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So, your dog is lying next to you on the sofa and all of a sudden you hear a weird noise.
Is he growling?
Is it your own stomach?
Nope, it’s definitely coming from your pup’s belly.
Does this sound familiar?
Well, my dog Baloo’s stomach is gurgling very loudly on quite a regular basis. The first few times I was afraid that there’s something wrong with him. But after the third or fourth time I realized that there’s nothing to be worried about.
It usually takes him half a day, some grass and some grassy poo and he’s fine again.
Before you think “what the heck is she talking about?”, let’s dive right in, to find out why your dog’s stomach is gurgling so very loudly.
Here’s a quick overview: the most common reasons for your dog’s stomach gurgling include: gas movement, hunger, stress or a mildly upset stomach. All of these are harmless and your dog will usually be back to normal within a few hours. If the gurgling remains for more than 24 hours, this could indicate that something is wrong and you should see a vet.
My Dog’s Stomach is Gurling—Most Common Harmless Reasons
If your dog’s stomach is gurgling, you might be wondering why. Most of the time it’s nothing serious. Your dog’s stomach gurgles for the same reasons yours does!
Let’s go over some of those reasons here.
This is a super common reason for your dog’s stomach gurgling. Just like humans, gas builds up in your dog’s digestive tract as he swallows air throughout the day.
Your dog will expel this gas by farting. This is completely normal, and really nothing to worry about!
But you might want to keep some distance, those farts are very intensive!!!
Here’s another really common reason for your dog’s stomach gurgling. Just like our stomachs, your dog’s tummy will rumble if he’s hungry.
When we get hungry, our brains send signals to our digestive tracts to tell them to get ready to eat. That results in our stomachs gurgling.
The same is true for your dog! Pay attention to what times of day his stomach is gurgling. If it starts rumbling close to his mealtimes, then his stomach is probably getting him ready to eat.
If your dog is feeling stressed out, his stomach might start to gurgle. Like humans, when stressed your dog’s brain releases stress hormones. These hormones might enter your dog’s gut, making his tummy rumble.
If you notice your dog’s stomach rumble in moments that are high-stress, then your dog feeling stressed out is the most likely reason.
Baloo actually often gets a gurgling stomach after stressful situations. So, keep in mind that it can also come afterwards.
If your dog is often on a little tense and struggles to calm down, make sure to my free guide for a calm dog.
Here are a few articles that might also help you if your pup is often stressed:
- How to calm an overstimulated dog
- My dog is hyperactive all the time – 8 things you can do
- How to calm an over excited dog quickly
Mildly Upset Stomach
Maybe your dog ate something that didn’t agree with his stomach, and now it won’t stop gurgling.
As long as your dog didn’t eat something that might be dangerous to him, a mildly upset stomach isn’t anything to worry about. Just keep an eye on your dog, and make sure that your dog’s indigestion symptoms don’t last too long.
If you are worried about your pup, then a trip to the vet just to make sure he’s okay never hurts.
How to Help Your Dog if It’s Nothing Serious
Now that we’ve gone over some of the most common reasons why your dog’s stomach is gurgling and grumbling, let’s go over some ways to help him.
Let Him Eat Grass
Maybe you’ve heard you shouldn’t let your dog eat grass. But really, eating grass can actually help your dog’s digestive tract. Roughage helps your dog’s stomach digest better, so if your dog’s stomach is gurgling, letting him eat a little grass could help.
Baloo does the same when he has an upset stomach. He’ll eat grass for about half an hour, and then a few hours later poops it out. Afterwards, he’s always fine.
It’s important not to let your dog eat too much grass, however, as that can make them sick.
If He’s Vomiting: Withhold Food for 12 to 24 Hours
If your dog starts puking, the best thing to do is to keep any food from him for a little while. If your dog throws up once or twice, his stomach has probably gotten rid of what’s been bothering him.
You should still keep an eye on him to make sure he isn’t showing any other symptoms, like restlessness, that might indicate something more is wrong.
Feed Him Boiled Chicken, Carrots, and Rice
Just like you would a sick human, you can help care for your dog’s upset stomach by feeding him things that will be easy on his stomach.
Boiled skinless chicken, carrots, and rice will be a great meal that will help settle his stomach.
If It’s Caused by Hunger: Feed Him 3 Times a Day
If you’ve been paying attention to your dog’s stomach rumbling, and you’ve determined it’s because he’s hungry, it’s probably time to up his feedings.
First, consider how much you’re feeding him. You might need to start feeding him a little bit more. Also, if you’re only feeding him twice a day, you should consider dividing his food into 3 meals instead of 2. This will help him stay full for longer, which should help with his gurgling.
Only feed him more if you’re sure he isn’t overweight or won’t become it by getting more food, though.
When Your Dog’s Stomach Gurgling Can Become Dangerous
As long as your dog is only showing infrequent and mild signs of discomfort, stomach gurgling is nothing to worry about.
But it’s still important to observe your dog. If he shows the following signs, he might need to see a vet.
Lasts Longer than 24 Hours
Upset stomachs are normal, and we all get them—including dogs. But if your dog’s stomach is gurgling more than usual, and his symptoms have been going for more than 24 hours, that’s a sign something is wrong.
So if your dog’s symptoms last more than 24 hours, it’s time to see a vet. Your vet will be able to take a look at your dog, and figure out what’s wrong, as well as set you up with a treatment plan.
If your dog is showing other serious signs of illness, then you don’t have to wait the 24 hours—take your dog to the vet right away.
Speaking of vet: have you ever thought about getting pet insurance for your dog? No? Then check out my article on the question “is it worth getting pet insurance for dogs?“. Or go straight to PetAssure for a cheap alternative to get 25% off each vet visit!
Accompanied by Other Clinical Signs
If your dog’s stomach gurgling is a problem, he’ll likely have other signs that he’s sick too.
Keep an eye out for lethargy in your dog, as well as vomiting, excessive drooling, and diarrhea. Any of these signs, along with your dog’s tummy rumbling for an extended period, should be checked out by a vet.
Lack of Appetite
A lack of appetite along with stomach gurgling can be a sign of a serious illness in your dog.
If your dog doesn’t want to eat, you should definitely bring him to your vet. When a dog loses his appetite it is usually a sign something is seriously wrong.
Possible—More Serious—Reasons for Your Dog’s Gurgling
If your dog’s stomach keeps gurgling very loudly for an extended period, it can have a number of different reasons.
Here are a few possible ones.
Pancreatitis is a condition in which your dog’s pancreas becomes inflamed. Signs of pancreatitis include your dog losing his appetite, stomach grumbling and pain, as well as vomiting.
If your vet diagnoses your pup with pancreatitis, he might put him on a special diet. The vet might also tell you not to feed your dog for the next 24 hours. They might also need to put your dog on IV fluids to keep him hydrated while the attack passes.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
It’s hard to tell what exactly causes inflammatory bowel disease. If your dog’s stomach won’t stop gurgling and he’s vomiting and/or has diarrhea, that could mean he’s got IBD.
Your vet will test your dog’s feces and blood to check for IBD. They may also need to perform an x-ray, or an ultrasound.
Once your dog has a diagnosis, your vet might prescribe a new diet and medication to help. This will help manage your dog’s IBD.
If your dog has a habit of getting into things he shouldn’t, his stomach is rumbling, and he’s acting strange, he might have a gastrointestinal obstruction.
This is a really serious problem, so if you suspect that’s the reason for your dog’s symptoms, you need to call the vet right away!
A lack of appetite, stomach pain, vomiting, and whining or hunching can all indicate your dog has a blockage. Your vet will likely perform an ultrasound to see where exactly the obstruction is, as well as its size. They might be able to perform an endoscopy, but sometimes surgery is the only way to remove the obstruction.
Parasites that live in your dog’s intestines like ringworm, hookworm, or tapeworms can all be causes of your dog’s tummy grumbling. They can also cause weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea in your dog.
If your vet confirms your dog has an intestinal parasite, the treatment will depend on the type of parasite. Of course, one of the best ways to treat intestinal parasites is by prevention. There are many preventative medications available for your dog. It’s also important not to allow your dog to eat his own or other dog’s poop, since that’s one way these parasites pass from one dog to another.
Liver or Kidney Disease
Is your dog vomiting, losing weight, acting drunk, or does he have mouth ulcers and pale gums? Those are signs of kidney disease.
If your dog seems thirstier than usual, is vomiting, seems weak, is having seizures, or has yellow-tinged eyes, tongue, and gums, those are signs of liver disease.
These are both serious problems that will require treatment from a vet. If your dog shows any signs of kidney or liver disease, it’s important to visit your vet right away. They’ll get your dog a proper diagnosis, and set you up with a treatment plan.
If you’re afraid that you’ll be flooded with vet bills and have no idea how to pay them, make sure to take a look at Dogpackr’s previous article about how to pay vet bills, even in emergencies.
You’ll find a number of ways to get help when the vet bills are piling up.
Most of the time, a dog’s stomach gurgling is nothing to worry about, even if it’s very loud.
If it happens once in a while, it’s probably a sign that your dog just needs to pass some gas, or that he’s feeling hungry. If your dog’s stomach grumbling isn’t serious, it’s easy enough to help. Feed him 3 times a day if the cause is hunger, let him eat a little roughage like grass to help his digestion, and withhold his food for a few hours if he’s throwing up.
But if your dog’s symptoms are severe, or last more than 24 hours, it’s important to get to a vet. Your vet will give you and your pup a diagnosis, as well as a treatment plan.
Worried about the costs of a vet? Make sure to read Dogpackr’s previous article about pet insurance to choose the right plan for you and your pooch.