Dogs have gas. It’s just part of having a pet. You can be sitting on your couch one night and all of a sudden get a whiff that brings tears to your eyes. While this is, of course, natural, if a dog has excessive gas, you’ll want to do something about it. Here are some of the reasons why dogs have gas, and some safe home remedies for dog gas that you can try at home.
Bloat – A True Medical Emergency
Before going into the causes of gas, it’s very important to differentiate between everyday farting and bloat. The latter is extremely serious, and may even require immediate medical attention.
When a dog’s stomach fills with gas, that leads to bloat. But when too much gas fills the stomach, bloat can turn into a condition known as gastric dilatation and volvulus — or GDV. When this occurs, the stomach twists, blocking both the entrance and exit. GDV is one of the most severe conditions that can happen to a dog. If immediate veterinary attention is not provided, GDV will be fatal.1
It will be critically important that you get your dog medical attention as quickly as possible if you notice any of the following:
- Anxiety or pacing
- Retching and repeated attempts to vomit
Thankfully, more than 80 percent of dogs who receive immediate surgery survive this horrible condition. The earlier you get your dog to the vet, the better the chances he or she will survive.2
The Causes of Dog Gas
Before trying out a bunch of different home remedies for dog gas, you should find out what the cause might be. Occasional gas is relatively harmless; it won’t do anything more than offend your sense of smell. But too-frequent farting can be a sign of a sour stomach or some other type of digestion issue. Here are some of the potential causes:
Your dog can sometimes have trouble absorbing nutrients from food, or trouble digesting food properly. There are many reasons for this, including parasites, an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, or irritable bowel syndrome. The non-absorbed material can ferment in your pup’s large intestine, leading to gas.3
Many dogs get a little too exuberant when it comes to mealtime. As a result, they eat too fast. When this happens, they swallow a great deal of air, causing a condition known as aerophagia.4 This, in turn, results in a buildup of gas in the gastrointestinal tract.
Change in Diet
It can be hard for a dog to adjust to a new diet. This is especially the case when the new food is introduced suddenly, rather than gradually.5
You probably have had some experience with this one, since most dogs are notorious for getting into things they shouldn’t. Eating garbage, an outdoor plant, or something else that causes an upset stomach will very likely lead to gas.
Should You Try a Raw Food Diet for Your Dog?
Some pet owners prefer putting their dog on a raw food diet, rather than giving them regular dry food. This type of diet is just like it sounds – it includes fresh, raw food, such as meat and bones. It also typically includes nutritional supplements and vegetables.
A raw food diet provides nutrients for your dog that might have otherwise been lost through cooking. In addition, this diet makes for a more efficient digestive process. A proper raw food diet can help a dog produce firmer stools, and it may also help to reduce gas.6
A raw diet is one beneficial example of home remedies for dog gas.
Ways to Prevent Gas
There are a lot of things you can try at home if your dog’s gas is starting to get out of control. Here are just a few options for home remedies for dog gas.
Probiotics are “good” bacteria that balance out the harmful microbes that live in a dog’s gastrointestinal tract. They can aid in the process of digestion and possibly help reduce the buildup of smelly gas.7
2. Dietary Supplements
There are several supplements you can likely find in your local health food store that might reduce the potency of your dog’s gas. For example, one study found that a combination of supplements containing zinc acetate, yucca and charcoal could reduce the odor of intestinal gas.8
3. Changing your Dog’s Diet
As mentioned earlier, a sudden change in a dog’s diet could increase the likelihood of flatulence. But if you introduce new food gradually, that will help his digestive system adjust. He or she might not toot as much as a result. Always do your research before changing a dog’s food, however, and make sure you talk to your vet.9
4. Changing Your Dog’s Food Bowl
That’s right, making a simple adjustment such as changing your dog’s bowl could help reduce flatulence. You should easily be able to find what’s known as a “slow bowl” at your favorite pet store. This is a bowl with raised ridges of plastic inside. These ridges make it harder for your dog to eat too quickly. As a result, the dog won’t swallow as much air.10
5. Take the Competition out of Mealtime
If you have two or more dogs, and you feed them at the same time, that could also contribute to them eating too quickly. Some dogs are competitive, wanting to eat as fast as possible to “beat” the other dogs. They might also eat fast so they can get to whatever food might be in the other bowls. Think about feeding your dogs separately, and see if that reduces the flatulence problem.
6. Smaller, Spaced Out Meals
Another thing to consider will be to give your dog a few smaller meals throughout the day, rather than larger ones in the morning and evening. This could help reduce the accumulation of gas in the dog’s intestines. Also, eating smaller meals can help with digestion.11
The Bottom Line
Remember that while flatulence can be very annoying, it’s harmless in the vast majority of instances. Talk to your vet before you make any drastic changes to your dog’s diet, try home remedies for dog gas, or if you’re thinking about giving supplements to your pet. And you will definitely need to seek medical attention if your dog is showing any symptoms of a serious digestive problem – home remedies for dog gas won’t make the cut if you’re dealing with a digestive issue. If you think your dog is farting excessively, it’s always best to get a vet’s feedback.
Learn More About Doggie Digestion:
How Stress Might Be Causing Your Canine’s Colitis
Hypoallergenic Dog Food: Is it Right for Your Pooch?
Grumbles and Gurgles – Is My Dog’s Tummy Upset?