It can be a bit disconcerting to hear your dog’s stomach start to gurgle across the room.  Stomach noises in your dog can range from growling, rumbling, gurgling, or small noises you can’t hear unless you have your ear pressed up against their side.  Some stomach noises are completely normal and are just a part of normal digestion.  There are some that can mean something much more. 

It can be important to know the difference between normal stomach noises and ones that may need further treatment.  If your dog has a gurgly belly and no other symptoms, it will most likely be short lived and no intervention will be needed. 


Causes of Stomach Noise


One of the main causes of stomach noises from your dog is hunger.  When it has been a long time since your dog has had some food their intestines are filled with a higher ratio of gas than solids.  This imbalance causes the rumbling sound.  If this happens a lot with your dog, they may benefit from smaller meals more frequently throughout the day, instead of two big meals at the start and end of the day. 

Poor quality of food can also cause stomach noises.  Poor quality dog food has a tendency to cause excessive amounts of bacteria and fungi in the dog’s digestive tract.  This can lead to loud rumbling and gurgling sounds. 

Gas or inhaling too much air can both lead to stomach noises.  Dog’s just like humans sometimes have the need to burp, so while they are working out a burp or a flatulence their stomach’s may grumble.  This excess air can be caused by eating too fast.  Eating something new or different.  Drinking too much water too quickly.  Inhaling too much air while playing or running.  If your dog suffers from eating too quickly you can find slow feeders that dispense food out at certain intervals of time.  Forcing your dog to slow down while they eat. 

GI disorders or diseases can also cause stomach noises.  These can be more serious and need a veterinarian to diagnose as well as treat.  Dog’s can suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease which is caused by constant irritation on the intestinal tract.  Another disorder is exocrine pancreatic insufficiency which is when your dog is lacking specific digestive enzymes.  Another condition your dog may have is SIBO, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.  Bacteria in the small intestines increases rapidly.  This usually also has symptoms such as flatulence as well as stomach noises.  If your veterinarian suspects this condition there will be long term antibiotics and probiotics for your dog to take.  


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Some dogs can’t wait to get into something they aren’t supposed to.  As well as eat something they aren’t supposed to.  This can range from things that are found inside as well as outside.  Normally if your dog ingests some people food, or something they found outside they will digest it eventually with no intervention needed.  New foods may be hard on their systems causing them trouble processing what’s been eaten.  If there are no other symptoms then your dog is probably fine.  Eating a foreign body can cause complications.  This could be aluminum foil, paper, cardboard, clothing, shoes, corn cobs, or bones.  These items are indigestible and can cause a blockage in the stomach or intestinal tract.  This can be very serious and may call for surgical intervention if the blockage is severe.  

Your dog’s stomach gurgles may mean that they are about to have an episode of diarrhea.  This may be your sign to take your dog outside right now.  Diarrhea occurs when food and water are moving faster through the digestive tract than normal.  If diarrhea is long lasting you will want to consult with your veterinarian.  Make sure you dog stays hydrated during this episode because dehydration can occur in dogs. 

Intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, or tapeworms can also cause stomach noises.  All of these can cause excessive gas and inflammation which leads to stomach noises.  To get rid of these types of intestinal parasites your veterinarian will need to deworm your dog.  Deworming can be done by an oral medication you give your dog or a shot.  After the initial deworming process has been done you may consider giving your dog deworming medication to lower their risk of getting them again. 


Time To Visit Your Vet


All stomach noises from your dog are not life threatening  or serious.  It can be strange to hear your dog’s stomach from across the room.  If there are no other signs or symptoms along with the stomach noise your dog is probably ok.  If it is consistent and happens normally you will want to talk to your vet to make sure it isn’t a more serious condition.  Don’t panic, most stomach noises do not cause your dog any pain or distress.   If your dog has stomach or intestinal cancer, there may be some pain associated with that.  So if your dog is showing distress from their tummy noises it may be time to go visit the vet. 

As long as your dog is eating, sleeping and doing bathroom business normally there is no need for concern.  Here are some symptoms to be on the lookout for that may accompany stomach noises. 

If your dog experiences any of these a trip to the vet may be best:

  • Lethargy
  • Excessive drooling
  • Changes in appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Stool discoloration
  • White segments of stool this indicates a tapeworm infection
  • Diarrhea lasting more than a day
  • Constipation
  • Blood in the stool
  • Vomiting