Identification of the duodenum and potential abnormalities on survey abdominal radiographs is often difficult unless it contains gas. This study investigated the effect of patient positioning on the presence of duodenal gas in survey abdominal radiographs. One hundred dogs receiving a three-view survey abdominal radiographic study were enrolled in a prospective, randomized study where all dogs were divided into two groups. Group A (n = 51) dogs had a left lateral projection first, followed by a ventrodorsal projection, ending with a right lateral projection. Group B (n = 49) dogs had a right lateral projection first, followed by a ventrodorsal projection, ending with a left lateral projection. The presence of gas within the duodenum and level of distribution of gas throughout the duodenum were recorded for all three projections. In addition, the presence or absence of duodenal pseudoulcers was evaluated on all three projections for each dog. The results for the two groups were compared using Chi-square analysis with a P-value of less than 0.05 being considered significant. Results showed that dogs first placed in left lateral recumbency were significantly more likely to have duodenal gas on the subsequent ventrodorsal and right lateral radiographic projections compared to dogs first placed in right lateral recumbency (P-value < 0.0001). Pseudoulcers were seen in 11 dogs that had duodenal gas making the visualization of pseudoulcers on survey abdominal radiographs somewhat commonplace. This study emphasizes the benefit of using initial left lateral abdominal projections prior to other views for subsequent evaluation of the duodenum.