Let’s face it – your dog farts, and more often than not you find everybody leaving the room. If you find yourself in this situation more often than usual, you’ve probably attempted to research, “how to stop my dog from farting.”
Canine flatulence occurs after a build-up of gas in the intestinal tract. Your dog might fart for any number of reasons – they may simply eat too quickly and swallow air, or they could be struggling with an underlying health condition. So, when asking how to stop a dog from farting, it is best to begin with the reason for your dog’s excessive gas so that the problem can be treated.
Why do Dogs Fart?
It is normal for your dog to have flatulence every so often. However, frequent passage of gas can indicate underlying problems with your dog’s digestive health. If your dog passes gas often, they may be experiencing gastrointestinal problems, food allergies, food intolerances, pancreatitis, stomach cancer, or aerophagia.
Many gastrointestinal problems are not caused by infectious organisms. Rather, their causes include over-eating, indigestible food, obstruction from foreign objects, and ingestion of chemicals. Digestive problems are also caused by gastric ulcers, inflammation, and enzyme deficiencies. These problems cause signs like vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive gas. If your vet suspects that your dog’s gas is caused by a gastrointestinal problem, they may ask about your pet’s diet and eating habits. Most dogs with uncomplicated cases will respond to a simple change of diet. Your vet might recommend a diet that is highly digestible and low in fiber.
Adverse Food Reactions
Food intolerances are not fun for anyone, but especially not for your hungry hound. Food intolerances occur when your dog has difficulty digesting a certain food and has an unpleasant reaction to it. This can cause uncomfortable symptoms, including bloating, abdominal pain, and excessive gas. The signs can arise at any time and may begin hours or days after eating the offending food item, and can continue for hours or days afterward. To combat a food intolerance, your vet may recommend a specialist diet for your pet to prevent future digestive upsets.
Food allergies occur when your dog’s immune system responds to a certain food or additive. It can take several months or years for your pooch to develop a food allergy. However, once the food allergy develops, there will almost always be a poor reaction to the food. If your dog has a food allergy, they may experience excessive gas, vomiting, diarrhea, skin irritation, and skin lesions on the face, feet, and ears. Similarly to food intolerance, your vet may recommend a specialist diet to avoid any future allergic reactions. Your vet may also prescribe antihistamines or corticosteroids to treat any allergic reaction that your pooch is experiencing.
Excessive gas is a common sign of pancreatitis. Due to pancreatitis, gas and toxic matter accumulate within the small intestine, causing bloating and abdominal cramps. If this toxic gas moves upwards, a dog may experience upper abdominal pain, belching, and fullness. When it moves downwards, this toxic gas causes flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, and lower abdominal pain. During an attack of pancreatitis, your dog may also hunch over with their head lowered to the floor. Because the prognosis for pancreatitis varies, it is important to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. While mild cases only call for a change of diet, severe cases require aggressive treatment.
Flatulence is an early sign of stomach cancer. The early signs of stomach cancer can be vague and easy to mistake for more common conditions. Trapped gas, frequent belching, farting, and abdominal pain are some of the most common symptoms. However, as stomach cancer in dogs progresses, symptoms may include blood in the stool, loss of appetite, and weight loss. If your dog shows signs of stomach cancer, do not panic, and be sure to take your pooch to the vet right away. Blood and urine tests may be undertaken to diagnose your dog. Your vet may also carry out an X-ray or an ultrasound to detect any cancerous masses in your dog’s stomach.
Aerophagia, or excessive air swallowing, is a common cause of excessive gas and farting. When aerophagia occurs, air enters the esophagus and enters the stomach rather than the lungs, causing excessive gas. As a result of aerophagia, your dog’s gas will be mainly composed of nitrogen and may or may not smell foul. If your dog is otherwise healthy, aerophagia can occur due to obsessive-compulsive behaviors, shortness of breath after exercise, and post-anesthetic complications. However, there are times when aerophagia reflects a more serious problem with your dog. Megaesophagus, irritable bowel syndrome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and electrolyte disturbances are just a few of the possible reasons why your dog might experience aerophagia.
How to Stop Your Dog From Farting Too Much
If you have identified the source of your dog’s excessive gas, it’s time to take action. Whether it be through careful dietary changes, behavioral changes, or regular exercise, you may be able to stop a dog from farting at home.
A poor diet is one of the leading causes of excessive farting in dogs. For starters, it is important to leave table scraps off of your pup’s menu. Table scraps and human foods are common culprits of digestive problems in dogs. If your dog’s farting habits improve after eliminating table scraps, you are on the right track. If this does not do the trick, consider the type of kibble you are offering. Through a gradual transition, you may consider offering your dog a highly digestible diet. Your vet will be able to offer advice on the best kibble for your dog’s individual circumstances.
It is important to monitor how your dog eats if you want to stop them from farting. For example, when your pooch wolfs down their meal too quickly they swallow a lot of air. This is known as aerophagia. When aerophagia occurs, your dog’s stomach can quickly become filled with air, leading to painful, trapped gas. So how can you slow your hungry hound down? Your dog might benefit from a slow-feeder bowl, food puzzle, or hand feeding at dinner time. A slow-feeder bowl allows your dog to take food, but its gaps are not wide enough to allow for large mouthfuls. Food puzzles are an enriching and exciting way to encourage slower food consumption. Finally, hand-feeding allows for greater control of how much your dog eats at dinner time, as well as how large the pieces of food are.
Many owners find that bored and hungry dogs raid the bin when left alone. Eating old food is a common cause of farting in dogs. So, when you are home, be sure to provide plenty of exercises and playtime for your pooch to prevent this boredom-relieving behavior. It is also important to consider how you feed your dog; consider feeding your dog small, but regular, meals across the span of their day.
One of the best ways to help your dog’s digestive system along is to provide exercise. Exercise helps the bowels to keep moving so that excess gas does not get trapped. As a general rule, active dogs are less likely to have excessive gas problems. Find what type of exercise works best for your dog, and how long works for your dog. You may find that your dog has less excessive gas when taken for a short walk after their main meal.
Stopping Dogs From Farting – FAQs
Still find yourself asking, “how to stop my dog from farting?” Feel free to refer to our Frequently Asked Questions section for more details. If in doubt about your dog’s health, always ask your vet for advice.
Once your vet has ruled out serious health problems, it’s time to make some changes at home to relieve your dog’s gas. First, make sure to reconsider your dog’s diet. Your dog’s farts are ultimately the product of what they eat. So, a highly-digestible and low-fiber diet might be just what your pooch needs. Just be careful to change their diet gradually, as a sudden change will cause more gastrointestinal upset than your dog already has! You must also consider the table scraps that you feed to your pup. While some human foods are safe or even healthy for dogs, others contain nutrients that will exacerbate any gas problems your dog has. Fats and proteins cause less gas, but scraps that are high in carbohydrates are notorious for causing gas and bloating.
Dogs may fart for any number of reasons. The most common reasons include aerophagia, dietary indiscretion, and a lack of exercise. If your dog is a fast eater, they are likely to swallow more air as they eat, leading to more gas build-up in the stomach. Similarly, dietary indiscretion can lead to the ingestion of old or toxic foods, causing a build-up of gas in the digestive system. Finally, a lack of exercise can lead to a slower digestive process for your dog. If you get your dog moving, you are encouraging activity in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, which helps to relieve trapped gas.
In rare cases, excessive farting can be a sign of more serious illness. Food allergies, food intolerances, pancreatitis, and stomach cancer typically cause frequent farting, belching, and trapped gas. If your dog farts more than usual, make sure to monitor them for symptoms of illness. Food allergies cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, skin irritation, and skin lesions. Food intolerances, on the other hand, can cause bloating, abdominal pain, and excessive gas for hours or days after eating the offending food item. Pancreatitis causes abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and a hunched posture. Finally, stomach cancer causes symptoms such as bloody poop, loss of appetite, and frequent farting.
Home remedies for gas include probiotics and kitchen cupboard ingredients. The most reliable remedy for your dog is a dose of probiotics. Like humans, your dog’s digestive tract is teeming with beneficial bacteria. Probiotics are made with live bacteria that maintain a healthy gut. A vet may recommend probiotics for general gassiness or a stressful situation, especially if your dog is prone to gastrointestinal upsets when they are stressed. Just be sure to get probiotics made especially for dogs as these will be formulated to suit your dog’s gut best.
Some kitchen cupboard ingredients can make helpful gas remedies. For example, fennel seeds help to relax the gastrointestinal tract. They also contain vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and potassium! Similarly, ginger is an anti-inflammatory ingredient that can help to tackle inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. If you are unsure about any supplements for your dog’s digestive problems, make sure to contact your vet with any questions you might have. Your vet will be able to direct you on how best to deliver the supplement as well as how much to give.
Your dog’s farts smell bad due to the gases involved with digestion. Over 90 percent of a dog’s gas is made up of non-smelly oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen. Nitrogen is not produced by the gut but is a major component of environmental air, so dogs with a lot of nitrogen in their gas typically have aerophagia. As well as natural gases, a combination of sulfur compounds helps to produce the foul smell that accompanies a fart. These compounds include hydrogen sulfide gas, methanethiol, and dimethyl sulfide. The smell of gas is also influenced by large numbers of microflora in the gut as well as feces stored in the rectum. With all this in mind, moderately foul-smelling gas is normal and a common occurrence for most dogs.
Some health conditions can cause excessively smelly gas. For example, dietary intolerances are a common culprit of excessively foul-smelling gas, as the body’s inability to properly digest the food causes a build-up of gas. Other illnesses like pancreatitis are known to cause foul-smelling gas in dogs due to trapped, toxic gas. If your dog’s farts are excessive and foul-smelling, it’s best to take them to the vet for a checkup as soon as possible.
Before offering a new diet to your dog to treat flatulence, it’s best to consult with your vet for guidance. Some therapeutic diets help reduce flatulence but are too high in fat for your dog, so make sure to check the ingredients before serving a new meal to your pooch.
Your vet may recommend a new diet that is made with highly digestible ingredients. This diet may also be low in fiber to reduce the motility of the gastrointestinal tract. You should also avoid products with ash or fillers in them as these ingredients can trigger stomach problems.
The bottom line with dog flatulence is that, in moderation, it is normal and commonplace. If your dog’s flatulence is overly foul-smelling or excessive in frequency, make sure to re-consider your dog’s diet and activity levels. If your dog’s gas problems are accompanied by other worrying symptoms, such as bloody stool, be sure to contact your vet right away for advice.