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“My Dog Farts A Lot” - Causes And Solutions For A Gassy Dog

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

Updated

There is no escaping the fact that dog farts are an unpleasant nuisance to all household members. Unfortunately, the fact that your dog is farting isn't just embarrassing for you and your guests. It could also mean that they're in pain due to gas buildup. 

It is normal for your dog to fart from time to time, but excessive farting can cause concern, in addition to making life a bit smelly. 

Dog gassiness or flatulence can have a variety of causes, ranging from digestive problems to food intolerance to more serious medical issues. If your dog is passing gas a lot, it's essential to look for the reason, and resolve the issue.

Why do dogs fart?

Your dog’s farts are the only way for them to expel the gas created by bacteria in the gut. Following a meal, the bacteria in the digestive tract break down food into usable nutrients.

Bacteria interact with many components in the intestines, including fiber, indigestible protein, carbohydrates, and compounds inherent in the body, such as mucus and bile acids. This is an essential part of how nutrients are broken down and absorbed. During this process, hydrogen sulfide gas builds up and is released through flatulence.

Some food is more to blame than others. For example, foods high in nonabsorbable oligosaccharides, such as raffinose and stachyose, considerably increase gas production. 

Some foods high in oligosaccharides include cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, beans, and brussels sprouts, which is why they cause flatulence in humans.

While it is common for dogs to fart, it may cause concern if your dog farts excessively. However, it should not become intolerable to the point where you feel the need to wear a gas mask around your dog. Flatulence occurs when there is an excess of gas development within your dog's stomach or intestine.

If your dog is farting excessively, there could be a variety of causes for this behavior. If you observe that your dog farts more frequently than normal, look into what has recently changed in their diet and habits. By doing so, you can typically determine what is producing the flatulence and make changes to fix it.

Finally, most of the reasons for your dog farting excessively are common and are easily remedied. Other times, it could result from a major underlying medical condition. If food and lifestyle factors have been ruled out, it is always a good idea to talk with your veterinarian.

Causes of an excessively gassy dog

There are many contributing factors to your dog's excessive gas production. In general, flatulence in your dog is usually caused by digestive problems. Because the bacteria in your dog's digestive tract create normal farting, it stands to reason that excessive farting would be caused by the same germs.

This is one reason to maximize the good bacteria in your dog's gut with quality probiotics. Products like Soothe can help optimize the digestive tract and keep tummies in working order, helping to prevent excessive dog farting.

Excessive gas in your dog can be caused by a reaction to something in their food or a change in diet. For example, certain food ingredients like soybean meal might trigger an increase in gas production in the digestive tract. Furthermore, they can cause the gas to smell foul. We will discuss common food culprits in the section below. 

Food allergies can also be connected to excessive farting, although the most common symptoms are often skin issues, such as itchiness and inflammation. Ruling out possible allergens and intolerances in your dog’s food through an elimination diet can help identify the problem. 

You can read more about dogs and allergies here.

However, dogs fart for various reasons that aren't always related to digestive disorders. In a study conducted by B. R. Jones, the researchers discovered that 47 dogs out of 110 experienced flatulence, with the majority of the dogs having flatulence being the less active dogs. The study's findings indicate that dogs' lifestyles can also influence their risk of developing flatulence. Therefore, a lack of exercise can play a role.

Other causes of gas include dogs eating or drinking quickly, which causes them to ingest a lot of air. Because of the bone structure of their nose, flat-faced or short-nosed dogs tend to swallow a lot of air, resulting in more farting.

This leaves pet parents of breeds like Pugs, Bulldogs, or Bullmastiffs at a bit of a disadvantage. Unfortunately, every dog is unique, and some dogs simply fart a lot more than others.

Why does my dog have bad gas suddenly?

If your dog has just started passing a lot of gas, it's time to look for the cause. Excessive farting can spell trouble, especially if it isn't normal for your pup. 

Your dog's sudden flatulence is usually caused by any one of the following:

1. Sudden change in diet

The most typical cause of your gassy dog is a reaction to food. However, flatulence might arise unexpectedly if the diet has recently been modified to include substances that are more difficult for your dog's digestive system to process. In addition, flatulence can be caused by certain foods or ingredients.

Remember, this doesn't always have to be a new food brand. Sometimes it could be a treat or a titbit of human food their gut is struggling with.

2. Eating spoiled food

It's also possible that your dog ate something rotten. Suppose your dog is otherwise healthy and showing no other health concerns, and they are suddenly passing a lot of gas. In that case, it is possible that the food they have eaten has gone stale or they ate something they shouldn't have.

This is common for dogs who have raked through the garbage or found something smelly to gobble up on a walk.

3. Swallowing too much air

Brachycephalic (short-nosed) dogs aren't the only ones who tend to swallow excessive amounts of air. Dogs of various breeds can also ingest too much, too fast, resulting in flatulence if they eat their food or drink too quickly. So food gobblers are at a higher risk of farting, and it can be a good idea to invest in a slow feeder.

In addition, dogs who aren't fed regularly tend to consume too quickly if they skip meals.

4. Too much fiber

The fiber in the diet may cause flatulence and flatus in some dogs. Prebiotic fibers, such as dried chicory root, promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. This causes a rise in the quantity of gas-producing bacteria in the gut, resulting in increased gas.

5. Underlying medical problems

Sudden flatulence, in addition to other symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, loss of appetite, and vomiting, can signal that your dog is suffering from an underlying medical issue. 

Among the many serious diseases that can produce flatulence and require prompt attention are intestinal parasites, cancer, and pancreatitis. Suppose there is a sudden onset of doggy farts along with other symptoms. In that case, it is definitely time to call your veterinarian.

Remember, regular physical activity will enhance both you and your dog's overall health and well-being, as well as their digestive tract. The more they move, the faster your dog's body will expend the energy stored in its stomach and pass it via its digestive tract.

Foods that give dogs gas

Chronic flatulence in dogs is most commonly caused by food that is difficult for the dog to break down and process. These poorly digested foods produce excessive fermentation in the colon, which results in gas production.

When it comes to protein and digestible energy, soy is a great option. However, when soybeans are added to the diets of dogs and other monogastric animals, the oligosaccharide content of the soybeans has been shown to increase flatulence and reduce digestibility.

Foods high in nonabsorbable oligosaccharides such raffinose, stachyose, and verbacose are prone to cause intestinal gas. If your dog is suffering from flatulence, it is best to avoid the following food below as they can give dogs gas.

  • Soybean and soybean products
  • Lentils
  • Most beans (kidney, red, black, etc.)
  • Chickpeas
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Cabbage
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Peas and pea products
  • High-fat diets (anything above 15-20% crude fat on the label)
  • Spicy human foods.

"My dog keeps farting": solutions for farting dogs

Here are some ideas to help if your dog is suffering from flatulence.

  • Change their diet. Foods that are difficult to digest and induce farting in dogs must be avoided. According to the findings of a study done by Anton C. Beynen, poultry protein may lower gas production and make the smell less disagreeable when compared to soybean meal. So look for quality animal proteins on the label, and avoid hidden plant proteins from soybean products, lentils, legumes, or pulses.
  • Exercise can also help with your dog's farting. Exercise stimulates your dog's digestive tract motility, allowing them to move food through the intestine and avoiding a buildup of gas.
  • Charcoal, Yucca, and zinc have helped with flatulence in one study. But be careful of adding supplements to your dog's diet that aren't correctly formulated for canines and avoid human supplements. Some great dog foods contain zinc acetate and Yucca Schidigera in safe quantities. 
  • Feed your dog smaller, more frequent meals. 
  • Invest in a slow feeder to prevent your dog from eating too fast.
  • Reduce or restrict the amount of fiber in your dog's food.
  • The inclusion of probiotic powders in your dog's diet may also help to reduce farting. Probiotics, sometimes known as "good bacteria," are necessary for a healthy digestive tract. Many dog owners have successfully utilized them to reduce their pets' gas production and overall digestive health. Products like Soothe are specifically formulated to keep the gut healthy and well-balanced.

Final word

Dogs, like humans, must fart from time to time as part of a natural process. Every dog is different, and some will fart more frequently than others. However, if your dog suddenly starts farting more than usual, it might be a cause for concern.

 In general, you can help decrease dog farts by increasing exercise, changing the diet, and adding probiotics to their food. Consult your veterinarian if your dog's farting frequency or volume is unusually high for no apparent reason and other symptoms emerge like diarrhea, vomiting, or refusal to eat.