4 min read


Can Dogs Be Bloated?



4 min read


Can Dogs Be Bloated?


Though it might come as a shock to many new dog owners, pup bloating can be one of the biggest emergencies and concerns when it comes to your four-legged friends. Dog bloating is a fairly common condition when it comes to pups, but it's a dangerous and serious one, too! 

Do you want to ensure that you're keeping an eye on the right symptoms for your pooch? Do you want to avoid painful bloating for your pooch at all costs? Are you interested in knowing the signs, body language, and other hints that your dog can give you to signify bloat?

You're in luck! We're here to outline the symptoms and signs that you should know when trying to decide if your dog is bloating or has a bloat. Read on below to get a better idea of what to look for, how to treat it, and even how to prevent it. 


Signs Your Dog Might Be Bloating

Dog bloating and stomach swelling in pups can be more than just a painful experience, it can be life-threatening! In other cases, though, it can just mean your pooch ate too much. Dog bloat is when your doggo's stomach fills with gas, expanding the diaphragm, and making it hard for your pooch to breath. It can also twist up your pup's tummy, which can kill your pup quickly. 

To keep an eye out for the signs of it being more than just a little too much kibble, we suggest you look at the body language your pup is giving you! 

Typically, if your pup is experiencing painful bloat, you can keep an eye on your dog for signs like an oversized belly, labored breathing, lots of drooling, vomiting, paleness in their nose and mouth, and a weak pulse. If any of these signs are showing up after your dog has eaten, or even after he's exercised post-meal, then you should take your dog to the vet immediately. 

Body Language

Take a look at some of the signs below that might indicate your pooch is bloating a bit too much, and not just simply full from his dinner:

  • Whining
  • Shaking
  • Panting
  • Ears Drop
  • Weakness

Other Signs

Keep a watchful eye on your pooch, as noticing these symptoms and signs could likely save his life:<br/><br/>

  • Hard, Tight Stomach
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Weak Pulse
  • Pale Gums
  • Over-Sized Belly / Expanding Stomach
  • Whining, Panting, Groaning
  • Tired And Restless
  • Vomiting Or Unable To Vomit
  • Drooling

The History of Bloat


Bloat is a condition that all dogs are at risk for, and while it can be prevented, avoided, and treated, it's historically a painful and dangerous condition. 

Generally, breeds that are deep-chested typically have a higher chance of suffering from bloat - think Great Danes, St. Bernards, 

Weimaraners, and Irish Setters. 

Great Danes have the greatest chance of developing bloat, with an estimation of about a 37 percent risk of bloat happending in a Great Dane's life. Early studies about dog bloat, also called gas distention and GDV, showed mortality rates between 33 and 68 percent for dogs that develop it. But as time went on, rates have decreased, with about 10 to 26.9 percent chance when treated properly. 

What is Bloat, Anyway?


Let's talk a little about what bloat is, how it develops, and the science behind it. 

Bloat is called gastric dilation volvulus, or GDV. This condition is when a dog's stomach becomes overly stretched and rotated by an excessive amount of gas in the belly. This is a life-threatening condition that your pup can face, and is especially common in deep-chested dogs. 

It's likely caused by a number of factors, but if we're getting scientific, it happens when there's a dysfunction of the sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus, making breathing difficult for your pooch.

Some of the most common causes of this issue are overeating, eating too quickly, food stuck in the stomach, too much water consumption in a small window of time, exercising too quickly after eating a large meal, and increased age. Pups who have inflammatory bowel disease may be at an increased risk for bloat, too.

How to Train Your Dog (and yourself) to Avoid Bloat


Avoiding and preventing bloat in your pup won't just save you stress and money, it will save your pup from an immense amount of pain, and might even save his life! While it's hard to always monitor your pooch, it's important to train your dog to eat properly so as to avoid accidental bloat.

First, it can be helpful to get your dog used to a raw diet. If you're unable to feed your pup a raw diet, we suggest training him to get used to specific kibble that won't expand in his stomach. 

In addition, train your pup to eat slowly. In fact, if you have a pooch that scarfs down his food fast, consider getting a food puzzle or a complex food bowl. These types of feeding devices will help teach your pup to slow down when he's eating and prevent scarfing down food too quickly.

It's also important to train yourself to know how much food to give your dog, and train yourself to allow him time to digest and rest before you take him out for exercise. Advise the people in your pup's life to do the same to avoid patterns that might be confusing for your pooch.

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Written by a Great Dane lover Hanna Marcus

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 01/26/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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