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Asked by Todd L Ross in
Domestic Dogs
Veterinary Medicine

How do we get our dog to stop passing gas?

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April 08, 2019 7:50PM

Dog farts are no joke. Canine flatulence can clear out a room and ruin a sweet, cuddly moment in an instant. Your pet might not seem to be bothered by their gas, but if you're reading this, you probably are. And there's a good reason to take doggie gas seriously: Along with other symptoms that we'll get into in a little bit, excessive gas could indicate gastrointestinal issues or a food allergy, according to PetMD.

Of course, you wouldn't want your dog to stop farting entirely. It's completely natural for dogs as well as humans to let the occasional puff of wind fly. The question, then, is how to reduce the frequency of the farting, take the edge off of that awful, awful smell, or both.

Lest you be tempted to giggle, understand that somebody takes this issue seriously enough to give it its own national awareness day. April 8th is Dog Farting Awareness Day, although if you live with a gassy puppy, every day is Dog Farting Awareness Day.

Anyway, in honor of the season, here's what you need to know about canine gas and the options for treating your pet's overly stinky airmail. To start out, we need to discuss the root causes of flatulence, which are often the same for dogs and humans alike.

Like humans, dogs can get gas from their diet, from swallowing air, from gastrointestinal illness, or even from a sedentary lifestyle. The occasional toot isn't anything to worry about, if you can survive the odor, but if your dog is constantly passing gas, it's time to start paying attention to their diet and behavior.

Sometimes dogs eat too quickly and swallow a lot of air, which can lead to future farts. Feeding your dog table scraps can also ensure stinkiness down the line. Bread, beans, lactose, and fillers often found in dog food can all cause gas build up in your pup; that gas has to go somewhere, and if your nose is in the vicinity, you'll catch your share. Dogs can also develop food allergies that can really wreak havoc on their digestive systems, causing seriously smelly gas.

To find the root cause of your dog's gas problem, start with a visit to your vet's office. Your veterinarian will give your pet an exam to rule out any illnesses. This may involve other doing bloodwork and other tests to check for parasites or other imbalances.

As stated, gastrointestinal illnesses could be to blame. Gastrointestinal problems can prevent your dog from properly digesting and absorbing nutrients; strongly scented flatulence is just one of the results. Boxers and French bulldogs, to name a couple preeds, are prone to having histiocytic ulcerative colitis, and certain terrier breeds can develop inflammatory bowel disease.

If your vet rules out gastrointestinal disease or other illness, it's time to look at your dog's diet; Fido could be allergic to something you're feeding them. To determine if food is to blame, your vet may recommend an elimination diet, in which your pet only eats a special, low-ingredient kibble for at least a month. If the gas lets up, then returns when you get back to the regular diet, it's clear that your brand of dog food is the culprit. From there, cleaner air is just a matter of picking food that's easier on your dog's system.

Your vet should recognize the signs of these issues and will provide the proper treatment. But what if your vet rules out any issues but you still want to try a few things at home to get relief from your dog's bowels?

PetMD recommends getting your dog into a more active lifestyle. Because sedentary living can increase gas production, this might do the trick. If you suspect your dog is swallowing air while eating-that is, if your pet wolfs down food like there's no tomorrow-you can start feeding the animal smaller, more frequent meals.

It might also help to create a safe space for your dog to eat in. Try this if you have a hungry buddy in a household with multiple animals; your pet may slow down when they know no one else is going to steal their dinner.

Finally, cut out the table scraps. Those proteins and carbohydrates might be fueling the stench. Of course, watching your best furry friend beg for a scrap, and cruelly withholding, might actually be worse than the smell of a flatulent mutt. If that's the case, you'll just have to pick your poison.