Dogs are like humans in many ways. They love to eat, play, sleep, and burp!
When your dog lets out a big belch, it’s because they have too much air in their tummy. Sometimes they swallow air when they gobble up their food like there’s no tomorrow.
Sometimes they get air from sniffing around with their cute flat noses. Either way, they need to release the gas before they explode.
So don’t be alarmed if your dog burps after a meal or a walk. It’s just their way of saying “Ahh, that was good!”
Why Do Dogs Burp?
Dogs burp to release excess gas from their stomachs, which can form from swallowing air while eating and drinking, or from the interaction of stomach acids, digestive enzymes, and foods with a high pH level.
Dogs that eat too quickly, have flat faces, or follow an alkaline diet are more likely to experience burping. While burping is typically harmless and normal for dogs, it can become a problem if it is excessive or has a strong odor.
Burping can also be a form of communication for dogs, as they can receive information from each other by their breath. This can be a way of greeting, showing affection, or seeking attention.
However, this is not always the case, as dog burping can also be a coincidence that they happen to face you when they burp.
Therefore, the meaning of dog burping may depend on the context and the individual dog. If your dog burps in your face after eating or drinking too fast, it may not be a sign of communication, but if your dog burps in your face when they are relaxed or happy, it may be a way of expressing their feelings!
Benefits and Drawbacks of Dog Burps
While burping may seem like an unpleasant or embarrassing behavior for your dog, it actually has some benefits.
For one thing, it helps relieve the pressure and discomfort that gas can cause in the stomach or esophagus. This can prevent more serious problems such as bloating, vomiting or gastric torsion (a life-threatening condition where the stomach twists and cuts off blood supply).
Another benefit of burping is that it can indicate that your dog is satisfied and full after eating. This can help you monitor your dog’s appetite and prevent overfeeding or underfeeding.
Burping can also signal that your dog is happy and relaxed, as it may occur after playing, cuddling or sleeping.
Despite the benefits of burping, there are also some drawbacks that you should be aware of.
Burping can be unpleasant for you and others around you, especially if your dog’s burps are smelly or loud. This can make you feel embarrassed or annoyed by your dog’s behavior.
Another drawback of burping is that it can indicate that your dog has a health issue or a dietary intolerance.
If your dog burps excessively, frequently or with other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss or poor appetite, you should consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying conditions. Some common causes of abnormal burping in dogs include:
- Food allergies or sensitivities: A bad reaction to certain food proteins that causes skin and stomach problems .
- Inflammatory bowel disease: A long-term condition that inflames and damages the intestines and causes diarrhea and weight loss.
- Gastritis1: A stomach inflammation that causes vomiting, pain, and dehydration. It can be caused by many things, such as infections, toxins, or food.
- Acid reflux2: A condition where stomach acid goes back into the throat and irritates it. It causes vomiting, coughing, bad breath, and swallowing problems.
- Parasites3: Can cause burping by infecting the gastrointestinal tract and causing inflammation, imbalance, or upset
- Liver disease: Any disorder that affects the liver’s function or structure.
- Cancer: Dog burping can sometimes be a sign of cancer, especially if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, or bleeding.
How to Prevent or Reduce Excessive Burping in Dogs?
Excessive burping in dogs can be prevented or reduced by changing some factors related to their diet and feeding habits. Some tips include:
1. Feed smaller and more frequent meals
Give your dog less food at a time, but more often during the day. This can help your dog eat less and swallow less air.
2. Avoid foods that are spicy, fatty, or high in pH
Stop giving your dog foods that can hurt their stomach or make more stomach acid.
Examples of such foods include hot peppers, fried foods, oranges, or tomatoes.
3. Choose high-quality kibble that is easy to digest
Pick a dry dog food that is made with good ingredients, has the right nutrients, and does not have bad stuff. This can help your dog’s stomach work better and make less gas and burping.
4. Use slow feeders or puzzle toys to slow down eating
Make your dog work for their food or eat slower. This can help your dog not gulp down food and air, which can cause burping and bloating.
Examples of such things include bowls with bumps or walls, balls with holes, or toys that drop kibble.
5. Provide fresh water at all times
Make sure your dog has clean and fresh water to drink all day. This can help your dog stay hydrated and not get dry mouth and swallow more air.
6. Avoid dairy products or other foods that dogs are allergic or intolerant to
Do not feed your dog foods that can make them sick or itchy. These foods can cause swelling, diarrhea, vomiting, or skin problems in your dog.
Examples of such foods include milk, cheese, eggs, bread, corn, or soy.
7 Discourage scavenging or eating from the trash
Prevent your dog from eating things that are not for them or that are bad or dirty. These things can make your dog’s stomach upset, sick, infected, or blocked.
Examples of such things include bones, garbage, poop, plants, or chemicals.
8. Consult a vet if burping persists or worsens
Ask a vet for help if your dog’s burping does not get better with home remedies or if it comes with other signs of being sick. These signs may include not wanting to eat, losing weight, being tired, having a fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, or blood in the poop. Your vet can find out why your dog is burping and give the right treatment.
When is burping a sign of bloat or other serious issues in dogs?
Burping can be a sign of bloat or other serious issues in dogs if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as:
- Non-productive vomiting or retching
- Abdominal pain or swelling
- Restlessness or anxiety
- Pale gums or tongue
- Rapid heart rate or breathing
- Weakness or collapse
These symptoms indicate a medical emergency and require immediate veterinary attention. Bloat can be fatal if left untreated. Other serious issues that can cause burping include liver disease, kidney disease, pancreatitis, cancer, or foreign body obstruction
Facts and Myths about dog burping
There are many misconceptions and myths about dog burping that can confuse or mislead dog owners. Here are some facts and myths to help you understand your dog’s burping better:
- Dog burping is a common and natural phenomenon that occurs when dogs release excess gas from their stomachs through their mouths. Burping is a normal part of canine digestion.
- Eating too quickly can cause excessive burping in dogs. Eating slowly can help reduce persistent burping in dogs.
- Gently massaging a dog's belly can help relieve gas and aid in digestion, which may prevent too much burping in dogs. Massaging a dog's belly can help improve digestion and prevent abnormal burping.
- Some dogs may burp more than others due to factors such as breed, age, diet, medication, and environment. Burping frequency and intensity can vary between dogs based on several factors.
- Dogs can't burp. Dogs are capable of burping like humans.
- Giving a dog carbonated drinks can make them burp more. Carbonated drinks may not affect a dog's burping habits as much as they do for humans. However, it's not recommended to give dogs carbonated drinks because they can be harmful to their health.
- Giving a dog leftovers or human food can lead to an increase in burping. The type of food given to a dog may not necessarily cause excessive burping.
- Burping can indicate that a dog is sick. Burping is a normal part of canine digestion and not necessarily a sign of illness.
- All dogs burp equally. Burping frequency and intensity can vary between dogs based on several factors.
The Bottom Line on Dog Burping
Dog burping is a common and natural phenomenon that occurs when dogs release excess gas from their stomachs through their mouths.
While most burps are harmless and normal, some can indicate underlying health problems or discomfort in dogs. Dog owners should be aware of the various factors that can affect their dog’s burping habits, such as breed, age, diet, medication, and environment.
By monitoring their dog’s burping frequency and intensity, identifying potential triggers or causes of burping, and modifying their dog’s diet, feeding schedule, and environment, dog owners can help prevent or reduce excessive or abnormal burping in their dogs.
Dog owners should not be alarmed or annoyed by their dog’s burps, but rather understand and appreciate them as part of their dog’s natural behavior and well-being.
- Malcolm Weir, DVM, MSc, MPH; Tammy Hunter, DVM; Ernest Ward, DVM – Gastritis in Dogs
- Joanne Keenan – Acid Reflux In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatment
- Anonymous – Giardiasis
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