If you've ever been enjoying a quiet afternoon on the couch with your dog, only to hear it interrupted by his stomach grumbling and growling, you may have wondered just what was causing those noises. Just like your stomach noises can mean many different things, dog stomach gurgling and other noises are actually caused by various issues. Some of these are nothing to worry about, while others can indicate that you might want to get your dog into the vet for an appointment.
Finding yourself puzzling over your dog's loud stomach noises? Then take a quick look at this article and the potential causes behind those noises. The next time that you hear your dog's tummy rumbling, you'll be better able to tell if he's just hungry for a snack or if he might need some help from the vet.
Normal Dog Stomach Gurgling
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A little gurgling is normal for your dog. According to Dr. Eric Barchas, every dog will experience some typical stomach noises throughout the day. These noises, technically called "borborygmi," occur as gas moves through your dog's intestines.
To get a sense of your dog's normal stomach noises, put your ear against his abdomen and listen for a bit. You'll hear the occasional soft gurgle.
Some dogs go through periods when their stomach noises are much louder than usual, and they can be so loud that you can hear them from across the room. While this isn't typical, these occasional loud stomach gurgles don't necessarily spell trouble, either.
Common Causes of Stomach Noises in Dogs
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There are plenty of reasons why your dog may experience louder than usual stomach noises. Dr. Karen Becker states that your dog's typical digestive process can lead to these loud noises. Your dog's active digestive tract doesn't have much in it between meals, so it's normally quieter gurglings are amplified. You can give your dog a snack to tide him over between meals and quiet these noises.
If your dog swallows too much air when he eats, it can lead to louder stomach noises and even burping. Usually, dogs who are super excited about their food may gulp down their meals, inhaling too much air in the process. You can feed your dog smaller, more frequent meals or feed him his meals using a food-dispensing toy to help slow him down.
Dogs who eat things that they shouldn't, like a piece of paper or part of a toy, can also trigger their digestive systems to work overtime to break down these materials. Depending on what your dog ate, he may be able to pass the material with no problem, but if the material is toxic or large, it could cause a serious issue. If you know your dog ate something toxic or if he starts vomiting or has diarrhea, call your vet right away.
Serious Causes of Stomach Noises
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Some causes behind stomach gurgling can be more serious. According to Dr. Karen Becker, intestinal parasites like giardia, hookworm, and coccidia can cause loud stomach noises and other digestive issues.
Dogs can also develop issues like inflammatory bowel disease, a condition that leads to intestinal inflammation. This condition can interfere with your dog's digestion and with his ability to process and absorb the ingredients contained in his food.
Another potential issue called Dysbiosis, also known as leaky gut syndrome, can cause your dog's stomach to make loud noises. Dogs who have leaky gut syndrome develop too much bad bacteria and have too little good bacteria in their digestive systems, which can cause their intestines to become inflamed. Potential causes of this condition include stress, antibiotics, parasite infections, and even processed dog food.
Signs of Trouble to Watch For
Knowing that stomach noises in dogs can sometimes indicate serious health issues, you'll need to be able to tell what your dog's tummy noises are telling you. Dr. Eric Barchas recommends that you pay attention to your dog's behavior and the situation when you hear stomach grumblings to help you decide if your dog needs to go to the vet.
If you hear your dog's stomach growl before you've fed him in the morning, but the noises stop once your dog eats breakfast, it probably means that noise was just normal for your dog's digestive system on an empty stomach. Be sure to watch your dog's behavior, but if he has his normal appetite and doesn't have any other symptoms, you probably don't need to worry.
If you notice your dog's stomach making gurgling noises and he has other symptoms, then you should probably bring him to the vet. Watch for symptoms like reduced appetite, upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, or lethargy. Call your vet right away if you notice these symptoms.
In most cases, your dog's stomach noises are nothing to worry about, but it's always important to monitor any changes you notice in your dog just in case they turn into a larger problem.