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Can dogs burp?

Updated on June 29, 2010

Dogs bark. Dogs dance and sing as well. Dogs can be little and not so little clowns that will provide the family with hours of entertainment. Dogs can practically do anything so that it would not be surprising if the pet that burps would say “Excuse me!” Burping in dogs is not as common as barking. Some owners may have never heard the pet burp. However, it is a known fact that all dogs burp. Could Fido have inherited the burping behavior from his pot bellied and beer drinking master? Or is the dog’s burping a symptom of a medical concern?

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Why do dogs burp?

A dog burps for the same reason why you and I burp. And that is to expel alien and unwanted air from the stomach. Excessive air in the stomach can make the dog uncomfortable. The air also distends the stomach. The only way to ease the discomfort is to get rid of the excess air by expelling it through the mouth in the form of a silent or a noisy burp.

What causes a dog to burp?

Burping is common not only to humans but to dogs as well. Gas is normally produced in the stomach when the body breaks down the ingested food. A diet of raw vegetables, food high and carbohydrates and protein is another cause for the buildup of gas in the stomach. However, what distends the stomach and creates discomfort is usually the air swallowed when the dog eats and drinks too fast. Dogs have the tendency to wolf down the food. These animals have the habit of vigorously lapping water with their tongues. By doing so, air is swallowed together with the food and the water. 

Bloat

The pet’s habit to burp is perfectly normal and should not be a cause for concern unless…the dog has a history of bloat. Bloat is a life threatening concern that often results from swallowed air. Bloat is common in deep chested breeds. Because of the abnormal amount of air accumulated in the stomach the dog would gag, pant, whine and cough. The stomach twists and flips completely cutting entry to and exit from the stomach. In a matter of minutes, the dog can collapse and expire. This situation will be prevented if the dog burps and expels the excess air from the stomach. The burping of the dog can be annoying especially if the pet has the habit of burping in your face. However, because burping can prevent bloat, the dog can burp all it wants.

Preventing excessive burping

Although burping is not hazardous to the health of the dog, excessive burping can be prevented. As mentioned burping is caused when the swallowed air is accumulated in the stomach. Excessive burping can be prevented by training the dog to eat and to lap its water slowly. This can be done by giving the dog small quantities of food several times a day instead of one big meal. Crushing the food in a large feeding bowl is a good idea as it will make the dog eat slowly.

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