While it is normal for dogs to be "gassy" occasionally, chronic flatulence in dogs accompanied by other symptoms can be an indication of some problem in the digestive tract. This page looks at some possible causes of gas in dogs, and how to use natural remedies such as herbs and supplements to control this smelly problem.
I don't know about your dog, but it seems that my dog Hana is always having excess gas at the most inappropriate time - in a car during a long drive, or when we are having friends over for dinner!
Just like humans, dogs have gas once in a while. This is normal (although not aromatic!). Flatulence, best known as "gas" or "fart", is basically the accumulation of gas in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Most of the gas comes from swallowed air or from air produced by bacteria during normal digestion. While much of this gas is absorbed into the blood stream, some is not and "leaks out" through the rear end to become "fart".
Some common reasons that make a dog "gassy" include:
Perhaps this is one of the most common causes of dog flatulence. Dogs eating too quickly tend to swallow too much air - a condition called aerophagia.
The swallowed air passes to the intestines very quickly and in a more concentrated quantity resulting in gas that comes out the other end.
If your dog gulps down his food, it is probably because he is very hungry. Try feeding him more frequently during the day in smaller quantities.
Another way to slow down a fast-eating dog is to use a special "slow feed" food bowl like these:
These bowls designed to stop your dog from "wolfing down" his food. This can improve your dog's ability to digest and absorb nutrients from the food, and prevent digestive problems such as flatulence and bloat.
Another common cause of flatulence in dogs is poor-quality, grain-based diets. Many such diets supply the majority of their protein from non-meat sources, such as wheat and corn. Dogs do not have the enzymes to digest these non-meat proteins. When food is not fully digested, it provides a rich source of nourishment for bacteria in the large intestine. The undigested portion of food will ferment, producing gas.
In addition, just like humans, eating certain types of veggies, such as beans, will also cause flatulence in dogs.
If you suspect your dog has excess gas because of his food, try switching his diet to a high-quality natural diet that contains a higher percentage of meat-based protein. (Look for foods in which proteins from meat sources are at least 2 of the first 3 ingredients.) Very often, the "gassy" problem can be solved by a diet change.
Older dogs tend to have more "gas" than younger pups. As a dog ages, his stomach and intestines start progressively losing their muscular tone, resulting in distension of the stomach or intestines with gas or air.
Some health problems can also cause dog flatulence, for example:
Chronic flatulence can be caused by some health problems as mentioned above, such as parasites or inflammatory bowel disease. You should take your dog to the vet if your dog passes gas several days in a row and the condition does not seem to subside, or if the flatulence is accompanied by other symptoms such as:
For the occasional gas, try these herbs and dietary supplements:
Herbs that are carminatives (herbs that relax stomach muscles and relieve intestinal gas) are helpful to stop flatulence in dogs. Here are some carminative herbs that you can easily and safely feed to your dog:
Just sprinkle some of these dried herbs on your dog's food regularly and both your dog and your house may become more aromatic!
Dogs that have excess gas very often have a sluggish digestive system. One reason may be due to insufficient digestive enzymes in their diets. Adding a digestive enzyme supplement to the dog's diet may solve the gassy problem.
Supplementing your dog's diet with probiotics can replenish the GI tract with good friendly bacteria that can aid digestion and fix digestion problems such as flatulence.
This natural product contains both digestive enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics that all work to support healthy digestion and effective nutrient absorption, as well as to boost the immune system.
Light exercise after meals such as slow leash walking aids digestion and bowel movement. It can also help work out the gas while you are outside.
Yesterday's garbage may taste just as good to your dog as fresh food, but the gas resulting from garbage will be a lot smellier! If you don't want to put up with smelly gas attacks, watch what your dog eats. Don't let him eat garbage or too much table scraps.