I’ll always remember Fritz, our German Shorthair/Pointer mix. What a wonderful pooch he was and after more than 40 years, I still miss him. However, that boy could clear a room with his flatulence! My brother and I would be in the living room with Fritz while he laid on the floor. Suddenly without warning, the odor would hit us like a ton of bricks. And, we knew the origins of that aroma. So, we’d look over at him and say a long, drawn-out “Friiiiiitz.” He would lazily hoist one eye lid and look at us as if to say “Yep, that was a good one!” You may ask, “Why do dogs have bad gas?” Let’s explore possible reasons and discuss how we might address the problem.
Low-quality foods that your dog can’t completely digest can cause gas. Other culprits include table scraps, especially those containing lactose and indigestible carbohydrates. A diet with a high meat content is also a possible cause. Also consider that your dog may have food allergies and you need to find out which foods cause an allergic reaction.
Disorders of the GI tract can cause excess gas production. Some of these disorders are Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), intestinal parasites, an overgrowth of small intestinal bacteria, tumors, and Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI).
Issues in the GI tract can lead to imbalances in the micro flora of your dog’s stomach/small intestines and these organisms are responsible for excess gas.
It’s widely believed that when dogs eat too fast and gulp air, it can lead to increased gas. Brachycephalic (flat faced and short nose) breeds like Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas and Pugs are especially prone.
Underlying health issues
Also consider that your pooch may have an underlying health issue that you need to address. It’s also possible that if he’s taking any medications, they could be responsible.
Treating/preventing dog farts
Yes, there are measures to take when dealing with doggie gas. Probably the number one treatment is feeding him a consistent and healthy diet.
Make sure to feed him nutritious and highly digestible food. It probably wouldn’t hurt to do a little research to find the best fit for your best friend. Foods that can cause excessive gas include soy, dairy, peas, beans and fruit.
When choosing a food, be aware of low-quality fillers such as corn products that make him feel full but aren’t nutrition-rich.
I know it’s tempting when he parks himself under the dinner table and waits for human food. But, don’t give in no matter how much he flashes those puppy eyes. It’s quite possible that some of the table scraps contain allergens.
If your pooch inhales his food, that’s a possible cause of gas as stated above because of the amount of air intake. He may gulp his food because he feels competition from other dogs in the house. If you’re a multi-dog household, you might try separating them at feeding times to eliminate the competition and reduce stress. You can also try putting an obstacle in his bowl, like a tennis ball, to slow him down.
There are also special pet food bowls that are designed to help short-nosed dogs as mentioned above eat more comfortably and swallow less air. There are even some brands of dry food made with these kinds of dogs in mind.
Other tricks you can try are elevating food bowls and adding water. By adding water you make your dog use his tongue to lap his food and this makes it harder to shovel
It’s very important that you know your dog’s allergies and food sensitivities, so do your research and steer clear of certain foods.
Some dogs are lactose intolerant. In my opinion and in any case, it’s best to avoid dairy.
Introduce one diet change at a time so you can see which of the modifications work.
You can also try probiotics. The benefits of these are debated among professionals but many agree they can help your dog’s gas problem. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations.
You might consider dietary supplements as well. Using Yucca Schidigera and/or zinc may decrease the odor of the gas but not necessarily the frequency.
Activated charcoal could also do the trick.
Ginger is another natural remedy but is pretty intense. Therefore, consider giving it in capsule form.
You can smash up the leaves of peppermint into his food and see if that does the trick.
Nux Vomica is a homeopathic remedy that you should give away from food.
Again, you should consult your veterinarian before embarking on these ideas.
A simple walk within 30 minutes of eating can move that gas along and will allow your dog to release his mother lode outdoors instead of in your home!
It’s natural for animals, including humans, to fart. You can probably let an occasional fart pass (get it?). But, (get it again?) if there’s a problem and you find yourself asking, “Why do dogs have bad gas?”, try to find the source and then try the various ideas listed here.
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