Why Is My Dog’s Stomach Gurgling And Their Not Eating?


Did you know that just like humans, dogs experience stomach gurgling? 

This condition is scientifically known as borborygmi. They’re often minor issues and, in rare cases, problematic. 

A rumble in your furry friends’ stomach is a normal part of their digestive process. 

However, frequent noise, coupled with not eating, can make both the dog and its owner lose sleep. 

It’s even worse if you can’t pinpoint the specific issue. 

These gurgles are often soft and pose no risk, but other times, audible and frequent ones are unusual and a serious cause for concern.

It’s a difficult position to be in, having to wonder why your dog has lost its appetite and is not eating. 

We promise you; that there’s nothing to worry about if your dog isn’t showing other sickly symptoms. 

Here are what stomach gurgling and not eating could mean and when a professional’s help is in order.

These are the things that you will learn from reading this article

Major causes of stomach gurgling in dogs

There are many explanations for why a dog’s stomach will grumble. 

It could be an eating habit, gas movement, digestion, or a more serious matter. 

Nevertheless, it’s advisable to keep an eye out for unusual symptoms which can indicate serious health risks.

These are the most common things that can trigger stomach gurgling in dogs.

1. Hunger: an empty stomach and not eating food on time can trigger stomach gurgling in dogs. Also, their intestines can’t accommodate a large quantity of food at a go, and as a result, they have a higher ratio of gas to food. Often, when your dog’s stomach growls, it’s trying to send information across that it’s hungry. It can also happen when the stomach unloads its content while anticipating a meal.

2, Dietary indiscretion: your dog could have strayed away from eating its usual diet. It may have gobbled food that disagreed with its system or eaten thrash picked off the ground, which upset its tummy. On other occasions, introducing new meals and giving them treats that are particularly nutrient-packed or fatty can lead to a growling stomach.

3, Gas ingestion: dogs have a habit of gulping down food in a rush. In the course, they ingest excess air that causes gas to move around in the intestines, thereby triggering rumbling. They can also swallow air while panting or when their intestinal bacteria is processing not easily digestible food in their system.

How to fix stomach gurgling

Remember that dogs’ stomach gurgling is a common occurrence that is harmless and only a cause for alarm if it becomes excessive. 

If it worries you, here are a few steps to manage the situation:

1. If you suspect your dog is hungry and growling on an empty stomach, consider providing enough clean water and serving breakfast early. The benefits of water are numerous. It aids peristalsis and reduces the amount of gas in the stomach.

2. Dogs are pros at scarfing down foods. So, opt for slow feeder bowls that will help slow down eating, thereby reducing the amount of air they swallow. Rather than feed your dog a hefty plate, split it into smaller portions at least twice or thrice a day. 

4. Walk your dog if you think they’re overfed. It will help speed up digestion and process the food faster for seamless emptying into the intestines. The exercise will also help your pet to relax as long as it’s not an intense activity. 

5. Introduce new diets gradually and keep potentially harmful objects out of their reach. Add easily digestible foods to their meal plans and never feed them low-quality food that may upset their stomach.

6. If your dog’s stomach is gurgling and has difficulty eating, digesting, and excreting, you can offer food with laxative properties to help settle and speed things up a notch. Your vet may also recommend antacids that cater to dogs to help resolve the issue quickly.

7. Studies show that eating grass could force a dog to throw up and in turn, help to alleviate their stomach upset. You could coerce your dog to eat some grass as a natural remedy to see if that helps.

8. Finally, if all efforts fail and the feeling of unwellness and other severe symptoms accompany your dog’s prolonged stomach gurgles, a quick visit to the vet would be best.

Symptoms that might come with stomach gurgling

So many symptoms may accompany stomach gurgling. So, look out for the following behaviors that your dog might be experiencing alongside their gurgles:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation 
  • Abdominal pain, 
  • Vomiting 
  • Gassing
  • Restlessness and 
  • panting.

As we said, a gurgling stomach doesn’t necessarily translate to health complications. 

However, observe your dog closely for strange behaviors that may suggest that something is critically wrong.

Does stomach gurgling cause your dog pain and discomfort?

We can’t tell for certain when stomach grumbles will cause pain and discomfort to a dog. 

Only our furry friends can tell. 

It’s, however, unlikely that normal gurgles resulting from the normal digestive process would cause significant issues.

Although some more complicated issues that cause gut sounds like stomach upset, inflammatory bowel diseases, or other illnesses can be a source of distress to dogs. 

That said, it’s best to monitor the dog for the slightest sign of discomfort to enable you to determine your next line of action.

Communicate any noticeable symptoms and abnormal behaviors to the vet to help him analyze the situation and help your furry friend feel better.

When does stomach gurgling become a severe problem?

While stomach rumbling can be soft or noisy, it’s perfectly normal. 

It results from the movement of food and water through the digestive tract, technically referred to as peristalsis.

However, there are specific abnormal symptoms your dog might exhibit suggesting that the situation has gone awry, such as:

  • Diarrhea 
  • Blood or mucus in stool
  • Excessive drooling
  • Poor appetite 
  • Excessive gassing
  • Swollen abdomen 
  • Fever
  • Lethargy 

These symptoms are out of the ordinary and could have resulted from any of the following issues:

Bowel Obstruction: it’s likely your dog could have swallowed a foreign body that disagrees with his system and is now experiencing discomfort. 

These indigestible items cannot be processed and give the digestive tract a hard time, leading to increased gas as they struggle. 

Your dog will usually lack an appetite for food if something is obstructing its digestive tract. 

When this happens, dog owners must put their best foot forward to tackle the potentially dangerous situation.

Liver disease: an endlessly grumbling stomach could be a metabolic problem that hinders the liver from removing toxins from the body. 

Never neglect this condition, as the liver is a key organ that aids digestion and blood clotting, as well as eliminating toxins from the body.

It can cause more problems If the condition remains undiagnosed. So, seek medical attention for your pup immediately if you notice abnormalities.

Pancreatitis: some of the above symptoms may be a sign of pancreatic issues, mainly caused by eating high fatty foods and ingesting toxins. It’s an issue that causes inflammation of the pancreas. 

If left unattended and allowed to linger, it could become chronic and lead to fatalities like shock and death.

Abdominal bloat: bloat is a serious condition that could happen when a dog’s stomach is filled with food, fluid, or gas. 

When this happens, it twists the dog’s stomach and obstructs blood flow to other vital organs. 

It’s not uncommon for dogs to reject food when bloated since the stomach is already filled with gas and food content. 

Bloat can either resolve on its own within hours or even worsen, depending on the severity. 

Eating too quickly, swallowing large quantities of food, and drinking too much water are the main contributors to bloat. 

Often, it can result in shock or escalate into life-threatening problems if left untreated. In this case, the dog requires surgery.

Infections: in some cases, your furry friends might have been infected by organisms that affect their digestive tract. 

Certain intestinal parasites, bacteria, and viruses may attack their guts, irritating their intestines and leading to intense stomach growls.

All these intestinal parasites can affect your dog’s feeding habits and present other symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.

Main reasons that dogs don’t eat

Dogs may refuse to eat for different reasons, which can cause distress for a concerned dog parent. 

However, they can go without food for a few days without starving, especially if they drink a lot of water.

Often, loss of appetite in dogs means nothing, and their owner can easily apply measures to save the situation. 

Though, it sometimes points to illness or more severe complications if it persists for an extended period. 

Here are a few reasons dogs might ditch eating food: 

1. A sickness, allergy, or infection can come with a loss of appetite, causing stomach upset or other ailments.

2. They have dental problems or other medical issues that require urgent attention.

3. Aging and pain from arthritis could lessen a dog’s appetite.

4. They’re just being picky or perceive the serving as rancid.

5. Emotional issues from moving to a new environment or missing their owner.

6. Wrong timing causes them to turn their nose up at edibles deliberately.

7. They’re nauseous from medications that are upsetting their stomach.

Note that if your dog is unhealthy and resisting food, it may not survive more than a couple of days without eating food or drinking water.

The main ways to help a dog that doesn’t eat

Many factors can deter a dog from eating. Therefore, we encourage watching the dog closely to determine where the issue is coming from and the best way to help them.

1. Check if they’re losing weight, have an upset stomach, or showing other noticeable symptoms. Depending on your findings and what the actual problem is, you may have to take measures like:

  • Spending quality time with your furry friend and taking the time to understand what’s going on and if all fails, consider visiting a vet.
  • If it’s an unserious case, your vet may recommend appetite-boosting meds to induce eating.

2. If your dog is being picky, you may have to switch things up a bit, like:

  • reducing the number of daily food servings.
  • walking your dog before feeding it.
  • introducing new dishes and spicing them up to entice your dog.

3. Dogs are attention seekers. So, having a fun time with them, followed by hand feeding, can spur them to eat.

How long can a dog not eat until it becomes unsafe

A missed meal is generally not a big deal and will resolve quickly. But if it lingers for more than 48 hours, especially from one who is usually enthusiastic about food. Then, it may be a sign of an underlying issue. 

Diseases can make dogs become uninterested in eating and could signal a health problem that requires a professional’s urgent attention. However, if they’re acting normal, pooping well, and acting bubbly, then all is well.

If vomiting and diarrhea accompany a dog’s refusal to eat, quickly consult a vet to rule out diseases like diabetes, infections, poor digestion, liver disease, kidney problems, or even cancer. 

Watch out for symptoms to enable you to share the correct information with the veterinarian for a more accurate diagnosis.

Why is my dog’s stomach gurgling, and they’re not eating?

Does a loss of appetite accompany your dog’s gurgling stomach? It’s not unusual and can result from gas moving around in the intestines. Other common reasons are hunger, constipation, increased activity in the intestines, and large amounts of gas. 

On the other hand, other factors like digestive or stomach problems could be the main culprit causing their stomach rumbling and inability to feed. If your dog has recently swallowed an indigestible object, it will obstruct its stomach while causing stomach gurgling and a loss of appetite.

When your dog experiences symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, fever, lethargy, blood, mucus in stool, and other ugly symptoms, it could be brewing trouble. These symptoms may present life-threatening diseases such as abdominal bloating, infections, pancreatitis, liver issues, or the presence of intestinal parasites and other complications. With any of these ailments, a dog’s stomach will gurgle, and it will walk away from food.

To help get your pup back to speed, you can take adequate measures like changing their feeding pattern, walking them, and giving them appetite boosters to see if anything changes. However, if your dog is showing chronic symptoms, you would want to seek professional help.

James Grayston

My name is James and I love dogs. have owned four Golden Retrievers in the past 15 years. Currently I own two "Goldies"- a five year old and a seven month old. The photo shows me with our youngest when she was about 7 weeks old!