If your dog burps a lot, don't think that he's being rude -- it may be for reasons that are out of his control. While belching can be caused by his behavior, such as eating too fast, it also can be a product of diet or even a medical condition. If you're concerned about his belching, you should consult a vet to see what the cause may be -- you and your dog will be more comfortable once you know for sure.
Just like a human, your dog may belch a lot because he swallows air. This typically happens when a dog is eating, especially if he's a fast eater -- as he chows down, he gulps air that forms pockets in his stomach until it's released in the form of a belch. This may sound harmless, but if the air becomes trapped, it can lead to a deadly condition called bloat. The American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals recommends feeding your dog smaller meals, maintaining a healthy weight and limiting exercise before and after feeding time -- you can feed your dog with a special bowl designed to slow eating.
If your dog has a gastrointestinal condition, it could cause belching and other symptoms. Irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and even intestinal parasites can cause your dog to develop a maldigestion or malabsorption disorder that inhibits his ability to digest food. When this happens, gas-producing bacteria develops in the stomach, producing gas that may manifest in belching and flatulence.
A low-quality diet is difficult for your dog to properly digest, which can result in frequent belching. Soy, milk, peas, beans and excess fats are just a few foods that your dog cannot easily digest, and when he consumes them, it results in gas production that comes out as either belches or flatulence. Ask your veterinarian about switching your dog's food to a high-quality recipe -- you may try one formulated especially for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
A Poor Decision
You can't watch your dog 24 hours a day, and if he eats something he shouldn't, it can give him a serious stomachache. A domestic dog thrives on a consistent diet, and when it changes unexpectedly, his body can have a hard time efficiently digesting it, giving him gas. If your dog sneaks some table scraps, gets into the garbage or catches a squirrel in the backyard, for example, he could be spending the night belching out gas.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.