What do you do when your dog starts farting and they stink so bad you can’t even stand to be around them? Do you just ignore it or do you take them to the vet right on the spot?
Do you know that Farts are one of the most common side effects of diet and digestive disorders and they can even be a sign of something more serious?
Why Does My Dog Fart So Much and Stink?
The causes of dog farts vary but they are generally the same as in people. After a meal, bacteria in the intestinal tract break down the food into nutrients that the body can use.
During this process, stinky hydrogen sulfide gas released as a by-product of digestion for certain foods in the colon. That gas becomes trapped and farting is the only way for your dog to get it out.
Some dogs also tend to swallow a lot of air when they eat and drink, especially speed-eaters and short-nosed brachycephalic breeds including Pugs, Boston terriers, Shih Tzus, and Lhasa Apsos.
Like the gas formed in their digestive tract, this swallowed air is also expelled by farting.
So, is it normal for dogs to fart a lot? A bit of gas is normal each day, but if you feel like you need to wear a gas mask around your dog, then something is amiss.
This is especially true if farting is a recent development and your dog has diarrhea or you find blood in their stool.
Why Are My Dog's Farts So Smelly?
In addition to gastrointestinal disease, there are a few other diseases that may cause your dog's farts to smell bad, explains PetMD.
These conditions include irritable bowel syndrome, pancreas function failure, inflammatory bowel disease, parasites, bacterial overgrowth, and neoplasia (excessive tissue growth in the bowel).
The main cause, though? The food your dog is eating and the way in which they're eating it.
- High-Fiber Foods
Consuming an excess of high-fiber foods like vegetables, apples, canned pumpkin, and brown rice may be leading to extra farts.
Just as fiber helps push things through humans' digestive tracts, Dogington Post explains that it does the same for dogs, meaning that all the gas that's trapped inside their intestines will be pushed right out.
Unlike humans, dogs are not meant to eat most spices. Vet West explains that spices and spicy foods can cause flatulence in dogs.
Keep this in mind if you ever feed your dog directly off your plate: unless it's really bland food, your dog probably shouldn't eat it.
- High-Fat Diets
High-fat diets, in addition to being generally unhealthy for dogs, can lead to an excess of farts.
Rover explains that "if you're feeding your dog scraps off your plate at dinner, you may be perpetuating your dog's toots without even realizing it."
- Dairy Products
You may not know this, but cats and dogs are actually lactose intolerant, explains Vet West.
This means that although dairy may not always make them sick, it is difficult for them to digest, which can lead to an upset stomach and flatulence.
- Foods That Are Difficult To Digest
When dogs ingest foods that are hard to digest, it often leads to gas that needs to be passed.
PetMD explains that some of these difficult-to-digest foods include beans, peas, soybeans, and any spoiled foods.
- Diet Change
Whenever you switch your dog's food, you should always do so slowly, allowing your dog's stomach and intestines to have time to adjust to the new food.
Pet Guide explains that if you're overhauling your dog's diet, you should do it gradually.
This will cut down on farts, but also help with other digestive problems like vomiting and diarrhea.
- Serious Gastrointestinal Disease
If your dog is farting all the time, that's a sign it may be a more serious problem.
It may be time to see a vet if your dog starts ignoring their food and treats, isn't acting like themselves or seems to be experiencing other internal discomforts.
- Swallowing Too Much Air
PetMD explains that in almost all dog-farting cases, there's one simple cause: your dog is swallowing too much air when they're eating.
Lots of dogs like to gobble down their food as fast as they can, which means they're probably eating a lot of air in addition to their kibble.
How Can I Help My Dogs Fart Less?
You can help by making sure they eat properly and encouraging certain lifestyle changes.
Slowing down your dog's scarfing can help. One way to stop your dog from gobbling their food is to put a tennis ball in their bowl, explains Rover.
If it's not a matter of eating fast or slow, there are other steps you can take to tame your dog's stinky gas.
4 Steps You Can Take To Tame Your Dog's Stinky Gas
- Provide A Digestible Diet
First, make sure your dog has an easily digestible diet.
As previously explained, when dogs consume food they can't digest well, it can cause flatulence.
Pet Guide says that you should try to stick to dog foods that have high-quality proteins but stay away from ones that are high in wheat, soy, and corn.
- Encourage An Active Lifestyle
Keeping your dog active can help with their farting.
According to Rover, bringing your dog on a walk before dinner can encourage pooping, which will help them get rid of gas.
Vet West also explains that "overweight, obese, and sedentary dogs are at higher risk for developing chronic flatulence, regardless of diet."
- Feed Smaller Meals More Frequently
PetMD explains that one of the best ways to prevent dog farts is to feed them smaller meals more frequently.
Instead of just feeding your dog one or two large meals, try feeding them smaller meals throughout the day.
Feel free to supplement with treats, but make sure not to feed them too many since treats are often higher in fat.
- Feed Meals In A Non-Competitive Environment
If you have more than one pet, they may feel that their mealtime is threatened. This might cause them to eat faster, thus allowing them to swallow more air.
The best way to feed your dogs their meals is "in a quiet, isolated, non-competitive environment," says PetMD.