8 Reasons Why Your Shih Tzu May Be Vomiting White Foam – What You Need to Know!

Why Does My Shih Tzu Throw Up 8 Reasons White Foam Vomiting


If you have a Shih Tzu, one of the things you should look out for is recurrent vomiting, which may be accompanied by white foam and other signs of distress. Vomiting can be caused by a wide variety of different illnesses and conditions, so it is important that you keep an eye on your pet. In this article, we will look at why your Shih Tzu may be throwing up white foam and offer advice on how to manage the situation.

Shih Tzu puppies have especially sensitive digestive tracts and are prone to suffering from gastrointestinal upset more than other breeds. Vomiting could be a sign of something as simple as consuming something that disagreed with it or something more serious like an underlying infection or illness.

Some potential causes for your Shih Tzu’s vomiting episode include:

  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Food allergies
  • Gastric reflux disease
  • Parasitic infections (such as giardia or coccidia)
  • Viral illnesses (like kennel cough or distemper)
  • Bacterial infections (like leptospirosis)
  • Hepatitis or pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic problems can also cause vomiting during intense physical activity in some dogs.

Reasons for Vomiting

Vomiting in Shih Tzus is often a sign of a bigger health issue. The white foam that is being seen is a clear indicator that something else is wrong that should be looked into by a vet. Some of the common reasons a Shih Tzu may be vomiting white foam include dietary concerns, infections, diseases, and more.

Let’s dive in and look at the eight possible causes of white foam vomiting in your Shih Tzu:

Eating Too Quickly

Eating too quickly is an especially common cause of white foam vomiting in Shih Tzus. Dogs, and especially Shih Tzus, like to eat their food quickly. Some dogs may even wolf down their food so fast that it does not get properly digested. Eating too quickly can also disrupt a dog’s digestive process, making them more likely to vomit.

To prevent this vomiting, try feeding your Shih Tzu smaller amounts of food throughout the day or putting obstacles such as rocks or large toys in the bowl to slow down their eating pace. Alternatively, you could invest in a slow feeder bowl which are designed specifically to help dogs slow down when eating.

Eating Spoiled Food

Eating spoiled food is one of the most common causes of vomiting. When food has gone bad and contains bacteria, viruses, or parasites, it can cause discomfort and lead to vomiting. It is important to always check food for signs of spoilage before consumption.

Signs of spoilage can include:

  • A sour smell
  • Mold growing on the food
  • Discoloration of the food
  • A change in texture

Spoiled food should be disposed of immediately to avoid any potential health risks associated with eating it. Additionally, it’s best to be careful when eating foods that have been sitting out for long periods of time or have otherwise been improperly stored in order to prevent potential contamination or spoilage.

Eating Foreign Objects

When a child or pet accidentally swallows a foreign object, vomiting is usually the body’s natural response. Depending on the type and size of the object, it can cause an uncomfortable feeling in the throat or stomach leading to the sweeping motion of vomit that forcefully expels the item from their body. Once expelled, it is important to note what was swallowed so you can inform your pediatrician or veterinarian and ensure a thorough checkup afterwards.

Common objects that may be ingested include coins, pens/pencils, safety pins, buttons, toys, batteries and even small parts from electronics such as DVDs or game controllers. Even if these objects do not cause any damage when travelling through their digestive system they may still be responsible for gastrointestinal distress.

If you suspect that your child or pet has swallowed a foreign object (especially if it is an item that should not be mistaken for food) then it is recommended to take them to see their health care provider right away so appropriate action can be taken. While minor objects will usually pass without incident, major ones – such as coins – may require special attention and medical intervention.

Eating Greasy Foods

When your Shih Tzu consumes too much greasy food, it can cause stomach and digestive issues which can lead to vomiting white foam. Greasy foods should generally be avoided for dogs in general due to the high fat content. Too much fat build up in their body can be dangerous and over time could lead to bigger medical problems. If your Shih Tzu is displaying signs of upset stomach or throwing up after eating greasy food, changing its diet or limiting the amount it eats will likely help.

Another potential cause of vomiting white foam resulting from eating greasy foods could be an imbalance in the bacterial flora of their gut due to it having a negative effect on the pH level resulting in a bacterial imbalance. If this is suspected, it’s best to seek professional advice from your veterinarian and make some dietary adjustments as necessary.

Furthermore, if your Shih Tzu contains an intolerance or sensitivity to the specific oil used in greasy food, then they may experience some type of reaction that could result in numerous symptoms such as dilated pupils, warm skin, fever or even vomiting shortly after ingestion. It’s important that you consult with a veterinarian if you believe that this may be the case for your pet.

Eating Too Much

One of the most common reasons for vomiting white foam in Shih Tzus is due to overeating or eating too quickly. If your pup gobbles down their food, they are likely to bring it up in the form of white foam. This is their body’s natural reaction to getting rid of a meal they had too much of too quickly. The white foam that comes up is a combination of gastric juices and undigested food that did not have enough time to make it into the small intestine where digestion takes place normally.

This kind of vomiting usually occurs shortly after eating and can be a sign your pup needs smaller meals more often, instead of one large meal per day. Try splitting their meals into two or even three smaller portions throughout the day and observe how it affects the frequency and intensity with which they vomit white foam. When giving smaller portions, you should also be mindful to reduce unhealthy snacks between meals, as this could lead to excessive eating as well.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can be common factors in vomiting episodes. Stressful situations can cause the body to release a surge of hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, which are believed to influence the activity of the autonomic nervous system responsible for controlling digestion and other bodily functions. Consequently, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain may occur. Similarly, when a person experiences intense fear or anxiety, their body’s fight-or-flight response may be triggered. This causes physiological changes such as increased heart rate and respiration which can further stimulate the autonomic nervous system and induce vomiting or nausea.

Stress and anxiety can also contribute to conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in some people. IBS is characterized by changes in bowel habits resulting from intense abdominal pain or discomfort. Affected individuals may report nausea or vomiting depending on the severity of their symptoms. In addition, psychological distress or mental health issues such as depression may also produce physical symptoms including stomachaches and episodes of vomiting. Therefore it is important to try to manage stress levels in order to reduce any associated nausea or digestive problems.

Motion Sickness

Motion sickness, or kinetosis, is a type of nausea that occurs when travelling by car, boat, airplane or amusement park ride. This is caused by the conflicting messages sent to our brains regarding movement – the objects inside your car may appear still but your inner ear passes motion signals to your brain. Those conflicting messages can cause nausea, dizziness and even vomiting.

The best way to prevent motion sickness if you are prone to it is to plan ahead – you should travel when you are well rested and limit food or drinks while travelling. You can also choose a seat with maximum visibility and avoid reading while on the move as this typically worsens the symptoms. People who suffer will sometimes watch the horizon line outside of the vehicle which helps balance input from inner and outer ears. Medications such as Dramamine can often help combat symptoms of motion sickness as well.

Intestinal Parasites

Certain intestinal parasites, often found in contaminated food or water, can cause abdominal pain and vomiting. Giardia, for example, lives in the digestive systems of mammals and is spread through contact with contaminated surfaces as well as direct contact with infected persons. An infection might cause diarrhea and dehydration which can also lead to vomiting. In such cases it is important to identify the source so that appropriate steps can be taken to prevent further infections.

Similarly, roundworm infestations can be serious health threats and require immediate medical attention. When these parasites enter our bodies they may create toxins that affect the central nervous system leading to sensations of nausea and eventual vomiting.


Prevention is the best way to stop your Shih Tzu from throwing up. There are a few things you can do to help prevent it such as:

  • Feeding your dog a healthy diet.
  • Monitoring their food and water intake.
  • Making sure they get plenty of exercise.
  • Keeping their environment clean, as dirt and bacteria can make them more likely to vomit.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the more specific preventive measures you can take to keep your Shih Tzu from throwing up white foam.

Feed Your Dog Appropriately

Feeding your dog a well-balanced diet is essential for their health and wellbeing. It is important to provide meals that are rich in lean proteins, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. This will ensure they get all the nutrients they need to stay healthy, active and strong.

When selecting a food for your dog, it is important to choose one that closely matches their individual requirements. Depending on the age of your pup, you should opt for a food specifically designed for puppies, adult dogs or senior dogs. Additionally, there are foods tailored towards certain breeds of dog as well as those with specialist dietary needs such as reduced calorie or gluten-free options.

It’s also important to serve meals at regular intervals and in recommended portions—overfeeding or underfeeding can both have negative effects on your canine companion’s health. Speak to a qualified veterinarian if your pet has any specific dietary requirements so that you can find the best nutrition solution tailored towards their individual needs.

There are a range of ways to ensure that your pup is fed appropriately – you could choose dry kibble, wet food or even home-cooked meals depending on what suits them best. For greater control over their diet and nutrition levels—or if you just want piece of mind—a veterinary approved ‘complete’ pet food or nutritional supplement may be the best option. Of course regular exercise and playtime will also help keep them healthy both physically and mentally so don’t forget that either!

Monitor Your Dog’s Eating Habits

Monitoring your dog’s eating habits is an important part of keeping him healthy. With regular diet and exercise, you can help prolong your pet’s life and help prevent certain conditions like obesity and heart disease. Here are some simple steps to track your pup’s eating habits:

  1. Track portion size: Estimate the suggested amount of food for your dog’s size and age, then measure out that amount using a measuring cup for every meal. Don’t rely on eye-balling; if you need a more defined measurement tool beyond a regular cup, use kitchen scales to accurately weigh food each day. Be sure to check with your vet when changing the portion size, as this could affect his overall health.
  2. Check labels: Know what goes into your dog’s bowl each day by reading labels on food bags or cans. High-quality brands should provide consistent nutritional values with controlled amounts of key vitamins and minerals. Ask yourself: How many calories per cup? Are there any additives? Is it free of byproducts?
  3. Observe behavior: If you notice sudden weight loss or gain in your pup, try adjusting his meals to compensate for the change in caloric intake. Monitor how he eats – does he eat all of his food at once or take longer periods? Slow eaters may be suffering from gum disease or nausea which require immediate veterinary attention.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your pup is getting the right nutrition every day to stay active and healthy!

Keep Your Dog Stress-Free

Dogs are extremely sensitive to their environment, just like us humans. Making sure that your pet is comfortable and stress-free helps to keep them healthy and happy. Here are some simple steps you can take to help keep your four-legged friend content:

  • Provide Enough Exercise: Make sure your pup gets plenty of exercise in order to release pent up energy. Dogs with ample outlets for physical activity tend to be calmer, more relaxed, and better able to handle difficult stimuli like loud noise or environmental changes.
  • Keep a Routine: Pets enjoy knowing where they stand and what’s coming each day. Keeping a routine with meal times, playtime, walks and bedtimes will give your pup structure while keeping them calm.
  • Consistent Training: Be consistent when it comes to training (whether you are the one training, or someone else is taking the reins). Clear guidelines, boundaries and expectations help pups feel secure knowing what’s appropriate behavior and keeps them out of trouble!
  • Create a Calm Environment: Make sure that your home is as quiet as possible for both you and your dog; this might mean investing in some sound proofing items like heavy drapes or rugs. Keeping noise levels low or opting for white noise instead of music helps barking dogs relax indoors as well as minimizing distractions from outdoors (like cars or people).
  • Enrichment Activities: Give your pooch mental stimulation with interactive toys or food puzzles; this will keep their brain active while burning excess energy! Hiring a pet sitter for an extra long walk each day can help tire him out without you having to change much about his daily routine.

Take Your Dog for Regular Check-Ups

One of the most effective ways to ensure your dog’s long-term health is by taking them for regular check-ups to the vet. Doing so will help you and your veterinarian detect any health issues or diseases in their early stages and provide treatment that could prevent it from spreading further or becoming more serious.

A regular check-up should include a physical exam, which may involve checking your dog’s pulse, respiratory rate, heart and lungs, weight, temperature, body condition score assessment, checking for heat or lameness issues, evaluating their coat condition and more.

Vaccinating your pet against common illnesses such as distemper are also important in maintaining their health. Depending on your dog’s lifestyle and other factors specific to them such as age or breed vulnerabilities they may need different types of vaccinations. Additionally, they should receive regular parasite control in order to protect them along with preventing possible infestations in the house environment.

Regularly monitoring your pet’s behavior is also recommended as any changes or new behavior could indicate underlying medical conditions that would require vet attention.


As a pet owner, it is important to be vigilant about changes in your Shih Tzu’s behavior. If your pooch is throwing up white foam, or if you’re noticing any other troubling symptoms, like diarrhea or lethargy, it is best to take them to the vet as soon as possible. Vomiting can point to a variety of health problems, so prompt treatment is key.

By understanding the underlying causes of why your Shih Tzu may be throwing up white foam, you can help ensure quick diagnosis and treatment if needed. The 8 most common reasons are:

  • Dietary issues (table scraps and allergies)
  • Worms
  • Giardia
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Viral infections like Parvovirus
  • Foreign objects ingested by your pet
  • Kidney disease
  • Certain medications and vaccines

Knowledge about the potential causes of vomiting can help ensure that you provide your pet with the proper care when necessary. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about why your dog may be vomiting white foam!

Jenna Kassidy

Jenna Kassidy is a passionate writer and dog lover. With a background in English literature and animal behavior, she combines her two passions to bring readers of Paw Appreciation, a blog about all things canine, the latest in research, training and health tips, as well as heartwarming stories and a wealth of information on different dog breeds.

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