Just like humans, our dogs can’t help but let out a little toot every once in a while. Flatulence, or farting, is a perfectly natural part of your dog’s daily bodily functions. However, sometimes dogs get a bout of the most offensive-smelling farts possible and just can’t stop tooting. If your dog
constantly produces gas, you might be wondering what is causing it and how you can get it to stop.
While some flatulence (stinky or not) is normal, if your dog is producing excessive and foul-smelling gas every day, you may need to reevaluate its diet and gut health.
Flatulence is caused by the formation of gas in your dog’s stomach or intestines. As foods get broken down in the digestive tract, gas is released and eventually has to come out. Some gas accumulation is normal, so you should expect your dog to fart every once in a while.
However, it’s when gas becomes very frequent and foul-smelling that an issue may be at hand. Not only can your dog’s gas be annoying and smelly, but it can also indicate a health problem. Chronic flatulence may be caused by a variety of underlying issues. The most common problem lies with diet, but other symptoms may point to a more serious condition that will need to be addressed.
Resolving excessive flatulence
If your dog won’t stop tooting and stinking up your house, you’ll want to first identify where the problem is coming from.
Diet: Ingredients or changes
The first place you’ll want to turn to resolve excessive flatulence is your dog’s diet. The food it eats can directly relate to the amount of gas it produces.
Did your dog recently experience a diet change where you bought a new kind of food? Did the diet change too quickly? Or, has your dog been given a lot of table scraps recently? All of these things can lead to additional gas.
Look at your dog’s food packaging and examine the ingredients to identify what might be causing the issue. Look for ingredients that are known to increase flatulence, such as milk products, beans, peas, corn, wheat or spices.
Some low-quality dog foods contain more filler carbohydrates that are difficult for your dog to digest, resulting in gas. Dairy is also known to give dogs bad gas because many are lactose intolerant and are unable to properly digest it. Additionally, meat and fat can cause really stinky gas in combination with other highly fermentable foods.
If your dog is letting out a lot of gas, you may need to get it new food with different and more high-quality ingredients to prevent excess flatulence. The new diet should contain easily digestible foods and lower amounts of fiber and fat.
Flatulence may also be linked to food allergies or intolerances. Food allergies in dogs are often displayed through symptoms of gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea. However, increased flatulence may be present, as well.
To identify if food allergies are the issue, pay attention to whether your dog is exhibiting other signs of allergies, such as excessive itching, inflamed skin, vomiting and diarrhea or ear infections.
Excess air swallowing
Another reason your dog might be experiencing more flatulence is due to the way it eats. When dogs eat very quickly and swallow a lot of air, there will naturally be more gas in its digestive tract to expel later. This condition is called aerophagia.
Certain dog breeds are more likely to swallow air as they eat, resulting in more gas. Sometimes, dogs need to be taught to eat more slowly to stop this problem.
If your dog has not experienced a recent diet change or is being fed high-quality food and is still tooting, it may be having a hard time with digestion, instead. Poor digestion can cause excess fermentation in the colon, leading to more gas than usual.
Improper digestion or malabsorption can be a serious disorder and will need to be diagnosed by a veterinarian. This type of condition could mean your dog’s body is not absorbing all the nutrients it should be from its food, likely leaving it without enough energy and potentially causing nutritional deficiencies.
Flatulence may also be caused by a digestive disorder like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). These conditions are closely linked to the health of your dog’s intestines and the healthy bacteria that aid in digestion.
Giving your dog a daily dose of probiotics may help re-introduce healthy bacteria to the colon and
bring balance back to the gut for proper digestion and reduced flatulence.
Sedentary and overweight dogs tend to be gassier, as well. Exercise helps to keep things moving inside, so gas can be passed faster and more easily (and out in the open instead of next to you on the couch!). Try taking your dog for additional walks or runs to see if that helps alleviate the flatulence problem.
If you’re concerned about your dog’s tooting problem and are unable to find a solution, visit your veterinarian and discuss the issue. Before you go, you’ll want to keep a log of your dog’s gas-passing habits so your vet can determine whether the gas is normal or not.