What are Passing Gas?
Passing gas in dogs can be a stinky problem, but it is usually just a natural part of digestion. However, it may also be a source of concern if your dog has excessive gas or has other symptoms as well. Some of the other signs of concern are vomiting, diarrhea, swelling of the abdomen, painful abdomen, weight loss, lack of appetite, fever, sleepiness, and lethargy.
- Poor diet
- Eating too fast
- Change in diet
- Digestive system issues
- Parasitic infection
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
If your dog is suddenly passing gas and has any other symptoms or if the flatulence lasts longer than a couple of days, you should make an appointment with your veterinary care provider.
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Why Passing Gas Occurs in Dogs
Passing gas happens when gas is allowed to accumulate in your dog’s digestive tract. Sometimes your dog passes gas for no reason at all, and some dogs seem to be excessively gassy. Many times, it is just a case of gobbling food too fast or eating right after exercise, but there may be other more important causes. Some reasons why these occur include:
Feeding your dog table scraps or any other kind of human food can cause gas because of preservatives and seasonings. Also, foods containing milk or other lactose products and substandard dog food are not easily digestible for your dog, causing flatulence. Look for high-quality food that does not contain corn, ash, or any kind of grains.
Eating Too Fast
Many dogs wolf down their food just because that is how they have always eaten and others eat fast because they are competing with other dogs. If you feed several dogs in one area, they have a tendency to try and steal all the food first. They eat like wolves do in the wild, which is why they call it “wolfing” down their food. In the process, they swallow a bunch of air that builds up into gas.
Change in Diet
A sudden change in diet can also cause an upset in the digestive system, producing excess gas. When changing dog foods, be sure to do it gradually so his system can get used to it.
Digestive System Disease
Doberman Pinschers, Alaskan Malamutes, Mastiffs, Bulldogs, and Boxers are prone to histiocytic ulcerative colitis, which can create gas. This condition causes ulcers in the lining of the colon and can also cause bloody diarrhea, drooling, and weight loss.
Parasites can infect your dog’s intestinal system and cause gas. Some of the most common are:
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
IBD causes malabsorption and inflammation of the bowel, causing gas, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and loss of appetite. This is most commonly seen in certain breeds such as the Yorkshire and Wheaten Terrier.
Some of the digestive viruses include:
- Parvovirus most often affects puppies between eight and twenty weeks old
- Coronavirus is a common and highly contagious infection that affects mostly young dogs under six months old and those that live in multi-dog homes
- Rotavirus is a common and mild infection that affect mostly puppies under 12 weeks old
- Astrovirus is not common but usually affects puppies under 12 weeks old
What to do if your Dog is Passing Gas
Poor diet can be prevented by giving your dog only high-quality dog food. You must also refrain from feeding your dog table scraps or other human food or treats.
Eating Too Fast
If you have more than one dog, you should feed them all in different areas so they do not have to compete. This will prevent your dog from swallowing too much air.
Change in Diet
It is usually recommended not to change your dog’s food unless there is a problem such as allergy or medical condition. However, if you must change his food, do it gradually so his system can get used to it.
You should visit your veterinary care provider if your dog has signs of a digestive system disease, parasitic infection, IBD, or virus.
Prevention of Passing Gas
You can prevent most causes of gas by only feeding your dog high-quality dog food with no grains, corn, soy, or other fillers. The protein in the food should be a meat such as chicken, beef, pork, or fish. To prevent certain viruses like parvovirus, there are vaccinations you should get when your dog is about six weeks old and you should get boosters as needed and directed by your veterinarian. Do not let your dog eat feces or dig in the trash, keep the yard free of standing water or other obvious areas that can be contaminated.
Cost of Passing Gas
The cost of gas in dogs depends on the cause. For example, a parasitic infection may cost $1100 to treat, while consistent therapy for inflammatory bowel disease may run around $2800. The average cost for treating a flatulence problem is about $400.