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Dog's Stomach Making Noises: When to See the Vet!

Is your dog's stomach making noises? Is it gurgling or moaning when they are sitting on the couch next to you, or can you hear your dog's stomach making squeaking noises from across the room? 

Don't worry (at least, not too much). Strange noises, such as stomach gurgling sounds, are actually quite normal for dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes. The most common reasons are a simple case of trapped gas or hunger. 

However, is your dog's stomach making noises and throwing up? In some cases, you should be worried, especially if other symptoms follow loud stomach noises. This article explains why your dog's stomach is making noises and when you need to see the vet about it. 

Why is my dog's stomach making noises?  

Those gurgling sounds might seem loud or unusual, but the most common cause will be trapped gas, digestive trouble, or hunger.

Humans make gurgling noises, too, especially when we are hungry, and dogs are no different! The noises occur when gas moves from one area of the digestive tract to another; it's shifting around inside, and in most cases, it's harmless, even if loud. When your dog is hungry, its stomach also starts to gurgle!

However, there can be more severe cases, such as a twisted spleen or pancreatitis, where the noises are a symptom of a broader medical problem. In these cases, though, there will be other symptoms to look out for, too.

If your dog is just making stomach noises, and there are no other symptoms, it's nothing to worry about!

To summarize, the main 'normal causes' of stomach noises are the following:

  • Gas moving around the intestines
  • Too much gas 
  • Hunger

Why is my dog's stomach making noises and won't eat? 

If your dog is experiencing other mild symptoms, the culprit for their gurgling stomach could be something they ate. If this is the case, they are likely to have lost their appetite. 

If symptoms include the dog's stomach making noises, diarrhea, and vomiting, as well as a lack of appetite, then this is most likely going to be the case. Dogs love to eat whatever they can find in the house or the backyard, and it's impossible to stop them from eating something bad all the time.

Again, this isn't necessarily serious, and in the majority of dog upset stomach cases, the symptoms pass within 24 hours. Your dog just needs to purge its system, and although it's messy, they recover quickly. 

If symptoms persist, or if you're still wondering, 'why is my dog's stomach making weird noises?', then take them to see the vet. 

When are stomach noises cause for concern? 

Gurgling sounds and an upset stomach become a cause for concern when other, more severe symptoms are present. If your dog isn't acting like themselves, or if there is blood in their vomit, for example, then you need to see the vet immediately. 

Gurgling sounds can be the first sign that there is something more serious affecting your pet pooch, and they could be distressed without being able to tell you. 

Important symptoms to look out for include the following: 

  • Excessive vomiting and diarrhea
  • Blood in vomit, urine, or feces
  • Loss of appetite
  • Apathy or lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Lots of uncontrollable drooling
  • Visible pain from trapped gas or generally in the stomach region
  • Bloated stomach

If you're wondering, 'why my dog's stomach is making noises all the time?', and you notice any of the above symptoms, take your pet to the vet for a check-up. Unfortunately, excessive stomach gurgling and any of the above symptoms could be a sign that your dog has one of the following illnesses or medical conditions:

  • Severe food poisoning
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Blocked gastrointestinal tract
  • Pancreatitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Bloat
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Cancer

Your vet will need to conduct an examination and carry out tests to diagnose these conditions, and the treatment plan will vary greatly depending on the illness itself. The quicker you get your dog seen, in these cases, the quicker treatment can begin, and the more effective treatment is going to be. 

For example, if your dog has ingested a foreign object, it may have severe pain, swelling, and a blocked gastrointestinal tract. They will need to undergo x-rays or ultrasounds to identify the location of the blockage and will then need to undergo surgery, followed by a period of rehabilitation.

Suppose your vet diagnoses your dog with intestinal parasites. In that case, no surgery is needed (unless things get out of control), but you will need to treat the condition with prescribed medication. Pancreatitis is a disease that can be well managed when caught early. Pancreatitis results from overactive enzymes, but medication and a change in diet often curb this condition. The same can also be said for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. 

Long-term conditions, such as liver disease, kidney disease, or stomach cancer, can require prolonged treatment and lifestyle changes. They can occur at any stage in a dog's life, but older dogs are much more prone to these conditions due to their advanced age. 

These serious medical conditions can be more difficult to 'cure' and can often only be slowed down. Cancers might require surgery or chemotherapy. With the help of medication and treatment, though, your dog can still live a long and happy life.

Thankfully, though, these conditions are all rather rare. If your dog's stomach is gurgling, then it's probably not a cause for concern!

How to prevent stomach noises in dogs

As a concerned owner, you will probably wonder how you can prevent concerning stomach noises from occurring!

If your dog is just suffering from a little trapped gas, there's not much you can actually do about this. Just keep an eye on them, and if other symptoms occur, then you can start to worry and take them to the vet. 

If your dog is suffering from hunger pangs, though, they might also be quite moody or be hanging around their feeding bowl or the kitchen. If they are making lots of loud noises, then give them a treat or move their mealtime forward. If noises are consistent, you could be underfeeding them. Try moving their mealtimes around, providing larger portions, or spreading their meals out throughout the day for more consistency. 

You can prevent your dog from eating bad food, although only to an extent. A foraging dog eating gone-off food from the floor, or something it simply doesn't agree with, is the biggest cause of an upset stomach. Avoid feeding your dog human food or scraps under the table, and be careful of what they try to eat when out for walks or hanging out in the backyard. 

Dog's stomach making noises: the last word

Your dog's stomach making noises is usually nothing to be worried about. Yes, even if you can hear your dog's stomach gurgling from another room!

Strange noises are actually normal noises, and the likely cause is trapped air or hunger. In more severe cases, your dog may have an upset stomach, but you'll have other symptoms - such as diarrhea or vomiting - to contend with too. 

If gurgling noises are accompanied by other symptoms, such as a loss of appetite or lethargy, you should consult your vet. If the gurgling noises become more intense or unusual (compared to normal), you can ask your vet for advice, too - for peace of mind. 

If you're wondering, 'Why is my dog's stomach making loud noises?', then why not bookmark our guide for future reference?

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