We are used to seeing people burp, but when dogs start burping, we start getting worried and wonder if it's a sign of a dog's upset stomach. More than a condition, burping or belching in dogs is simply a symptom and it doesn't necessarily mean that something is wrong. Of course, if a dog rarely burps, and now he's burping a whole lot, this may be an early sign of problems. And of course, burping accompanied by other symptoms is proof that something is going on in the dog's digestive system.
Understanding Burping in Dogs
As mentioned, when a dog starts burping, it's not necessarily indicative of a problem, but what's known for sure is that burping happens for a reason. In simple words, burping means that your dog is releasing gas from his digestive system and it's escaping through the mouth.
The gas most commonly comes from the esophagus and the stomach. As in people, dog burps come with a distinctive sound. While knowing that dog burps happen because of air is helpful, what's even more helpful is understanding what is potentially causing the dog to swallow so much air in the first place. Dogs do not drink carbonated drinks as humans do, so where are they getting all this air from? Following are some possible causes of belching in dogs.
Eating Too Fast
If your dog tends to eat very fast, there are chances that he's swallowing lots of air as he wolfs down his meals. Typically, dogs who eat very fast will burp shortly after eating. While this may sound as an innocent behavior, in some predisposed breeds swallowing too much air at once may cause bloat, a potentially life threatening condition. There are several ways to slow down a dog and minimize the amount of air swallowed. Feeding several smaller meals is far better than feeding a big meal at once. Today, there are also special food bowls meant to slow dogs down when eating.
Drinking Too Fast
[adinserter block="4"]In the same way that dogs swallow lots of air by eating too fast, drinking too fast may also trigger burping. After romping around in the yard of spending time outdoors on a hot day, many dogs will gulp up lots of water at once like there's no tomorrow. This fast drinking is often followed by a loud burp a few minutes later. In such dogs, it may help giving smaller amounts of water several times, rather than allowing the dog to drink a bucketful at once.
A Dietary Problem
What you feed your dog may be playing a role in your dog's burping behavior. There are certain foods dogs may have a hard time digesting and poor digestion may lead to excessive burping. If this is happening frequently, you may want to keep your dog's diet in consideration and wonder if perhaps gradually switching over to a more digestible diet may be an option. While a gas-less diet has yet to be invented, a good starting place would be to try a diet that's different than what is being fed. For example, if you are feeding a diet of lamb and rice, try one with no lamb and no rice, suggests veterinarian Dr. Rebecca. Consult with your vet for recommendations and remember to switch over to new diets very gradually. If you often feed your dog table scraps, you may also want to consider cutting down on those scraps as not all people food are good for dogs.
A Digestive Disturbance
You are right in thinking that burping in dogs may suggest a digestive problem. If your dog doesn't typically burp too much and now you are noticing a significant increase, there are chances that your dog may be developing an upset stomach. Figuring out why your dog's stomach may be upset though can be a challenge. If you recently changed your dog's diet, consider that abrupt diet changes are notorious for causing digestive problems in dogs. New dog foods should be switched gradually over the course of several days. There are many causes of upset stomach in dogs ranging from intestinal parasites, to irritable bowel disease or malabsorption to just name a few. Some dogs also develop gastric reflux issues. If your dog is burping and is showing other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and bloody stools, see your vet at once.