Flatulence and dogs go together like peanut butter and jelly. When a dog has to pass gas, he just goes for it without holding back. He does not step outside the room or even nudge you apologetically. Fido’s got no shame at all.
Dog owners know that it does not matter whether the entire family is enjoying dinner, tightly snuggled in bed, or on a cross-country road trip – the dog is going to fart, and it is going to stink.
It is laughable, sure, but is it normal?
Let’s talk about all things flatulence, from how normal it is and what causes it to when you should be concerned. You may want to hold your nose for this one.
Flatulence: What Is It?
Flatulence occurs when there is an excessive amount of gas in the stomach and/or small intestines. This gas eventually works its way out and gets released through the anus. This is a normal gastrointestinal occurrence in dogs that happens regularly.
Just as with humans, it is ok for a dog to pass gas. However, when it becomes too frequent or excessive, too loud, or the odor becomes unbearably strong, you may want to look a bit deeper into discovering what the culprit is.
Conditions that Cause Flatulence in Dogs
There are many reasons, big and small, that can contribute to flatulence in dogs. While this list is not exhaustive, it does contain the most common issues or conditions leading to this gas.
Changes in a dog’s diet are one of the most typical reasons for an increase in those lovely dog farts. It takes time for the digestive tract to get used to a new dog food, and sometimes these new foods may be difficult to digest. The result is fermentation in the colon and, in turn, lots of gas.
Avoid foods that contain soybeans, beans, peas, as well as those high in fat. Because dogs are lactose intolerant, they cannot digest milk or dairy products. Consuming any of these foods in their diet will likely lead to an upset gastrointestinal system and, you guessed it, flatulence.
Does your dog scarf down his food as soon as it hits the bowl? Dogs who eat too fast are not chewing their food thoroughly, and they are inhaling it with air, a condition known as aerophagia. The result is a lot of bloating, belching, and farting.
Some dogs have food allergies or sensitivities that can cause an increase in gas, as well as vomiting and diarrhea. Dogs can have a reaction based on a specific ingredient in their dog food, such as chicken or soybeans.
Medications and Vitamins
If your dog is currently taking any medications, vitamins, or nutritional supplements, this could be the cause of all the flatulence. You may want to voice your concerns with your vet and see if there are any suggestions or alternatives available.
Several medical conditions can also lead to an increased level of flatulence. If your dog has been diagnosed with one of them, then the gas is to be expected. If not, contact your vet to determine if an underlying medical condition could be the cause.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) or colitis are both associated with a chronically inflamed stomach, small intestine, or colon.
- Intestinal parasites such as roundworms can lead to an array of digestive issues.
- Constipation can be present for a variety of reasons, including hip and back pain.
- Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas is inflamed, resulting in gastrointestinal upset.
Gas can also result from more serious medical concerns, such as lymphoma or stomach cancers. It is best to have your dog thoroughly examined by your vet to rule out any potential causes.
Steps You Can Take to Reduce Gas
Whether your dog acts like it hurts or not, excessive gas can be uncomfortable. Help your best fur friend feel better by taking steps to reduce it. For instance, if your dog eats too fast, slowing him down can help greatly. There are many food bowl puzzles and slow feeders available to make dinner last a bit longer – while adding in a little fun, too.
Make sure you are feeding your dog premium dog food. Many bargain dog food brands have fillers – and these fillers may not sit so well with your pup. Changing to a diet of high-quality dog food can lead to a much happier tummy. Do not forget to check the ingredients on your treats, too.
Finally, adding probiotics and nutritional supplements to your dog’s daily routine can be an important part of maintaining a healthy gut. There are many over-the-counter brands available. Do some research and talk to your vet to determine the best options for your dog’s overall health and wellbeing.
When Flatulence Becomes a Serious Matter
Have you ever noticed that when a dog passes gas, it always seems she has her butt pointed in your direction? Or how about the pup that jumps at the sound of his own fart?
Dogs are funny when it comes to flatulence, but there comes a time when things may take a serious turn. There are certain signs you can look for, including:
- Lack of appetite
- Vomiting or diarrhea (or soft stools)
- Pacing, panting, or anxious behavior
- Sore abdomen
- Noisy sounds coming from the stomach
- Whimpering, whining, or obvious signs of pain
If your dog has any of these symptoms or suffers from stinky gas every night of the week, it is time to make that phone call to the vet. Together you can work through uncovering the potential causes and find a solution.
Clear the Air
Flatulence is a stinky subject, but one that should never be ignored. Like us humans, most dogs will have gas now and then. It is when it becomes too excessive or is combined with any additional symptoms that you should worry.
If you ever have any doubt, always contact your vet.