Let’s face it: As much as you love your dog, no one likes to snuggle up to their pup only to hear that oh-so-unpleasant sound … pfffffffffft! You have (maybe) two full seconds before the odor wafts through the air. Then time to duck and cover!
So if your dog’s been cutting the cheese and it’s more than your nose can bear… you may want to learn about what you can do to reduce the stinky effects of K9 flatulence.
Why is My Dog so Gassy?
Before discussing how to stop dog flatulence in its tracks, it is important to know why the gas is so stinky in the first place. While intestinal gas is very common and healthy in both dogs and humans, it’s a good idea to let your dog pass the gas freely. However, if you notice that the gas is worse than normal, it may be due to any one of these causes:
- Poor diet, or a change in dog food
- Food allergies
- Intestinal parasites
- Gastrointestinal distress, due to any cause, like stress or food poisoning
- Hard-to-digest foods, including beans and legumes, uncooked or spoiled foods, and fatty foods
Here are 6 effective, at-home ways to balance out your dog’s digestive system (and reduce unwanted smells) so you can enjoy better cuddle time with your canine.
1. Keep them away from table scraps
When you sit down at the table to eat, you may notice that your four-legged friend is right there at your feet, lovingly looking up at you, hoping for a scrap. While it’s understandably tempting, you might need to think long and hard before you give in and indulge your dog with a table treat. While many of the foods that you eat seem healthy, they could be harmful for your dog. Some fruits and vegetables are more than harmful for your dog – they can be toxic, even in small amounts. These include avocados, onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, some chewing gums, macadamia nuts, and more.
2. A pinch of parsley
There is a good reason that you find a sprig of fresh parsley on your plate in fancy restaurants: Iit cleanses your palate, and it freshens bad breath. What you may not already know about this freshening herb is that it also has the ability to reduce odor in the digestive system. Adding just a few tablespoons of dried or chopped parsley to your dog’s meal may help to lessen smelly flatulence. As an alternative to chopping fresh parsley leaves, you may also purchase a high-quality essential oil of parsley, and add a few drops to your dog’s food or water dish.
3. Go with Ginger
For centuries, ginger has been used to help reduce digestive problems, including nausea and diarrhea in adults. Today, research suggests that this spicy root herb may also help your pup. One study revealed that ginger was able to stimulate the digestive process in dogs, which may help to speed gastric emptying and reduce smelly gas.1
4. Investigate their Enzymes
Your dog’s flatulence may be the result of a lack of enzymes – specialized proteins needed in the digestive process to break down foods into smaller, more digestible pieces. These digestive enzymes are naturally produced inside the pancreas and then released into the small intestines, where they can aid in digestion. If your dog is not producing enough of these enzymes, comfortable, regular digestion may not be possible. So, you may want to consider adding these enzyme-containing foods to your dog’s diet: Papaya, melon, raw honey, bee pollen, and coconut water. Alternatively, you can also purchase a high-quality comprehensive enzyme formula in a dietary supplement to support their digestive health.
5. Grab some yogurt
This is one of the most inexpensive ways to add beneficial bacteria into your dog’s digestive tract. These microscopic bacteria, also known as probiotics, are vital to the overall health of your dog. Probiotics boost the functions of the immune system, and they can aid in proper doggie digestion. Studies have confirmed that adding probiotics to your dog’s diet may help to reduce common digestive problems, including, gas, bloating, runny stools, and more.2
NOTE: If your dog has food allergies, dairy may upset their stomach even more. Always keep a close eye on your dog’s digestive comfort when adding any dairy product to their diet.
6. Peppermint Oil
Studies have shown that the power of peppermint is able to dramatically reduce flatulence in humans. And, while there is no clinical evidence on peppermint oil and dog flatulence, this oil is non-toxic to K9’s, and it may help to reduce the severity of gas in your pet. You can make peppermint oil at home by steaming a pot of fresh peppermint leaves in filtered water, and then adding the water to your pet’s food. Alternatively, you may decide to purchase peppermint essential oil and add a few drops into their food or water dish.3
Other Ways to Stop Bad Gas in Your Dog
Over time, the problem of dog flatulence can become frustrating, even with the use of these six at-home remedies. In addition to these natural solutions to smelly dog gas, you may also want to try these three approaches to reducing the flatulence:
1. Get a Health History.
Your dog’s veterinarian should have a detailed record of every visit, and that could hold the key to what’s causing – or worsening – your dog’s gas problem. If you notice worsening gas and you’ve dealt with this problem before, see if your dog was prescribed a certain medication previously – this could have contributed to the problem. You may also want to visit the office for a full checkup as well.
2. Poop Patrol.
Nobody wants to talk about poop, but you’re already halfway there talking about flatulence … so, you might as well go all the way. Doing a thorough poop examination could reveal intestinal parasites, or indications of gastrointestinal distress, like inflammation, lack of mucus, and more. Checking out your dog’s bowel movements can help you understand what’s going on with them internally.
3. Elimination Diet.
Oftentimes, the cause of smelly dog flatulence is a poor diet. But you may not even realize that the food you’re feeding your dog is harming their good health. However, today, many of the conventional kibbles you can find on pet food store shelves contain any number of ingredients that can harm the function of your dog’s digestive tract, including gluten, carrageenan, rendered fat, artificial food dyes, and chemical preservatives like butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and ethoxyquin. One of the best ways to find out if your dog’s food is causing their smelly gas is by trying an elimination diet, which means you’ll need to find a high-quality pet food to feed them in the meantime. Chef’s Best freeze-dried dog food contains only natural ingredients you can pronounce, like chicken, turkey, sweet potatoes, and chicory root. This makes for a healthy, delicious option to try.
A Final Note on Dog Flatulence
Doggie Gas: Nobody really wants to talk about them, and while this is understandable, they do happen. And if they are particularly smelly, there is something you can do to remedy the situation, without making drastic changes in your life or your pup’s lifestyle. Just follow these six tips for stopping stinky dog gas. Your dinner guests, and your dog, will thank you.
NOTE: If your dog’s smelly flatulence lasts for more than a few weeks after you have tried these at-home remedies, it could be a sign of something more serious. Talk to your veterinarian immediately if you are concerned that your pup’s gas hasn’t improved with simple lifestyle modifications.
Want more tips on keeping your pooch in tip top shape? Keep reading here:
1. Ming-Luen Hu, Christophan K Rayner. Effect of ginger on gastric motility and symptoms of functional dyspepsia. World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Jan 7; 17(1): 105–110.
2. Silke Schmitz, Jan Suchodolski. Understanding the canine intestinal microbiota and its modification by pro-, pre- and synbiotics – what is the evidence? Veterinary Medicine and Science.
3. Liu JH, Chen GH, J. Enteric-coated peppermint-oil capsules in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a prospective, randomized trial. Gastroenterol. 1997 Dec;32(6):765-8.