fbpx

Help! My Dog’s Stomach Is Making Noise! What Do I Do?

Hearts and paws icon

Dog Health By Kate Brunotts 6 min read September 1, 2021

my dog's stomach is growling

Is Spot’s stomach making noises? Just like us, our dogs may occasionally have noisy stomachs due to a variety of factors. 

Luckily, this isn’t a cause for concern under most circumstances — minor stomach gurgling is usually a normal part of canine biology. However, you need to know when it  is normal and when it isn’t to protect your pooch. 

We’ll help you learn how to make that distinction below and share some of the reasons why your canine companion’s stomach might be particularly vocal. 

Key Takeaways: Why Is My Dog’s Stomach Making Noises?

  • It is pretty common for a dog’s stomach to make noises from time to time. As long as the noises only occur occasionally, and your dog is not demonstrating any other troubling symptoms., it’s usually no cause for concerna wait-and-see approach is usually prudent.
  • Hunger, gas, and general tummy upset are some of the most common causes of stomach noises in dogs. However, there are a few more concerning issues that may be at play, including kidney or liver issues and (very rarely) cancer.
  • Contact your vet if your dog’s stomach makes noises frequently or if the noises are accompanied by other symptoms. Not only do you want to rule out serious problems, but you’ll also want to do everything you can to keep your dog as comfortable as possible.

Common Causes for Your Dog’s Stomach to Make Noise 

dog stomach noises

Dog stomach noises are technically known as borborygmi (singular: borborygmus), and they could be caused by a number of things. 

Here are some of the more common reasons why your pup’s stomach may be making noise. 

  • Hunger — One of the more benign causes of stomach noises is simply hunger. If your furry friend hasn’t eaten in a while, his tummy might be trying to tell you something. For some dogs, it may be better to serve several small meals throughout the day instead of one or two large ones to cut down on intermittent bouts of hunger. 
  • Gas — When gas moves from one portion of the intestines to the other, it can produce a noise. These sounds are oftentimes relatively unnoticeable, but some foods may be harder for your dog’s digestive tract to handle, leading to louder tummy rumblings. If you notice that your dog becomes suddenly gassy after eating a certain type of food, it might be a good idea to cut out that food or serve it in more limited quantities. 
  • Too Much Air — Your pooch may have ingested too much air during an exciting play session, while drinking large quantities of water, or while scarfing down his breakfast. This can lead to more tummy rumblings or burps, and may be a sign that it’s time to find Fido a slow feeder. This isn’t something to ignore, as swallowing air can also put your dog at risk of bloat or GDV, which are very serious medical emergencies.  
  • Your Dog Ate Something Questionable — Excess noise could be a sign that your dog’s system is having trouble processing whatever was eaten last. This could be questionable food choice or even food that’s potentially dangerous for your furry friend. If your dog doesn’t exhibit any other symptoms, he’ll probably be fine, but consult your vet if you notice any other issues (especially things like lethargy, lack of coordination, or hyperactivity) or you’re worried.  
  • Impending Diarrhea — Your dog’s loud stomach noises could be a warning call that Fido has got to go (like, now). It’s a good idea to take your pooch outside after noticing any loud stomach noises just in case they’re indicative of impending dog diarrhea. After your furry friend is feeling better, try to identify the underlying cause of the digestive upset and give your vet a call. 
  • Ingested Foreign Body — Dogs frequently get into things they shouldn’t, ranging from underpants to aluminum foil to plastic. So, it’s possible that your dog’s system is trying to deal with an ingested foreign body. If you suspect your dog ate something inedible, call your veterinarian immediately to determine the best course of action. 
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease — Dogs with inflammatory bowel disease or IBD are more likely to have stomach upset, which can lead to regular stomach rumblings. Recurrent loud stomach noises should always be checked out by a pet professional to rule out any serious underlying disease(s). 
  • Intestinal Parasites — Intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms can cause excessive gas and inflammation, leading to alarming tummy noises. Once your pooch has been successfully de-wormed per your veterinarian’s advice, you’ll want to stay up to date on periodic dog deworming medication to lower your mutt’s risk of reinfection. 
  • Liver or Kidney Issues — If your pooch has a metabolic issue such as those relating to the liver or kidney, abnormal stomach noises may be a more frequent occurrence. Other related symptoms include changes in appetite, excessive thirst, vomiting, and diarrhea. 
  • Cancer — Though very unlikely, abnormal stomach noises could be a sign of intestinal cancer. This is part of the reason it’s important to consult your vet if your dog’s tummy sounds continue to occur over time.
Need Veterinary Help Fast?

Don’t have easy access to a vet? You may want to consider getting help from JustAnswer — a service that provides instant virtual-chat access to a certified vet online.

You can discuss the issue with them, and even share video or photos if need be. The online vet can help you determine what your next steps should be.

While talking with your own vet — who understands the ins and outs of your dog’s history — is probably ideal, JustAnswer is a good backup option.

Do Stomach Noises Cause Your Dog Pain? What About Discomfort?

do stomach noises cause pain

We can’t ever know about the inner experiences of our dogs with certainty, but it is very unlikely that run-of-the-mill tummy noises cause your dog any significant pain that needs to be treated.

Just like humans, our dogs likely take these gurgles and glugs in stride.

That said, some of the issues that cause stomach noises — such as hunger, intestinal distress, or cancer — can certainly cause pain or discomfort. So, you’ll want to identify the cause of the canine cacophony, so you can address the issue and help your pupper feel his best.

Dog Stomach Noises: When Do You Need to Worry? 

Hearing your dog’s stomach make more noises than usual can be alarming, but most of the time, this can be attributed to a simple case of gas or hunger. If your dog is otherwise acting fine and eating and pooping normally, he’s likely OK

However, if your dog’s stomach is always making noise (or it’s just frequent), a trip to the vet is in order.

Abnormally loud stomach noises may also be indicative of an underlying condition, since this usually is a sign of increased intestinal activity. Make sure you take note of any foods or actions that may trigger stomach upset in your furry friend. 

Any symptoms should be shared with the veterinarian in order to pin down the most accurate diagnosis. You’ll also want to bring a fecal sample with you to help determine the underlying issue. 

when to worry about dog stomach noises

If your furry friend is experiencing any of the following symptoms accompanied by tummy rumblings, call your vet at once:

***

Thankfully, a rumbling stomach doesn’t necessarily warrant cause for concern for your pooch. Just remember to keep an eye out for other distinguishing symptoms and if you’re ever in doubt, be sure to give your veterinarian a call. 

Has your pooch suffered from an upset tummy? What makes him feel better? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

what are the signs of dog poisoning
Recommended For You

Signs of Poisoning in Dogs: Did Your Dog Eat Something Deadly?

Written by

Kate Brunotts

Kate is a dog-loving content specialist with over a decade of canine-care experience. She is currently a professional dog walker and pet sitter, with previous experience working at the Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital in Manhattan. When not spending time with four-footers, she can usually be found crafting top-notch dog-care articles that pet parents can trust. Kate loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, but Bernese Mountain Dogs hold a special place in her heart.

Dog

Join our pup pack!

Get tons of great dog training advice and tips about gear!

Mailbox

No Comments

Leave a Comment

Name
Email Address
Comment

Also Worth Your Time