It could be many things. Did it just start? Has it been happening for a while? What breed do you have? Did you switch your furry loved one’s food? It can be the sign of something more serious or an underlining condition than just a smelly problem for the people in the room.

Flatulence occurs when gas accumulates in your dog’s intestinal tract and colon. This is a normal process that occurs when bacteria break down certain types of food.

Causes of Flatulence in Dogs

“Dietary causes are the main source of flatulence in dogs. Low-quality foods with ingredients that can’t be fully digested can cause gas. So do random table scraps and foods containing lactose. Some animals may also have food sensitivities and allergies, too, so it’s important to find out what your dog’s stomach can and cannot handle. Flatulence can also occur when a dog eats too rapidly and may swallow air,” reports Pets.WebMD.com. Certain food groups, such as indigestible carbohydrates, lead to gas, and foods and treats that have a high meat content can create truly foul-smelling farts. Which Dogs Are Most at Risk?

All dogs can develop flatulence, especially if they’re fed a low-quality food with fillers and artificial preservatives, random table scraps, too many snacks or foods they’re allergic to.

Could Flatulence Be A Symptom of Another Health Issue?

Persistent canine flatulence can be a side effect of certain medications and can also be a symptom of other medical problems. The American Kennel Club reports on Aerophagia and GI Illness in dogs:

Aerophagia in Dogs

It is widely believed that aerophagia, or increased swallowing of air, can lead to gas in dogs. Greedy eaters that wolf down their food, and brachycephalic breeds are at an increased risk of swallowing more air than normal, which can lead to gas down the line, so to speak.

 

GI Illness in Dogs

Stinky dog farts can also have a more serious cause. Any GI disorder that leads to malabsorption of nutrients in your dog’s intestines can lead to increased gas production and odor. Histiocytic ulcerative colitis, a disease that Boxers are predisposed to and French Bulldogs are reported to be prone to, can cause increased dog farts, as can inflammatory bowel disease, which Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers and Yorkshire Terriers are predisposed to. Parasites, the parvovirus, tumors, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, enteritis, and an overgrowth of small intestinal bacteria can also cause excessive flatulence in dogs. If your dog is very gassy, check to see if he is also showing other symptoms of GI illness, such as a painful abdomen, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, or any other change in behavior or activity levels.

What Can I Do to Reduce My Dog’s Flatulence?

According to Pets.WebMD.com, feeding a consistent and healthy diet is the best way to reduce your dog’s flatulence. Here are a couple of rules to follow:

  • Feed your dog a nutritious, highly digestible food. Do a little research to find the brands that are appropriate for his age, breed and lifestyle. Watch out for ingredients like ash, low-quality proteins and corn products that make your dog feel full, but aren’t rich in nutrition. And do ask your vet for advice about pet food.
  • Don’t feed your dog random table scraps. Allergies or sensitivities to certain foods are common.
  • If your adult canine is a fast eater, you might divide his portion in half and let him eat two small meals a day.
  • Know your dog’s allergies and food sensitivities, and steer clear of foods that will irritate her stomach.
  • Some dogs are also lactose intolerant. Avoid dairy products.
  • You’ll know you’re feeding your dog a healthy, highly digestible food when he no longer has gas and begins to excrete firm, well-formed feces.

Finding the Cause of Dog Farts

“Dog farts are gross, but there are things that can be done about them. First, though, you need to isolate the cause. This will probably require help from your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will first perform a physical exam to look for other signs of illness. Then, depending on her findings, she may pursue additional testing, for example diagnostic imaging, blood work, and a fecal exam to check for parasites, to rule out any serious causes.

Keep in mind that food allergies are often tricky to diagnose, so you may have to be patient while your veterinarian rules out other possible causes and puts your dog on an elimination diet. Sometimes, fixing dog farts is as simple as cutting out table scraps; eliminating access to repulsive snacks like the cat box, road kill, or spoiled food; and keeping your dog out of the trash. Exercise can also help with flatulence. Active dogs tend to be less gassy than sedentary dogs, so grab your dog's leash and collar and walk off some of that gas,” states the American Kennel Club. Make sure to check with your veterinarian to see what he or she recommends for your dog. If you have any questions about your dog, call your local Veterinarian to assist you? Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.