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Sad golden retriever lying next to food bowl

The essentials

  • A noisy tummy isn’t always cause for concern — Occasional gurgles and rumbles are part of the natural digestive process and don’t automatically mean something is wrong.
  • Stomach gurgles coupled with other symptoms could mean something more serious — If it’s happening along with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite, it might be time to dig a little deeper.
  • There are ways to reduce rumbles at home — A balanced diet, regular meals, and adequate hydration can go a long way to easing tummy gurgles and/or discomfort.

A stomach gurgle — or, scientifically, borborygmus — can be brought on by many reasons, from hunger pangs to stomach pains. The most common cause is food digestion when gas moves from one area of the intestinal tract to another as the food is broken down.

Quiet stomach gurgles are normal. But when you hear more than one or two loud noises per minute, it could mean that there’s something more serious troubling your dog’s stomach.

Common causes of dog stomach gurgling

Potential causes of your fur baby’s gurgling noises range from serious problems in their digestive tract to an upset stomach.


The most common reason your dog’s tummy is making those rumbling noises is that they’re hungry. When your dog hasn’t eaten for a while, their stomach empties (except for some gas).

Gas and the intestines can move around because of this, making those gurgling sounds you hear. It’s a totally normal thing and happens to all of us when we’re really hungry. So, when your dog’s belly starts to talk, it might just be time to feed them or give them a little snack.

Your dog’s diet

In addition to an empty stomach, those excessive gurgling sounds can be caused by the kind of food your dog is eating. Some ingredients in your dog’s food are harder to digest, which leads to unusual, but completely normal, noises.


Some dogs are just naturally gassier than others and, therefore, more prone to a noisy stomach. It could just be that they are processing what they ate through their gastrointestinal tract.

Recent surgery

Sometimes your dog will have stomach rumbles after receiving anesthesia. This can happen because anesthesia slows down their normal body processes, including digestion.

Just like when we feel a bit off after waking up from a deep sleep, the same goes for dogs — their digestion needs some time to wake up and get back to its regular pace. This slowdown can lead to some harmless gurgling sounds in their belly as things start moving again.

Dog bloat (gastric dilation volvulus or GDV)

This is when a stomach is twisted or bloated with fluid or food. While mild bloating in humans is normal, it can be a massive problem in dogs as it traps blood or air in their stomach and prevents it from going to other areas of the body.

Dog bloat can lead to shock and is an emergency medical condition that needs to be surgically treated by vets.

Foreign objects lodged in the gastrointestinal tract

If your dog swallowed a foreign body like a stick, toy, or rock, it can create an obstacle in their gastrointestinal tract. Since foreign objects can puncture the intestinal walls, you need to take your pup to a veterinarian if you suspect a blockage.


If your dog ingested something toxic (like chocolate, coffee, poison, or grapes), you need to call poison control. Veterinarians can administer activated charcoal to block further absorption of the toxins in their system. Your dog’s system reacting to toxins could cause stomach rumbles.

⚠️ If you suspect that your dog ingested something toxic, notify Animal Poison Control immediately: (888) 426-4435. Do not try to treat this at home.

Health issues

If you hear a dog’s tummy gurgling in combination with certain symptoms, a health condition could be to blame. Gastrointestinal problems like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), intestinal parasites, or pancreatitis could be what’s causing a noisy stomach.

Symptoms for concern

Stomach gurgling alone isn’t anything to worry about. But if you notice other clinical signs, you need to take your dog to the vet.

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite or thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting

Recognizing and understanding the potential causes behind these symptoms can help you take the necessary steps to ensure your dog’s health and well-being

  • Liver disease. The liver plays a crucial role in processing nutrients, filtering toxins, and supporting overall metabolism. When a dog suffers from liver disease, it can lead to significant gastrointestinal signs, including vomiting, diarrhea, and a decrease in appetite. Liver disease can stem from genetic conditions, infections, exposure to toxins, and more. It’s a complex condition that necessitates comprehensive care from a veterinary professional.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Like with people, IBD in dogs is where the intestines become chronically inflamed. This inflammation interferes with the ability to digest food and absorb nutrients properly, leading to symptoms like diarrhea, weight loss, and a grumbling stomach. IBD can make your dog feel unwell and uncomfortable, highlighting the need for a veterinary diagnosis and management plan.
  • Pancreatitis. Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed, causing its digestive enzymes to start damaging surrounding organs instead of helping with digestion. This condition can lead to severe belly pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Dogs might hunch over or show signs of distress due to the discomfort. Pancreatitis requires immediate veterinary attention to manage the symptoms and underlying cause.
  • Gastrointestinal obstruction. If your dog has suddenly started vomiting, shows a lack of appetite, or has difficulty passing stool, it could be a sign of a gastrointestinal obstruction. This means something is blocking their stomach or intestines, preventing normal digestion. Objects like toys, bones, or even large chunks of food can cause this. Because it’s a surgical emergency, swift action is required to prevent more serious complications.

A gurgling gut is not always a sign of a problem. But if your dog is experiencing these stomach gurgles frequently, along with other symptoms, you need to take them to a veterinarian. Always talk to your vet if it looks like your dog is in pain.

🚨Never give your dog over-the-counter medicine before speaking to a veterinarian, as these medications can have side effects. Before going to your veterinarian appointment, you can give your dog’s stomach time to settle by withholding dog food and water.

Prevention and at-home remedies

While you can’t prevent stomach gurgling altogether, there are things you can do to lessen or limit digestive problems.

Change their diet — Sometimes, a simple diet adjustment can work wonders. A bland diet of boiled chicken and rice, free from any spices, fats, or seasonings, can be soothing for an upset stomach. This easy-to-digest meal provides essential nutrients and helps stabilize the digestive system, offering a comforting path back to normalcy for your dog’s tummy.

Offer adequate hydration — Ensuring your dog stays hydrated is crucial, especially if they’ve been experiencing vomiting or diarrhea. Offer small amounts of water regularly or consider giving ice cubes if they’re reluctant to drink. Proper hydration helps support the digestive system and aids in recovery.

Introduce probiotics — Just like in humans, probiotics can be beneficial for dogs too! These beneficial bacteria help maintain a healthy balance in the gut, aiding digestion and boosting the immune system. Consult with your vet for a recommendation on a dog-specific probiotic and the appropriate dosage.

Try soothing pumpkin — Plain, canned pumpkin (not the pie filling) is a fantastic source of fiber for dogs and can help regulate digestion. A small amount added to their food can ease stomach upset and promote a healthy gut. Be sure to check with your vet for the right serving size for your dog’s weight and dietary needs.

Encourage rest — Sometimes, the best remedy is a bit of time and lots of tender loving care. Ensure your dog has a quiet, comfortable place to rest as they recover. Your presence and gentle reassurance can help them feel secure and loved, even when they’re not feeling their best.

Observe their eating style — If they are gulping down food fast, they are also swallowing air and depriving their body of the chance to digest food slowly. Introducing a slow feeder, (either store-bought or DIY), switching to a new dog food, or feeding your dog away from other dogs can help.

Consult your vet first if you plan to switch up your dog’s diet. These at-home remedies are meant for mild discomfort and should never replace professional veterinary advice. If your dog’s symptoms persist or worsen, it’s essential to reach out to your vet.

Frequently asked questions

When should I worry about my dog’s stomach gurgling?

If your dog’s belly is making more noise than a popcorn machine and they seem uncomfortable, aren’t eating, or have diarrhea or vomiting, it’s time to check in with the vet. These could be signs that something more serious is going on.

Is it normal to hear gurgling sounds coming from a dog’s stomach?

Yes, it’s perfectly normal! Just like us, dogs can have noisy tummies. It usually means their digestive system is doing its job. But if those sounds come with other worrying symptoms, like lack of appetite, then it’s a good idea to consult your vet.

What can I give my dog for a gurgling tummy?

A little bit of plain, cooked pumpkin (not the pie filling) can help settle a rumbling tummy. It’s high in fiber, which can help get things moving smoothly. But remember, if the gurgles don’t go away or your dog seems in pain, it’s vet time!

What can I give my dog to settle their stomach?

For a mild upset stomach, plain boiled chicken and rice can be soothing. It’s easy on the stomach and provides nutrients your dog needs to recover. Just make sure it’s bland — no spices or onions!

Does a dog’s stomach gurgle with bloat?

Bloat is serious and requires immediate attention, but it doesn’t typically cause stomach gurgling. Instead, look for a swollen belly, distress, and attempts to vomit without bringing anything up. If you notice these signs, head to the vet right away.