If you've ever wondered why your dog farts so much, we have good news. It's not just in your head. Dogs have a tendency to pass gas more frequently than humans and other animals, but there are ways you can tell if your dog's flatulence is normal or something to be concerned about. Let's discuss some common causes of canine flatulence and what you can do about them.
Eating or Drinking Too Fast
If your dog is a fast eater, it could be causing your dog's gas problem. When dogs eat quickly, their stomachs fill with air, and there's no room for the food to move down into their intestines.
Instead of digesting properly, the food passes through too quickly and gets trapped in their digestive tract where it breaks down, causing gas to build up in the body. This is what you're hearing when your pup lets one rip after a meal.
How to solve the problem: Slow your dog down! If your dog gulps their food like they're trying to win some kind of eating contest, you can help them by either offering food more slowly, or using feeding trays and items to make them work more for their food. There are specialized dishes for this, often known as slow feeders, that you can place food and water in. You can also offer a smaller portion to your dog, wait for them to finish, and give them a little more.
Gorging on Grass
Dogs have very sensitive taste buds and can easily detect even subtle flavors in their food. This is why they'll often turn up their nose at food that doesn't taste quite right to them. Some dogs will eat grass when they don't like their own food, or if they have an upset stomach. Similarly, some dogs might be compelled to eat grass simply because they find the flavor of the grass appealing.
How to solve the problem: One way to prevent this from happening is by avoiding the lawn altogether. Grass is not a good food for dogs because it doesn't provide much nutritional value and can cause digestive problems such as indigestion and flatulence. Even if you don't see them eating it often or at all, they still may try to dig up clumps of grass while on walks through nearby fields and parks.
Eating Too Much Food
If you feed your dog a lot of food at once, it can cause gas. A good rule of thumb is to feed your dog two or three small meals each day. The best time to do this is when they start getting hungry.
How to solve the problem: Give your dog smaller portions, and space these feedings out over the course of the day. Don't let your dog get so hungry they feel like they need to inhale all of their food every time they see it. Ask your veterinarian or a canine nutritionist how much your dog should eat each day. Or, if you're comfortable doing this yourself, you can review the guidelines for the particular food you're feeding.
Stress-induced flatulence is something that many dog owners experience on a regular basis with their pets. This condition occurs in all dogs under stress, but there are ways to prevent this from occurring without causing your dog more stress and fear.
Stress-induced flatulence in dogs can be caused by:
- Leaving home
- Visiting animal hospitals and veterinarians
- Visiting dog groomers
- Going to the dog park
- Being around other dogs
While these situations might make your dog nervous, they do not necessarily have to cause your dog's gas. However, if your dog gets nervous during these times and passes gas, figure out what's making them nervous or excited.
How to solve the problem: Try to calm your dog down and reduce their stress levels. Take note of what situations make your dog nervous and avoid them whenever possible. The more uncomfortable your dog becomes during these situations, the more likely they will fart in response to the stress. You can also try feeding them earlier or later, away from the time you plan to go out, or when their farting can be problematic.
Food Allergies or Sensitivities
Food allergies and intolerances are one of the most common reasons that dogs suffer from flatulence. When a dog eats a food they are allergic to, their body recognizes it as a foreign invader and tries to fight it off, resulting in digestive problems. The worst kinds of food allergies cause diarrhea, but the body's response to less severe allergies can still cause distress in the form of gas.
Additional signs of food allergies include:
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy skin
- Skin rashes (hives)
- Ear infections
- Runny eyes
How to solve the problem: Try to figure out what food item is causing the issue. Elimination diets - where you remove a single item from your dog's diet for a period of time to see how their respond - can help identify what's causing your dog's gassiness. Switching diets can cause other problems, so check with your veterinarian to see how to go about it properly. If you decide to switch, go slow and transition your dog with a small portion of new food mixed in with their old food.
You can also try raw diets. They can help dogs who have food allergies and intolerances improve their health and quality of life. These diets are structured so that the protein source is fresh, whole meat. Rotate the protein source every three to four weeks. If you notice abnormal flatulence or any allergy or intolerance issues, switch the protein and begin the process again. Through some trial and error, you will gain an understanding of your dog's nutritional needs.
Check with a Veterinarian
There are many possible reasons why your dog may be farting more than usual. Some of these reasons are serious and should be treated by a veterinarian, while others may not be so serious and can be treated at home. If you think that your dog has a medical problem, contact your vet immediately.