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Dog Dealing With a Gurgling Stomach and Vomiting/Diarrhea: What You Can Do to Help

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vet inspect a dog's stomach and nipples

Most dog guts make gurgling sounds from time to time. It’s a normal part of the digestive process and happens when the gastrointestinal (GI) tract pushes gas and food slurry through the system. 

Unless your pooch has other symptoms with the rumbling sounds, there’s no need for concern. But when your dog has stomach gurgling and vomiting or diarrhea, there could be a problem. Let’s review the top potential causes & solutions (including home remedies to try while waiting for your vet appointment).

Why does my dog have a gurgling stomach and vomiting or diarrhea?

When gas moves through the GI tract, it produces a gurgling sound called borborygmi. Although the grumbling can be normal, it may also be a sign of an upset stomach, particularly if your pooch also has vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Anything that impacts your dog’s gut can cause changes in GI activity. Stomach sounds often increase or decrease as a result. Major reasons for dog stomach gurgling with an upset stomach include:

1. Dietary indiscretion

Some dogs have a reputation for being food vacuum cleaners. When they eat spoiled food or something else they shouldn’t ingest, it can trigger severe inflammation or gastroenteritis. Dogs with an inflamed gut usually have:

  • Increased gut sounds
  • Sudden diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • lethargy/depression

2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease(IBD) is a chronic condition usually affecting the intestines and/or stomach. The gut lining experiences ongoing irritation and inflammation that interferes with normal digestive processes. Signs of IBD include:

  • Chronic diarrhea/vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Change in appetite
  • Lethargy

3. Pancreatitis

Sometimes called garbage gut, pancreatitis can occur when dogs eat a food or meal that’s extremely high-fat. However, it can occur spontaneously or as a reaction to corticosteroid medications. With pancreatitis, digestive enzymes activate early and break down pancreatic tissue instead of food in the gut. Signs include:


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4. Obstruction

When a foreign body, tumor, or other condition causes a blockage in the GI tract, food can’t pass through the system. Obstructions are surgical emergencies that require immediate veterinary care. Signs of a GI blockage include:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unable to keep water down
  • Diarrhea at first followed by constipation 
  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Dehydration
  • Depression and lethargy

Is stomach gurgling normal? What if your dog is also throwing up or has diarrhea?

Dog stomach gurgling is frequently a normal part of the digestive process. As the gas moves through the GI tract, it causes rhythmic sounds. The rumblings can also occur because your pooch is hungry or he swallowed air.

When a pup has vomiting or diarrhea with a gurgling stomach, the sounds probably mean your furbaby has an upset tummy. The symptoms may resolve in a day. But if they persist beyond 1-2 days, you should take your dog to the vet. 

Four things you can try at home to help your dog 

collage of pictures showing dogs with stomach gurgling and experiencing GI issues

When your dog has loud stomach rumblings with vomiting and/or diarrhea, there are some things you can try to help alleviate his symptoms.

  • Fast your dog for 1-2 meals to give the gut a rest.
  • Switch to a bland diet of boiled rice and chicken. The concoction is easy to digest and gentle on the stomach. Read our article: Best Bland Diets for Dogs.
  • Feed smaller, more frequent meals by dividing your dog’s daily diet into 3 or four portions. Smaller meals are easier for the system to digest and less likely to cause an upset stomach.
  • Supplement with probiotics and/or enzymes to soothe the gut and encourage healthy flora in the GI tract.

Key signs that you need to call your veterinarian

dog vomiting

Stomach gurglings by themselves usually aren’t a reason to worry. However, when other symptoms accompany the sounds, you should consult with your veterinarian.

Frequently asked questions

Do stomach noises cause your dog pain?

Normally, gurgling is not painful for dogs. However, when your dog has a growling GI tract because his stomach is upset, the inflammation and gas buildup can be uncomfortable or painful.

What can I give my dog for a gurgling stomach and vomiting?

If your dog has an overactive stomach and some vomiting, there are some remedies you can try to settle his tummy. 

  • 12-24 hour fast followed by a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice
  • Pumpkin
  • Sprinkle ground ginger on the food
  • Probiotics
  • Bone broth
  • Ice cubes

An important note: if your dog has continuous vomiting or the vomiting lasts more than 1-2 days, you should call your vet.

What can I give my dog for a gurgling stomach and diarrhea?

dog pooping in a field

If your dog’s stomach is gurgling and he has diarrhea, you can offer some readily digestible food to soothe his gut. After a 24-hour fast, try giving your dog:

  • Lean, boiled chicken to provide quality protein
  • White rice to soothe the stomach and provide soluble fiber
  • Cooked, mashed oatmeal which helps to bind and firm the stool
  • Watermelon to provide fiber and water

You can also give your pup one or two doses of Pepto Bismol or Kaopectate, but consult your veterinarian first. 

If your dog’s diarrhea doesn’t resolve in about 48 hours, call your vet and schedule an appointment and read our article: Dog diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days.

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Author

  • Dr. Liz Guise, Veterinarian

    Dr. Liz (Elizabeth) Guise graduated from the University of Minnesota with a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM). She worked as a veterinarian for two years before working for the US Department of Agriculture for 13 years.

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Disclaimer: This website's content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian for healthcare decisions. Read More.

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