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Dog Burps a Lot? Causes and Solutions - PawSafe
Dog Healthcare

Dog Burps a Lot? Causes and Solutions

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

dog burps a lot

Dogs experience natural body processes just like humans do, and burping is one of them. Burping can be funny and adorable but also be a cause for concern. But, if your dog burps a lot, you may wonder if this is normal behavior or a sign of an underlying health issue.

Excessive burping in dogs is not a standard or regular occurrence. While some dogs may emit a noise that sounds like a burp, it’s important to note that dogs do not burp like humans. Dogs generally release excess gas through flatulence rather than burping.

By staying informed and taking the necessary steps to care for your canine companion, you can ensure they remain healthy and happy for years. We have engaged the BSAVA Manual of Canine Practice by Dr. Tim Hutchinson and Dr. Ken Robinson for more insights on why dogs burp a lot.

The medical term for burping or belching is eructation. And when it happens too much, it’s usually because of a gut issue or a breathing problem.

Some dog breeds, especially those with short noses and flat faces, are more likely to swallow air. Observing your dog’s behavior, eating habits, and accompanying symptoms is essential. It is also essential to understand why your dog burps in order to reduce the frequency of dog belching and work to address the underlying cause. 

This may involve feeding your dog smaller, more frequent meals, monitoring their eating, or switching to a different type of food.

Common Causes of Excessive Dog Burping

Constant  belching in dogs can indicate an underlying health issue or simply a result of their diet or eating habits. Here are some common causes of extreme dog belching:

1. Diet 

Diet plays a significant role in the amount of gas produced. Some foods are more likely to cause gas than others. The following are some of the foods that are gassy in dogs:

  • High-fiber food: Foods rich in fiber can be challenging to digest and can cause gas. Beans, lentils, broccoli, and cauliflower are high-fiber foods. Be on the look out for grain-free dog food that uses pea fiber or lentils, as this can cause gas.
  • Dairy products: Some dogs are lactose intolerant and have difficulty digesting dairy products. Milk, cheese, and other dairy products can cause gas in dogs who are lactose intolerant.
  • Spicy food: Spicy foods can cause pain, diarrhea, and belching in dogs. It can also lead to food poisoning. Spices like chili powder and cumin can irritate a dog’s digestive system and cause gas.
  • Fatty food: Foods high in fat can be problematic for dogs to digest, leading to gas and other health issues such as pancreatitis. Some examples of fatty foods include bacon, sausage, and fried foods.
  • Legumes (like pea protein): Legumes like peas, beans, and lentils contain a carbohydrate that can be difficult for dogs to digest. This can lead to gas and other digestive issues.

Not all dogs will react to these foods in the same way. Some dogs may be able to eat high-fiber foods without any issues, while others may experience gas and bloating. 

2. Fast Eating & Drinking

When dogs eat too quickly, they swallow air along with their food, which can cause gas and burping. This is especially true for dogs that eat dry kibble, as it tends to expand in the stomach and intestines.

To slow down your dogs’ eating, use a bowl with ridges or obstacles that make it harder to gulp their food.

Some dogs drink too fast, especially after they exercise or play, or when there’s no water. Use a more significant water bowl or add ice cubes to slow the dog’s drinking speed.

3. Gastrointestinal Problems

Dogs can have many gastrointestinal problems like vomiting, diarrhea, and gastroenteritis. They can also get inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal obstruction, and parasitic infections.

These issues can arise from dietary indiscretion, infections, allergies, or ingesting foreign objects. While some cases may be mild and self-limiting, others may indicate underlying severe health issues.

One study from the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine notes that excessive belching could actually be a sign of aerodigestive diseases. These are tricky issues that mess with both their breathing and digestion. It’s not just about the occasional burp – we’re talking more frequent belching, which could signal something’s up.

4. Breathing Issues In Brachycephalic Breeds That Causes Aerophagia

Pugs and French bulldogs have trouble breathing because their airways are narrow, which causes breathing problems. This condition is known as Brachycephalic Airway Obstructive Syndrome (BAOS).

BOAS affects a dog’s upper respiratory tract. It causes issues like stenotic nares, where the nostrils are so narrow, the dog needs to breath through their mouth. This means the dog swallows more air that come back up as burp. Facial and throat abnormalities like this can cause resistance to air flow, leading to difficulty breathing.

Dogs with BOAS often use mouth breathing to compensate for the reduced airflow through the nasal passages. This can cause them to swallow air, leading to aerophagia.

Additionally, dogs with BOAS may also exhibit symptoms such as snoring, gagging, coughing, exercise intolerance, and collapse.

To keep dogs safe, it’s important to know and handle BOAS. This can prevent breathing problems, overheating, and even death. There are various ways to treat this condition, such as surgery, weight loss, and infection management.

5. Acid Reflux & Eating Bad Food

If dogs burp a lot, they might have acid reflux, which is when stomach acid goes up the throat. This can cause discomfort, irritation, and inflammation in the esophagus, leading to burping, gagging, ang dog throwing up after eating.

Several factors can contribute to acid reflux in dogs, including:

  • Diet: Certain foods, such as spicy or fatty foods, can trigger acid reflux in dogs.
  • Obesity: Dogs that are overweight or obese are more likely to experience acid reflux.
  • A hiatal hernia: This is when the upper stomach pushes into the chest cavity, causing acid reflux.
  • Stress: Stressed or anxious dogs may be more prone to acid reflux.

6. Ingesting toxins 

Dogs are undiscriminating when eating, and they may ingest toxins too. Some common toxins that are hazardous to dogs include:

  • Household cleaners;
  • Insecticides;
  • Fertilizers;
  • Certain plants (e.g., lilies, azaleas, and tulips);
  • Grapes and raisins; and
  • Antidepressant medicine. 

If your dog has ingested toxins, they may experience other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
Medications that contain aspirin, steroids, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It can also be toxic for dogs. If dogs eat poison or certain drugs, it can be dangerous and they need immediate medical help.

7. Lack of Exercise and Being Overweight

Sedentary dogs are inactive, and gas can build up in their digestive system. Dogs that are inactive produce more gas and are more likely to burp.

When a dog is overweight, their digestive system has to work harder to process food. This can cause more gas production. This can result in frequent release of air, as well as other digestive issues.

Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise by taking walks and playing. Also, feed them a healthy and balanced diet. This can help keep their digestive system working well and reduce gas production.

8. Pancreas Issues

Dogs that belch a lot might have pancreatitis, which inflames the pancreas. The pancreas has two functions: making enzymes for digestion and producing hormones for blood sugar control. 

When the pancreas is inflamed, it can cause digestive issues, including excessive belching.
Pancreatitis can happen because of many things, like eating too much fat, being overweight, or taking certain medicines. Symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. If you don’t treat pancreatitis, it can cause organ failure and other serious problems.

To keep dogs from getting pancreatitis, give them a healthy, low-fat diet. Don’t give them table scraps or human food. To keep your dog healthy, make sure they stay at a good weight. Also, avoid medications that can cause pancreatitis.

9. Internal Parasites

Parasites commonly affect 90% of dogs. Worms like hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms can cause stomach problems, making your pup belch a lot.

Treatment for the dog typically involves giving medicine to kill the parasites and providing extra care to aid in recovery.

To keep your pet healthy, deworm them regularly and clean up after them. Also, remember to wash your hands after handling feces.

10. Liver and Kidney Issues

Dogs that bring up the wind through the mouth excessively may be experiencing liver or kidney issues. These organs are crucial in filtering toxins and waste from the body. If they are not functioning correctly, the dog’s digestive system may become overwhelmed.

Liver disease can make toxins build up in the body, causing stomach problems like bloating, gas, and burping. Some common signs of liver disease in dogs include yellowing of the eyes and skin, loss of appetite, and vomiting.

Kidney disease affects 7% of dogs worldwide. When the kidneys don’t work well, waste products can accumulate in the body, causing imbalances that can affect the gut.

You may need to make changes to the dog’s diet and exercise routine for liver or kidney problems. Veterinarians may recommend a low-protein diet for dogs with kidney disease. However, for severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

Symptoms to Watch For

Excessive belching can indicate an underlying health issue. Here are some symptoms to watch out for if your dog frequently emits gasses through their mouth.

Regurgitation

Dogs regurgitate when they push up undigested food or other things from their throat or esophagus. This happens without retching or abdominal contractions like vomiting.
Understanding the difference between regurgitation and vomiting is important because they mean different things.

If your dog is regurgitating food and burping, it could mean there’s an issue with their throat or stomach. Below is a video of a pup regurgitating.

Abdominal Discomfort

Signs of discomfort, such as pacing, restlessness, or pain when the abdomen is touched, could be associated with digestive issues.

Changes in Stool

If your dog’s stool and belching change in color, consistency, or frequency, it may mean a stomach issue.

Vomiting

Vomiting can happen for many reasons. It can be because of stomach problems, infections, or even cancer. 

Loss of Appetite

Loss of appetite can be caused by many factors, like stomach problems, infections, or even cancer.

Lethargy

There are many things that can cause lethargy, like stomach problems, illnesses, and even stomach cancer.

If your dog is burping a lot and showing any of these signs, it’s important to bring them to the vet for an examination.

Treatment Options

There are several treatment options available for dogs that emit excessively. Treatment options include dietary changes, medications, and surgery.

1. Dietary Changes

Dietary changes can help reduce gas emissions through the mouth in dogs. Use a slow feeder to help reduce the air swallowed while eating. Switching to high-quality, easily digestible food can also help reduce belching. Avoiding foods that are high in fat or protein can also be helpful.

2. Medications

Antacids can help reduce stomach acid and relieve symptoms of acid reflux. Prokinetic agents can help improve gastric motility and reduce the amount of air swallowed while eating. Antibiotics may also be prescribed if there is an underlying bacterial infection.

3. Surgery

In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to treat excessive dog burping. If an underlying condition like hiatal hernia or esophageal stricture is causing excessive burping, surgery might be suggested. If other treatment options have not been effective, the doctor may also recommend surgery.

4. Regular Exercise

Lack of physical activity can contribute to digestive issues. Regular exercise can help promote proper digestion and reduce gas.

5. Avoidance of Aerophagia

Some dogs may swallow air due to anxiety, excitement, or stress. Minimizing these factors and providing a calm environment can be beneficial.

6. Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes

These supplements can promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, aiding digestion. In addition, adding digestive enzymes in your dog’s food can help break down food better.

Prevention Strategies

Dogs that burp a lot can make their owners uncomfortable by doing so. Thankfully, there are several strategies to prevent excessive dog burping.

Feeding Habits

Feeding habits play a significant role in a dog’s well-being.  Elevated bowls ensure the pets eat slowly and avoid gulping down food. To keep dogs safe, it’s important not to feed them right before or after exercise. This can prevent GDV or bloating, which can be deadly.

Regular Vet Check-Ups

Regular vet check-ups are essential for preventing excessive dog burping. The vet can find out if any health problems are making you burp and give you medicine. Additionally, the vet can recommend dietary changes or supplements to prevent excessive burping.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does my dog burp so much?

Dogs burp when they eat too quickly, overeat, or swallow air while eating or drinking. Some dogs may also burp more frequently if they have a medical condition that affects their digestive system.

Is excessive burping in dogs a cause for concern?

Excessive burping could be a sign of an underlying health issue. If your dog is burping a lot, it’s a good idea to see a vet to check for health issues.

How can I help my dog if they are burping a lot?

To help your dog if it burps a lot, give them smaller meals, make them eat slower, and avoid gassy foods.

Are particular dog breeds more prone to burping?

While dogs can experience excessive belching, some breeds may be more prone to it than others. Pugs and bulldogs, which have short snouts, often have digestive issues that cause excessive belching.

Can burping be a symptom of a more significant health issue in dogs?

Yes, gas emission through the mouth can be a symptom of a more significant health issue in dogs. If your dog is farting a lot, it’s important to see a vet to check for health issues like GERD or digestive disorders.

Final Thoughts

Excessive belching in dogs may seem harmless, but it can be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. Therefore, avoiding caution and seeking professional advice for any concerns is always best.

To stop dogs from burping too much, give them smaller meals, avoid foods that cause gas, and make them eat slower. To take good care of their dogs, owners should understand the causes and health risks of excessive burping.

References:

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe

Author

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.