If your dog’s stomach has started making loud noises that are unfamiliar and alarming, your first response might be to call the emergency vet. However, if your dog isn’t vomiting or having diarrhea, there might be a few simple explanations for the noises that don’t require immediate vet care.
Loud stomach noises happen to most dogs at some point in their lives. If you’re only hearing grumbling, gurgling, and squeaking from your dog’s stomach for the first time, it’s safe to say that it probably won’t be the last. Occasional stomach grumbling is normal, but when other symptoms accompany the noises or it has continued for several days, there might be something a little more serious going on.
We’ll discuss which possible reasons for the loud noises are not serious and which require a visit to the vet.
The 8 Possible Reasons Your Dog’s Stomach is Making Loud Noises
1. Hunger Pains
As simple as it is, hunger pains might be what is causing the loud noises to erupt from your dog’s stomach. This doesn’t mean that they’re starving or that they’ve skipped a meal; it’s just sometimes an indication that they require a little more.
Giving your dog a small portion of kibble before bed may quieten their stomach down, but you may need to consider changing their feeding schedule altogether. Giving your dog smaller meals throughout the day instead of two big meals many hours apart may keep those hunger pains at bay. Regardless, hunger pains aren’t a serious health issue and can be stopped easily.
2. Swallowing Air
Have you ever gulped down a glass of water or a bottle of soda so quickly that you’ve belched out a bunch of air once you’ve stopped drinking? A similar thing happens to your dog if they down their food too quickly—they end up swallowing air. This air needs to be released, and sometimes that happens through belching, and other times it moves down their gastrointestinal tract.
Although not particularly dangerous, air doesn’t belong in your dog’s intestines and will cause plenty of noise as it moves along the tract. Your dog may experience discomfort when this happens but eating their food too quickly can also cause vomiting, choking, and gas. You can often prevent all this by placing their food in a slow-feeder dog bowl that forces them to consume their food more slowly.
If your dog is about to have diarrhea or has been having diarrhea throughout the day, it’s likely that their stomachs are going to make loud noises due to the fast movement of food through their intestines. There are many reasons why your dog might be experiencing diarrhea, which can range from mild to serious, especially when accompanied by other symptoms.
Sometimes your dog’s gut may need a break and withholding food from your dog for a day may sort out the issue, as long as they have plenty of water. Once the fast is over, a small, bland diet, such as plain white rice, is recommended. When you can see an improvement, you can start to add in more and more of their regular food. However, if this remedy doesn’t stop your dog’s diarrhea, you need to get them to the vet.
4. Intestinal Parasites
Intestinal parasites, such as roundworms, heartworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms, can cause serious issues for your dog. One symptom of intestinal parasites is loud noises in your dog’s stomach as they cause their abdomen to swell and often cause vomiting and diarrhea.
These parasites can be life-threatening to puppies but are often less dangerous to adult dogs with strong immune systems. Regardless of your dog’s age, you need to ensure that they are protected from parasites by deworming your dog when necessary and giving your dog tick and flea treatments.
5. Foreign Body
If you’ve had a dog long enough, you’re probably aware that they love to chew on things they shouldn’t. Unfortunately, their mischievous behavior can sometimes cause regret, especially if they’ve swallowed something they shouldn’t have—such as a sock, plastic, or another undigestible foreign body.
A foreign body causes an obstruction in your dog’s intestines which causes more rumbling and gas. It may also cause your dog to stop eating, gag, vomit, become constipated, experience stomach pain, and display unusual behavior. This is a serious matter, and your dog needs to be seen by a vet as this could be a life-threatening condition if your dog isn’t able to pass the foreign object naturally.
6. Junk Food
It’s not just an indigestible foreign body that can cause loud gurgling in your dog’s stomach; junk food can cause the same thing. Sometimes junk food can be hard to digest and will cause your dog’s stomach to become uncomfortable and noisy. Thankfully, your dog will likely be fine, as an upset stomach usually isn’t as dangerous as an obstructed one from a foreign body.
Your curious dog may have gotten into your trash or been given food that their stomach doesn’t agree with. Keep an eye on them to ensure no other serious symptoms arise. They may experience a bit of diarrhea or vomiting but should recover quickly. However, if your dog has guzzled down a large amount of chocolate or another ingredient that is toxic to them, you should take them to the vet.
7. New Food
Changing your dog’s food every few months is beneficial to them as it gives them a wider variety of nutrients in their diet and can prevent food allergies from developing. However, there are important steps to take when starting them on a new food, and it’s essential that you transition them over slowly.
Immediately starting your dog on new food will cause gastrointestinal upset, potentially resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, excessive gas, and loud stomach noises. Sometimes even with a slow transition, you may still hear loud noises coming from your dog’s stomach accompanied by gas which could be caused by sensitivities to some of the ingredients in the new food.
8. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
If your dog’s stomach frequently makes loud noises accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss, they may have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is often caused by an imbalance in the gut’s bacteria, a food intolerance, or an abnormal immune response. Some breeds are more prone to this inflammatory condition, but it can occur in any dog.
There is treatment available from your vet that can help your dog experience less discomfort, such as an adjusted diet, antibiotics, supplements, and immunosuppressive drugs.
When Do Loud Stomach Noises Become Concerning?
As you’ve seen from the text above, there are many reasons why your dog’s stomach might be making loud noises. Although it can sound alarming, it often isn’t, and the noises will either begin to quieten on their own or once you’ve given your dog something small to eat.
Loud stomach noises only really become concerning if they continue for a long time or are accompanied by other symptoms. If you ever notice vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the vomit or feces, a loss of appetite, lethargy, pain, aggression, or a bloated stomach, then there’s reason for concern, and you should contact your vet.
Your dog’s stomach might be making loud noises for a number of reasons. Most of the time, the noises aren’t an indication of something concerning. However, if other symptoms accompany the grumbling, gurgling, and squealing, the reason might be more serious, and you need to reach out to your vet for advice.