What to Do if Your Dog isn’t Eating & His Stomach is Making Loud Noises

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For a pet owner, it’s highly alarming when your dog suddenly loses his appetite. Not eating enough or not eating at all can signal a number of digestive issues. If your dog’s loss of appetite is coupled with loud gurgling noises coming from is tummy, it’s even more cause for concern. When your dog makes loud stomach noises and won’t eat, you have to know what to do next.

Quiet Gurgling of the Stomach Is Normal

Commonly stomach gurgling, known to vets as borborygmi or borborygmus, is natural. It’s the sound a dog’s stomach produces when gas or fluid is moving in the intestines. It also indicates that the digestive system is in the process of breaking down food.

Quiet or moderate gurgling is normal but it’s another story when the noises are actually audible. There could be too much gas in your dog’s digestive system or his stomach could simply be empty (which signals feeding time). You know how your stomach makes strange noises when you’re hungry? Your dog might be experiencing the same thing.

Common Causes of Stomach Gurgling

As mentioned, your dog might be making loud stomach noises simply because he is hungry. Of course, the best solution is food. Make sure that he has enough food to eat and water to drink.

In this situation, one of the most common mistakes pet owners make is giving too much food. It’s more ideal if you give your pet a moderate amount of food, or even small portions of his meal frequently as not to upset his stomach further.

You can also try introducing your pet to a bland diet. When your dog makes loud stomach noises and won’t eat, his stomach could be upset. Try unseasoned boiled chicken or fish with rice to give his stomach a rest and to make the process of digestion easier.

When Tummy Gurgling is a Sign of Danger

If you already tried the bland diet approach, and still, your dog makes loud stomach noises and won’t eat, it’s something you should treat right away. If the stomach gurgling is coupled with weakness, vomiting, diarrhea or passing gas, it’s no ordinary stomach ache.

It could be dog bloat which is potentially dangerous. But, without any alarming symptoms, you can simply massage the gas out of your dog to relieve the gurgling and/or gassiness.

You should be very observant of your furbaby’s symptoms as there are other more serious reasons why your dog makes loud stomach noises and won’t eat.

The gurgling could be because of intestinal parasites and digestive blockage from eating something he shouldn’t have. Or, it could even be serious diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, glandular disorders or even cancer of the intestines.

In any case, you should go to your vet immediately if your pet hasn’t eaten anything for more than a day. Don’t wait for more days to pass until you take action.

Is My Pet in Pain?

When there’s an underlying disease present and you see that your dog is lethargic, he is most likely experiencing some abdominal pain. It might be tempting to give him some pain medication, but you should hold off if you haven’t visited your vet yet. Bring your pet to the clinic as soon as possible.

Remember to Help Out Your Vet

If your dog is indeed vomiting or passing out watery stool, make sure to take a small sample of it before you go to your vet. The samples are going to be a big help in determining why your dog is making loud stomach noises and won’t eat.

Put your fresh samples in a clean container. The vomit sample should go in one container, while the stool sample should go in another. Also, be ready with the symptoms that you have observed as your vet will likely ask questions like:

  • How many days has it been since your dog last ate?
  • When did you first observe your dog vomiting and passing out watery stool?
  • How is he sleeping?

Your vet might start an IV line to replenish the fluids that your dog has lost. Your vet might also suggest for your dog to stay in the clinic for a number of days especially when he is not eating. The next treatments will highly be dependent on the diagnosis. Listen to what your vet suggests to treat stomach gurgling and its underlying cause.

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7 Comments

  1. Lance Anderson August 25, 2020 at 11:32 am

    12 year old West highland terrier has Gurgle in stomach and won’t eat. Stool don’t know yet. Was good yesterday . This happens about once ever 2 weeks. When she will eat Chicken & rice has worked in the past. Also pepto biz has worked in past.
    Any help out there?

    1. Joanna January 16, 2021 at 7:44 pm

      Hi i have west highland terrier too and found this article. Any idea did you take youra to the vet ?

  2. Keith December 20, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    My dog has the same problem, once a week or every other week he doesn’t eat for a day and his stomach makes loud gurgling noises. He usually also has loose stools, but it only lasts for a day and then he is fine. Does anyone out there have any insight into this? I thought maybe he was eating poop. He likes deer poop, but we have been very vigilant to keep him away from it. He eats about anything like sticks and parts of his toys but we are also trying to minimize that too.

    1. Julia January 1, 2021 at 5:04 am

      Hi Keith,
      My dog is going through the same thing. Did you find a reason and solution to alleviate these symptoms?
      Please let me know.
      Thanks,
      Julia

  3. Louise January 9, 2021 at 9:50 am

    Our 8 month old Cockapoo has similar symptoms to the comments already made. She won’t eat anything (inc treats/bland food) for almost a whole day. Her tummy squealches, loudly, as if she’s hungry and she usually tried to eat grass at this point. Her poop is often loose (as in some consistency, not full on diarreah). But she isn’t lethargic, she will happily go out for her walks and charge around with the ball.
    Every time we have been to the vets they just say give her a bland diet…seems like there might be something more going on, any ideas?
    Thanks

  4. H January 15, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    Have a vet check your pups for hiatal hernias.

  5. Mark January 16, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    I’m afraid I don’t have any helpful suggestions, but has anyone else wondered why nobody sells deer-poop flavored dog treats? Seems like a great commercial opportunity!

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