Introduction to Why Your Dog Farts and What You Can Do About It
Any dog owner knows that one of the most pervasive and disagreeable traits of their pets is flatulence.
As much as you love them, it can be impossible not to notice when they pass gas.
The good news is that farts don’t have to be a part of your dog’s vocabulary.
They don’t stink or pose any kind of health risk to you or your pup, so if you’ve been grossed out by them, don’t be.
When your pet dog farts, everyone in a 10-meter radius knows about it.
When a dog lets one go, it’s very sudden, and it’s very loud.
While this might make for an embarrassing situation, it’s totally natural for them to fart from time to time.
Basically, it’s a sign that your dog’s digestive system is working properly.
There’s nothing to worry about. In fact, healthy dogs will fart anywhere from 3-5 times per day.
If you’ve ever been within 5 feet of a dog, or worse, have one as a pet, chances are you’ve been on the unfortunate end of a flatulence experience.
Most dogs fart. It’s almost a requirement for dog ownership.
But why do dogs fart?
And why do they fart so much?
There are many reasons for dog flatulence and today we’ll discuss three of them: genetics, diet, and stress.
As dog owners, it is hard to avoid the fact that dogs fart.
This is a simple fact.
Not just will our dog’s fart, but they will fart freely, without any regard for whether you are around.
And yes, you are right, it is true that the things they fart out are stinky.
Why Do Dogs Fart?
Just as in humans, canine flatulence is caused by a build-up of gas in the intestinal tract and colon and the occasional fart is perfectly normal.
Gas can form in your dog’s digestive system for a number of reasons: he might simply eat too fast and swallow air, or he could be eating the wrong kinds of food.
Bread, beans, lactose found in milk, and certain thickeners found in pet food can all cause dogs to pass wind.
The causes of dog farts vary but they are generally the same as in people.
After a meal, bacteria in the intestinal tract break down the food into nutrients that the body can use.
During this process, stinky hydrogen sulfide gas released as a by-product of digestion for certain foods in the colon.
That gas becomes trapped and farting is the only way for your dog to get it out.
Some dogs also tend to swallow a lot of air when they eat and drink, especially speed-eaters and short-nosed brachycephalic breeds including Pugs, Boston terriers, Shih Tzus, and Lhasa Apsos.
Like the gas formed in their digestive tract, this swallowed air is also expelled by farting.
So, is it normal for dogs to fart a lot?
A bit of gas is normal each day, but if you feel like you need to wear a gas mask around your dog, then something is amiss.
This is especially true if farting is a recent development and your dog has diarrhea or you find blood in their stool.
What Causes Dog Farts?
Rule Out a Gastrointestinal Issue or Food Intolerance
Several health issues can lead to gastrointestinal issues in dogs including:
- Canine colitis
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Intestinal parasites
- Inflammatory bowel disease
That’s why it’s so important to visit the vet to see why your dog is farting all the time.
Remember, your dog is probably in pain from all that gas too.
Treatment for these conditions, your dog’s farts should begin to decrease.
To figure out whether your dog has any food allergies or food intolerance, your vet may put them on a restricted diet to weed out the offending ingredients.
Once you know what substances are causing your pup’s farts, eliminate them from their daily diet.
Change Your Dog’s Diet Slowly to Avoid Farts
Dogs have pretty sensitive tummies and when you suddenly change their food to a new brand, you might deal with days or weeks of dog farts.
To put a stop to dog farts caused by dietary changes, slowly transition your pup to a new food by swapping out their old food in small increments over one week.
This acclimates your pup’s system to the new food, preventing digestive issues like gas and diarrhea.
Don’t Give Your Dog Table Scraps
Table scraps and human foods are notorious for giving dogs digestive issues including gas.
Unlike us, dogs can’t easily digest these table scraps, especially those high in fats or sugars.
Plus, many table scraps are dangerous for dogs to eat, so when your pup comes begging to the table, it’s best to ignore them for the good of their tummy and your nose.
Keep Your Dog Out of the Trash
Dogs are curious creatures who enjoy exploring the trash and even your cat’s litter box for tasty treats.
Not only is this dangerous for your dog, but the behavior can lead to a lot of stomachs upset and gaseous emissions.
Prevent your pup from accessing your trash by putting it in a covered can.
During walks, always steer your dog clear of anything suspicious on the ground, like trash that others have discarded.
And teach your dog the “Leave-it” command so that you can immediately get them to drop any trash that you may come upon.
Avoid Fart-Inducing Foods
Some foods, even those that are safe for your dog to eat, are more likely than others to lead to farting.
Steamed vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are healthy treats for dogs but too much of them could lead to smelly farts.
Speak with your veterinarian to see if a highly digestible, low-residue diet could benefit your dog.
These diets contain fewer hard-to-digest ingredients like peas, fiber, beans, and soybeans, meaning that there will be less gas after your dog eats.
Slow Down Speed Eaters and Keep Dogs Active
Dogs that wolf down their food like they’re in a race also end up swallowing a lot of air, leading to farts later on.
Divide your dog’s daily portion into several smaller ones and feed them to your pup throughout the day to deal with this behavior.
Or use a slow-feed dog dish that features a raised center to make swallowing large amounts of food impossible for your dog.
In addition to slowing down your pup’s eating, keep your dog active with regular exercise and playtime. Exercise helps improve digestion and reduce farting.
How to Stop the Farting?
The top three strategies for reducing flatulence in your dog are most effective in combination.
- Switching your dog’s diet
- Prebiotics and probiotics
- Additives like pumpkin (for digestion) or charcoal dog treats
Experts agree that diet is the number one cause of gas, so it’s the first place to look when you’re trying to alleviate your dog’s tummy troubles. Consult with your vet before making a switch, and do your research. Look beyond marketing hype to discover what’s really on the label, and look for less processed ingredients, fewer carbs, and whole, quality proteins.
Exercise helps before or after a meal because it gets your dog’s whole body moving, including the digestive tract. Researchers note that dogs who exercise more have less gas. They acknowledge that the research doesn’t recommend a certain time of day for that exercise. I like to go after dinner, as a good walk also helps us both sleep better.
Prebiotics and probiotics designed for dogs may help. These should only be given in consultation with your vet; the idea is that these supplements help to correct and manage the microflora in your dog’s gut. Some research has shown good results in reducing canine flatulence with probiotic treatment. Many foods now boast added pre-and probiotics, as well.
Lastly, there’s good evidence to support that activated charcoal (yes, charcoal!) reduces the smell of your dog’s gas. You can give it as a supplement or purchase treats made with it.
Importance of Nutrition and Its Role
in a Dog’s Flatulence
Speaking of what your dog eats, their everyday nutrition plays a huge role in their digestive health that, in turn, impacts how much gas they might be passing.
Certain dog foods that contain high levels of protein or poorly digested protein often produce more odorous farts.
Intestinal bacteria can ferment undigested proteins and produce sulfur-containing gases.
Ingredients such as onions, nuts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts can also be fermented and produce sulfur-containing gases.
A portion of properly balanced dog food with the right nutrients can help promote healthier digestion.
Be sure to ask your veterinarian for some recommendations on healthy dog food.
Additionally, for dogs that have more sensitive stomachs or other diseases that cause poor digestion or absorption of nutrients that are often associated with bloating and flatulence.
There are dog foods specially formulated to support your dog’s GI tract health.
Be sure to ask your veterinarian if one of these therapeutic pet foods is a good option.
Now that you know what makes dogs fart, you can hopefully put an end to at least some of the stink bombs in your house!
Take a closer look at your pup’s food and see if there is anything that might be putting their digestive system out of whack.
And remember, a quick visit to the vet can always help you determine how to proceed in the best interest of your pet’s health.
When Is It Time to See the Vet?
If your dog still has excessive gas after you’ve changed its diet, it may be time to visit your vet.
Not only is your dog’s gas uncomfortable for you, but flatulence can also cause your dog physical discomfort.
If your dog has a medical problem or food sensitivity, their gas may be accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Change in appetite