Gas in dogs is a relatively common problem, which most owners will experience.
Common Causes of Gas in Dogs and Puppies
There are many possible causes of dog gas. The most common reasons dogs get gas include:
- Increased swallowing of air
- Compulsive eating
- Eating immediately after exercise
- Sudden changes in diet
- Breed: flat-faced breeds tend to have a higher risk of gas
- Diet high in soybeans, peas or beans
- Diet high in dairy products
5 Ways to Get Rid of Your Dog’s Farts
But what happens when this happens too frequently or when your dog's gas suddenly clears the room? The truth is that gas could be a sign of a serious problem that requires medical care, especially when passing gas comes together with other symptoms, such as foul odors, diarrhea, and more. “Stomach gurgling (noises in the belly) and unpleasant odors can definitely be a sign of a problem for your pet,” says Dr. Amanda Nascimento, DVM, the NHV’s Natural Pet’s in-house veterinarian.
While flatulence is more common in brachycephalic dogs—such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers, and Boston Terriers—it can affect any breed of dog. “In brachycephalic breeds or in animals that swallow a lot of air when they are breathing or eating, the production of gasses may be more evident,” Nascimento adds.
1) Force Your Dog To Slow Down While Eating
One of the most common causes of flatulence is too much air in the belly. “This could be due to them swallowing a lot of air, which is very common with dogs that eat too fast,” says Nascimento.
If you have a dog who just swallows all the food in his bowl in seconds, try switching to smaller meals throughout the day rather than two big ones. You can also try a slow feeder bowl or use a treat-dispensing toy to feed your dog, as this will cause them to eat much slower.
2) Avoid Giving Your Dog Table Scraps
Dogs are inquisitive creatures and they are guided by their acute sense of smell. If you regularly find trash bags ripped open, or your dog is an expert at clearing the table after you finish eating, try to avoid leaving scraps around and make sure your trash bags are tied securely and taken outside. Leftovers and stale or rotten food can contribute to gas and flatulence.
3) Feed your pup probiotics, yogurt, and digestive supplements
Probiotics, yogurt and digestive supplements are designed to facilitate healthy digestion to reduce the risk of gas and protect the gastrointestinal tract. We recommend using The Honest Kitchen Perfect Form supplement, which is packed with herbs and natural goodness, including slippery elm, fennel and plantain. This formula eases digestive problems, promotes good bowel health and regulates bowel movements.
4) Change your dog’s diet slowly (avoid fart-causing foods)
If you are changing your dog’s diet, aim for gradual adjustments to let your canine companion get used to their new meal plan. It is hugely beneficial to feed dogs high-quality food to facilitate healthy digestion. Some foods carry a higher risk of causing gas than others. Examples include Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. These foods can be used as healthy, nutritious treats but try to avoid giving your dog large quantities.
5) Try a food elimination plan to rule out allergies
Food allergies can cause gas in dogs. If you have concerns about a gassy dog, it is helpful to follow a food elimination plan to identify potential triggers. If you are able to highlight foods that cause dog gas, you can then cut them out of your dog’s diet and find alternatives. Keep a food diary for your dog and phase out all the foods they usually eat, leaving just two key ingredients (one protein and one carbohydrate) they haven’t eaten before. Record and note down their reactions and any changes in their bowel habits.
More Serious Health Issues That Can Give Dogs Bad Gas
In the majority of cases, there is no need to worry about a dog with gas but it is possible for excess gas to be linked to underlying health issues. If you have concerns about your dog, it’s wise to consult your vet. If your dog does have a more serious condition, which is resulting in dog gas or other symptoms linked to digestive issues, your vet may recommend treatment options and they will monitor their progress closely.
Examples of health problems that may cause flatulence include:
- Canine colitis
- IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Intestinal parasites
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
For Dogs With Digestive Problems, Try These Recipes
‘My dog has gas’ is a common talking point among pet owners. If you have a dog with gas and you’re keen to try and improve their diet, why not try these recipes?
- Grain-free beef recipe: Beef, low-carb, active adults, puppies, pregnancy, nursing
- Limited ingredient chicken recipe: Chicken, lower-carb, limited ingredients, active adults, puppies, pregnancy, nursing
- Grain-free turkey recipe: Turkey, low-carb, active adults, puppies, pregnancy, nursing
- Grain-free chicken recipe: Chicken, adult maintenance, moderate activity
- Grain-free fish recipe: Haddock, whiting, salmon, low-carb, low-fat, lower-calorie, adult maintenance
- Grain-free fruit & veggie base mix: Vegetarian foundation mix, combine with meat for a complete meal, adult maintenance
It is natural for dogs to have gas, especially after rummaging through bags of trash or indulging in too many vegetables but in some cases, there may be an underlying cause. Digestive issues, food allergies, and sudden changes in diet can all increase the risk of gas. If you have any questions or concerns about your dog, it’s always best to consult your vet and ask for advice.