Dog stomach gurgling: what does it mean?

If your cuddle time has ever been interrupted by a dog stomach gurgle, you may have wondered what all the noise was about. 

Those tummy rumbles have various causes, and soft intermittent gurgles are perfectly normal. But sometimes gurgling can indicate a serious health issue. Below we reveal the common causes of dog stomach rumbling and when you should be concerned. 

Common causes of dog stomach gurgling

Normal digestion – In most cases, dog stomach noises are nothing to worry about. Just as our own tummies can gurgle randomly throughout the day, our furry friends can too. It’s a normal part of digestion and breaking down food. Also known as Borborygmi, gurgling noises often happen as gas moves through the gastrointestinal tract.

Hunger – Hunger growls are slightly louder than typical digestion sounds, and occur when your dog has gone a while without food. If your dog has regular hunger rumbles, try introducing smaller, more frequent meal times. 

Air – If your dog eats too quickly they can ingest air at the same time, which can lead to excessive gurgling. If eating too fast is an issue for your dog, try using a slow feed bowl or making a game out of meal times. 

Change in diet – A sudden change in your dog’s diet can play havoc with their digestion. You should switch their diet gradually to avoid an upset tum. 

Eating something they shouldn’t – Dogs are notorious scavengers and will eat almost anything. But if they eat something new or too rich, this can result in stomach gurgling. Even those seemingly innocent table scraps can send your dog’s tummy off kilter. 

When is it a cause for concern? 

The above causes are relatively harmless and aren’t a huge cause for concern. But when gurgling is paired with any of the following symptoms, this could indicate a more serious problem. 

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Lethargy 
  • Excessive drooling 
  • Excessive gas
  • Dehydration 
  • Swollen, bloated abdomen
  • Hunched posture 

These symptoms could be caused by:

Gastrointestinal obstruction – If your dog has eaten a ball, a toy or rocks, for example, this can cause an obstruction in the intestines. This is an emergency and will require a surgical procedure. 

Inflammatory bowel disease – Dogs can develop IBD just as humans can. The condition causes an inflammation in the intestines and disrupts normal digestion. IBD can be managed with medication and a special diet. A vet will conduct blood tests and recommend the correct form of treatment. 

Bloat – Bloat is a serious condition which can be fatal if left untreated. In bloat cases the stomach fills with gas and twists creating a swollen, bloated stomach. If you notice signs of bloat, see your vet immediately. 

Liver disease – Liver disease stops a dog’s liver from removing toxins from the body. The condition is a serious health problem and requires immediate attention from a vet. Medications and dietary changes can help manage symptoms. 

Pancreatitis – Pancreatitis is often caused by eating foods too high in fat. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, this can cause damage to the pancreas and other organs due to digestive enzymes. You can manage your dog’s symptoms with medication and a special low-fat diet. 

If your dog adopts the ‘prayer stance’, with their head and shoulders down and front legs stretched, this can signal your dog has abdominal pain. Always see your vet if you notice gurgling and the above symptoms. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 

But if your dog experiences the occasional gurgle after a meal and they’re happy in themselves, it’s usually nothing to worry about. 

Get to know everything about dog weight management and why it is important.

24 thoughts on “Dog stomach gurgling: what does it mean?”

  1. My dog’s stomach/intestines are gurgling 3-4 times a minute, loud enough for us to hear it in the same room as her. She also has a loss of appetite (hasn’t eaten all day). Is she ok or do we need to contact a vet?

    • The same is happening to my pup, i feel she is lactose intolerant and she had little cheese last night. Can u let me know what did you do?

  2. My elder chihuahuas tummy has been gurgling most of the day.. I gave her different food yesterday because she’s finicky pretty..she has been sleeping all day no food,no water..I’m also financially tapped because of work…what can I do. pLEASE HELP ME I don’t want her to be in pain. She also growled at me.
    Thank you so much

    • Hi Cherlyn,

      I’m sorry to hear your dog hasn’t been feeling well!

      If you haven’t spoken to your vet already, I’d recommend giving them a call so they can give you some advice. You can also get in touch with us at


  3. My dogs stomach has been gurgling all night the only thing I can think of is she may have swallowed a dentastix whole yesterday.

  4. My 5mo. old puppy also has gurgling noises l can hear..His poop is normal, no dirrera…His food is Hill’s Brothers (science diet) puppy food…been on it almost 3mo. he did have some dry heaving several days ago, but is gone now..any concerns l need to worry about? Gurgling sounds only noticeably this morning..hasn’t touch his food..its 9:00 AM in South Carolina..He’s a Shih-Tzu puppy 6lbs.

  5. My dog is 1 years old and I’m young and don’t know what to do he doesn’t eat he’s a yorkie mixed with a tzu like I was saying he doesn’t eat and just now his stomach has been growling he doesn’t have diarrhea or vomit I’m scared do I ask my mom to take him to the vet

    • Hi Linda – your best bet is to keep an eye on him, and if you’re concerned then give your vet a call to check him over. It may just be a bit of nausea or a bug that will pass, but best to be on the safe side.

  6. Hello I have a lab x collie male, he’s been sick a few times over the last week. It’s mostly been just bile, but tonight after he hate his dinner he threw up all of his food. No issues with his poo, and he is fine within himself I’m just worried about how many times he’s been sick over the last week?

    • Hi Chloe – he could just have a stomach bug, but I’d suggest taking him to the vet if the vomiting has been going on for more than a couple of days!

  7. Lily is my 5 yr. Old, 13 pound shih-Tzu who has always had finicky stomach problems. I finally found a grain less dog food she really likes and mixed some ground up cooked baby beef liver on the fourth day to enhance its nourishment. Now on the fifth day she hasn’t touched her food and her gurgling stomach was so loud she woke me up out of a sound sleep and it hasn’t subsided. I’m wondering if the ground up baby beef liver had anything to do with the gurgling. Her stools are solid but very moist, no diarrhea. Should I be concerned?

    • Hi Jim, we’re sorry to hear that Lily has recently gone off her food and has a gurgling stomach as a result. Her dry food is a complete diet which will give her all the nutrients she needs, meaning this can be fed alone without any additional foods depending on her feeding plan. If you’d like to discuss Lily’s feeding plan with us, just send us an email to as our Customer team would be happy to help. If you are however concerned about her stomach, we’d advise taking a trip to your vet for a check up 🙂

  8. We have an 18th month old Spanish rescue street dog. She was a feel scavenger when we had her last September she’s now not so bad hopefully she’s realised she has regular nutritious food. The problem we are having is that every few days she has a really loud gurgling tummy doesn’t eat her food but eats a lot of grass. Does anyone know if this is normal?
    Thank you


Leave a comment