Two dogs upside down with their stomachs up.
Two dogs upside down with their stomachs up. Photography ©WilleeCole | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

Why Is My Dog’s Stomach Making Noises? A Vet Weighs In

If you’ve ever wondered, “Why is my dog's stomach making noises?” you’re not alone. A vet tells us if your dog's stomach making noises is normal ... or a cause for concern.
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Ever heard a loud gurgling noise and wondered, “Why is my dog’s stomach making noises?” You’re not alone. And, more importantly, you might have wondered whether that dog’s stomach gurgling was something to be worried about.

dog's stomach making noises
Is your dog’s stomach making noises? Is it normal or a cause for concern? Photography © JZHunt | Thinkstock.

When it comes to your dog’s stomach making noises — what’s normal?

Dog stomach noises, like everything in medicine, have a fancy name. The scientific name for your dog’s stomach making noises is borborygmi. These gurgling sounds are produced when gas moves from one portion of the intestines to another.

It is normal for there to be some gas in the intestines. And it is normal for the intestines to engage in motility or activity that moves intestinal contents around. Thus, it is normal for gas to move around in the intestines, and soft borborygmi are therefore normal phenomena.

Normal borborygmi are quiet. Try the following experiment: Place your ear against your dog’s abdomen. You should hear periods of silence interspersed with soft gurgles. This is what normal borborygmi sound like.

Some dogs, however, experience episodes of abnormally loud intestinal gurgling. During these episodes, the borborygmi might be audible from across the room. These sounds are not exactly normal, but they don’t always represent a crisis. Sometimes they indicate something is wrong in the intestinal tract. In other instances, they are caused by nothing more serious than hunger.

But what if the stomach noises are loud?

Normal, quiet borborygmi occur when normal quantities of gas are moved through the intestines in a normal fashion. If your dog’s stomach is making loud noises, this is likely not a serious issue either. Abnormally loud intestinal noises occur when the intestines contain abnormally large quantities of gas, or when the intestines experience abnormally increased activity. Both of these phenomena often occur simultaneously.

Is your dog’s stomach making noises because he’s hungry?

One of the most common causes of your dog’s stomach making noises is when your dog is hungry. Intestines of hungry animals do not contain significant quantities of ingesta. (Remember how doctors have fancy words for everything? Ingesta, in most cases, means food.)

Therefore they have a higher ratio of gas to solids. And the empty intestines might start to exhibit activity in response to anticipated feeding. The result will be audible intestinal noises, or “tummy grumbling.” Breakfast is the treatment for this type of intestinal gurgling.

Are the noises because your dog ate something strange — or something he shouldn’t have?

Unfortunately, hunger is not the only thing that can cause loud intestinal gurgling. Anything that can cause gastrointestinal upset of any kind also can cause audible borborygmi.

Dietary indiscretion, such as occurs when dogs break into the trash or feast on novel food items, is a common cause of a dog’s stomach making noises. This type of gastrointestinal upset often is mild (it can be compared to what might happen when a person who doesn’t usually eat spicy food goes to a Thai restaurant).

However, be aware that dietary indiscretion in some cases can lead to very severe vomiting or diarrhea, or to other complications such as pancreatitis in dogs.

Other reasons for your dog’s stomach making noises

Other potentially serious causes of your dog’s stomach making noises include intestinal parasites, inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal foreign bodies, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, certain toxicities, adverse reactions to medications, metabolic problems such as liver or kidney disease, glandular disorders and even cancer of the intestines.

What to do about your dog’s stomach making noises

So, how worried should you be about your dog’s stomach making noises, and what should you do? It depends upon the circumstances. If it’s the morning, and your dog appears to be feeling fine but has not yet been fed, consider offering breakfast. If he eats with his normal enthusiasm and the noises stop, there probably isn’t a problem.

On the other hand, if your dog’s stomach is making noises in combination with symptoms such as mild lethargy or slightly poor appetite, a problem could be brewing. You should brace yourself for possible diarrhea or vomiting (although these are not guaranteed to develop), and consider offering an easily digestible diet such as boiled boneless, skinless chicken breast with steamed white rice.

If your dog is producing loud intestinal noises and he seems sick, then you should seek veterinary care immediately. Symptoms that should signal alarm include significant lethargy, significantly depressed appetite or thirst, diarrhea and especially vomiting.

If you are in doubt about whether your dog needs to see the vet, the safest option is always to take him in. It is better to err on the side of caution in these types of circumstances.

Are your dog’s stomach noises painful?

Some people wonder whether loud intestinal noises are painful. Again, it depends on the circumstances surrounding your dog’s stomach making noises. Hunger pangs are not especially miserable, but the cramps associated with some of the more serious causes of loud borborygmi can be downright agonizing. Painful borborygmi are usually accompanied by lethargy and poor appetite. If your dog seems to be in pain, then a trip to the vet is in order.

Finally, some dogs experience loud intestinal noises on a regular basis. If you notice a dog’s stomach making noises — loudly — many times per week, then you should use the presence (or hopefully the absence) of other symptoms to guide your response. Dogs who experience regular loud borborygmi in conjunction with episodes of diarrhea or poor appetite might be suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, parasites, or some other chronic intestinal disorder that should be treated.

Dogs who feel fine but produce loud intestinal noises regularly probably don’t have anything wrong (although you should have your vet confirm it). After all, some individuals are gassier than others, and some intestines are naturally more active than others.

Tell us: Is your dog’s stomach making noises? What do they sound like? What was the culprit of your dog’s stomach noises?

Thumbnail: Photography ©WilleeCole | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

This piece was originally published in 2015. 

Read Next: Can You Give a Dog Imodium, Kaopectate or Pepto-Bismol for His Upset Stomach?

77 thoughts on “Why Is My Dog’s Stomach Making Noises? A Vet Weighs In”

  1. Hi, I am fostering a 1 year old Doberman and considering adoption. I am curious to concerned about what sounds like his stomach growling. I have fostered him now for just over two weeks, and I’m feeding him slightly more than the suggested amount because of the noise, because he is skinny and because he seems hungry. This morning I fed him at 6 EDT and walked him right away. It’s been about 1 hour and 25 minutes since he ate and I hear his stomach growling if I’m next to him. It’s not all the time, but I definitely heard it after he drank water. I am feeding him Blue Wilderness with chicken. I started with the same brand, but salmon and some other fish flavored. The rescue provided the food and this is the bag they’ve provided. I do give him three or four salmon treats sparingly to coax him in his crate or maybe after a walk. His stool has been sort of soft to very soft since I’ve had him, but I would hesitate to say it’s diarrhea because there is no urgency to go. The rescue’s vet gave him a fecal test, which they said was negative for parasites. I’m waiting to see the results myself. I know the stomach growling could be many things, but any suggestions would be helpful.

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  4. My german shepherd started having very loud squeaky rumblung noises early in evening but appeared to be hsppy.
    Except she kept me wwake all night as she has continued with this loud sound all night. But no wind at all.
    Its now mid morning next day & still doing sounds. Bur she seems ok. I dont know what to do

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  6. It may sound strange, but could depression be making my dog’s belly do this? I’m in an especially weird time – I was unemployed just before coronavirus hit, became depressed myself and got “just any job” (stocking shelves at a grocery store) to get me out of the house and out of the refrigerator….and add to it that I’m moving. So basically, the times that I’m home ~ I’m either not wanting to be on my feet, after those 4 to 8 miles on concrete at work or I’m having to pack, paint, do stuff and he’s not getting quite the exercise/attention in proportion to how much I’m at the house. I’ve just never heard his belly do this. He doesn’t want his breakfast….but that’s normal for him to not want to eat until he’s know we are, or have gone for a walk.

    1. Same exact thing with my pit bull. We moved an her dad’s working now cause he lost his job due to covid. Now hes gone 2nd shift. An im unpacking. She wont take her treats an hasnt touched her food. Its started today.

  7. I have a 10 yo staffordshire pit that was so sick from stomach upset she wouldn’t move, after several visits to the vet and a blood test nothing was really diagnosed, It sounded like explosions in her stomach, then one coworker that had lactose intolerance said what foods made him sick, and I thought what the heck, I will put my dog on a lactose free diet, after years of battling this condition within 2 days she was running through the woods like a pup. Dogs are typically lactose intolerant after weaning, nobody told me.

  8. I give my dog a gas X. They come in orange capsules. I punch a hole in one with a needle and squeeze the contents back into my dog’s throat (she weighs 10 pounds) and within two hours, no squeaky gut. She is happy again.

  9. We have a 2 year old Westie that has had stomach problems ever since she had a Lepto-4 shot last year (March 2019) along with her yearly shots which caused diarrhea, bleeding & vomiting. It’s been almost a year now and she actually is doing very well with her digestive problems….on a fish-based protein kibble, snacks/treats are boiled chicken breasts and she gets a cooked or boiled egg on Sunday mornings. We also give her a little something to eat right before she goes to bed which has helped to stop the early morning spitting up yellow bile. She now can go about 3 weeks before we get any tummy gurgling & have learned the “signs” and will give her a pepcid tablet which settles her tummy down right away without her spitting up. She perks up within a couple of hours and is back to normal. I’m hoping she might grow out of the stomach issues in time. But next month will be time for her yearly shots – and we have a different vet now who seems to be better about dealing with her tummy issues and wants to spread out her yearly shorts to hopefully avoid going through the same problems again. Sorry for the excessive amount of info….hopefully this might help someone else who is going through what we have. Love out pets – but hate it when they are sick 🙁

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  17. Thanks for sharing this. Dogs can have these kinds of problems and some are just mild cases while some are indicators of other medical conditions that your dog has. If you suspect your dog has worse symptoms then you should immediately get it diagnosed. I’ve read another article about dogs upset stomach here. I hope this helps your readers.

  18. Me and my mom just got a puppy from a friend of mine and shes been fine, running, playing, eating and, drinking normally. But I’m concerned because her stomach is making loud noises and her stomach like moves when it does and I dont know what to do, and I’m pretty sure she has worms and I plan on telling my mom all this in the morning, I’m just concerned for her.

  19. Deborah Marshall

    I have 2 pug mixes that just recently started getting these terrible gurgling noises I am going to try switching their dog food. And maybe get wormers for them. I wish more people would follow up with what was wrong with there dogs that had these noises. What the solution was. My dogs are 9 and 8. I think they were a little inbred. Over breed came from a puppy mill. One pug is over weight and other one is thin. the one eats all the time and her poop is so hard. Sometimes balls. I will follow up

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  22. I have had a similar experience and have a few suggestions….first off, anyone having this problem, I would immediately check the FDA website for any dog food recalls and or just try switching to a different food as sometimes the problem (such as ecoli, or contamination or high levels of so and so) in the food isn’t discovered til later. So could just be a food issue. Dogs can sometime have sensitivity to switching foods but they are usually more resilient than we think. I also recommend acidophilus probiotic. It’s sold over the counter at Walmart or just about any store that sells vitamins. We crush up half a tablet of that twice a day (1 tablet per day split between two feedings) with my whippets food, he is 23lbs. Its just a helpful digestive probiotic to help maintain the digestive flora in your pup’s stomach but always helpful to talk to your vet about dosage and recommendations. Lastly a few years ago I had to put down my sweet baby, a 6 year old Whippet who was having a loud stomach gurgling for years. It never seemed to bother her at all and she never seemed to be in pain and nothing to cause the vet any concern. Then one day I noticed her gums looked pale and I took her to the vet and found out she had an intenal bleed caused by stomach cancer. Not sure if the stomach noises we’re a symptom but that’s the only thing when I think back that ever seemed off. It was such a terrible heartbreaking diagnosis, so I’d just like to put it out there in case it indeed was a symptom and can maybe help someone else out.

  23. Hi my moms polmeranean is about 4 years old and she weighs about 8 pounds. She was layin next to me on the couch and i heard her stomach making loud gurgling noises and ive never heard her stomach make those kind of noises. Her stomach does get upset sometimes but ive never heard these noises that her stomach is making. Is she okay? And what should i do? This dog is my moms pride and joy so please help. Any advice is helpful. Thank you.

  24. JOSHUA R Mattiaccio

    My Gus out of nowhere just started having loud strange noises as if he ate our cat or something. He was watching TV with us and there was no noises and then 4am rolls around and it’s up down up down off the bed and some strange noises, just let him out and they seem to have gotten less frequent. Will check him again at 9am when we get up. He went out and came back in and got his treat like always. Hoping it was just a potty issue and that was his belly saying “wake up I gotta poop”.

  25. Healthy,happy,energetic flat coat..with gas/farts all the time!!
    Normal poo,gorgeous coat..varried diet kibble, fish, organ meats, veggies, and occasionally fruit.

  26. Pingback: Why Is Your Dog’s Stomach Making Noises? A Vet Weighs In –

  27. My dog has had boughts of diarreah when given soft food but won’t eat his kibble without it. His stomach is making very loud noises that i can hear across the room. I know he is hungry but he won’t eat and i am trying not to feed him the soft food because he kept me up all night with the diarreah. Vet has tested his stool twice and there are no parasite. So stressed out in what to do?

    1. Hi there,
      Please continue to monitor this situation with your dog. These articles might provide some insight, but please ensure that he is given medical attention:

  28. Sharyn Lafontaine

    My little Tenterfield terrier regularly had stomach issues which included loud noises, lethargy, off her food and diarrhoea. We have found if we worm her every couple of months she is fine but miss a worming or even just a few weeks over and her problem comes back. I now put a reminder in my phone so we don’t miss her tablet.
    It is very distressing for her and us.

  29. Hello, my 7 year old lab has had tummy rumblings and gas for about 2 weeks now (normal poop). For the first few days she seemed fine so I figured she ate something she shouldn’t, then her appetite went down, then she threw up for two days but stopped when I fasted her and did the rice and potatoes. I took her to the vet and they did blood work and a fecal test. Fecal test was negative, blood work was all clear except slightly high EOS which vet said could mean allergies or parasites (but clean fecal). Anyways they put her on antinausea, probiotics, and dewormer just in case… It has only been a little over a day but she still has the rumblings…. Any experience in this area? The vet made it sound like it is anyone guess…..

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Thanks for reaching out! Please stay in contact with your vet. These articles might provide some further insight:

  30. My 15 week old puppy woke up with extremely loud stomach noises this morning, he won’t eat his breakfast, which is not like him. Isn’t acting uncomfortable, but the noises are very unsettling. He had been given human snacks yesterday as we had company and couldn’t totally control it. He hasn’t had that before. But that was yesterday afternoon, should I take him into the vet today?

  31. I rescued my beagle, Buddy, 7 years ago. Through out the years I learned that when he gets the really loud gurgling noises in his stomach then he’s hungry. I would attempt to feed him but unfortunately, he wouldnt eat right away. I would have to tempt him with his favorite treats to get him to eat, then once he ate, he would be fine. Just recently, his appetite has increased at night. It’s like he’s ravenously hungry. I thought it might be behavioral so I wouldnt give him anything, then the gurgling sounds started happening around 4am. I just recently started feeding him before bed to avoid his 4am wake up call, but he still wakes me up at 4am.

  32. I have a Jack Russell cross named Buddy who is 6 years old. Quite frequently he gets these really loud gurgling noises from his stomach and becomes quite lethargic. Today he has it and he just threw up a couple minutes ago which is weird cause he never throws up while he has these noises. He seems a little bloated as well. I’m quite worried that it’s a lot serious then what it looks. I need help!

    1. Hi Carlie,
      We suggest contacting your vet with this question, but these articles might give you some good questions to ask your vet:
      Best of luck and hope your dog feels better!

      1. My vet doesn’t help much. Need to see someone else. I have a 11 year old yorkie with the same problem. Vet said to change diet so we did. Poor pup is worse off. …and the new food was so much more expensive. So sometimes Vets don’t know what they are talking about. I do believe in giving chicken and just a little brown rice (he loves it). For a while that’s all he was eating because he had just gone through some kind of procedure and it made him eat. I hated to wean him from it, maybe I shouldn’t have because his breath wasn’t so bad.

  33. My little yorkiesister stomach bloatß and makes loud gurgling and squirting noises you can hear across the room and has this problem quiet often. I have taken her to the vet a lot for this problem.the vet just don’t know what is causing this problem he put her on nexium 10mg and it didn’t work.she does not feel good at all when this is happening. I am soo worried about her!could I give her a half of a pecid?she weighs about 4 1/2 pds. Please tell me what to do.she also has some blood in her stools which are normal consistency.

    1. My pomchi had the same thing (sounds like it anyway), the vet realized he didn’t respond well to fat and went on a low fat diet (vet food). We started with wet food to help his intestines heal then transitioned him to dry food. Hope this helps! He’s 8.5 lbs now, still would rather eat the cats food but I’m just happy he’s not so sick anymore.

      1. My Yorkie as well, she is 7. And same noisy stomach! When she is like that she just doesnt eat ans seems down! Or does not go potty!

        1. My 10 year old Yorkie ate fine up until he was about 10 years old. He threw up blood and had diarrhea with blood and I took him to the vet and he was diagnosed with a bout of pancreatitis. He also showed discomfort at its worst by hunching up. The vet changed him to a low fat diet that is prescribed and he has been doing better. I just have to monitor him and make sure he doesn’t eat junk and just his vet prescribed diet or else he could get another bout of pancreatitis.

          1. My Yorkie was same but I switched him to raw feeding at 11 yrs old 9 months ago. He’s much better now even lost a bit of the belly roundness. I also give 1 tsp of plain kefir 2x a day with meals as probiotic for gut health. Very important to get good bacteria in proper balance.

        2. Just wondering what you found out if anything? Our little yorkie is about 8 yrs, 3 1/2 lbs and sounds like the same thing. The vet gave us Cerenia tabs, but she is so small getting her to take a pill is next to impossible. The noise starts sometimes in the night and she seems to need to go outside she doesn’t do any of her business. But 30 minutes later wanting out again. The noise just continues, you can tell it is causing her some distress. Any advice would be appreciated!

          1. I have a dashuana and has had IBA all his life I found that giving him a 1/4 t in a syringe does the trick. Usually I don’t have to but once but on accusing when really bad I will for a day every 4/6 hrs. Has always work for him and Dr says ok for him

  34. My dog tia is a Staffordshire bull terrier she’s 13 now and every so often she will get these really loud noises coming from her stomach and I thought it was trapped wind at first cause her farts did smell pretty bad and when she does a few good farts the noises seem to go away but we ruled out hunger cause when this is going on she doesn’t eat anything what so ever and it does keep her awake so I know it is painful for her but I don’t know what to do about it can anyone give me some advice please about it

    1. Hi Thomas —
      Thanks for reaching out and sorry that Tia isn’t feeling well! We suggest seeking veterinary advice.

    2. Hi Mr Nock:
      I’m sorry about Tias problems. Have yourVet suggested a change in her food and no table food?

    3. If her gas is stinky and she’s not wanting to eat she may have to poop. My 2 yr old pitbull very rarely but it happens, wakes up with the loud gurgling noises. We usually go out for morning bathroom and my female will go pee and poop right away, but my male will sometimes just pee. Then, when we go inside for breakfast, if he doesn’t eat right away I know he has to go back out to poop. We go back outside, he poops,
      We come back in, he eats and gurgling stops. I would maybe just spend some extra time with her outside to make sure she poops, if that doesn’t help I would call your veterinarian just to have a quick check.

    4. My vet told me to give my dog half of a crushed Tums tablet. Our dog woke up in the middle of the night with a gurgling tummy and I gave it to her. It took about 30 mins and then she settled back to sleep. Ate and pooed fine this morning.

  35. Emily and Lucius the labrador

    My Labrador Retriever has had a lot of gastrointestinal issues during his life (he’s 3 years old) he has a wheat allergy and anything with wheat or gluten in it can set his stomach off, his symptoms from this are vomiting, diarrhoea and a gurgly sounding stomach. Last time he had an allergic reaction which was in January,he was unsteady on his feet and couldnt navigate up or downstairs properly and the vet had to keep him in overnight and keep him on a drip for fluids and an antibiotic drip as well, he was very dehydrated and went that way overnight, the vet told us that if we took him home that night “we might not be able to get him back” Its scary to think that we might have lost him over an allergy but he went downhill so fast. They even x-rayed him as he showed symptoms of eating a foreign object but it was just his allergies. When he was a puppy of 8 weeks old her weighed just 3.5 kg and he should have weight at least 6kg, he was so skinny and we didnt know why until he was diagnosed with a wheat allergy at the age of 3 months. Its not a problem that will ever go away but luckily we have a vet thats a 2 minute drive from us, so if theres an emergency we can take him there asap.

    1. Your dog has a “wheat allergy”? Your dog is a carnivore bred from gray wolves. When was the last time an animal planet doc followed wild canines raiding wheat fields? The only vegetable matter canines can digest, to any degree, are fermenting plant matter taken from the small intestine of their herbivore prey. Feed your dog like a human and he’ll die like a dog from a degenerative disease from lack of sufficient nutrients he/she can metabolize. All you need to know is that the pet food industry is virtually unregulated. Watch “Pet Fooled” on Netflix then check out
      Is a raw diet more expensive than kibble? You bet you. But, it’s cheaper than vet bills!!!

      1. remember that dogs are carnivores and aren’t meant to eat wheat or heavily proccessed foods. However, wheat and many other bad things are in dogs foods. Stop being ignorant and get over yourself

          1. Only according to dog food companies. Dogs genetically are identical to wolves. We haven’t changed what they are, we’ve only changed how they look. Wolves are carnivores. Whether an animal is a carnivore, herbivore or omnivore is based on their digestive tract NOT on what they are willing to eat. Sure a dog will eat a donut if he’s hungry, but that doesn’t make him an omnivore any more than people who drink alcohol proves human beings are alcoholiveres. His digestive track and his metabolism are designed for a carnivorous diet. We are omnivores, and considering how many problems we have eating plants (peanut allergies, legumes must be cooked, or they are toxic, gluten intolerance Etc.) for an animal designed to be a carnivore plants are much worse. The effect is cumulative. That’s why old dogs require so much medical care. Feeding them an omnivorous diet is no different from feeding a child nothing but sweets. Sure that kid will grow up, but he will pay for it with poor health.

        1. Refer to my reply to ricks reply. Domesticated dogs are not carnivores. They haven’t been carnivores since humans domesticated them.

      2. actually, scientists can tell when and where domestication of dogs occured just by doing an analysis on enzymes in the stomachs of frozen burials (yes, ancient dogs got buried like a human would have). They had an enzyme, like ALL modern domesticated dogs that allows the breakdown of wheat products. That enzyme was never found in wolves, but when they got domesticated, living during the rise of agriculture, they evolved to develope it to help them break down what they got most of. Just because during that time grains would have been easier to give to them than to feed them livestock meant for the tribes. But if a dog is born without that enzyme it probably could develop allergic reactions.

  36. I would not recommend rice for dogs, period. It wrecks havoc in yeasty dogs, and has the tendency to ferment in the belly–NOT good when your furbaby is having “troubles”! Plain, pureed pumpkin or a little slippery elm might be a better choice.

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