Whenever foam appears on an animal, people think rabies is the cause. Although not untrue, that’s not the main cause of frothing. It’s key to know why your dog is foaming at the mouth before treating it.

We’ll go through the most common reasons for frothing. Some are trivial, while others are more severe. Nonetheless, all of them should be dealt with.

Is It Really Foam?

Foaming and drooling are similar to each other, but, fortunately for us, they are easy to differentiate.

Drool

Drooling appears as very long teardrops over your dog’s mouth, especially on its side.

An excess of saliva will create these teardrops due to how water-like it is, just like watery mucus. Hence, the saliva will slip from the mouth quickly to be replaced by another drop and will look like water with few bubbles on it.

Foam

If drool looks similar to clear water, then foam has the appearance of soapy water.

Foam will make you think your dog has eaten soap. Its mouth will create bubbly saliva and have a distinct white color to it. It is essentially saliva not being swallowed down and acquiring that aspect for it.

9 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Foaming at Their Mouth

Foam doesn’t come on its own: it’s a symptom of an illness or a condition your pet has. Heavy panting, irritated salivatory glans, sickness, and dehydration are the most frequent reasons why your dog foams at their mouth.

Regardless, most of the time it doesn’t indicate a grave health threat.

1. Exercise

Thirst builds up during exercise, and if the session lasts too long, saliva can’t be swallowed properly.

Just like humans, dogs, when thirsty, will try to preserve their mouth wetness by not gulping down their fluids. This is a body response to low levels of fluids. This is a normal after-effect of playtime, but too much foam indicates your pet is overexerted.

When this happens, they should rest and drink water. Otherwise, they might pant more and, thus, have more foam in their mouths.

2. Difficulty in Swallowing

When dogs have a foreign body stuck in their throat, their bodies will salivate in order to get rid of it.

Thanks to our pets being incapable of drinking the amount of liquid they are generating, the foam will appear in their mouths. The foreign object will make your dog pant more and thus creating more foam than before.

In this case, you’ll have to check whether you can take the object out yourself. If not, pay a visit to a veterinarian.

3. Stress and Anxiety

Animals get stressed and anxious too, yet they undergo heavier symptoms than us.

A stressed dog will act restless and pant more. This behavior makes, as a chain reaction, will accumulate foam in its mouth. This is a common occurrence among dogs that suffer from separation anxiety.

As a solution, calm down your pet and make them understand you are there for them.

4. Dehydration and Heatstroke

Dogs need to drink a fixed amount of water depending on their weight. If your dog goes too long without taking liquids in, it’ll start to foam.

A healthy dog means a hydrated dog. If not enough fluids are in their bodies, symptoms will begin to show, such as not urinating, foam, and panting. For that matter, your dog should always drink enough water, not too much nor too little.

Also, dehydration leads to heatstrokes, although they can crop up just because the weather is too hot. A failure in their cooling system will originate foamy saliva.

5. Mouth Issues

Any annoyance in our dog’s mouth will inevitably end up with an excess of saliva and foam.

Dental pain, brachycephalic syndrome, mouth injuries, and sore throat are the most common culprits of foam.

A dog that wants to avoid pain will keep its mouth open and its tongue hanging out so as to not touch the affected area. This will make the pet salivate more as well as panting excessively, which is why foam is present.

The same logic applies to short-nosed breeds: an obstruction in the airways makes panting and drooling more prominent, and, thus, foam more likely to come about.

6. Nausea and Awful Tastes

Nausea makes a dog’s mouth watery in the expectance of vomiting. Parallelly, vomiting releases a lot of liquid with an awful taste.

An upset stomach will result in a bunch of symptoms, including nausea and hypersalivation, which alongside panting end up in foam. However, the solution, which most of the time is vomiting, might indeed increase the foaming of your dog.

Foul-tasting things such as plants, vomit, and medications usually originate more foam in the dog’s mouth. Pungent tastes are not that pleasing for this species, and so they will salivate to weaken the strong tastes, but at the same time, they create a lot of froth.

7. Seizures

Seizures make one’s throat shut closed, which creates pressure in the salivatory glands. The glands then produce more saliva, and since the throat is closed, foam builds up.

This reaction not only takes place during a seizure but before a seizure as well, so it’s possible to predict and take measures for a seizure beforehand. This is very helpful for pets that are prone to suffer a seizure.

8. Intoxication

The most tell-tale sign of a poisoned dog is foam.

Most toxic chemicals and plants consist of certain components that are dangerous to animals and humans. These minerals damage the digestive system and make drooling excessive, which is usually the cause of foam.

Keep in mind that usually the most beautiful flowers and plants are the most toxic ones. For example, azaleas and tulips are very pretty but highly lethal.

9. Rabies

Rabies is in the last position because it’s the last thing your pet could have. Despite its popularity, this illness is the least possible reason why your dog is foaming at the mouth.

Rabies is a very serious virus that affects the nervous system of its host. When the nervous system is affected, spontaneous spasms in the limbs and throat become frequent. As we’ve seen with other cases, throat irritation equals more saliva and winds up in a lot of foam.

If you suspect your dog has rabies, don’t treat it yourself and take it to a veterinarian right away.

Foaming is a common response to any kind of annoyance undergone in one’s mouth, so it’s not something you should worry about too much.

Nonetheless, if your pet foams for more than an hour, then it’s time to take action and observe how and why your dog is foaming at the mouth. Their health is at risk, so be the responsible owner!