Nobody likes a smelly and gassy dog. And when your pup suffers from bad gas, it can be really embarrassing! Not only that, but it can also be a sign of something more serious going on with your pet's health. If your pooch has suddenly started having incessant dog farts, don't worry - there are a few things you can do to stop dog farts in their tracks.
Flatulence is a subject that might make you giggle or gag, but your dog's flatulence is an entirely normal part of life. Humans and dogs both pass gas on a daily basis as a natural byproduct of digesting food. In fact, the average person expels gas about 5-15 times a day, although there aren't any specific stats for dogs.
But even though passing gas is an everyday occurrence, you might be wondering what to do if your dog suddenly couldn't stop expelling smelly farts. In this guide, we will help you to understand some common causes of stinky gas as well as some possible solutions that can reduce dog flatulence and help you avoid smelly situations.
3 Common Causes of Excessive Gas in Dogs
When your dog (or you) eats food, it moves through the gastrointestinal tract where bacteria break it down. Sometimes this process results in smelly gas while other times the gas simply passes through without detection. While either scenario is nothing irregular, if you notice Rex is more gassy than usual, don't ignore it. Here are some of the most common culprits of excess air.
1. Eating Flatulence-Inducing Foods
If your dog suddenly has bad gas, there's a good chance it's because of diet. Some specific dog foods that could cause excess gas include:
- Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are healthy foods, yet they are high in isothiocyanates, which are chemical compounds that can cause dog gas (and human gas).
- Beans: From soybeans to chickpeas and other types of beans, these high-fiber foods can trigger a surplus of gas in dogs.
- Dairy products: Like humans, some dogs are lactose intolerant — if your adult dog is drinking milk or consuming food with dairy ingredients, it may be time to make a change.
- Human Foods or table scraps: Frequently giving your dog leftovers and human food might feel like you're being a nice pet parent, but it can end up being bad news for Lola's digestive system.
- High-fat foods: Consuming fatty meats such as bacon is a bad idea for many reasons, one of which is extra gas and flatulence.
- High-fiber foods: Although fiber should be part of an overall healthy diet, eating too much can produce some gassy results.
2. Swallowing a Lot of Air
When it comes to excess gas, it might not just be what your dog is eating but how your dog eats. If your doggy tends to wolf down food like there's no tomorrow, they could be swallowing air which can lead to a buildup of gas.
Some dogs also tend to swallow more air when they eat and drink, especially brachycephalic breeds that have short skulls and noses as well as flattened faces. These breeds include French and English bulldogs, pugs, boxers, and Boston terriers.
Consequently, the gas formed in their digestive tract which is the swallowed air, will also be released through farting. In this case, you might hear your dog expel extra gas, but chances are, your dog's farts will be small and relatively odorless.
3. Digestive Issues
In some cases, gas can be a sign of an underlying health issue such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or different types of infections. In these cases, excessive gas can be accompanied by other symptoms such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and general lethargy.
Hence, if your dog's gas presents itself alongside other symptoms, such as diarrhea, bloating, vomiting, weight loss, or loss of appetite, it could be a sign of a serious underlying health issue. To get a proper diagnosis, always consult your veterinarian.
8 Ways to Prevent or Reduce Dog Flatulence
Now that you know some of the common causes that might explain why your dog has excess gas, here are some solutions that may help curb your dog's farting situation. As always, talk to your vet, who can work with you to pinpoint the cause of the gas and design a treatment plan specifically for your pet.
1. Keep a Balanced Diet
Feeding your dog high-quality dog food made with nutritious whole food ingredients may help reduce excessive gas. This means foods with a balance of proteins, healthy, and carbohydrates from whole food sources like real meat, vegetables, and other natural ingredients.
If your pet's kibble is loaded with processed ingredients, it might be time to rethink your pup’s their meal plan. For example, when reading food labels, look for real meat (such as chicken or lamb) instead of meat meal, peas rather than pea protein, or brown rice instead of rice starch. Healthy food should also be free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, GMOs, and gumming and thickening agents.
And if you're changing their diet, be sure to introduce your dog's diet slowly, as doing so abruptly can disrupt your doggy's digestive system and induce gassiness, diarrhea, and other unwanted symptoms. Your vet may also recommend a low-fiber, low-fat diet that's more digestible for your pet.
2. Break Up Mealtime
Along with modifying your dog's diet, consider feeding your dog several smaller meals throughout the day rather than one big feast. Doing so will give your pooch's digestive system time to break down food in between feedings rather than all at once.
3. Slow Down Your Pet's Eating
If your dog eats too quickly, consider a slow feeder bowl. These specially designed bowls make it harder to get to the food, so your dog eats more slowly. Slowing down our pet's eating can help reduce their intake of air which can help to reduce the amount of gas they release.
So yes, similar with humans, slowing down and chewing food more thoroughly can improve digestion and thereby reduce bloating and gassiness.
4. Give Your Dog Probiotics
One of the best ways to address your dog's gut health is with canine probiotics. Scientific research shows that just as with humans, these "good gut bacteria" bolster your dog's digestive health, immune system, and overall well-being. Consider giving your pet a high-quality supplement such as Pet Honesty's probiotic chews, which promote better digestion and can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
5. Hold Back on Human Food
Giving your beloved Bella a few bites of human food every now and then isn't a big deal (as long as you know which specific foods are safe for dogs). However, it's best to resist the urge to share table scraps and leftovers as these could lead to excessive gas and other possible health issues such as poor digestion or worse, pancreatitis.
6. Keep Your Pet Active
You know the value of exercise for your own body, and it's no different for your four-legged friend. To help quell your dog's gas problem, take them out for a walk within 30 minutes or so after a meal. Getting your dog to move at a comfortable pace can help with poor digestion and gas elimination.
7. Watch Out for Allergens
Many dogs can be prone to allergies, just like humans. If your pup's gassiness is accompanied by other symptoms such as sneezing, itching, vomiting/diarrhea, and scratching/licking of their paws, they may have a food allergy or food intolerance. However, determining the exact food allergen in their diet can be tricky. The best course of action is to do an elimination diet. It would be best to also speak with your veterinarian and go through the limited ingredient diet or elimination trial if they also suspect food allergies.
8. Cut Back on Dog Treats
Too many treats can mean extra gas for your pup. This is because the source and ingredients matter when selecting treats. Choose quality, natural treats that are free from fillers and artificial flavors/colors instead of low-grade ones. In addition, follow the suggested servings on the label or consider supplementing with healthy snacks such as carrots, apples, and blueberries.
By following these guidelines, you may be able to identify the potential cause of your pup's gassiness. However, if nothing seems to work.
Don't Panic If You Suddenly Have a Gassy Dog
As loving dog owners, we always want to make sure that our precious four-legged family member is healthy and happy. As funny as it might sound, flatulence is a natural part of life — for both pets and humans — so it's not something that you can ever completely avoid or eradicate.
That said, if you notice your pooch is having bouts of bad gas more often than usual, or it occurs with other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or bloating, be sure to contact your vet right away. You know your dog better than anyone, so use your best judgment, and don't try to diagnose your dog all on your own. For more helpful tips and information, check out the Pet Honesty blog.