Just like humans, our dogs will pass out gas from time to time. Farting is the body’s way of releasing gasses that have accumulated in the digestive system, thus occasional farting in dogs are perfectly normal. So just exactly how much gas is too much gas in dogs? Every dog’s situation is unique, thus it is hard to determine just how much farting is normal across the board.
Dog farts typically occur when bacteria in the digestive tract break down food for energy. During digestion, hydrogen sulphide gas is released, which results in farting. Dogs with frequent smelly gas could be facing an underlying digestive issue, ranging from eating food that has gone bad, to a sudden switch in its diet. If smelly gas is common for your dog, it would be good to start paying attention to their digestive health.
Generally, gas in dogs is healthy and part of their normal digestive processes. However, if your dog experiences sudden changes in the frequency and smell of its gas, it is helpful to determine the cause as it could be a symptom of gastrointestinal issues. Occasional farting is part of a dog’s life, and excessive gas in dogs happens for a few reasons.
Farting is part of normal digestion, so any type of food could lead to farting, even for dogs that are perfectly healthy. However, certain types of food may cause excessive farting. While some human foods are safe for dogs to consume, your dog does not necessarily need them in their diet. Your dog’s digestive tract is not used to human foods, so it can cause minor GI issues, including gas.
A sudden change in diet is also a common cause of gas in our canine companion. Our dogs have delicate balance of bacteria and intestinal flora that line their GI tract, which can be thrown off due to a sudden change in diet. You should always change your dog’s diet slowly to reduce the chances of GI upset, which may result in gas, diarrhoea, and vomiting.
Dogs that are overweight are at risk for chronic flatulence because their digestive system has to work harder to do its job, leading to more farts. On top of that, dogs that overeat have higher tendencies to fart more due to the possibility of getting indigestion. Since the body must work harder to digest more food at once, more gasses can build up, which results in bloating and flatulence.
Food allergies can also be linked to excessive farting, though most of the time, the more common symptoms are skin issues such as itchiness and inflammation. Ruling out possible allergens and intolerances in your dog’s food through an elimination diet can help identify the problem.
Dogs that eat or drink quickly often ingest a lot of air along with their food. If they do not burp up the air, it will exit the body through farts. Brachycephalic breeds like French bulldogs pant and gulp down air due to the bone structure of their nose. This causes them to introduce more air to their digestive tract compared to other breeds. As such they are more prone to experience issues such as farting and burping. In general, any dog that swallows air may pass air more often.
Sudden excessive farting, along with other symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating, loss of appetite and vomiting could be a warning that your dog is suffering from an underlying medical issue. Some of these problems include bacterial infections, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal parasites, and digestive cancers. If you think your dog might be suffering from an underlying GI condition, then we suggest having them seen by your veterinarian.
Thankfully, many of the common causes of dog gas can be treated with a few diet and lifestyle changes. However, if you have any concerns about your dog’s well-being or diet, or whenever in doubt, speak to your veterinarian.
If your dog’s diet is the cause of their excessive gas, you can make gradual dietary changes by simplifying your dog’s diet. Avoid feeding your dog food that is difficult for them to digest. Poorly digested food produces excessive fermentation in the colon which results in gas production. You can also consider feeding your dog smaller, more frequent meals, or invest in a slow feeder to prevent your dog from eating too quickly.
As the saying goes, nutrition is key, and diet plays a huge role in gas production. As dog parents, we have the responsibility to ensure that they are eating a quality and healthy diet that is suitable for them, and not eating items that are detrimental to their health. One example would be human food. Having wiggle room in their diet can increase the risk of gas, so it is important to keep their food intake as regular as possible.
Exercise stimulates your dog’s digestive tract motility, allowing them to move food through the intestine and avoiding a buildup of gas. Daily exercise helps to regulate their digestive health, as well as keeping their bowel movements regular. Getting your dog up and moving will not only benefit their overall health, but it can cut back on the amount of deadly gas they experience each day. Go for long walks, play more intense games of fetch, or find a place where your dog can run off-leash.
Probiotics contain billions of good bacteria that can maintain a healthy gut and aid in digestion. The inclusion of probiotics in your dog’s diet may also help to reduce farting. Probiotics help a dog by introducing good bacteria to the digestive system, supporting the good bacteria and banishing any overgrowth of bad gut bacteria. Your dog will benefit from a healthy digestive system that is less prone to episodes of excessive gas.
Dogs, like humans, must fart from time to time as part of a natural process and there is nothing to worry about unless your dog shows signs of other symptoms of illness or their farts have suddenly worsened. Every dog is different, and some will fart more frequently than others but there are different ways which owners can try to reduce gas to make their dogs more comfortable and less unpleasant.
If you have tried everything but still find your dog gassy, or they start to experience new symptoms along with the gas, reach out to your veterinarian to rule out illnesses. They can help you to develop the right treatment plan for your dog’s gas, whether it is caused by a medical condition while ensuring that your dog is still eating a nutritious and balanced diet.
Any views or opinions communicated on this page belong to the author and do not represent the views or opinions of any other organizations. This article is meant for us to share our own views and opinions in general. Kindly consult a professional if you would like to seek professional advice.
Adopted from sources
– “My Dog Farts A Lot” – Causes And Solutions For A Gassy Dog. By Tamsin De La Harpe, Front Of The Pack.
– Why Does My Dog Have Bad Gas? By Dr. Zach Coston, Dutch blog.
– Dealing With Dog Farting? Why It Happens and How To Stop it. By Dr Jennifer Coates, Bechewy.
– If Your Dog Keeps Farting, Here’s What To Do. By Amber LaRock, AZ Animals.
– Images of dogs, Love Your Dog & Pixabay.