Have you ever heard your dog’s stomach gurgle? This bodily sound is often not a cause for alarm, as your pet may get the occasional upset stomach. But sometimes this rumbling can be a sign of a larger health issue.
Here’s an overview of the potential causes of dog stomach gurgling and when you should be concerned by this funny noise.
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What causes dog stomach gurgling?
“A dog’s stomach gurgling is usually completely normal,” says Dr. Rachel Barrack, a veterinarian in New York City. “These are often sounds associated with digestion, the process of breaking food down.” For instance, your dog’s stomach may make a gurgling noise, commonly referred to as borborygmus, when gas moves around in his intestines.
And, just as your stomach gurgles when you’re hungry, the same can be true for your pet. It’s also possible that your pet’s body emits this sound as a result of his specific eating habits. For instance, your dog may ingest excess air if he eats too quickly, and this air may cause his stomach to gurgle, explains Dr. Barrack. If you think this might be the case for your dog, Dr. Barrack recommends that you “encourage your dog to eat slowly and try smaller, more frequent meals and/or raised feeding bowls.”
While many types of stomach gurgling are perfectly normal, loud intestinal sounds may be a cause for concern because they can be a sign of a more serious gastrointestinal issue. According to Dr. Barrack, your dog’s stomach may make these types of loud noises because he has eaten something inappropriate or perhaps simply because you have changed his diet in some way.
“If the loud stomach noises are accompanied by listlessness, constipation, diarrhea or vomiting,” Dr. Barrack suggests that you “withhold food and water and take your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible.” Once there, your vet will examine your dog and likely take X-rays. If these X-rays show that your pet has ingested a foreign object, “surgery may be needed to prevent intestinal blockage and remove the item,” says Dr. Barrack.
What types of signs and symptoms may indicate a larger issue?
Because your dog’s stomach gurgling may be a symptom of something more serious, it’s important for you to keep an eye out for any additional signs that may indicate that your pet has a gastrointestinal disorder. For instance, it may be time to make an appointment with your veterinarian if your dog’s loud stomach gurgling is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, a change in appetite, excessive salivation, excessive gas or dehydration.
How should you change your dog’s diet?
Because many gastrointestinal disorders can irritate your dog’s stomach and intestines, it’s important that you provide your pet with an easily digestible diet that is packed with the nutrients he needs to recover. According to Dr. Barrack, “high-quality, commercially prepared dog food should contain a balanced amount of nutrients to properly support your dog’s gastrointestinal health and encourage proper digestion.”
However, if your dog suffers from recurrent stomach issues, Dr. Barrack recommends that you “discuss your specific food choice with your veterinarian to see if another — perhaps blander — diet may be better suited for your pet.”
What types of home remedies can you use to soothe your dog’s upset stomach?
If your dog has a mild upset stomach, perhaps from eating one too many treats, there are a few things you can do at home to get her back to feeling like her old self. Provide your pet with plenty of water. This is an especially important step if your furry friend is vomiting or suffering from diarrhea, because these symptoms may cause dehydration. You may also want to encourage your dog to eat a small amount of grass, because this is a natural way to cleanse her stomach.
However, this particular solution is not always effective, and ingesting too much grass can lead to further health problems. As mentioned above, you can also help to soothe your dog’s upset stomach by introducing a vet-recommended diet. For instance, you may want to feed your pet rice, boiled chicken or banana baby food. Just be sure to remove the bones from the chicken!
Stephanie Glover is the author and photographer behind A Grande Life. When she doesn’t have her camera in her hands, you’ll find her with a cup of coffee.
* This article is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be providing medical advice and is not a substitute for such advice. The reader should always consult a health care provider concerning any medical condition or treatment plan. Neither Care.com nor the author assumes any responsibility or liability with respect to use of any information contained herein.