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Dog’s Stomach Making Noises: Dog Stomach Gurgling Explained

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
The gurgling noises you hear from your dog's stomach may not be serious. This article covers everything about a dog's stomach gurgling.

Should I be worried if my dog’s stomach is gurgling? When should I be worried about my dog’s stomach noises?

You just realized that strange noises are coming from your dog’s stomach, and you are not sure what it means.

Don’t be alarmed if you hear your dog’s stomach gurgle; the reason could be as simple as Fido being hungry.

In some other cases, it might be a sign of an underlying cause, and you should contact your veterinarian.

How fast should you react when you hear this noise and visit the vet? Let’s discover this.

Is Dog Stomach Gurgling Normal?

There is a specific name for dog stomach gurgling and it’s – borborygmus.

Borborygmus is a gurgling or rumbling noise that occurs when a gas or fluid passes through the intestines.

Gas is supposed to travel through several different parts of the intestines, but when borborygmi are unusually obvious or loud, it can show discomfort.

Overall, normal borborygmi are always quiet.

You can even try the following experiment to see the difference: place your ear against the dog’s abdomen and as you do so you should hear different periods of silence cut with soft gurgles. This is normal borborygmi sound.

On the other hand, some dogs show abnormally loud intestinal gurgling.

In most cases, during these episodes, the borborygmi might be audible from across the room.

These sounds can’t be defined as a normal state, but in general, they don’t always represent a crisis.

In some cases, they may indicate that something is wrong in the intestinal tract. In other cases, they are caused by nothing more serious than hunger.

Common Causes Of Dog Stomach Gurgling

Dog stomach gurgling in most cases is a sign that your dog is hungry, although other common causes may lead to these noises.

The three most common reasons are listed below.

1. Your Dog Is Probably Just Hungry

Dogs are known for loving to eat. A lot. If it were up to them they would probably eat all day long.

So, when they don’t eat they may feel the need to express their dissatisfaction.

In most cases, they will demonstrate their sadness with different noises. That being said, one of the most common causes of a dog’s stomach making noises is the clear indicator that your dog is hungry.

Intestines of animal that is hungry don’t contain significant quantities of food. Therefore, they have a significantly higher ratio of gas to solids.

So, the empty intestines might start demonstrating activity in response to anticipated feeding.

Almost every single time the result will be audible intestinal noises or ‘stomach gurgling’.

If your dog shows this sign early in the morning the best treatment is serving him breakfast.

2. Digestion

During digestion, the gastrointestinal tract breaks down the food.

At the same time, the gases are created by the digestive process that moves around and even some organs are involved in the digesting move a bit.

In some cases, digestion can produce louder-than-normal sounds when the process creates a significant amount of gas or when the gastrointestinal tract quickly experiences an increase in activity, such when a dog eats dog food on an empty stomach.

3. Air

Strong stomach noise in dogs may be present when a dog ingests a lot of air, whether while breathing heavily or while scarfing down food.

For example, if your dog eats too fast, you can try to use a special type of dog bowl or put a large ball or toy in a regular bowl, to slow the dog’s eating.

Serious Causes Of Dog Stomach Noises

Although in most cases dog gurgling noise is linked with your dog’s need to eat, there are some moments when strong noise addresses some serious causes.

Dogs can experience serious gastrointestinal problems.

For example, if your dog eats something that he shouldn’t, especially around the garbage, you can expect an upset stomach in your dog that may lead to gastrointestinal noises.

This can also happen if your dog changes his diet.

In some cases, strong gastrointestinal noises may be a clear sign of gastrointestinal disorders or gastrointestinal diseases, or your dog just might swallow a foreign object or he maybe even suffers from intestinal parasites.

In some rare cases, excessive stomach noises can be linked with certain metabolic disorders or endocrine.

Should you be worried every time you hear the stomach noise? If the noise is followed by clinical signs, yes.

Clinical signs include diarrhea, vomiting, drooling and heavy lethargy.

You can also monitor for any sign of abdominal pain, such as a hunched posture. Moreover, if these symptoms are persistent, you should consult your veterinarian.

What To Do About Dog Stomach Gurgling?

Depending on the severity level of gurgling there are two different approaches, one when gurgling is normal and one when gurgling is serious.

What To Do About Dog Stomach Gurgling – when it’s normal

In this case, the first recommendation is usually the easiest one, just give your dog food.

If the noise continues the chances are that your dog suffers from an upset stomach. This should be a clear sign for you to take an extra poo bag with you.

If the noise is accompanied by symptoms such as sleepiness, vomiting or not eating, you should check with your vet.

On the other hand, if your canine doesn’t show any of the symptoms the chances are that you should change your dog’s diet.

Make sure that you feed your dog quality food and try to be consistent in your choice.

Choosing dog food based on the price or special offer is rarely a good idea and usually leads to a loud stomach.

What To Do About Dog Stomach Gurgling – When It’s Serious

If the stomach gurgling is more serious you should think about additional symptoms and make sure that you visit your veterinarian for a thorough examination.

Don’t perform any at-home care before you get a proper diagnosis from your veterinarian.

Also avoid any type of over-the-counter medications unless your veterinarian told you to take them, as they may be harmful if used frequently or even inappropriately.

Moreover, while you are waiting for the dog’s appointment, you should think about withholding water and food to allow their stomach to settle.

On the other hand, if your dog is exhibiting other signs of intestinal upset, feeding a bland diet of unseasoned fish and white rice should help.

In some cases, dog stomach gurgling can also indicate the ingestion of a foreign body or toxic substances.

You can use raisins, or sugar-free gum to cause the dog’s stomach gurgling and to rule out toxicities.

Diagnosis Of Dog Stomach Gurgling

Your veterinarian will perform a physical examination to diagnose the dog’s stomach gurgling.

He or she will feel the dog’s abdomen and listen to your dog’s heart, followed by lung and intestinal sounds with a stethoscope.

Depending on the dog’s symptoms veterinarian may recommend further diagnostics.

Typically, it starts with X-rays and blood work, while additional testing may include a food allergy check, fluid therapy, and an ultrasound, to rule out a more serious or even underlying health problem.

Treating Dog Stomach Gurgling

Usually, dog stomach gurgling is not a call for professional treatment, and in some cases fluid therapy, adjusting of diet, deworming meds, or even surgery may help.

There are even cases when you just have to let your dog’s body fight on its own, as time can be a great healer.

Simple actions, such as withholding food can help and bring fast and great results.

On the other hand, if your dog is rapidly losing water, fluid therapy along with an anti-nausea, anti-diarrhea, or antacid could be necessary.

If your pet suffers from parasites, you should keep your dewormer schedule up to date.

Are Dog’s Stomach Noises Painful?

This is something that dog owners ask a lot. They just want to know if loud intestinal noises are painful.

This depends on the circumstances, but hunger noise, for example, is more like having cramps, while painful borborygmi are usually accompanied by lethargy and loss of appetite.

If you think for a second that your dog may be in pain, make sure that you visit your veterinarian.

Some dogs experience loud noises regularly for some time.

If your canine is part of this group make sure that you monitor your dog’s behavior for other symptoms.

Also, dogs who experience regular pain with poor appetite or diarrhea might be suffering from parasites, chronic intestinal disorder or from inflammatory bowel disease.

These are all conditions that should be treated appropriately.

There is also a group of dogs who feel fine but tend to produce loud noises regularly. Simply, their intestines are just more active than others.

Cost of Stomach Gurgling

As stomach noises can be an underlying health problem the treatment may vary in length and cost, as well.

The cost of the stomach making noises may range from $200 to $300.

For example, for the treatment of hookworm you can expect to invest around $200.

On the other hand, the cost of treating pancreatitis, is usually monitored by your veterinary caregiver, can cost you up to $2200.

Prevention Of Dog Stomach Gurgling

Some conditions that may lead to stomach gurgling can be prevented, such as intestinal parasites.

These parasites can be prevented by having your dog on a deworming regular medication treatment plan.

Avoid feeding your dog with table scraps, which may trigger pancreatitis.

If your dog is eating too fast and you have other pets, it is best to feed them separately.

This is more relaxing and easier to monitor to make sure that your dog eats his food.

You can also feed your dog with small meals 2 to 3 times a day. These smaller meals can help with his anxiety and pains.

If you feel that you need it you can find in a pet store, a special bowl, a maned ‘slow feeder’.

Frequently Asked Questions On Dog Stomach Gurgling

1. What Do You Give A Dog With An Upset Stomach?

The best thing that you could do is keep your dog on a daily probiotic, such as yogurt. The use of probiotics can minimize digestive episodes.

In addition, fruit such as bananas or vegetable such as pumpkin and sweet potatoes can help settle the stomach.

2. How Do I Know If My Dogs Stomach Hurts?

Dogs that are truly sick can suffer from abdominal pain, which can range from mild to extremely severe.

Some signs may tell us about the level of pain.

If you notice your dog standing in an odd stance, such as praying and bowing or even standing with his head hanging, the chances are that your dog is experiencing serious pain.

Also, clinical signs of an upset stomach are weakness and lethargy.

3. Why Is My Dog’s Stomach Gurgling?

There can be many reasons why a dog’s stomach gurgling and in most cases, it’s because your dog is simply hungry.

In some serious cases, gurgling stomach occurs when gas moves through your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

4. Why Does My Dog Have Gas?

The main cause for this lies in the fact that low-quality food with ingredients that can’t be entirely digested can cause gas.

That’s the main reason why you should avoid feeding your dog with table scraps and food that contains lactose.

Gas may occur when your dog eats too fast. When your dog eats too fast, he may swallow air.

5. Why Is My Dog’s Stomach Making Noises?

The scientific term for this condition is borborygmi.

These gurgling sounds are made when gas moves from one portion of the intestines to another. Know that it is normal for gas to be present in the intestines, although some dogs experience episodes of particularly loud intestinal gurgling.