Gassy Dog? Learn About the Causes, Treatments & More
Few things can clear a room faster than a gassy dog. One minute you’re enjoying some cuddles with your pup, and the next, your dog toots and you’re running from the smell.
A little gas from your dog might be unpleasant (for both of you), but it’s nothing to worry about. However, if your dog has excessive or sudden gas, it could indicate a problem. We’ll cover what causes this, potential solutions, and when it’s time to talk to your vet.
- What Causes Gas in Dogs?
- Gas Relief for Dogs: Lifestyle & Dietary Changes
- Gas Relief for Dogs: Other Treatments & Remedies
- When to See Your Vet
What Causes Sudden Gas in Dogs?
A “normal” amount of gas can mean different things for different breeds. It’s important to consider this when evaluating whether your dog’s gas is excessive.
Brachycephalic dogs such as boxers and pugs are naturally more prone to gas. That adorable smooshed face causes them to swallow a lot of air when they eat, which creates a build up of gas. If your brachycephalic dog has frequent bouts of flatulence, don’t worry. Just hold your breath and remember how much you love your sweet, gassy dog.
If your dog suddenly has bad gas that seems excessive even when considering the breed, it’s time to explore potential causes.
- Eating too fast. The faster your dog eats, the more likely they are to swallow air along with their food. This causes gas to build up in the stomach, and it’s released as flatulence.
- Gastrointestinal issues. Excessive gas could be a sign of a more serious medical condition, like IBS or intestinal parasites. Check with your vet to get a diagnosis.
- Specific foods, like peas and milk products, or high-fat table scraps. Some foods are more difficult for your dog to digest. As their digestive system works harder, it releases more gas than normal. Common culprits are peas, milk products, fatty table scraps, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower.
- Poor-quality diet overall. To be healthy and happy, dogs need quality food just like we do. Feeding your dog a diet high in processed foods, preservatives, and meat meals means they likely aren’t getting all the nutrients they need. This makes them more susceptible to health issues such as excessive gas.
- Food sensitivities and allergies. Another possibility is that your dog has a food sensitivity or allergy. Some common food allergies for dogs include wheat, soy, and dairy.
If you think your dog’s gas problem might be the result of a food sensitivity, it’s best to discuss this with your vet. They can help you narrow down the cause and recommend a diet that will be kinder to your dog’s stomach and your nose.
Gas Relief for Dogs: Lifestyle & Dietary Changes
There are many dietary and lifestyle changes you can try to prevent or relieve your dog’s gas.
- Encourage them to slow down when they eat. The method you choose for this will depend on the reason you believe your dog eats so fast.
- Is your dog too hungry? Make sure you feed them two meals per day instead of one.
- If they are afraid another dog will steal their food, try separating your pets at mealtimes.
- Some dogs are just enthusiastic eaters. To overcome this, serve their food in a muffin tin. This will force your dog to slow down as they move from cup to cup.
- Dogs that are overweight or out of shape are more prone to gas regardless of their diet. Weight management and regular exercise are key to preventing gas in your dog and improving their health.
- A high-quality diet, combined with regular walks or other exercise, will keep your dog’s weight within a healthy range and make them less susceptible to flatulence.
- If your dog is currently suffering from excessive gas, you can relieve their discomfort by massaging the gas out of them. To do this, feel along your dog’s sides and abdomen for spots that seem unusually firm. Using the flat of your palm and light pressure, massage these areas in a circular motion. Be sure to not squeeze or press too hard. A nice, gentle massage should help relieve the discomfort and anxiety your dog is feeling and help them pass the gas more easily.
- The best way to promote health and happiness in your dog is to feed them a high-quality diet. This reduces their chances of getting gas and provides the nutrients they need to avoid many other health issues.
- When you’re considering whether a dog food brand is good for your dog, ask yourself this: Does the ingredient list sound like something you could eat? If yes, it’s probably a good choice for your dog as well. You can also refer to our “What Should You Feed Your Dog?” guide for further information on providing your furry friend with a good diet.
- A quality diet for your dog consists of nutrient-rich whole foods such as eggs, grains, meats, some vegetables and fruits, and fish. You should avoid dog foods that are highly processed or those that include heavy preservatives and meat byproducts.
- Human-grade dog foods, like those Pet Plate provides, have high-quality ingredients that even a human could safely eat. Human-grade food is a great choice for your dog’s health, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re giving them the best chance at a long, happy life.
- A dog’s stomach is very sensitive to dietary changes. If you suspect a low-quality diet is the cause of your dog’s gas, it’s important to slowly transition them to higher quality food. This will help avoid more unpleasant gassy episodes.
- Make the switch slowly over one week by gradually increasing the ratio of new food to old food. By the seventh day, your dog should be ready to enjoy a whole bowl of their new food.
- As you make this change, you can monitor how your dog is handling it and slow the transition down if needed. The best way to do this is to look at their poop. Yes, we know, but it really will tell you what you need to know! Learn how to decode your dog’s poop to ensure their stomach is happy with the dietary changes.
Gas Relief for Dogs: Other Treatments & Remedies
- Can you give your dog Gas-X?
Gas-X, the most well-known brand name for simethicone, is generally considered safe for dogs. However, you should always consult your vet before giving your dog medicine. Your vet can provide accurate dosage recommendations for your dog’s size.
It’s important to note that Gas-X doesn’t cure your dog of gas. It works by speeding up the process of expelling gas while making it easier to pass. In other words, you’ll still have to deal with the farts, but your dog will feel better.
- Can you give your dog Tums?
Yes, it is safe to give your dog Tums, but it’s not very effective. Carbon carbonate is the active ingredient in Tums, and it works by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach. This works well for humans, but dogs have a much faster digestive system. The medicine simply doesn’t have enough time in a dog’s stomach to get the job done.
- Should you give your dog probiotics?
Probiotics are helpful bacteria that live in the digestive tract. They inhibit the growth of “bad” bacteria and promote healthy digestion, which in turn reduces the amount of gas released as your dog digests food.
One of the best probiotics for gastrointestinal issues in dogs is Lactobacillus. It fends off harmful bacteria that cause stomach problems while also helping your dog better absorb the nutrients in their food.
Probiotics made specifically for dogs are becoming very popular, and they’re a great option for dogs with sensitive stomachs. You can find probiotics in many forms including pills, powders, and flavored chewables. They’re an easy way to help your dog’s digestive system fight gas buildup.
When to See Your Vet
Dogs can experience mild bloating as a side effect of gas, but this is different from actual bloat, or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). Bloat/GDV occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists in on itself. This cuts blood and oxygen off from the rest of the dog’s body and causes their belly to swell. It is a life-threatening illness.
A dog suffering from bloat will become anxious, pace, salivate excessively, attempt to vomit, and will likely whine if you press on their stomach. These symptoms are distinct from those exhibited by a gassy dog with a mildly bloated stomach. If your dog is exhibiting signs of bloat, bring them to the vet immediately. There are no home remedies to cure bloat/GDV, and every minute counts with this illness.
Other signs that it’s time to see the vet include gas that is accompanied by frequent diarrhea or vomiting, if your dog is in serious pain, or if they seem weak and tired. These could indicate a serious illness, and it’s best to have your vet evaluate your dog’s condition.
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