If your dog has a bad case of flatulence, or gas, things can get smelly pretty quickly around your home. But excessive gas, in some cases, is more than just an annoyance. It could mean your dog is dealing with an illness.

If your furry friend is dealing with bad gas, here’s some information on what’s “normal,” and five tips to help ease the problem.

Why Flatulence Happens

Bad Dog Gas | Dr MartyWhen too much gas forms in your dog’s stomach, it needs to come out… usually as flatulence, or gas. One common reason for this problem is that your dog ate something they shouldn’t have. Another is that you’ve recently changed your dog’s diet. As a result, they might not be digesting food correctly, because the food is fermenting in their colon. Excessive gas is often the result.1

Also, feeding your dog a high-fat diet could result in a serious amount of tooting. Giving your dog milk could be another contributing factor. Dogs are typically lactose intolerant. This can lead to an upset stomach and flatulence. If you haven’t changed your dog’s diet, and they’re still having this problem, that could be due to some kind of issue with their digestive tract. Get your pooch to the vet to address the issue.2

Other factors can lead to flatulence as well, such as the following:

  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Eating too quickly

When your pup eats too quickly, they swallow a lot of air, and flatulence may result.3

Gastric Bloat

Unfortunately, excessive flatulence can sometimes be a sign of a serious – possibly even life-threatening – problem. Gastric bloat occurs when gas accumulates in, and can’t easily escape from, your dog’s stomach. Your dog may still be able to pass some of the gas, but a great deal remains. Symptoms of bloat not only include flatulence, but also restlessness, retching, and vomiting.4

Bloat is a true emergency that needs to be addressed immediately. If you have any reason to believe your dog is suffering from bloat, take them to your vet, or an emergency animal clinic, as quickly as possible.

Other Reasons for Bad Gas

Bad Dog Gas | Dr MartyThere are other potentially serious reasons a dog will be flatulent. For example, they might be suffering from some sort of gastrointestinal issue that makes it hard for their body to absorb nutrients. This could lead to the production of too much gas.5

Other potential causes of bad gas include inflammatory bowel disease, parvo, tumors, and parasites.6

Get to the vet as soon as you can if your dog is vomiting, has a loss of appetite, or shows any behavioral changes.

Dealing With Dog Toots

Assuming your dog isn’t suffering from something serious, there are several ways to address the problem of excess flatulence. Here are five effective options:

1. Change Food

If your dog is tooting up a storm, think about buying some higher-quality food. Look for food that has a lot of protein and no corn, soy or other fillers. Make the food change gradually, to help your dog adjust. Also, say “no” when it comes to table scraps. This is especially the case when it comes to foods that are high in fats and carbohydrates.7

2. Increase ExerciseBad Dog Gas | Dr Marty

Dogs are more likely to become flatulent if they do nothing but stay on the couch all day, so get your pooch out and about to exercise as often as possible. Exercise stimulates your dog’s intestines, which helps make them work more efficiently. When this happens, flatulence is reduced.8

3. Slow Down

A lot of dogs get incredibly excited when it’s time to eat. They will gulp their food down so quickly it’s gone in an instant. Again, when this happens, your pup swallows a lot of air, leading to more flatulence. To fix this: Try putting something in your dog’s food bowl that they’ll have to work around, such as a tennis ball. Or, you can go to your local pet store and buy what’s known as a “slow bowl.” This is a specially made bowl that makes it harder for your dog to eat too fast.9

4. Think About ProbioticsBad Dog Gas | Dr Marty

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help reinforce the good bacteria already in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, or “gut.” Talk to your vet to see what types of probiotics they may recommend.10

5. Consider Natural Supplements

Many products are available that contain safe, natural ingredients that could help with your dog’s flatulence. Again, talk to your vet first to see what they recommend.

Wrapping it Up

Dog flatulence is definitely annoying, but sometimes, it’s much more. If you try these methods for controlling your dog’s flatulence and they don’t work, get your pup to the vet. Your vet will determine the cause of the problem and determine the best plan of action to deal with it.

Learn More:
Gurgling Stomach in Dogs: What Does It Mean?
Is Dog Diarrhea a Problem For Your Pooch? DIY Home Remedies
Why Does My Dog Burp All The Time? (Causes and Solutions)