Dogs’ stomachs can have the habit of not only producing some quite atrocious smells, but they can also make a lot of noise in the process. Sometimes, the noises they make can almost be alarming in how loud they are. This guide looks at the potential causes that make a dog’s stomach gurgle so that dog owners know when to worry and when they can relax. This is because often it could just be a sign that they are hungry, but it also can highlight a stomach that is a bit upset and in need of some TLC.
So What Causes a Dog’s Stomach to Gurgle?
More often than not, a dog’s stomach simply gurgles as a sign of normal digestion. They are simply the sounds that are made when a stomach is breaking food down to extract the nutrients and other goodies that the body needs. This process manifests itself in making gurgling noises as this process produces gas and air that makes sounds while it travels down the gut.
In fact, this is exactly what happens in the human stomach and is why our own stomach also rumbles and makes noises. Often ours can be heard if the stomach is empty and so the sound of the gases moving in our intestines are actually echoing around our empty stomach which is why it can sound so loud at times. But have you noticed how some humans seem more predisposed to having a noisy stomach? This can be due to a number of reasons, and the same can be said of your dog.
Some will have a more sensitive stomach – a reason why some human stomachs are noisier than others – and some will have a loud, gurgling stomach because of how they eat. If you are worried about your dog’s stomach sounds, looking at how they eat is a good place to look first. Most dogs are guilty of almost inhaling their food, though some are guiltier than others. If your dog eats too fast, he or she is likely to take in more air than they would otherwise do if they ate more slowly.
Eating too quickly isn’t a huge issue, but there are ways to stop it. Firstly, you can start giving your dog smaller meals but doing so more often to ensure that their calorie intake still matches their energy needs. Another way is to raise the height of their food bowls. Raising a dog’s food bowl is actually highly recommended by many vets and dog experts. The higher platform forces dogs to slow down their eating and chew their food more comprehensively which immediately helps their digestion. Ideally, you will feed your dog little and often on these raised dog feeders. While this isn’t always possible, it can really help your dog’s stomach.
When to Be Concerned About a Dog’s Stomach Gurgling?
While more often than not a dog’s stomach gurgling is absolutely nothing to worry about, very loud noises coming from your dog’s stomach should not immediately be ignored either. It can, on occasion, be a symptom of a more serious problem. In fact, it can be a signal that your dog has eaten something that he or she should not have. While this can mean that he or she has ingested an item that may be seen by a vet, it can also mean that the food you are feeding him or her is not agreeing with their insides. If it is the latter, try changing their diet. Check out some of the dog foods for sensitive stomachs and see if it makes any difference.
The time that you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible is if these noises are coupled with a change in behavior or other signs of an upset stomach. So if your dog is lethargic all of a sudden and is suffering from constipation, vomiting, or diarrhea, they may well have eaten something inedible to them that they need help digesting. Unfortunately, this can sometimes mean stomach surgery, but your vet will be able to help you with the correct course of action. Your vet will take X-rays to show any foreign bodies in a dog’s stomach or intestines that need to be removed. Gastrointestinal surgery will always be their last resort when trying to help maintain the health and wellbeing of your pooch.
However, it is for this reason that it is always a good idea to keep an eye on your dog when he or she is off the lead on a walk. Even on well-trodden paths and routes, there is the likelihood that your dog will find something that they cannot digest safely.
Further Symptoms That May Indicate a More Serious Problem
A dog’s stomach gurgling can be a symptom of something more serious, but given that it is so often simply due to indigestion, owners also need to be aware of other symptoms that when coupled with a gurgling, noisy stomach, means that their pooch should have a check-up with your vet. For example, if your dog has diarrhea as well as a very noisy gut, you should seek advice from your vet. Diarrhea may just be a sign of an upset stomach that your dog will soon be able to recover from, but it can be a symptom of a larger issue. The same can be said of vomiting and constipation if your dog is suddenly totally off food, drooling, or dehydration.
What is the Best Way to Change Your Dog’s Diet?
If your dog has had an upset stomach, for whatever reason, it is a good idea to change your dog’s diet to one that their stomach and intestines can digest far more easily while providing them with the goods they need to get better. This does not mean that regular store-bought kibble should be thrown out – but it does need to be packed full of all the nutrients that your dog needs to support their gastrointestinal health. This means it needs to be nutritionally balanced and of good quality. It should be no surprise that cheaper dog food brands mean that your dog almost immediately suffers from bad flatulence and an even noisier stomach. Cheaper food tends to be made with a much higher proportion of fillers that satiate your dog’s hunger, but a little more.
While you’re here check out Best Dog Food for Gassy Dogs, you may find it helpful.
In fact, if your dog is constantly suffering from stomach problems like diarrhea or constipation, it could well be the food that you are giving your dog, so try changing it slowly with a different brand or type to see if that makes a difference. It may not be that the brand you are using is bad, it can simply be that the type you have been giving your dog does not agree with your dog’s stomach. This is much the same as the human stomach – sometimes an ingredient will just irritate one stomach and not another.
If, after changing your dog’s food several times, you still find that he or she has digestive problems, it may be time to go to your vet for some specialist advice. They will have a much broader knowledge of the market and what is available to those with gastrointestinal issues. They will also go through with you any lifestyle choices that you and your dog may have that affect them. For instance, if you live in a household with many family members, are you certain that none of them are slipping your dog rich food like sausages that can upset a tummy?
Are There Any Home Remedies That Can Help Settle a Dog’s Stomach?
Given the added attention that is on our own diets in the present day, it will lead many dog owners to wonder if there is something that they can do from their own kitchen that can help settle your dog’s stomach.
There are, in fact, a number of foods that can be prepared that may ease the noise that emanates from your dog’s tummy. This is especially the case if they have been given too many treats by well-meaning members of the family. Dogs, in general, need a fairly bland diet so it is best to take things back to basics. In fact, just giving them water can help rid their tummies of anything that really has upset the balance of their gut. This can seem like a difficult and almost mean path to take, but it is especially useful if your dog has been vomiting or suffered from diarrhea recently. Not only will it help give their stomach a break, but it will also stop them from suffering from dehydration.
White rice is another good option for dogs with an upset tum. It is very bland, but filling and will settle a stomach. Some dog owners have seen their dog’s stomachs really improve if they add coconut oil, turmeric, or scrambled eggs. Eggs are a natural binder so will help a stomach that has been suffering from diarrhea and coconut oil has antibacterial properties amongst other healing characteristics that really help a stomach. Turmeric is simply one of life’s little helpers. It works as a powerful anti-inflammatory as well as a strong antioxidant. It is fantastic for a dog that has a poorly tummy.
Some dog breeders, trainers, and vets also advocate encouraging your dog to eat grass. Grass makes dogs throw up and clear out their stomachs. It is therefore a natural way for them to detox their insides. This method is not always advocated by everyone, however. It is thought that if a dog eats too much grass, it can actually suffer from even more problems in its gut.
If you are really desperate, all vets advocate a diet of poached chicken or white rice for a couple of days and this should sort all minor gastrointestinal problems.
Solving Your Dog’s Gastrointestinal Problems
A gurgling stomach in a dog is therefore not always a sign of a serious problem, but it is a good idea to keep an eye on it. If your dog seems to be in pain, you can seek advice from your vet, but it could also just be a good time to change your dog’s diet and the kibble or raw food they eat. Or sometimes, how they eat – remember that most dogs eat quickly so do try feeding them little and often.
You will know your dog however and from there be able to determine whether a vet visit is really needed. Noises can be the result of hunger too don’t forget so make sure that you are feeding your dog enough and they are getting enough water throughout the day.
Dogs are like humans in that we are what we eat. Choosing the best quality dog food that you can afford is one of the easiest ways to help maintain your dog’s health and well-being. This will ultimately lead them to lead a happier life which will make your life a great deal easier and more pleasurable too. They will enjoy their walks more as they will have the most energy as well as have strong bones and working joints that are free of inflammation.
Food is one of the easiest ways to help prevent future health conditions affecting your dog that are often exacerbated by obesity, being overweight, or malnutrition. By paying attention to a dog’s stomach noises we can see if the food that we are giving them is helping them or causing them unnecessary pain.
- Amy Jamieson, My Dog’s Stomach is Gurgling! Causes, Concerns and When to See a Vet, Care
- Matt Soniak, Dog Stomach Noises: What Do They Mean?, PetMD
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.