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Dear Katie, my dog burps!

My dog burps! I am currently feeding Hug raw to my dog. She eats this happily, and there are no issues, except one: she “burps” an awful lot. I’ve noticed this has become worse since I returned her to raw meals (she was previously eating the food cooked). I was wondering if some digestive enzymes might help the situation? She already has probiotics daily, along with the prebiotics in Hug. Any guidance would be much appreciated.

Thank you for your question – dog burps are a common occurrence. Although I don’t know your canine’s complete medical history, here are some ideas that may help combat daily dog burps. 

Dog under blanket

What causes dog burps?

First, I would check if she’s displaying any other symptoms aside from the burping, such as a gurgling tummy, signs of abdominal pain, or reflux. If so, it’s best to take her to the vet for a check-up.

Next, I’d see if she eats raw food in the same manner as cooked food, and take note of when the burping occurs – straight after eating or throughout the day?

Why? Because, just like people, dogs burp to release excess air from the stomach. The main cause of dog burps is excess air being swallowed during eating, so perhaps your canine is gulping her meals down too fast.

Dog burps are also common in certain breeds, such as Brachycephalic dogs: these pooches have flatter faces, so they tend to swallow a lot more air when eating and drinking.

Stress could be another factor at play, causing excessive panting from overexcitement on walks, during mealtimes, and from competition in the home.

Exercise can affect digestion and create some excess wind, too. Try to avoid walking your dog too close to mealtimes (before and after), allowing for a good stretch of time before feeding her.

Dog eating fast - the main cause of dog burps

Ways to combat dog burps

You mentioned probiotics and, yes, you are right to address the microbiome – the route to a healthy digestive system (and, potentially, fewer dog burps). Make sure you vary the strains of good bacteria you are feeding and ensure your chosen product contains numerous species. Some probiotics have a high volume of one species, but we are looking to increase the diversity of species, as well as the overall number.

You also mentioned digestive enzymes: these will help break the food down in your dog’s stomach, making for easier digestion. If she passes soft or fatty stools, a course of digestive enzymes could be beneficial and will do no harm, so you could try one to see if it improves the situation.

Does she tend to gulp meals down? If so, a slow feeding bowl or puzzle feeder can help decrease the rate at which she eats, potentially reducing the amount of excess air she inhales. It was once suggested that using a raised food bowl might help. However, a dog’s natural posture is to eat at ground level, and feeding from raised bowls has actually been found to cause excess gas.

A puzzle feeder for dog burps

Feeding smaller, more frequent meals can be a good move if she has trouble digesting larger meals. If there’s any competition in the house, try feeding her on her own (if she’s happy with this) to prevent any anxious gulping of food.

When I see a new symptom occur or reoccur, I often take a step back and assess what I may have changed, supplement-wise: this helps ensure it isn’t the lack of cooking that is causing the issue, so I would recommend doing this, too.

As with many of these situations, making steady changes one at a time will help you pinpoint the cause – a little trial and error. Although dog burps themselves aren’t a problem, they do suggest an underlying issue, and it’s worth finding the root cause.

I hope you found this advice useful!

Katie x 

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