Foaming at the Mouth in Dogs

Written By hannah hollinger
Published: 04/30/2017Updated: 08/11/2021
Veterinary reviewed by Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS
Why is my dog foaming at the mouth?

What is Foaming at the Mouth?

Foaming at the mouth is a symptom, for many years, that people have associated with rabies. While this can occur because of being infected by this virus, it is not the only reason dogs may foam at the mouth. Foaming at the mouth is actually caused by saliva that is not being swallowed and is intensified by heavy breathing, distress, agitation, and anxiety. Other symptoms, depending on the precise cause of the mouth foaming, may also be present. If your dog is foaming at the mouth, it is recommended that you make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Causes of foaming of the mouth in dogs can be due to mild issues or more severe issues, such as dental disease, a seizure or rabies infection. It is usually accompanied with other symptoms; a dog that is running and playing for long periods of time may foam at the mouth and then stop when he calms down.  Causes of this condition may include the following:

  • Overexertion
  • Heat stroke
  • Poisonous substances
  • Oral health issues e.g. oral ulcers or periodontal disease
  • Stress
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rabies

Why Foaming at the Mouth Occurs in Dogs

The reason foaming at the mouth occurs can be because of a very mild issue to a more serious problem. Conditions that cause this can include:


When a dog is running or playing for long periods of time, he loses a lot of energy. This overexertion can cause your dog to foam at the mouth due to his heavy breathing making his saliva look very frothy.

Heat Stroke

When a dog's temperature rises dangerously high they may foam at the mouth, pant and collapse. Heat stroke is more common in Brachycephalic dogs in warm weather.

Poisonous Substances

A dog that swallows toxic substances may foam at the mouth. This is due to the chemicals in the poisonous substances making contact with the tissues in the inner jaw and mouth area.

Oral Health Issues

Hypersalivation can occur if a dog has oral health problems. The stress from the pain caused by tumors, abscesses, and mouth injuries can cause the mouth to foam.


Dogs that undergo stressful situations will pant heavily, whine, and bark. This will cause his mouth to foam, as the intense drooling and heavy breathing will develop a frothy, foaming mouth area.


Seizures can also be the cause of mouth foaming. When a seizure will occurs, the dog will display other symptoms as well, such as shaking, rapid panting, and agitation. Foaming at the mouth will occur because of these reasons as well as the lack of swallowing.

Nausea and Vomiting

When a dog has an upset stomach and is vomiting, his mouth will become more “watery” than normal due to the nausea. Excess drooling will occur, and the stress and heavy panting from the vomiting may cause this condition.


Rabies is also a cause of dog’s foaming in the mouth area. With this condition, accompanied with erratic and agitated behavior, the foaming of the mouth is not temporary; it lasts for quite some time.

What to do if your Dog is Foaming at the Mouth

There are several reasons why your dog may be foaming at the mouth. If you notice your dog has foam around his mouth, make an appointment with your veterinarian. If you notice any other alarming symptoms from which your dog is suffering, take him to the emergency veterinarian. 

Once you arrive at your veterinarian clinic, your medical professional will begin assessing your dog immediately. If he notices your dog is having a seizure, trauma, or another serious condition, he may begin to treat your dog immediately. He may choose to give your dog IV fluids and perform other techniques to stabilize your dog.

Once your dog is stabilized, he will ask questions about the symptoms you witnessed at home. All the questions he asks of you are to gather more information as to what could be the cause of your dog’s foaming at the mouth.

The vet will focus on the oral cavity, checking for e.g. a tongue ulcer, oral mass or dental disease. They will also try to assess for a foreign body, though this may not be visible if too far back.

Your veterinarian may perform a variety of tests to help him diagnose your dog’s condition. He will want to know if there is an underlying disorder that is causing your dog to foam. He may take blood work, urinalysis, and biochemistry profile in order to effectively acquire baseline data. These tests will give him preliminary answers and clues as to what to do next in terms of testing and diagnosing your dog.

Prevention of Foaming at the Mouth

If your dog has a serious health issue, the treatments may be effective enough for him to properly recover, which will cause this condition to stop. It will be very important to prevent any further health issues that are able to be prevented, such as the ingestion of toxic material. Removal of all toxic plants or substances from the home and property will prevent your dog from consuming these dangerous products.

Feeding your dog a diet that prevents any gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea and vomiting, may also prevent his foaming of the mouth. Your veterinarian can recommend a proper diet for your dog if his stomach tends to get upset easily.

Ensure your pooch is up to date with their Rabies vaccine.

When he weather is warm, keep your pet in shaded areas and don't over-exercise them.

Brush teeth daily and some dogs will need dental cleanings under anaesthetic every few years. Smaller breeds are generally more prone to dental disease.

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Cost of Foaming at the Mouth

The cost for treating your dog’s foaming at the mouth depends on his condition. For plant or other types of poisoning, it can cost approximately $1600, for rabies treatment the cost can be approximately $400, and for seizures, it can cost up to $2500.

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Foaming at the Mouth Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals





Two Years


8 found this helpful


8 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Noisy Breathing
He vomited once and foaming at the mouth

Aug. 6, 2020

Answered by Dr. Michele K. DVM

8 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If he vomited one time, it may be something that will resolve. If he continues to vomit repeatedly, or is lethargic, then it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian. I hope that all goes well for your dog!

Aug. 6, 2020

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Labrador Retriever



4.5 weeks


6 found this helpful


6 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Sniffiling And Foaming
Puppy fell approx 2 feet off the bed started sniffling and some foaming at the mouth he is walking and doesn’t seem to have any pain on the lower half of his body like ribs or legs

Aug. 5, 2020

Answered by Dr. Michele K. DVM

6 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If he continues to move around normally, and is eating and drinking normally, he may be okay. If he seems painful, or doesn't want to eat, or continues to sniff more than normal, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian. They will be able to examine him and see if he is okay. I hope that all goes well for him!

Aug. 5, 2020

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