We’ve all been there before. Your dog eats too fast and now they’re sitting on the ground making a few hiccup-like burps. Or maybe they’re playing and suddenly give a giant belch after running full speed ahead. It’s quite a hilarious sight, isn’t it? But why do dogs burp?
The process of burping, also known as eructation, is when air is expelled from an organism’s stomach or esophagus through the mouth. Dogs burp for various reasons, such as to expel any leftover gas from their stomach or to expel excessive air that may have been ingested during eating. Some experts feel that dogs may also derive some enjoyment out of it.
Why Do Dogs Burp?
The gas formed in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract is built from a mixture of high pH level foods, stomach acids, and digestive enzymes. Your pup passes this gas either as a burp or as flatulence.
Here are potential causes of burping in dogs.
1. Diets And Excessive Bacteria Fermentation
Certain foods, such as beans, spices, soy, peas, lactose, and pectin, can be problematic for dogs to digest. When foods like these do not digest properly in your pup’s stomach, bacterial fermentation occurs. This, in turn, causes gas to form in their gastrointestinal tract. So, if this happens you may notice frequent burping along with flatulence in your dog.
Older dogs have a hard time digesting dairy products because they lack the enzyme lactase that breaks down lactose, which is found in dairy products. So, older dogs that eat dairy typically experience gastrointestinal problems that may lead to gas.
2. Eating Too Fast
Another reason why your dog burps is that they are eating or drinking quickly. Let’s face it, dogs are greedy creatures when it comes to eating. That’s why they often gulp down their food rather fast. When they do this, it creates a vacuum in their stomach that can lead to burping.
To avoid your dog from eating too quickly, place a rubber toy in the middle of their food bowl. This will slow them down and help with digestion.
You may also be interested in Why Do Dogs Fart?
Is your senior dog occasionally more burpy than your younger pets? Or do you think they are passing gas more often? Then you’re not imagining. As dogs age, their bodily functions start to weaken. Senior dogs tend to suffer from decreased digestive enzymes and absorptive capacity, and reduced gastrointestinal motility. These conditions tend to slow down their digestion process hence resulting in burping.
Veterinarian Dr. William D. Fortney says that aging often leads to weakened swallowing reflexes, causing aerophagia, a medical term for excessive air swallowing. This consequently leads to increased belching and flatulence.
4. Gastrointestinal Diseases
If your pooch is burping a lot of gas, then it is likely that they are experiencing gastrointestinal problems. Such conditions include inflammatory bowel problems, irritable bowel syndrome, viral or bacterial enteritis, among others. It is important to get them checked out at the vet if they are burping unusually. Your dog’s health and well-being depend on it.
5. Dietary Changes
Your dog might also be frequently passing gas because you’ve made some changes in their diet. For instance, introducing human food to dogs can upset their stomach. So, you might want to consult your vet before introducing such a diet. Similarly, pooches with dietary indiscretions, where they eat foods that they shouldn’t be consuming, such as garbage, are also likely to have digestive problems, hence experiencing belching.
Sometimes excessive gas in your dog’s stomach can also be a potential cause of bloat. Bloating, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) complex, might be harmless to humans, but it can be life-threatening when it comes to dogs. This condition occurs when the stomach flips itself like a hammock, fills with gas, and it becomes hard for gas to pass due to the twist that blocks off the gut.
A research study from Tufts University found out that several large and giant dog breeds are most likely to die from bloat. The finding shows that Great Danes have the highest possibility of getting a bloated stomach. Similarly, other breeds like Irish Wolfhounds, Irish Setters, Bloodhounds, Akitas, standard Poodles, Boxers, and German Shepherds are at higher risk of experiencing a bloat episode than other kinds.
However, all dogs are prone to bloat. So, you should be able to identify the symptoms.
Here are common signs of bloating in dogs:
- Your dog may show restlessness, distress, and pant a lot
- Retching but not being able to vomit
- Your dog may be unable to swallow food, which means they drool heavily
- Swollen belly
- Your dog may also make a sound like they typically make when they’re in pain
- They may even whine or cry when you press their swollen belly
If you notice any of these signs, it is high time that you take your dog to the vet. If your pup isn’t treated, they may collapse. This could be fatal. We highly recommend you look for any bloating signs when your dog is feeling gassy.
Could Burping Be a Cause of Something Else?
Some underlying medical disorders or conditions can also potentially cause burping in dogs. Below are some of such health problems due to which your dog might be belching:
Dogs who are nervous or often fearful don’t eat their food at a normal pace. This causes them to swallow more air, which can lead to burping and stomach problems.
2. Brachycephalic Traits
Brachycephalic is a medical term used to describe dogs with broad and short skulls with distinctive flat faces. These dog breeds include Boxers, Pugs, and English Bulldogs. They have brachycephalic traits such as narrowed nostrils, unusually narrowed windpipes, and strangely long soft palates. These traits predispose them to Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS), an abnormal condition that causes upper airway dysfunction. Dogs suffering from this syndrome tend to swallow a lot of air, thereby leading to a gas-filled stomach. The gas is released either through the process of episodic burping or flatulence.
When Should I Be Concerned About My Dog’s Burping?
One or two episodes of burping may not be a cause of worry. You could always try to improve their situation by altering your dog’s eating habits. For instance, if your dog is a fast eater, try using a treat ball feeder to stop them from eating too fast. Or you could also buy slow feeder bowls for that matter.
When you should be concerned is once your dog starts to burp suddenly. This could be an indication of gastrointestinal problems. Similarly, it would be best if you also watched out for issues where belching is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, swollen belly (bloat), and abdominal pain.
Other emergency signs that require immediate vet attention include lethargy, different colored gums, panting, or a fast-breathing rate. Book an appointment with your vet as soon as you identify any of these signs in your dog. The doctor will help you to take care of your pup’s health.
How To Stop My Dog’s Burping? Preventing Burping in Dogs
There are several ways to alleviate the excessive gas build-up in your dog’s stomach and avoid burping.
- Alter their regular dietary plans, add foods that are highly digestible and are low in fat. Avoid fermentable foods like peas, soy, beans, and also dairy products.
- Change your feeding techniques for your fast-eating dog. Some vets suggest placing stones or large rocks in the food bowl to slow down your pup while eating. But make sure that these stones are large enough so that your pooch won’t swallow them, which could be a choking hazard.
- Feeding small meals in a day rather than larger ones can prevent gas buildup in dogs’ gastrointestinal tract. Small meals also reduce the chances of bloating in your dog.
- If you have multiple dogs, avoid competition during meal times. Some dogs tend to eat fast to prevent their friend from getting their food. To avoid such competition, you should feed your dog separately so that you can discourage rapid eating and swallowing too much air.
- Exercise can be fruitful to stimulate your dog’s motility and defecation.
There are several reasons why your dog belches at times. One or two episodes of burping in dogs are considered normal. However, look out for any signs including vomiting, diarrhea, swollen belly, and panting, among others, which might be indicative of a more serious health problem in your pup. Consult your vet if you identify any of these signs.
Thank you for reading the article.
Explore more other articles that we have covered on dogs and burping.
Have you ever noticed your do burping? What measures do you take to prevent burping in dogs? We would love to hear from you. Please share with our community by leaving a comment below!