While the men in your house might find the fact your dog farts too much to be somewhat hilarious, at some point in time the endless jokes (not to mention the stink) can get to be too much. While no one is likely to be able to help you with the rotten jokes, there are things that can be done to help with your dog’s stinky problem.
However, you should be aware, that to a certain extent it is quite normal for a certain amount of gas to build up in your dog's intestines as part of the digestive process. This being said, there are a number of situations in which there is an increase in the production of gas that can become too much.
The good news is that once you know why your dog farts so much, there are steps you can take that will reduce his flatulence to a more tolerable level. While this might not reduce the quantity or quality of the jokes, it will reduce the stink in your house.
Causes and Prevention of Flatulence in Dogs
There are three main causes of flatulence in dogs you need to be aware of, but the most common reason dogs tend to fart too much is the food they are eating. There is an old adage that goes, "garbage in - garbage out."
Many of the low-cost dog foods, and some of the more expensive brands, contain high levels of grains such as corn and wheat. Your dog's digestive system was never designed to process high volumes of these foods, which can lead to the production of excessive gas. So, too, can any kind of dairy product, foods that are high in fat, beans, peas, and spicy foods.
Stick with What Works
Changing the food your dog eats frequently can also upset your dog's digestive system. Once you find a food they like and tolerate well, you should stick with it. Both your dog and your sense of smell will certainly appreciate it. Some dogs may also have food allergies that can lead to excessive gas. In fact, dog farts are considered to be one of the more common symptoms of food allergies. If you think your dog has food allergies, take them in to see the vet for testing.
Easy on the Treats
Vets also say you need to be very careful with the treats you give your dog. We all love to give our dogs treats, but so many of them contain ingredients that are known to cause stomach upset and can lead to excessive gas and flatulence.
Aerophagia is described as an increase in the amount of air swallowed. There are a number of causes for aerophagia, including eating too fast and gulping in air along with food, eating shortly after being exercised, and respiratory disease. Other causes of aerophagia include nervous eating and the issue can be more prevalent in specific flat-faced breeds or brachycephalic breeds. No matter the cause, the result is that your dog ends up swallowing too much air when they eat, which in turn, can often lead to a buildup of gas in the intestines with less than savory results.
One way to reduce the amount of air your dog takes in while wolfing down food is to elevate their food dish to a point at which their head is level or just below level when they are eating. This has been found to help significantly reduce the amount of air sucked in with food and, in turn, cuts down significantly on the amount of gas coming out of the other end. Speak to your vet first, because there is some thought that feeding from elevated bowls can be a factor in bloat. See if your dog is at risk.
Dogs are very similar anatomically to humans in that there are a few gastrointestinal illnesses that can lead to a bad case of flatulence that threatens to drive you out of your home. Basically, any type of GI illness that results in malabsorption of the nutrients and food in your dog's intestines can cause them to produce far too much gas, leading to foul-smelling gas. These conditions can include:
Histiocytic colitis (very common in Boxers and French Bulldogs)
Inflammatory bowel disease
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
Overgrowth of small intestinal bacteria
All of these conditions can have a major impact on your dog's ability to properly digest his food, leading to a buildup of gas and excessive farting.
If you have not changed your pup's diet and they don't gulp their food down, the best thing you can do is to take them to the veterinarian for a checkup. Be prepared to give your vet a full history including any illnesses your dog might have had in the past, what and how they eat now, and whether or not you have made any changes to their diet. If your dog has gotten into the trash recently you must be sure to tell the vet, as this can lead to flatulence as well.
The vet will then perform a complete physical examination searching for any external signs of illness. Based on what the vet finds, he may also order diagnostic imaging along with blood and stool sample testing. This is to rule out the possibility of parasites and several other potential medical conditions that could cause flatulence.
Bear in mind that canine food allergies tend to be difficult to diagnose and may take a bit of time, so be patient and let your vet rule out everything else before he puts your pup on an elimination diet. This is done in an attempt to determine if there are specific foods your dog is allergic to. In many cases, cutting out certain treats, table scraps, and other nasty snacks like the cat box, road kill, and the trash can be enough to cut down on the gassy problem.
Treating Your Dog's Stinky Gas
Treating your dog's flatulence is largely based on what is causing it. If the cause is a change in diet or the addition of foods or treats they are not used to, you can return your pooch to the previous diet and cut out the treats. In most cases, doing this will allow the digestive system to recover and eliminate the gas. If you can't return your four-legger to their previous diet, you may just have to wait it out and allow their digestive system time to get used to the new food.
If there is an underlying medical condition causing the flatulence, your vet will recommend the appropriate treatments which should help alleviate the problem. Not only will this help everyone in the house enjoy breathing fresher smelling air, it will help eliminate your dog's digestive discomfort and accompanying gas.
So, What Next?
While most of the causes of your dog's farts can be cured with a change in diet or eating habits, there are also a number of medications your vet can prescribe that may help. If your dog has really bad gas, the best thing you can do is take them in to see the vet to make sure there are no underlying medical conditions.
Remember that no matter how stinky and annoying your dog's farts happen to be or how bad the jokes are, some gas is natural. If you are still worried, start trying to keep track of how often your pooch passes gas and how stinky it is. This information can help your veterinarian to diagnose the causes of the flatulence and find the right way to deal with it.