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The essentials

  • Dog burping has common causes — And most of these causes are not serious.
  • What and how you feed your dog can help — Introducing puzzle feeders and slow feeders can reduce your dog’s risk of burping and bloat.
  • Some dog breeds burp more than others — Brachycephalic breeds with flat faces are more likely to burp because they inhale more air compared to other breeds.

Just like humans, dogs hiccup, itch, pass gas, and burp! When your dog burps, it’s because there’s too much air in their stomach. Their belches release the 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.

Burping causes

Burping is natural and can be caused by many things. Some behaviors, like fast eating, or underlying illnesses can cause belching. The important thing is to understand why your dog is burping and what to do if it is a serious case. 

  • Diet. Depending on the ingredients, your dog’s kibble or diet may cause them to burp. Dogs can be allergic to certain ingredients in their food. While it’s important to consult with your vet, you may want to consider switching to hypoallergenic dog food.
  • Eating quickly. 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. If you notice them burping more after starting meds, ask your vet if that could be the cause.
  • Dietary changes. Dogs have sensitive stomachs that need time to adjust to new food, which may result in burping. Plus, sometimes dogs get into stuff they shouldn’t (think garbage, toys, human food, and shoes), resulting in an upset stomach and burping.
  • Aerophagia. This is when a dog swallows air repeatedly and excessively. Aerophagia is typically present in anxious or stressed dogs.
  • Dairy products. All dogs, especially older dogs, have a hard time digesting lactose. Dairy products can create a bout of burping and farting, as well as digestive upsets such as diarrhea or vomiting.
  • 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 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 swell and twist, pressing on other organs and restricting blood flow. Excessive burping is an early symptom of GDV as it can help alleviate the bloat.
  • Dog breed. Dog breeds that are flat-faced (also known as brachycephalic breeds) are more likely to burp because their short snouts make it easier for them to swallow air. This includes breeds like pugs, Boston terriers, French bulldogs, English bulldogs, Boxers, and Brussels griffon.

Pugs, like other flat-faced dogs, may burp more than other breeds.

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 you notice any of the following symptoms, it could be a sign of a more serious condition or emergency:

  • Burping paired with abdominal pain
  • Burping and blue or discolored gums
  • Sudden and frequent burping
  • Burping that leads to vomiting
  • Burping in tandem with very bad breath

When you arrive, the veterinarian 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.

For example, if the cause is inflammatory bowel disease, vets may do 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.

Reducing burping in dogs

Burping isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though it may annoy you. However, in some cases, 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.

Change their diet — Look for dog 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 before or following a long walk or when they are out of breath. If your dog is panting heavily, they will swallow more 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. If your dog has been extra gassy or burping more, try taking them on a longer walk or letting them loose in the backyard.

At the end of the day, dogs burp as a natural means to expel trapped air. If you notice consistent or more frequent dog burping, consider the potential causes — both harmless and more concerning — and contact your vet. More often than not, with a few tweaks to their routine, you’ll be able to reduce the excess burping to a normal level!

Regular exercise can lessen burping.

Frequently asked questions

How can I help my dog with belching?

First, know that dog burping is normal. However, there are several steps you can take at home to help reduce excess burping, like slowing their rate of eating with a puzzle feeder or ensuring they’re getting enough exercise. If you worry that your dog is burping too much, seek veterinary care. Some situations are more emergent such as if your dog is in the beginning stages of bloat. Stay vigilant and aware of your dog’s symptoms. 

When should I be concerned about my dog’s gas?

In most cases, burping is totally normal for dogs. However, if you notice burping that leads to vomiting or is accompanied by abdominal pain, blue gums, or bad breath, see your vet as soon as possible as it could be caused by something more serious. 

Can dogs burp out loud?

Yes, though it doesn’t necessarily sound like a human burp. But, all dogs are different and some pups may burp loudly. 

Why does my dog have stinky burps?

A foul-smelling burp can be attributed to a few things, but the most common is an excess buildup of gas within the gastrointestinal tract or dental issues. If you’re worried that your dog’s breath post-burp is extra smelly, visit your vet.

Do dogs burp a lot?

It all depends on the dog! Some dogs rarely burp, and if they do it’s quiet. Others may burp more often and louder. Burps depend on multiple factors, such as diet, exercise, and breed.