Dog Throwing Up Clear Liquid, Foam, Phlegm, not Eating and What to Do

Dog throwing up clear liquid

You would expect that if a dog throws up they would be eliminating food that does not sit well with their stomachs. While this is common, it is also likely for other contents of the gastrointestinal system to be dispelled. A dog throwing up clear liquid is a likely occurrence. Below we find out the causes, why a dog may keep throwing up a clear liquid and not eat as well as when to see the vet.

Dog Throwing Up Clear Liquid

Before a dog vomits, it is likely to suffer nausea. This results in the dog drooling and swallowing more than is normal. Once a dog vomits, the most immediate thing their caregiver is likely to do is to evaluate the content emitted. Where the substance vomited is clear, it is possible to assume that the dog is vomiting water. This, though, is not always the case.

Gastric Juice

The clear liquid vomited could be gastric juice. This is an essential component of the digestive process and aids in the digestion process.

Where the gastric juice threw up is clear and has no food traces, this could indicate that the dog has not eaten anything for a while. It is possible for him to have ingested something that is causing obstruction in the gastrointestinal system. The same could also be causing irritation within the system.

To best care for your dog in such situations is to keep an eye on him. Monitor their behavior so you can best explain any additional symptoms to your veterinarian.

Dog Vomiting Mucus

A dog throwing up clear liquid could also be vomiting mucus. This should not be confused with coughing up mucus. Where the dog is coughing, their chest and rib cage will move visibly as opposed to the stomach moving to bring out whatever they want to in vomiting.

It is possible for vomiting to be induced by happenings that elicit emotions such as stress, excitement or agitation. You might find your dog vomiting after exposure to loud noises such as fireworks or thunderstorms. A dog that is excited or agitated will appear restless. Once attention is given to them or when get calm, they will settle down and the vomiting will cease.

In addition, a dog throwing up water may indicate some health problems such as toxicity, agitation, thyroid dysfunction, dietary indiscretion as well as brain or stomach tumors. These and others are discussed in details below.

What Causes a Dog to Throw Up Clear Liquid?

There is a long list of conditions that can see your dog throwing up clear liquid. It, therefore, can be hard to point out the exact cause without a proper physical examination as well as diagnostic testing. While the list discussed below can point towards the likely cause, always seek an opinion from your veterinarian for the most appropriate diagnosis and relevant treatment.

Thyroid Dysfunction

The thyroid gland is charged with the function of producing thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones have a role to play in the metabolism of food and other metabolic functions within the body tissues and organs. In case the thyroid gland is dysfunctional and there is over-production of the hormone, the dog suffers hyperthyroidism. Where the gland cannot meet the required production and there is a deficit as a result, your pooch suffers from hypothyroidism.

The dysfunction of the thyroid could see a dog throwing up clear liquid in addition to other symptoms such as pale gums, coarse hair, dry or oily skin.

Dysfunction of the Liver

The liver is responsible for detoxifying the body. It is also responsible for the production of bile. In case there is a dysfunction and the liver cannot carry out its functions, toxic substances are not filtered from the body. As a result, there is a rise in the level of toxins found in the blood and the dog’s body reacts as it would when suffering toxicity.


A dog may suffer toxicity by ingesting toxic foods and materials. In addition to foaming in the mouth, the dog may also throw up clear liquid. Other symptoms that a dog suffering toxicity may exhibit include pale gums, dilated pupils, lack of coordination, diarrhea, and a coma. In case you observe these, seek veterinary attention immediately.


A tumor in the stomach or brain could result in regular vomiting. The vomit may be plain clear liquid or it could be a clear liquid and food. Tumors may be cancerous or not. If your veterinarian proves that this is the cause, they will be in a position to advise on the best form of treatment.

Dog Vomiting Phlegm from Blockage and Bloat

Bloating in dogs can cause a dog to vomit foam, mucus or phlegm. These may appear as a clear liquid. Bloating results from the dog’s inability to expel gas or fluid trapped within the system. The cause could be an intestinal obstruction in which case the phlegm will be riddled with specs of blood. A bloated dog will show other signs such as a rigid abdomen, anxiety and abdominal pain. When the dog’s stomach twists along its axis, food and gas are prevented from leaving or entering the stomach.

Puppy Vomiting Clear Liquid

In both puppies and dogs, vomiting is likely a sign of another health problem. When it comes to puppies, they have a poor sense of what is safe for consumption and what is not. Their dietary indiscretion, therefore, results in gastric distress. It is therefore important to keep watch over puppies and ensure they only have access to healthy and safe foods.

In addition to this, other reasons why puppy vomiting clear liquid is possible includes drinking too much water, overexertion, ingesting too much food as well as any of the gastric problems discussed above.

My Dog is throwing up Clear Liquid and not Eating

Some common causes of vomiting in dogs usually are over-eating, consumption of ingredients they are sensitive to as well as stress. Vomiting often times leaves the dog feeling sick and it is normal for them to not want to eat after that. When a dog is throwing up clear liquid and not eating 24-48 hours after vomiting, this should not be much of a concern. In fact, this long a fast is recommended to give time for the upset stomach to resolve. Only get concerned if this goes on longer than this.

Dog Keeps Throwing Up Clear Liquid

When dogs have internal gastrointestinal issues, they tend to vomit readily. In case you realize that your dog keeps throwing up, take note of any other visible symptoms. Take note of when and how the vomiting episodes occur. This information is important and should be shared with your veterinarian so they can help in diagnosing what the cause of the frequent puking is.

What to Do about a Dog Throwing Up Clear Liquid

Once a dog is vomiting, try not to offer anything by mouth for a while. Giving your dog any water or food may result in further vomiting. Instead, wait until he is done vomiting before offering small amounts of water and food. Offer a bland diet such as white rice and boiled chicken for a while before gradually transitioning back to their usual diet.

  • While waiting for your dog to recover, keep observing the dog and if in addition to the dog throwing up clear liquid you observe any of the following, contact your veterinarian immediately.
  • The vomiting persists for over 24 hours
  • The vomiting becomes chronic meaning it goes on and off for over one week
  • Your dog exhibits unproductive attempts to vomit repeatedly.
  • Your dog has frail health, is a senior dog or very young but keeps vomiting.


1 Comment

  1. Our dog has been throwing up, diarrhea, lethargic, laying in one spot and stopped barking. He is a 13 year old puggle but is usually energetic. I took him to the vet’s and he didn’t find a blockage or anything but a slight elevation in the white count. He gave us an antibiotic and something to calm his stomach. This worked for a couple of weeks but the vomiting started again. He will only eat when he wants to and then gets energetic until he throws up again. I gave him some pedialyte to replace his electrolytes and he did drink some. I am stumped. His breathing is normal, temp was elevated only slightly. What else can I do to keep him comfortable? I’m thinking this might be the end of the rope for this stinker. I feel badly for him but I didn’t get much satisfaction from the vet. He shrugged his shoulders and said he wasn’t sure what was wrong, charged me 230.00 and that was it. If it is a toxin, is there a way to “flush” his insides without causing more damage? I am stumped…

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