For us, burping is a way of releasing stomach air from our mouths. We eat, and we belch. But does this happen to our pups as well? Do dogs burp? Yes, they do. Most of the time, this particular bodily function is entirely normal, while other times, it may be a reason for worry.
Read more to find out about burping in dogs.
Why Do Dogs Burp?
If you notice your dog occasionally belching, it is simply because there’s too much gas in their stomach. 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.
Now let’s look at the potential causes of burping in dogs.
Eating too fast
The primary reason for why your dog burps is that they have been eating or drinking too fast. Let’s face it, dogs are greedy creatures when it comes to eating. Pooches who rapidly consume food are prone to aerophagia, a phenomenon used to describe excessive air ingestion.
To prevent your dog from swallowing too much air while eating, you can put a rubber dig toy in the middle of your dog’s food bowl, so they can slow down to eat around.
You may also be interested in Why Do Dogs Fart?
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, when this happens, you might start noticing frequent burping along with flatulence in your dog.
Some canines, particularly older dogs, have a hard time digesting dairy products because they lack the enzyme lactase that breaks down lactose found in such products. So, when they eat any dairy product, burping and flatulence generally happen.
Is your senior dog burping more than your little ones? Or 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, deceased 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. This consequently leads to increased belching and flatulence.
Sometimes certain underlying conditions can also cause your dog to release gas from their body. Such conditions include inflammatory bowel problems, irritable bowel syndrome, viral or bacterial enteritis, among others.
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 experience 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
Even after the presence of all of these signs, if you have not taken your pup to the vet, your bloated dog may collapse, and sometimes it could be too late to save your dog. Therefore, we highly recommend you look out for any bloating signs when your dog is feeling gaseous.
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:
Veterinarians say that fearful and often nervous dogs are likely to swallow more air when eating and drinking, leading to the development of burping and other stomach problems.
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 windpipe, 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 to 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 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 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, and 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 dogs 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.
So, Can Dogs Burp? Yes, dogs can burp just like humans. There are several reasons why your dog belches at times. One or two episodes of burping in dogs are considered normal. However, lookout 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.
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