This article was updated on August 31st, 2023
For dogs, stomach gurgling is usually a normal part of the digestive process. However, sometimes, the sounds point to other conditions. So it’s helpful to know what signs tell you it’s time to call your vet.
Dogs may eat grass to soothe an upset stomach. When other symptoms like vomiting/diarrhea, loss of appetite, or lethargy accompany stomach gurgling, there may be more behind the noise.
Is stomach gurgling normal? What if my dog eats grass as well?
Stomach gurgling in dogs, also known as borborygmi, occurs when gas moves through the digestive system, and it’s generally normal. Normal growling in canines can also happen when they’re hungry if they have extra gas in the system, or if they’re feeling a little nauseous.
When it accompanies a dog’s stomach gurgling, eating grass is one way your pooch may try to ease mild indigestion. There are various reasons that our four-footed friends munch on grass.
- It helps with digestion
- It eases nausea
- Some dogs like the flavor or texture of grass
- To stimulate vomiting
Grass eating is safe for dogs as long as they don’t graze excessively and there are no chemicals or fertilizers on the grass. However, sometimes, the grass blades trigger extra stomach gurgling because they irritate the digestive lining.
What are the most likely reasons for my dog’s stomach gurgling and eating grass?
Dogs eat grass and experience stomach gurgling for several different reasons.
Canines may instinctively munch grass when they’re feeling nauseous because it usually triggers vomiting. Naturally, if the grass comes up, so will the stomach contents that are causing your furbaby to feel sick. If your dog is eating grass to relieve indigestion, you may also notice him drooling or licking his lips.
Sometimes, dogs will eat grass when they have a nutrient deficiency. They consume anything they can to replace the missing substances. Unfortunately, the grass isn’t likely to provide the nutrients your dog craves. If deficiencies are the trigger for your dog’s grazing, providing appropriate supplements should fix the problem.
Some dogs will eat grass because they’re hungry, and the green stuff helps fill the stomach. The gurgling sounds can precede or follow grass ingestion in this case.
They like it
There’s no accounting for taste with some pooches. Once some pups munch a little grass, they’ll keep doing it. They may like the flavor, or it could be the texture they find pleasurable. Either way, when the grass hits the stomach, it may irritate the lining and trigger rumbling sounds.
If you’re an emotional or stress eater, you’ll understand this one. Some dogs express their emotions viscerally. Anxiety can trigger stomach gurgling and indigestion. As a result, your pooch may turn to grazing grass for comfort. Dogs that experience stress may also resort to hiding or be extra clingy.
In addition to the major reasons for a dog’s stomach gurgling and eating grass, other causes may be more concerning.
- Digestive tract illness or bacterial infection
- Intestinal blockage
- Other medical conditions, such as liver disease or pancreatitis
If your dog is also NOT eating, read: My dog’s stomach is gurgling & he is not eating.
Four things to try at home to help a dog who eats grass and experiences stomach gurgling
If your dog’s stomach is gurgling and he’s eating grass, there are some things you can try at home to help relieve the symptoms. You should check with your vet before doing anything.
1. Give your dog probiotics to improve digestion and reduce gurgling. The live bacteria cultures can help foster a healthy gut flora that reduces the likelihood of indigestion.
2. Add digestive enzymes to your dog’s diet to assist with breaking down food and prevent an upset stomach. Consult with your veterinarian about which enzymes to give to your dog.
3. Feed a bland diet, such as boiled chicken and rice, to soothe your dog’s stomach. These materials are easier to digest than some dog foods, so they’re less likely to cause stomach upset and gas buildup. Read our article featuring proven bland diets for your dog.
Disclaimer: This content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your vet for health decisions. Learn more.
4. Use a slow-feed bowl to slow down your dog’s eating. Some pups swallow air when they gulp their food. The extra gas in the stomach can cause loud gurgling and make your pooch nauseous.
When to call your veterinarian?
It’s usually not concerning if your dog has a gurgling stomach and is eating grass. However, when other signs are present, there could be an underlying reason. Call your veterinarian and schedule an exam if your pup shows other symptoms.
- Vomiting or diarrhea for more than a few days
- Loss of appetite for more than a few days: If your dog is also NOT eating, read our article “My dog’s stomach is gurgling & he is not eating“
- Inactivity or weakness
- Excessive drooling
- Your dog has a swollen or painful abdomen
What are the treatment options?
When you bring your dog to the veterinarian for an exam, he’ll evaluate your pup’s condition and run some diagnostic tests like x-rays, blood work, and a fecal exam. Based on his findings, the doctor will recommend a course of treatment that may include
- Fluid therapy to correct dehydration and electrolyte imbalances
- Anti-parasitic drugs to eliminate worms from the system
- Antibiotics to treat any bacterial infections
- Antinausea drugs to ease indigestion
- Surgical removal of intestinal obstructions
Frequently asked questions
Do stomach noises cause your dog pain?
Normal gurgling sounds from digestion don’t tend to cause your dog pain. However, if your pooch has excess gas in the stomach, or if an infection or condition is triggering the rumbling sounds, your pup can feel pain or discomfort.
Do dogs eat grass when their stomachs hurt?
Dogs may try eating grass to relieve an upset stomach. Their systems can’t digest the roughage, so it’s usually expelled along with the stomach’s contents. When your dog vomits, it removes the materials that are making your pooch feel uncomfortable and sick.
What can I give my dog for a gurgling stomach and eating grass?
To help ease your pup’s indigestion, you can try feeding a bland diet of rice and boiled chicken. There are other things you can give to your pooch to help with a gurgling stomach.
- Probiotics to aid digestion
- Ginger to settle an upset stomach
- Bananas or pumpkin to soothe the stomach
- Yogurt with active probiotic cultures
- Immodium or other medications to reduce stomach inflammation
Is Pepto Bismol a good option for dogs with gurgling stomach issues?
Pepto Bismol should be avoided in dogs unless directed by their veterinarian. This medication contains salicylates, which can be a cause of ulcers and gastric bleeding and may interact with other medications. Always consult with your veterinarian first to ensure safety.
Disclaimer: This website's content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian for healthcare decisions. Read More.