for a foreign body in the stomach or intestines almost always involves surgery or at least endoscopy (passing a specialized scope into the stomach to retrieve an object). The cost of either of these procedures often includes a hospital stay afterwards, and may cost upwards of $3000.
  • Costs to treat more severe illnesses, such as pancreatitis or cancer may require hospitilization, supportive care and even long-term care such as chemotherapy. Look to pay $500-$3000.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it normal for a dog to vomit white foam after drinking water?

Occasional vomiting of white foam after drinking water may be normal if it happens infrequently and the dog appears otherwise healthy. If your dog does this regularly though, it’s concerning and warrants a vet visit. For more on coughing and vomiting after drinking water, read this article.

Can certain medications cause white mucus vomiting in dogs?

Some medications may cause nausea whether because of how they react in the stomach or because they taste bad. If you notice after 1 or 2 doses that your dog reacts this way every time the medication is given, be sure to call your dog’s veterinarian to let them know and ask about alternatives.

Are there any specific breeds more prone to vomiting white mucus?

There may be some correlation between breed types and vomiting white mucus simply because they’re more likely to produce a lot of saliva and swallow it. It could be seen more often in dogs with short noses (such as bulldog breeds) or big floppy jowls (such as mastiff breeds).

Can a change in the dog’s food cause vomiting with white mucus?

If you’ve recently changed your dog’s food and notice vomiting with white mucus, it may be due to the diet change. Suddenly changing foods can upset your dog’s normal gut balance and lead to both vomiting and diarrhea. Food changes should always be gradual so that a dog’s gut has time to adjust without getting upset.


  • Dr Chyrle Bonk, Veterinarian

    Dr. Chyrle Bonk received her Master in Animal Science from the University of Idaho and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Oregon State University in 2010. She has over 10 years of experience in small animal veterinary practice, working for a veterinary clinic in Idaho.

  • Kate Howard, Vet Tech

    Kate Howard lives in Upstate New York, and received her degree in Veterinary Technology from Alfred State College of Technology in 2010. She has been a veterinary technician for 13+ years, and spent her career working primarily in general practice and veterinary emergency care. Kate has 3 dogs, a cat, and keeps a small flock of backyard poultry.

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