Most people find an occasionally flatulent dog to be somewhat amusing. Some dog owners may even share videos of their pup passing gas online. When your dog has foul-smelling or excessive flatulence, the laughter turns to concern.
Excessive farting is usually due to a poor diet. Like people, dogs need food with enzymes, antioxidants and high-quality proteins to keep their digestive tract healthy.
Cheap dog foods contain wheat, corn, and fillers. These ingredients increase the amount of gas in your dog's stomach, causing flatulence. Additives, artificial colors, artificial flavors and preservatives in foods contribute to gas and allergies.
If your dog eats poor quality foods with a combination of these ingredients for years, it may increase the risk of cancer and heart disease as well.
Feed your dog venison, duck, and other quality meat-based meals. Many holistic online and pet store food brands sell wet foods containing these meats combined with non-gas inducing veggies or oatmeal.
A nutritious diet for optimal canine gastrointestinal health should also include:
If you feed your dog table scraps, avoid dishing out beans, cheese, corn, broccoli, spicy foods, soybeans, fatty foods, and milk. Avoid giving your dog greasy hamburger meat, or any or any fast-food bits.
Substitute boiled potatoes, cooked chicken, salmon or plain yogurt for unhealthy table scraps. Yogurt is a probiotic, which helps improve your dog's intestinal bacteria. Healthier gut bacteria will mean less flatulence. You can also add probiotic powder to your dog’s daily regimen to improve digestive health.
SIMPLIFY YOUR DOG'S DIET
We love to spoil our dogs with treats, leftovers, and new exotic kibble we found at the trendy pet store. This varied diet may not be the best thing for a dog's digestive tract. If small adjustments to your dog's diet don't stop the smell, feed your dog his regular food for two weeks. Resist the urge to add treats or table scraps between meals.
Brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds tend to pass gas more than other breeds. Some naturally gassy dog breeds include:
If you’re a pet parent to a gassy breed, take extra precautions to prevent them from eating fast or eating the wrong foods.
Most dogs have a hard time digesting corn, liver treats, and broccoli. The breeds listed above are among the worst offenders. At the store, choose low-fiber, highly-digestible canned food.
Replace gas-inducing veggies with sweet potatoes and organic canned pumpkin. Pumpkin is a soluble fiber, which soothes the intestines. Soy and rice, found in many store-bought dog foods, are carbohydrates that may irritate the digestive tract.
Gradually introduce your dog to new types of food. Changing his diet all at once may compromise an already sensitive gastrointestinal tract. Mix 20 per cent of his new food with 80 per cent of his old food the first day, 40 per cent of the new food with 60 per cent of the old food on the second day, and work up to 100 percent on the fifth day.
If you change your dog’s diet and his flatulence continues, take him to the vet. It may be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Sudden, constant flatulence that occurs without any changes to your dog’s diet may also indicate a serious condition.
MEDICAL REASONS FOR EXCESSIVE FLATULENCE
AEROPHAGIA (SWALLOWING AIR)
Even if your dog eats quality food, how he eats it may make him pass gas. When a dog ingests too much air while eating, it upsets his digestion. There’s a name for this – Aerophagia.
If your dog usually gobbles down his food, place a tennis ball in the center of his dish. The obstruction will train him to eat at a slower pace. Avoid feeding your pet any canned food containing carrageenan, a fermentable fiber that boosts flatulence. The combination of carrageenan and too much air in the digestive system will make your dog’s farting much worse.
Slow down your dog's eating by feeding him before, not after exercise. When your dog poops on his daily walk, he’ll be less likely to pass gas after he eats.
OTHER TIPS FOR REDUCING GAS IN DOGS
An inactive dog may have a sluggish digestive system. If your dog’s a couch potato, take him out for a walk or playtime every day. The amount of exercise dog needs depends on his age, breed and general health.
Pugs and other brachycephalic dogs may experience shortness of breath after intense exercise. Play with these breeds in shorter intervals than sturdier breeds.
If your dog's a compulsive overeater, cut down on the amount of food available each day. Overweight and inactive dogs have a greater risk of excessive flatulence. Determine your dog’s ideal weight after talking with your vet. Create meal plans to help your pet maintain that weight.
If you have a nervous dog, calm him with reassuring play. A holistic supplement containing L-Tryptophan (the natural relaxant found in turkey) can help a dog eat at a slower pace. When a formerly calm dog exhibits agitation, along with flatulence, scratching or other symptoms, check him for fleas or ticks.