Gurgling in Your Dog’s Belly: Understanding 10 Causes and Solutions

Gurgling in Your Dog's Belly: Understanding 10 Causes and Solutions

When a dog’s stomach gurgles, it’s usually due to hunger, gas, or an upset stomach. Among other things, it can also be an indication of internal parasites, inflammation, poisoning, or even intestinal obstruction.

Grumbling is caused by gases, water, and food particles moving around in the stomach and intestines. Very loud noises are usually an indication of:

  • Strong gas formation (bloating)
  • High activity of the digestive tract

There is usually only cause for concern if other pathological symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting occur or if the dog even refuses to eat.

In the following, you will learn about the 10 most common causes of rumbling in the stomach, their symptoms, and what helps against them.

Are you worried or unsure? Then click here to start the live chat with a veterinarian.

1. Stomach Upset

The digestive tract of dogs is comparatively primitive. Because only a few thousand years ago, the four-legged friends became omnivores through taming.

Humans, on the other hand, have been omnivores for millions of years. This is also the reason why an upset stomach is more common in dogs. Typical causes are here:

  • Eaten grass or garbage
  • Allergens in the feed
  • Poor quality feed
  • Mold in the feed
  • Food leftovers from people
  • Tainted Feed

Here the gurgling in the stomach is usually triggered by the associated flatulence. Other typical symptoms are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Dog looks depressed
  • Heavy salivation
  • Dog farts a lot
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Frequent licking of the lips
  • Listlessness

In most cases, the problem resolves itself by fasting for several hours. After that, easily digestible food such as boiled rice with chicken helps.

Dogs with an upset stomach often also have a gurgle in their stomachs due to the build-up of gas. Among other things, it can be seen from the fact that dogs sometimes get diarrhea, suddenly drool, or even throw up.

2. Poisoning

In the event of poisoning, almost all dog owners first think of poisoned baits due to the news. In truth, however, there are usually ordinary foods behind it.

Because even those foods that we consider “healthy” can have a toxic effect on dogs. This includes:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Raisins
  • Chocolate
  • Leek
  • Grapes
  • Avocados

Symptoms and their severity of them can vary greatly depending on the type of poisoning. The most common signs here include:

  • Physical restlessness
  • Loud rumbling in the stomach
  • Dog starts shaking
  • Labored breathing
  • Constant panting
  • Dog refuses food
  • Diarrhea and vomiting

If you suspect this, you should contact the veterinary emergency service immediately. Otherwise, the liver and kidneys can suffer so badly that organ failure occurs.

When dogs ingest something toxic, it also puts a strain on the digestive tract, liver, and kidneys. It is typical here that the dog becomes increasingly restless, the stomach is bubbling and it refuses its food. Some four-legged friends also start to tremble.

3. Stomach and Intestinal Parasites

Worms in the stomach and intestines belong to the category of “endoparasites” because they are found inside the body. Fleas and ticks, on the other hand, belong to the “ectoparasites”.

In practice, both types are about as common. In the digestive tract, on the other hand, the following four types are usually found:

  • Tapeworms
  • Whipworms
  • Roundworms
  • Hookworms

In some cases, there are no symptoms at all for a long time. However, a severe infestation often leads to a gurgling stomach and other symptoms:

  • Worms in the stool
  • Dog looks tired
  • Constant coughing
  • worms in the vomit
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Swollen belly
  • Lack of energy

A wormer is sufficient for treatment. Because these types of worms are very common, you should always follow the recommended deworming schedule.

If dogs are infested with stomach and intestinal parasites, this can also become noticeable over time. It is typical here that there are worms in the stool, the dog loses weight and the stomach growls and gurgles unusually loudly.

4. Hunger

Surely you have already experienced that after a long break from eating and feeling hungry at the same time, your stomach suddenly starts to growl. Or not?

This is because hormones in the brain trigger the feeling of hunger and the muscles then compress the stomach and intestines.

These types of stomach noises are usually nothing to worry about. It only becomes a problem if your dog is hungry but doesn’t want to eat. Typical causes are here:

  • Toothache
  • Oral injuries
  • Mold in the feed
  • Competition in eating
  • Allergens in the feed
  • Problems swallowing

Sometimes the gurgling in the stomach is only triggered because the dog watches the owner eat, which stimulates the appetite.

You can usually identify potential problems with the teeth or gums by the fact that the dog’s muzzle becomes sensitive to touch.

Dogs’ stomachs often growl when they feel very hungry because the stomach and intestines are contracting. Usually feeding them should solve the problem. Caution is only required here if the dog cannot eat.

5. Pancreatitis

The primary job of the pancreas is to produce digestive juices and keep blood sugar levels in check.

However, various circumstances can cause this gland to become inflamed. Doctors speak of “pancreatitis”. Typical risk factors are:

  • Diabetes
  • Taking medication
  • Severe overweight
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Severe poisoning 
  • High-fat diet
  • Internal injuries

It can usually be recognized by the fact that the dog does not eat or drink anything or even the stomach starts to gurgle. Other classic symptoms of this are:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Dog takes a prayer position
  • Lack of energy and drive
  • Increasing breathing problems
  • Dog gets fever
  • Diarrhea and vomiting

This type of inflammation can be life-threatening if left untreated. If you suspect this, you should seek professional help immediately.

If the dog’s pancreas becomes inflamed, it will also have a physical and behavioral impact. Among other things, affected four-legged friends appear very listless and usually get a fever. A constant gurgling in the stomach is also typical here. 

6. Allergies and Intolerances

Only around 2% of all dogs are said to struggle with food allergies. On the other hand, intolerances with a sensitive stomach are relatively common.

Basically, all foods can lead to problems in dogs. In most cases, however, the following foods are behind it:

  • Grain gluten
  • Soy products
  • Fillers in the feed
  • Proteins of some meats
  • Milk
  • Certain Spices

Depending on the type and amount, the symptoms can vary greatly. Usually there is severe itching and loud abdominal noises. Other typical symptoms are:

  • Redness around the mouth
  • Swelling of the face
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Severe flatulence
  • Breathing problems after eating
  • Weight Loss

Unfortunately, in most cases, “hypoallergenic food” is just marketing. On the other hand, it is better to start an elimination diet or, if necessary, carry out an allergy test.

Various allergies and intolerances can cause dogs to struggle with digestive problems after eating. It can usually be recognized by flatulence, a gurgle in the stomach, sudden nausea, and reddening of the mouth.

7. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

In some dogs, the intestines are inflamed for reasons that are not yet clear. Veterinarians also speak of an “IBD” here. Known risk factors are:

  • Intolerances and allergies
  • Infestation of harmful bacteria
  • Severe or chronic stress
  • Endoparasite infestation
  • Weakened immune system
  • Genetics

Typically, the symptoms occur in batches, so there are also phases without any symptoms. The most common signs here include:

  • Chronic vomiting
  • Gurgling in the stomach
  • Increasing weight loss
  • Frequent belching
  • Constant diarrhea
  • Dog refuses food
  • Licking lips

For diagnosis, the vet usually examines some tissue, analyzes the blood in the laboratory, takes a stool sample, and carries out a subsonic examination.

Currently, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease is still considered incurable. However, this can be solved with medication and a change in diet.

When dogs struggle with IBD, chronic digestive problems are bound to happen. It can usually be recognized by the fact that dogs constantly throw up, get chronic diarrhea, their stomachs growl loudly, and lose weight.

8. Bloating

When excessive gas builds up in the stomach and intestines, it is called flatulence. In most cases, it is triggered by eating too quickly. 

This means that bites that are too large get into the stomach, which takes an above-average amount of time to digest and produce a lot of gases. Other typical triggers are:

  • Human leftovers
  • Feed with lots of dietary fiber
  • Food allergies and intolerances
  • Sudden food change
  • Very high carbohydrate diet
  • Poor quality feed

Very gluttonous breeds such as Rottweilers, Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, Bulldogs, Dachshunds, and Golden Retrievers are most likely to have a gurgle in their stomachs.

If you suspect your food is a trigger, then I advise you to carry out such a free food check. This will give you individual recommendations for your dog.

You will also receive a whole box of free food samples afterward so that you can test the recommendations yourself. It doesn’t get any cooler!

When dogs struggle with flatulence, it is usually due to unsuitable dog food or a generally unfavorable diet. It can usually be recognized by the fact that dogs have a bloated stomach and the stomach is constantly bubbling.

9. Gastrointestinal Inflammation

When the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines become inflamed, doctors usually speak of “gastroenteritis”. The most common causes here include:

  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial imbalance
  • Liver diseases
  • Poisoning
  • Food allergies
  • Worm infestation
  • Kidney problems

The most obvious signs of this are when dogs get chronic diarrhea, vomit frequently, and start gurgling in their stomachs. Other typical signs are:

  • Dog gets fever
  • Listlessness
  • Dog vomits mucus
  • Constant retching
  • Restlessness
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Tarry Stool

A diagnosis is essential for treatment. In simple cases such as a bacterial infection, antibiotics can be sufficient.

In other cases, it is often necessary to change the diet and try out possible therapies using a process of elimination. The vet can help here.

Dogs with gastrointestinal inflammation often have to deal with severe abdominal pain. Among other things, such inflammation is usually shown by constant diarrhea, frequent vomiting, a rumbling stomach, and restless behavior.

10. Intestinal Obstruction

A blockage in the intestine can occur in two different ways. In the case of mechanical intestinal obstruction, an obstacle leads to blockage.

In the case of a functional intestinal obstruction, on the other hand, it is no longer possible for the intestine to push the contents forward. Typical triggers are:

  • Dog swallowed stones
  • Formation of ulcers in the intestines
  • Ping pong ball swallowed
  • Swallowed food wrappers
  • Abdominal tumor

And yes, the curiosity of many four-legged friends is often fatal. It is typical here that dogs have problems with bowel movements. Other classic signs are:

  • Sudden vomiting
  • Loud rumbling in the stomach
  • Severe flatulence
  • Dog refuses dry food
  • Frequent belching
  • Constant beeping
  • Persistent diarrhea
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