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dog parent basics

Everything you need to know about dog burping

Like humans, dogs burp when they’re full (or when they ate too much). Here’s a guide to learn when your dog’s belches are concerning and when they’re perfectly normal.

Updated July 27, 2021

Created By

Kaitlyn Arford,
Dog burping

The essentials

  • There are many common causes of dog burping — But most causes are not serious.
  • What you feed your dog and how you feed your dog can help — Introducing puzzle feeders and slow feeders can reduce your dog’s risk of burping and bloat.
  • Effectively treating burping depends on the underlying condition — If an underlying condition causes your dog’s burps, they may be treatable.
  • Some dog breeds are more likely to burp than others — Brachycephalic breeds with flat faces are more likely to burp because they inhale more air compared to other breeds.

Do dogs burp?

Just like humans, dogs hiccup, itch, fart, and burp!

When your dog burps, it’s because there’s too much air in their stomach. Their belches release excess gas from their gastrointestinal tract.

For a more technical explanation, gas forms in their digestive tract due to a combination of stomach acids, digestive enzymes, and foods with a high pH level. Dogs belch to get rid of that air through their esophagus.

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Burping causes

Diet

Your dog’s kibble or diet may be causing them to burp because of the ingredients included in it. Dogs can be allergic to certain ingredients in their food, in which case you may want to consider switching to a hypoallergenic dog food.

Eating quickly

Eating too fast can make dogs start belching after they’re done gulping down food. When dogs ingest food or water too quickly, they swallow air as well. This creates a buildup of air inside them that comes out as burps.

Medication

Some medications can make your dog burp. Ask your vet if your dog’s prescription could be causing them to burp.

Raw food diets

A raw food diet could be what’s causing your dog’s burping. Dogs who eat raw foods are more likely to have something called sulfur burps, which is produced as they digest protein.

Dietary changes

If your dog’s diet has been changed recently, the burping could be in response to that. Dogs have sensitive stomachs that need time to adjust to new food. Plus, sometimes troublesome dogs get into stuff they shouldn’t (think garbage, toys, human food, shoes) resulting in an upset stomach and burping.

Aerophagia

This is when a dog swallows air repeatedly and excessively.

Dairy products

Old dogs have a hard time digesting lactose so dairy products could create a bout of burping and farting.

Excessive bacteria fermentation

Some dog kibble ingredients can lead to bacteria forming because dogs have a hard time digesting them. These ingredients include beans, spices, lactose, soy, peas, pectin, and excess fat.

Gastric acid reflux

It’s possible that your dog could have swallowed something that irritated their stomach and caused acid reflux.

Bad teeth or oral health

Your pup may have bad-smelling burps when they have bad teeth, oral health problems, or need their teeth brushed.

Illnesses

When older dogs and younger dogs have an upset stomach, air rises as it’s produced in the gastrointestinal tract and causes burping. If your dog’s stomach isn’t digesting food the way it’s supposed to, it can lead to bacteria forming in the gut that turns to gas. Dogs may also have intestinal parasites that cause them to burp.

Inflammatory bowel disease

This chronic condition where the gastrointestinal tract becomes irritated and inflamed can cause burping, among other symptoms like farting, diarrhea, and nausea.

Dog bloat (GDV)

Dog bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus, is a life-threatening illness that causes the stomach to fill with gas that makes it twist. Excessive burping is an early symptom of GDV as it can help alleviate the bloat.

Some breeds are more prone to burping

Dog breeds that are flat-faced (also known as brachycephalic breeds) are more likely to burp because their short snouts made it easier for them to swallow air. This includes a few of these breeds:

  • Pugs
  • Boston terrier
  • Chihuahua
  • Bulldogs
  • Boxers
  • Brussels griffon

Burping treatment (and when to see a vet)

Burps usually go away on their own. However, sometimes burping can be an early sign of gastrointestinal problems or an underlying condition.

If the burping is paired with one of the following symptoms, it could be a sign of an underlying condition or an emergency:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Blue or discolored gums
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If your dog is burping excessively or vomits, it’s time to call a veterinarian. Veterinarians will talk to you about your observations, observe your dog, and potentially order diagnostic tests. Treatment options will depend on what the burping is caused by.

If the cause is inflammatory bowel disease, vets may do some blood work. If your dog’s kibble or diet is suspected as the cause behind the burping, vets may use food elimination trials to determine if your dog has an allergy or intolerance. Vets may also give your dog fiber supplements or probiotics.

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Burping prevention

Burping isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though it may annoy you. However, it could be a sign of something more serious. Though there’s no way to fully prevent burping (it’s natural!) you can reduce dog burps.

If you see that your dog is burping after eating or drinking, their diet or eating habits may be to blame.

Change their diet — Look for food brands that are highly digestible and low in fat. Check to make sure that the brand includes enough fiber to help them digest their food.

👉 Talk to your vet about switching to a new food brand before making any changes.

Puzzle feeders and slow feeders — If your dog is eating too quickly, try replacing their food bowl with a puzzle feeder or slow feeder. You can buy one or create your own by sprinkling kibble on your floor or by placing small amounts of kibble inside each cup of a muffin pan.

Alter feeding times and portions — Try giving your dog several small meals throughout the day instead of a single meal. Smaller portion sizes can help your dog digest their food better.

Wait to feed your dog — Don’t feed your dog immediately following a long walk or when they are out of breath. If your dog is panting heavily, they will swallow a lot of air as they eat.

Monitor mealtimes and avoid mealtime competitions —  Dogs will eat quickly to protect their resources in a group setting. If you feed multiple dogs, avoid competition at mealtimes by feeding dogs in separate rooms.

Exercise — Leading an active lifestyle can help dogs get rid of built up gas by exercising. If your dog has been extra gassy or burping more, try taking them on a longer walk or letting them loose in the backyard.