Just like humans, dogs can burp. Most of the time, it’s entirely normal for a dog to burp, but there are some times when burping can be a sign of a problem with your dog.
If your dog burps occasionally, it’s usually nothing to worry about. But if your dog is very gassy, it’s time to get to the bottom of what’s causing this issue.
Do Dogs Burp?
Dogs burp just like humans do, and they do this to let excess air out of their stomachs. Most commonly, excess air gets into the stomach when it is swallowed. Dogs that gulp their food down will often burp to release air that has been accidently swallowed with the food.
It’s more common for dogs to burp if they are flat-faced. Breeds such as Boxers, Pugs, and Bulldogs burp often, as their snout length means they’re much more likely to swallow air.
There are other causes of burping in dogs, such as gastrointestinal upset, but this is less common.
Causes of Burping in Dogs
Dogs that have swallowed air will burp in order to remove it from their stomach. Air can be swallowed when dogs eat too quickly—usually if they’re hungry, greedy, or when there are other pets in the house that they worry may steal their food. Dogs of certain breeds are more prone to this sort of burping. Labradors, for instance, are very prone to gulping their food down. If your dog burps after eating, it’s probably normal.
Diet can sometimes be to blame for burping in dogs. Dogs that have an alkaline diet will produce gas when it meets the stomach acid, resulting in increased burping. Kibbles of certain shapes may increase burping if more food is swallowed when they eat. For instance, doughnut-shaped kibble will increase air ingestion. Burping is also likely if a poor-quality diet is fed, or if the diet doesn’t agree with a dog for some reason (if a dog is allergic to one of the ingredients).
Dogs that have a tendency to dig through the trash or garbage can may also experience gastrointestinal upset and burping. These dogs may go from burping, to burping up liquid, to vomiting, and sometimes on to pancreatitis, vomiting, diarrhea or problems with a blockage. If you notice your dog burping and you suspect your dog is scavenging through the kitchen trash can, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye out for other problems that indicate something more serious.
Some illnesses can also cause burping. Gastric-dilation-volvulus (GDV), sometimes called bloat, is a life-threatening illness where the stomach fills with air but is unable to expel it due to a twist that blocks off the gut. Excessive burping and non-productive vomiting are early signs of GDV. GDV is more common in deep-chested dogs and will usually occur if dogs eat too quickly, too much, or exercise too soon after eating.
Less serious illnesses can cause burping too. Any imbalance or upset in the gastrointestinal tract can cause burping—and sometimes these burps can smell terrible! This is because, instead of swallowing air, air is being produced in the stomach and the first part of the gut. Air rises, so this eventually escapes as a burp. This can smell like rotten eggs, a previous meal, or even fishy, depending on what is being carried in the breath.
Dog burps that smell like rotten eggs—also known as sulfur burps—are more common with some medications or after a protein-heavy meal. Dogs fed raw food are more likely to have sulfur burps, as sulfur is produced as part of the digestion of protein. Fishy burps usually indicate that your dog has bad teeth or has been licking their anal glands.
Dog Burping: When to Be Concerned
If your dog burps once or twice after each meal, it’s probably nothing to worry about. You could always try to improve matters by slowing your dog’s eating using a treat ball feeder or a food bowl specially designed to stop dogs from eating too fast. Eating more slowly not only reduces burps; it also helps to provide mental stimulation and increases satiety (the feeling of being full).
Pet parents should be concerned if a dog begins to burp suddenly, where they haven’t before. If it’s just once or twice, and the dog is otherwise well, it’s not an emergency, but it could be a sign of gastrointestinal problems to come. Pet parents should watch their dog closely for further issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If your dog keeps burping after each meal and seems very gassy, but is otherwise well, it might be worth considering if diet might be to blame. If it continues to be a problem, your veterinarian can help you to investigate.
However, when a dog burps a lot, or vomits, or has unproductive vomit, it’s a good idea to call the veterinarian for advice as soon as possible in case GDV is a possibility. Other signs that increase the likelihood of burping being a problem include lethargy, abdominal pain, different-colored gums and a fast breathing rate—which could signal an emergency. Call your veterinarian if you notice any of these signs.
If your dog’s breath smells particularly bad, or excessive burping has started recently, booking a non-urgent visit to the vet may be a good idea. They can help you to investigate for other gastrointestinal problems and discuss the diet that your dog is on. If your dog’s burp smells like rotten eggs after starting a new medication, it’s probably nothing to worry about, but your vet will happily check for you.
Helpful Products for Canine Gut Health and Burping
All featured products were chosen at the discretion of the Great Pet Care editorial team and not directly recommended or endorsed by the author of this article. Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.
A healthy digestive system is vital to a dog’s overall well-being. Your pup’s digestive tract contains hundreds of various types of bacteria. Any imbalance in a dog’s gut may result in ongoing gas, vomiting, diarrhea, or any number of gastric issues, for which you should seek veterinary advice. Now that you know some of the reasons dogs burp, we’ve curated a list of some of our favorite products to balance and maintain canine gut health.
Best Probiotic with Fiber
Our pick: Great Poop Digestive Support Supplement
Inconsistent pooping patterns can mess with a dog’s gut. Bowel movements that vary in texture and firmness aren’t fun for pets or pet parents, not to mention the cleanup involved. One of the best ways to naturally support a dog’s digestive tract is with the Great Poop total digestive support formula. Feed your pup a daily chew infused with high fiber, probiotics, and a digestive enzyme all in one.
- Fiber helps canine motility for regular poops
- Contains both prebiotics and probiotics for a healthy gut
- Digestive enzymes for firm stools
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Easy-to-administer chicken-flavored chew
- Good bacteria in a senior dog’s gut help them feel happy and health
- 2 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) to prevent gas, bloating, and cramping
Things to Consider
- Number of chews depends on the size of the dog
- Single flavor formula
Best Multivitamin with Probiotics
Sometimes a homemade diet or inferior pet food can throw off a dog’s delicate intestinal flora. A high-quality multivitamin packed with probiotics can help. Daily Great is a probiotic but is also made with the proper amount of vitamins and minerals for ongoing health. Skin, coat, hips, and joints also benefit from these delicious soft chews. Ensuring your dog gets the proper balance of vitamins and minerals with a probiotic included is one of the keys to a long, healthy, and happy life.
- Fret-free formula with four vitamins in one
- Formulated with good bacteria dogs need to promote intestinal harmony
- Provides extra support for dogs at all life stages
- A healthy gut may help lessen stinky doggy breath
- Helps senior dogs age gracefully with joint support
- May improve diarrhea and itchiness from skin allergies
Things to Consider
- Before adding supplements to your dog’s food, check with your veterinarian first
- Two chews per serving depending on the dog’s weight
- Caloric content of two chews is 37.8 kcal
Best Prebiotic Fiber
Our pick: Meaningful Tree Super Pet Total Health
This herbal powdered supplement from Meaningful Tree combines all of the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil with acacia fiber, a natural and effective prebiotic that can help support your dog’s gut health. This easy-to-use pet food topper can also help promote skin, coat and joint health.
- Rich in antioxidants like vitamin E, which helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals
- Also contains phytonutrients and omega-3 fatty acids that help keep your dog’s skin moisturized and well-nourished
- Made in the USA with sustainable ingredients
- Fully traceable product
Things to Consider
- Recommended serving is 1/2 scoop for dogs under 30 pounds and 1 full scoop for dogs 30 pounds and over
- 30 servings per container
- As with any new herbal supplement, speak to your vet first before adding to your pet’s diet
Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowl
Dogs who eat fast are at risk of bloating, regurgitation, obesity, and burping. Make mealtime fun with the Outward Hound slow feeder bowl. Ideal for wet, dry, or raw diets, the bowls feature ridges to slow down a dog’s eating pace. By keeping her engaged up to 10 times longer at meals, she is less likely to suffer the side effects of eating fast.
- Made from food-safe material that is phthalate-free and contains no BPA or PVC
- Non-slip base prevents food spillage and sliding
- Over one million units sold to happy pet parents
- Dishwasher safe and lead-free
- Veterinarian recommended
- Available in various sizes
Things to Consider
- Grooves may be too narrow for some dogs’ snouts
- Some pet parents report their dogs learned to flip the bowl over
Best Anti-Diarrheal Digestive Supplement for Dogs
Despite the best of intentions, sometimes dogs get “the runs,” or diarrhea. Loose stools happen from time to time, so having a product like Dr. Harvey’s Runs Be Done on hand is recommended. Help soothe your pup’s irritated tummy while targeting diarrhea with this all-natural, safe, and effective formula. Unlike canned pumpkin which may go to waste in the refrigerator, you simply add this to your dog’s food as needed and store the rest.
- Contains no preservatives, synthetic or artificial ingredients, by-products, fillers, salts, or sugars
- Each container holds 94 scoops, so it lasts a long time.
- Convenient powder contains a soothing blend of pumpkin, slippery elm, bentonite clay, apple pectin, and other healing herbs.
- Targets loose stools and diarrhea but also eases digestion to keep dogs regular.
- Made in the USA with wholesome ingredients
- Easily mixes with food.
Things to Consider
- Dosage is based on the dog’s weight (up to 3-1/2 scoops for dogs over 90 pounds)
- Some dogs may be averse to having something new added to their food
- Always check with your veterinarian for ongoing diarrhea issues
Best Pumpkin Digestive Supplement for Dogs
Our pick: Fruitables Digestive Supplement
Fruitables pumpkin digestive blend is a healthy food addition you add to a dog’s food. Made in the USA with high-quality ingredients, this unique formula is a fibrous digestive boost. Pumpkin is considered to be one of nature’s superfoods rich in antioxidants, select vitamins, and a source of dietary fiber. Fruitables formula was developed by veterinarians to help soothe upset stomachs and support a healthy GI tract.
- A small amount goes a long way to digestive health
- Contains natural fruit and vegetable fibers
- Works quickly for healthy stool quality
- Gluten-free formula
- Soothing herbs include ginger and spearmint
- Product can be frozen and served as a cool treat
Things to Consider
- Cover and refrigerate any unused portion for up to one week
- 4.25 calories per tablespoon
- Consult your dog’s veterinarian if digestive issues persist