7 Reasons Why Your Dog Threw Up Hard White Chunks (Here’s What To Do)

Concerned that your dog threw up hard white chunks recently? This alarming sign could point to several health issues.

If your dog throws up hard white chunks, it could be from ingesting something it shouldn’t, stomach issues or too much stomach acid. Sometimes, this gets better on its own but if your dog keeps vomiting, you should see a vet right away.

This article will give you a better understanding of the causes and what you can do to help your dog.

1. Gastritis

sad dog lying on floor

Gastritis is a stomach problem that can happen in both humans and dogs. This is when the dog’s stomach lining becomes inflamed.

Several causes can lead to gastritis in dogs:

Dogs that suffer from gastritis may experience bouts of vomiting that can consist of white chunks or foam.

The dog will also appear lethargic, won’t have much of an appetite and have a painful and upset stomach.

There are two types of gastritis, acute and chronic gastritis.

In most cases, acute gastritis happens over 1-2 days (up to 5 days) before gradually clearing up on its own.

Chronic gastritis is more concerning as it can persist for an extended period and needs to be treated by a vet.

The severity of symptoms can vary and depends on the underlying cause of the gastritis.

2. Overeating

Overeating can happen with your dog when it consumes too much food in one go which causes gastric distress.

It won’t surprise many dog owners to have dogs that tend to eat too much or too fast. 

In most cases, this happens with young puppies, which makes it even more frightening to owners.

This is largely due to your dog having evolved from wolves.

Scientists have found that a dog’s DNA is most similar to that of wolves, almost 99%!

Wolves have a feast-and-famine relationship with food.

They eat as much as they can when they hunt, wondering when their next meal will be.

Wolves can go for weeks just scavenging for scraps.

Overeating can happen when your dog consumes too much food in one go which causes gastric distress.

Symptoms of overeating include:

  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux

We all have had those times when we ate too much at a buffet or family gathering.

But this problem can be dangerous if your dog habitually gorges itself on dry food.

Overeating can lead to stomach bloating which can be deadly in dogs.

When too much food is consumed, this sends a signal to your dog’s body to increase stomach acid production.

Excess stomach acid in your dog can lead to pressure buildup, causing pain and bloating.

Overeating or eating too fast causes gastric dilatation which can subsequently lead to gastric volvulus or twisting of the stomach.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus GDV is commonly referred to as bloat, and deep-chested dog breeds such as German Shepherds, Poodles or Great Danes are at a higher risk.

This condition is deadly without immediate surgical treatment.

If you have a dog who is a fast eater, you can feed it smaller portions more regularly rather than just 1-2 big portions daily.

You can also use a slow feeder bowl which is designed to slow down the eating speed of a dog.

3. Food Sensitivity

messy dog eating on the kitchen counter

Whatever you think a human can be allergic to, so can your dog. Food allergies are a lot more common in dogs than we realize.

Food allergies or sensitivity occurs when your dog eats something that its body doesn’t agree with.

The dog’s immune system will start to produce antibodies to try and eradicate the allergens.

This is why we tend to feel sick when having an allergic reaction as the body thinks it’s under ‘attack’.

If your dog is allergic to something in its diet, it can irritate its digestive tract, leading to nausea and diarrhea.

You might have fed your dog some rambutans which it is allergic to.

The white hard chucks could be partially digested rambutans.

If you have a habit of feeding your dog a lot of human foods, please refrain from doing so.

There can be many ingredients in human food that can trigger an allergic reaction in your dog.

An allergic reaction to food can also cause your dog to feel itchy around its face, groin area, armpits and paws.

Many dogs are allergic to:

  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Grains
  • Beef
  • Dairy products
  • Chicken

It would be best to avoid brands that use a lot of grains and carbs in their dog food.

Kibbles and cheap canned foods often use such fillers that can lead to gastrointestinal disorders in dogs.

Experiment with different dog food brands to find one that is agreeable with your dog’s tummy.

4. Foreign Objects

The ingestion of foreign objects can easily turn into an obstruction if it gets stuck in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

I have yet to meet a dog owner whose dog hasn’t been to the vet for eating something that it shouldn’t have.

Dogs can be just as curious as cats and tend to explore the environment with their mouths.

It could be that your dog might have eaten a foreign object that it can’t break down and had to vomit.

This is a good thing.

The ingestion of foreign objects can easily become an obstruction if it gets stuck in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

This can be very serious as your dog can’t digest food and move its bowels properly any longer.

Not too long ago, my dog ate a small piece of magic eraser without me realizing it.

I only learned about his mischievous deed when I saw the white chunky puke on my carpet.

If your dog has a habit of rummaging through the trash and eating gross stuff like used sanitary pads, get a bin that has a lockable lid.

Rawhide or jerky strips can also cause your dog to vomit up white chunks.

These bone-shaped chewing treats can break apart when your dog chews on them for too long.

It can remain in your dog’s digestive system for a few days before being expelled.

5. Fibrous Food

dog on table surrounded by vegetables and fruits

Many dog owners tend to include some plant matter like carrots and sweet potatoes in their dog’s food now and then.

Although some vegetables can be beneficial for dogs, they should be getting the majority of their protein from meat sources.

It would be difficult for them to get all the essential nutrients only from a plant-based diet.

Make sure that not more than 10% of your dog’s diet is from plant matter.

I don’t include greens in my dog’s food unless it is something that he likes such as turnip greens or kale which have many health benefits.

If you have given your dog something fibrous, it won’t be able to break it down completely in its stomach.

My friend gave his dog a piece of water chestnut as a treat.

A few days later, he found hard white chunks on his floor which were partially digested water chestnuts that the dog vomited out.

6. Bilious Vomiting Syndrome

Bilious vomiting syndrome, a normal response in some dogs, can happen when your dog gets too hungry during the night.

This can cause some of the fluid from the intestines to flow back into the stomach.

This fluid is called bile which helps to digest food. Bile is very acidic and can irritate your dog’s stomach mucus lining.

When this happens, it can make your dog feel nauseous and vomit. The vomit usually looks yellowish-green in color with white foam.

One way to counter this is to feed your dog a little meal before it sleeps. This can keep its stomach full until it’s time to eat in the morning.

7. Accidental Poisoning

Remove any remaining toxic substance from your dog’s reach.

Accidental poisoning is a serious concern for many of us dog owners.

Many household items can be very poisonous to dogs when ingested.

These can include:

  • Toothpaste
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Chocolate
  • Chlorine pool solution
  • Antifreeze

The ingestion of toxic substances can cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Seizures
  • Excessive drooling

If you suspect your dog has ingested a toxic substance, act quickly. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed by a veterinarian.

Remove any remaining toxic substance from your dog’s reach.

Immediate veterinary attention is crucial. Bring any packaging of the ingested substance to help the vet identify the toxin.

How Do I Know If My Dog Throwing Up Is Serious?

There are a few important things to look out for.

Firstly, how often has your dog been vomiting?

If the vomiting doesn’t stop, and/or is accompanied by other symptoms such as a loss of appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, etc, it is important to see a vet.

Secondly, is there any blood in your dog’s vomit?

Blood in the vomit indicates some form of internal bleeding in your dog’s body which requires medical attention.

The vet might have to do an x-ray or an endoscope to take a better look at your dog’s digestive system to diagnose the exact cause.

Home Remedy For Your Dog’s Vomiting

golden retriever recovering and resting on the bed

If your dog has vomited, chances are it won’t be feeling too good. The tummy will be queasy and it won’t have much of an appetite.

Don’t feed your dog anything oily or salty that can make it feel worse.

A bland diet of boiled chicken and some rice can help your dog’s tummy settle and keep the food down.

You can also add chicken broth to your dog’s food to try and stimulate its appetite.

Feed smaller and more frequent meals to put as little stress on the digestive system as possible.

If your dog has a weak stomach and vomits white hard chunks from time to time, feeding it some probiotics regularly can help with your dog’s gut flora.

You should only feed your dog probiotics meant for pets as human probiotics can cause stomach issues in your dog.

Why Did My Dog Throw Up Hard Yellow Chunks?

Your dog may have thrown up hard yellow chunks due to bile accumulation in the stomach, especially on an empty stomach. This can occur when a dog hasn’t eaten for a while or has a condition like bilious vomiting syndrome, where bile irritates the stomach lining.

Why Did My Dog Throw Up A Rock Like Substance?

Your dog throwing up a rock-like substance could indicate it ate something indigestible, such as stones or other hard objects. This behavior, known as pica, can occur due to nutritional deficiencies, boredom, or behavioral issues

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