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Dog Burping: What’s Normal and What’s Not

Dog burping with his mouth open
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Like humans, dogs can and do burp. Most of the time, it’s a normal response to eating too quickly and swallowing too much air. But if your dog is very gassy, there may be a more serious issue worth investigating.

Here’s everything you need to know about dog burping and when it’s really a cause for concern.

Do Dogs Burp?

Boxer puppy looking at their owner

Dogs burp like humans do, and they do this to let excess air out of their stomachs. When swallowed, this excess air usually reaches the stomach. Dogs that eat too fast may burp to release any air that has been accidentally swallowed.  

It’s more common for brachycephalic dogs, also known as flat-faced breeds, to burp. Breeds such as Boxers, Pugs, and Bulldogs burp often, as their snout length makes them more likely to swallow air. 

Other causes of burping in dogs exist, such as gastrointestinal upset, but this is less common.

What Does it Mean When a Dog Burps?

Donut-shaped dog food

Dogs can burp for several reasons, either due to certain behaviors or underlying illnesses. Knowing why your dog is burping can help you learn if their excess gas is harmful or innocuous. Here are the most common reasons why dogs burp.

Behavioral-related causes of dog burping

Dogs that have swallowed air will burp to remove it from their stomach. Dogs can swallow air when they eat too quickly. This usually happens if they’re hungry, greedy, or worried other pets in the house 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 dog burping. Dogs with an alkaline diet produce gas when their food meets the stomach acid, resulting in increased burping. Kibbles of certain shapes may increase burping if your dog swallows more food. For instance, doughnut-shaped kibble will increase air ingestion. Burping is also likely with a poor quality diet, or if the diet doesn’t agree with your dog’s GI system. 

Deficiencies in your dog’s diet and GI system are sometimes the culprit of burping, as well. Dogs that lack the right digestive enzymes sometimes experience gas in the form of burps or farts. If your dog needs extra support to combat these symptoms, your vet may recommend a special kind of diet or medication.

Dogs that have a tendency to dig through the trash or garbage can may also experience gastrointestinal upset and burping. Trash digging dogs can experience burping, vomiting, diarrhea, and even pancreatitis. If you notice your dog burping suspect they’ve been through the trash, keep a close eye out for other, more serious symptoms.

Dog eating from dog bowl

Dog burping caused by illnesses

Some illnesses can also cause dog burping. Gastric-dilation-volvulus (GDV), often called bloat, is a life-threatening condition caused by excess air in the stomach that’s unable to escape. Excessive burping and non-productive vomiting are early signs of GDV. GDV is more common in deep-chested dogs and dogs that eat too quickly, too much, or exercise too soon after a meal.  Sometimes, intestinal parasites can cause excessive burping in dogs, too. Some parasites produce more air in your dog’s stomach, which escapes through your dog’s mouth as a burp.

Less serious illnesses can cause dog burping too. Any imbalance or upset in the gastrointestinal tract like inflammatory bowel disease can cause burping. These burps can smell especially bad! In burps produced in the GI tract, air is being produced in the stomach and the first part of the gut. That air rises and escapes as a burp. These burps can smell like rotten eggs, a previous meal, or even like fish.

Dog burping that smells 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 mean your dog has bad teeth or has been licking their anal glands. 

Dog Burping: When to Be Concerned 

Cute pit bull looking up at owner

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).

Here are some scenarios when your dog’s burping may point to something more serious.

When dog burping is sudden and frequent

If you notice one or two burps and your dog is otherwise well, it’s not an emergency. But it could be a sign of gastrointestinal problems to come. Watch your dog closely for other issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If your dog continues to burp after each meal and seems gassy, the diet might be to blame. If it continues to be a problem, your veterinarian can help you to investigate. 

When dog burping leads to vomiting

If your dog burps excessively and vomits, call your veterinarian for advice as soon as possible as it may indicate a case of bloat . Other serious signs include lethargy, abdominal pain, pale gums and a fast breathing rate, all which could signal an emergency. Call your veterinarian if you notice any of these signs. 

When your dog’s breath smells particularly bad

Bad breath might warrant a non-urgent visit to the vet. They can help you to investigate potential GI 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 usually nothing to worry about.

It can be scary to sit in a veterinary office or emergency room and wonder what’s happening to your dog. Depending on what tests your veterinarian performs, costs can quickly escalate. Having a pet health insurance policy, such as one from Lemonade, can act as your second best friend in a time of need to help defray costs.


Why does my dog’s burp smell like sulfur?

Dog burps can smell like sulfur or rotten eggs for several reasons. Foul smelling burps are usually the product of excess gas building up inside the GI tract, rather than swallowed air escaping. The most common culprits of dog burps that smell like sulfur are new medications, protein-heavy meals, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Do dogs burp to show affection?

Many dog owners share the experience of getting burped in the face by their canine companion. While there’s no scientific evidence to suggest it’s your dog’s way of showing affection, burping in front of you also isn’t a sign of your dog being rude either. Dog burping is common, and sometimes humans just happen to be in the line of fire!

Is it bad if my dog burps a lot?

Dog burping is usually a harmless symptom of eating too fast and swallowing air. But if you notice your dog burping much more than usual, it may be a sign of a more concerning issue such as bloat, food allergies, or a gastrointestinal condition. Contact your vet immediately if your dog’s excessive burping does not stop, or is accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, or diarrhea.

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