My dog has gas, what should I do?

dog gas flatulence

Getting rid of gas or farting is normal, just as much for dogs as it is for humans. However, when your dog’s flatulence becomes excessive and foul-smelling, it deserves special attention. Excessive gas could be a sign that your dog is feeling discomfort. It could also change the relationship you have with your dog. In this Letsgetpet article, discover the causes of flatulence and what can be done to prevent it.

A few possible causes of excessive gas and flatulence

Sometimes dog farts are recurrent and can be accompanied with burps, diarrhea, stomach gurgling, or abdominal pain. This can be caused by a variety of reasons.

Aerophagia, the leading cause of flatulence in dogs

Aerophagia is the main cause of flatulence in dogs. It’s an excess of foul-smelling gas in the digestive tract. Dogs fart to evacuate all the excess gas. In other words, it’s gas they absorb when eating, drinking or breathing. Three different situations can lead your dog to aerophagia.

Your dog is a brachycephalic breed

Brachycephalic dogs often have abnormal airways. The strange shape of their muzzle causes various malformations. For example, you might notice that their soft palate is too long. Cartilage eversion or nostril stenosis can also occur. These various anomalies can make breathing difficult for these kinds of dogs. As they have difficulties breathing through their nostrils, brachycephalic dogs are forced to pant and breathe through their mouth. Because of this, they can swallow a lot of air. They need to release the excess gas through flatulence.

Some breeds are known for having this type of morphology. For example, there is the Pug, Boxer dogs, and French Bulldogs.

Your dog eats too quickly

When a dog eats too quickly, they can swallow a lot of air at the same time. As they suffer from aerophagia, they have to evacuate this surplus gas by farting. A few different reasons can lead your dog to eat quickly. To begin with, it can simply be because your dog loves food. Some dogs are never full and have an eagerness to eat fast and enjoy their food. If you have more than one dog, one of them might feel obligated to eat faster because of the competition. They might feel the need to protect their food from other dogs in the house.

Stress and anxiety are also factors that can cause aerophagia. When dogs are stressed, they hyperventilate often and this can lead them to breathe with their mouth open. During panic attacks, dogs swallow air. At some point, the excess gas need to find a way out. So, in the event of stress, you can expect the possibility of flatulence.

Bacterial fermentation, the cause of your pet’s repeated farts

Nauseating farts can also be caused by a food problem or digestive issue. It is bacteria contained in the intestinal microbiota that produces gas by digesting food. These bacteria are involved in the breakdown of proteins and carbohydrates. In this section, let’s take a look at the different causes of excessive bacterial fermentation.

Unsuitable or bad quality food

Unfortunately, some foods are not well-suited to dogs. Sometimes, the food you give to your dog may not respond well enough to your dog’s needs. All of this can cause excess gas in your dog’s body. Bad quality food or food that is not suited to your dog can have too much plant protein.

You will generally find poor-quality animal proteins that are very difficult to digest. These meals also contain excess starch. Excess nutrients are also fermented by bacteria. This can lead to an accumulation of gas in your dog’s intestines and colon. You might notice frequent, nauseating farts, which can weaken the relationship between you and your furry friend.

The consumption of food in large quantities also cause frequent farts. Your dog’s intestines is overloaded, preventing bacteria from following digestion properly.

A sudden change in your dog’s diet or the dysfunction of their digestive system

Suddenly changing your dog’s food without transitioning into it progressively can be cause of their flatulence. Essentially, bacteria in the digestive tubes are unable to adapt to the new type of food. They, therefore, have a hard time digesting the food, which can cause excessive gas. In addition to stinky farts, some dogs are sensitive and develop digestive issues like bloating and diarrhea.

The presence of intestinal worms can learn to irritations in the digestive tract. This disrupts your dog’s intestinal flora and digestion, resulting in frequent flatulence. Certain digestive diseases also cause the presence of excessive gas in your dog’s intestines:

  • gastroenteritis,
  • chronic bowel disease (IBD),
  • digestive tumors.

Inflammations and food-related infections contribute to the disruption of the intestinal flora and these different issues can cause a large amount of gas. When flatulence is caused by an illness, it is often accompanied with other symptoms as well.

In some cases, taking certain medication, notably antibiotics, are also detrimental to good intestinal transit in a dog. By altering the digestive flora of dogs, these products cause smelly gas, bloating and diarrhea.

dog stinky smelly gas
When your dog’s flatulence becomes excessive and foul-smelling, it deserves special attention.

My dog has gas: what are the solutions available to me?

Many solutions are possible if your dog has gas accompanied with certain persistent symptoms.

Deworming and a high-quality diet

To begin with, think about deworming your dog. This is especially useful if the last time you did it was more than 2 months ago. Deworming your dog will clean their intestines and make them feel better. It is recommended to deworm your dog regularly. For example, it’s ideal to deworm your dog as a vet clinic at least four times a year.

We also recommend for you to be fastidious about your dog’s diet. If you have recently changed their food without transitioning into it, this can be the cause of the gas build-up. When you transition to a different food, it should be done progressively for a period of 1 to 3 weeks. If you decide to change your pet’s food, we recommend gradually increasing the amount of the new food and decreasing the old one.

You should also see if the new food is suitable for them or if you need to change it. Even with the kibble that you normally give, your dog can develop an allergy to certain ingredients of the food. This can make digestion difficult.

Regulating the pace of food consumption

Keep an eye on your dog to make sure that they do not eat too quickly. Also, do not forget that eating too quickly can cause your dog to ingest air, which causes the emission of gas. To help this, we have a few different solutions to propose. You can increase, for example, the number of meals they eat per day and moisten their kibble to make it more filling.

To slow down your dog’s accelerated rhythm, you can consider using a slow-feed dog bowl. Another solution is to give them a probiotic treatment. Probiotic-based dietary supplements limit fermentations and excessive gas production in dogs. Probiotics actually contain bacteria that promote healthy digestive flora and digestion. They support the bacteria and yeasts in your dog’s microbiota.

If your dog is a brachycephalic breed, it is ideal to discuss their health with a vet. They may consider surgery to improve your dog’s comfort and reduce flatulence and vomiting.

If after exploring all of these solutions, your dog still continues to have excessive gas, it’s important to consult a vet.