If you own a dog, odds are good you’ve experienced a dog fart that caused you to flee the room. While a little gas here or there is normal (and sometimes funny), if your dog seems to be increasingly gassy, you may want to have him checked out by your veterinarian.
Why is my dog so gassy?
Your dog may be smelly based on a few different reasons:
Excessive Swallowing of Air (Aerophagia)
Dogs who are nervous eaters or are overly eager to consume their food may gulp down excess air during meals. This extra air has to be emitted from your dog’s body in either a burp or fart.
If your dog can’t stop himself from eating things he shouldn’t, you may pay the price by having to endure his unpleasant stink. Dogs who scavenge in trash cans, eat rodents, or “help” clean up your cat’s food or litter may suffer from excess gas as these things aren’t part of a normal canine diet.
Feeding healthy table scraps can be a great way to treat your dog; however, some dogs have more sensitive stomachs and won’t be able to handle “people” food. Dry dog food may also contain ingredients that aren’t as easily digested by dogs such as soybeans, peas, dairy products and fruit. If you have any concerns about food sensitivities, consult your veterinarian for guidance regarding food choices for your dog.
Sudden Dietary Changes
If you choose to feed a new brand or formula of food, be sure to make the transition slowly. The AKC recommends taking a week to transition your dog by mixing a greater percentage of old food than new food for the first two or three days. The next two days you should feed equal portions of new and old food. Then finish the week with three-quarters of the new food and one-quarter of the old food. At the end of a week, your dog’s stomach should be capable of handling the new food entirely.
Infection/Disease/Disorder of the Gastrointestinal Tract
There are several health concerns that can cause a sudden increase in flatulence in your dog. Some of the most likely culprits are:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Intestinal Parasites
- Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
What can I do to reduce my dog’s gas?
If your pup is gassier than usual and he is acting uncomfortable or ill, you should consult with your veterinarian. Your vet can conduct a physical exam, along with blood work and fecal tests, to help diagnose the cause of your pup’s gastrointestinal upset. If your vet determines that the issue is not an illness or disorder, there are a few different options to help reduce your dog’s excessive gas.
Dogs who exercise more are believed to have less gas than those who live a sedentary lifestyle. If your dog is producing smells that leave you uncomfortable cuddling on the couch, heading outside will give him the chance to relieve himself of gas where the smell won’t bother anyone!
Change His Diet
Your dog may be consuming ingredients that are hard for his stomach and small intestine to digest. Switch your dog over to a highly digestible diet that is low in fiber and fat content. After consulting your veterinarian for the right food and ingredients for your dog, you may also decide to avoid feeding food with sulfur-rich ingredients, such as soybeans or eggs.
Slow Down Eating
Dogs who gulp their food and water take in too much air along with each bite. Reduce the toots by encouraging your dog to eat more slowly with slow-feeder bowls, food puzzles or hand feeding.
Speak to your veterinarian about adding probiotics to your dog’s diet to help get his gut back on track. There are billions of microbes in your dog’s gastrointestinal system that aid in digestion and strengthen his immune system. Feeding probiotics helps to boost the beneficial bacteria in your dog’s gut. Probiotics can come in capsules, chews or by feeding certain types of yogurt. Some probiotic products are specifically made for canines.
Keep Your Dog Feeling and Smelling Great!
Determining the cause of your dog’s farts will lead to a healthier living environment for everyone in your home. Your dog will feel more comfortable and your family won’t have to worry about a pungent pooch releasing smells that chase everyone from the room!