Puppy With A Big Belly

Puppy With A Big Belly: [Abdominal Bloat in Puppies] Explained

Puppies having big bellies is something that you should take seriously. In most instances, a swollen or big belly is a sign of a severe health concern. However, there are many reasons for this condition to occur. These reasons include overeating, pregnancy, and other serious problems. 

In this article, we will discuss some of the major reasons for your puppy having a big belly and what you can do about it.

Puppy with a big belly: Common causes

Here are the 8 common reasons for your puppy to have a big belly –

Gastric Dilation Volvulus

This is one of the most common and dangerous reasons for your pup to have a big belly. GDV can have a detrimental effect on your pup and in the worst case it can kill the animal within hours. 

GDV occurs when the canine’s stomach rotates. Eventually, the stomach traps the gas within and blocks the streamlined blood supply. It is highly painful for the dog, and there is no particular point of pain. 


The majority of dogs continue to eat things until they are tired. This makes the worst scenario of overeating. Overeating can end up with your dog in the vet clinic to induce vomiting. In younger dogs, abdominal distension after consumption is very normal. As long as these pups are playful and bright, it goes down well. There is no need to worry about anything. However, it is better not to let this happen.

Cushing’s Syndrome

Another reason for your pup’s big belly is Cushing’s syndrome. An excess of cortisol hormone usually causes it. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Cushing’s syndrome usually causes bloating. Other symptoms include excess urination, eating, and drinking. In a few cases, you can also find excess hair loss and unusual pacing.  

Intestinal parasites 

Intestinal parasites can cause big bellies in puppies as well as elder dogs. It is very commonly seen in pups as they can have worms more than the elder canines. The best treatment here is to feed deworming medicines. 


This is a very serious infection. Peritonitis is caused by a rupture or puncture of a canine’s intestine or stomach. This rupture or puncture can happen due to ulcers, bone, tumours, etc. this health issue can occur if the canine’s urinary bladder or gallbladder ruptures. 

Peritonitis is very painful and can make the dog reluctant to move, vomit, or have a swollen belly. Here, emergency treatment is very important. 

Its treatment includes antibiotics, pain relief, and intravenous fluids. In a few cases, surgery is necessary to repair the rupture or puncture, eliminate the toxic fluids, and clean the abdomen.


In Ascites, fluid is gathered in the dog’s abdomen and causes swelling. There are various reasons for this. Some of the most common reasons include liver disease, heart failure, intestinal disease, or kidney disease. Pups can have it by several infectious diseases. 


Internal bleeding or haemorrhage can cause a big belly in puppies. However, this is very rare. In this case, canines are very weak, lethargic, and pale. 

There are 2 most common causes of haemorrhage or abdominal bleeding.

  1. Hemangiosarcoma – Hemangiosarcoma is a type of spleen tumour whose first and most evident sign is blood loss. 
  2. Consuming rat killer – This happens when you neglect what your dog is eating and where you are keeping things like rat killer. If your pup consumes rat killer, it will show a variety of symptoms including a big belly.

It is also possible that an abdominal haemorrhage occurs after a major injury or surgery. However, bleeding is very alarming in any case.

Urinary Tract Damage

Urinary tract damage can cause urine to be exposed to the abdomen. The reason for this to happen includes bladder stones that restrict the urethra. 

Are puppies supposed to have big bellies?

Many pups with big bellies have the most common problem of bloating. It can be caused by various food worms. You cannot tell why your canine has a bloated tummy just by observing him. You need to take him to the vet. 

How can I help my bloated puppy at home?

Your vet may change your puppy’s diet by adding a few ingredients like cooked pumpkin, raw pumpkin, etc. 

Other things you can change include

  1. Serve more miniature food pieces
  2. Easy exercises
  3. Add probiotics and prebiotics to your dog’s diet
  4. Use a slow-feeding bowl

Is it normal for puppies to look fat?

Yes, puppies look fat. However, they lose weight as they grow old. Exercise and diet are very important throughout a canine’s life. However, it is most important when your canine is a puppy. Canines that love food that is high in calories or fats and live always inside are more prone to getting fat. 

How can I help my bloated puppy at home?

It is better to change the whole diet under the guidance of your vet. Other than this, here are a few tips you can follow to avoid bloating in dogs. 

  1. Exercising
  2. Gas treatment 
  3. Cooked pumpkin
  4. Raw pumpkin
  5. Add probiotics
  6. Add prebiotics
  7. Use slow feed bowl

How do I know if my puppy has worms?

Here are the most common signs of your pup getting worms-

  • Diarrhea with blood
  • Worms in fur
  • Eggs or worms in faeces
  • Worms in vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Constant hunger and increased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Bloated belly and stomach
  • Rubbing and scratching of the rear end

How can I relieve my dog’s gas naturally?

Here are five ways to relieve your dog’s gas naturally –

  1. Avoid giving table scraps
  2. Go for a food elimination plan to avoid allergies
  3. Feed yoghourt, digestive supplements, and probiotics
  4. Force your canine to slow down the speed while eating

Is it normal for a puppy’s belly to swell?

If your canine’s stomach is swollen, it can be a sign of gastric dilation volvulus. It is a life-threatening health concern in dogs. In this situation, a canine’s stomach becomes swollen and if left untreated, it can even twist and you will lose your canine. 

What are the symptoms of overfeeding your puppy?

Overeating in dogs can cause a lot of health issues and excessive weight gain. A few symptoms include- 

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Loose stools

Overfeeding reduces the digestive system’s efficiency and results in an upset stomach.

How many times should a puppy eat?

Miniature breed puppies require 4-6 meals a day for the first 3 months of their lives. Medium-breed pups need 3 meals a day and large-breed puppies typically need 3-4 meals a day.

What is the best time to feed a puppy?

The best time for your pup’s first meal is at 7 am, noon for lunch, and 5 pm for dinner. The last meal must always be somewhere around 5 p.m. so it has enough time to digest the food and have a last bowel movement before going to bed.

Do puppies get big bellies after eating?

If a puppy eats too much or too quickly, their tummy can often fill with gas and food, which squeezes other organs and causes bloating. 

Can bloat in dogs resolve itself?

Bloating is a serious emergency that needs timely treatment as this can be fatal. If you notice any signs of bloating in your canine, see your vet as soon as possible. Gas in dogs doesn’t go away on its own, so getting help quickly is important.

Why do puppies have big bellies?

Intestinal parasites can cause your pup to have a big belly. A large number of worms in your dog’s intestines can cause abdominal swelling, which gives the animal a “bulky” appearance. This is typical for puppies as they are more likely to be infested with worms than elder dogs.

Final words

In conclusion, I would say that it is very important for you as a dog owner to keep an eye on what your dog is consuming, and what he is going through. This will help you to make sure everything is alright. 

A big belly is a very common condition in puppies. However, the causes for these can be normal to fatal. If you give immediate medical assistance to it, you will not regret it. It will help your canine to be free from a big belly and other health complications that can rise from it.