Do Dogs Fart? A Serious Answer to an Embarrassing Question
You’re hanging with your dog at home. Suddenly, an unusual but distinctively foul smell fills the air. It smells like a strong fart, and you know it didn’t come from you. You surmise your dog is the lone source that could have produced the odor. But is that blame fair?
You Can Legitimately Blame the Dog
Dogs can be flatulent, and some breeds tend to be gassier than others. It’s perfectly normal for them to do so, and there are several reasons why they pass gas, from swallowing too much air to high-fat diets. While dog farts are primarily silent, the ones that are audible can be a source of amusement in small doses:
Why Do Dog Farts Smell So Nasty?
The main culprit behind stinky dog farts has to do with bacterial fermentation; a process that is most commonly caused by the digestion of foods that aren’t easily broken down by dogs’ stomachs. Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest foods behind this condition is beans, but it can also be caused by other foods rich in fiber, such as soybeans, peas, or oats. The farts produced by larger breeds are usually more "fragrant" than smaller breeds because they have larger digestive tracts and, therefore, have a larger area for bacterial fermentation to occur.
Can Dog Farts be Controlled?
There are several things that you can do to gain the upper hand on your dog’s lower intestine, so to speak. One of the big steps you can take is to avoid purchasing dog foods that contain wheat, corn, or soy, which are tough for dogs to digest. Instead, it’s prudent to pick up dog food that contains quality, highly-digestible proteins.
You should also refrain from allowing your dog to indulge in whatever leftover bites you have at your dinner table, no matter how loud or adorable they are when they beg. Most human food is simply not easy for dogs to digest. Make human food a habit for your dog, and bacterial fermentation could potentially go into overdrive, which wouldn’t be good for anyone.
There are also some natural remedies that can alleviate dog flatulence. Herbs such as fennel, cayenne, thyme, and peppermint act as agents to relax stomach muscles, which in turn could help to lessen the amount of intestinal gas that can build up. Adding probiotic supplements to your dog’s diet can also help regulate your pooch’s digestive tract.
Finally, exercise also plays a vital role in helping to control your dog’s flatulence. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous to get the job done. Something as simple as a leisurely walk will help make it easier for your dog to digest food properly.
Is Dog Flatulence a Sign of a Bigger Issue?
While dog flatulence is chiefly nothing to be concerned about - other than the odor - there may be cases where constant farting could be an indicator of a more serious condition such as pancreatitis or liver disease. In these cases, excessive farting is accompanied by other symptoms such as a disinterest in eating or other gastro-intestinal issues, such as vomiting or diarrhea. If your dog exhibits a combination of these symptoms, it is advisable to set up an appointment with your neighborhood veterinarian to make sure nothing more potentially devastating is afoot.
Excessive flatulence can also be a sign that your dog has a parasite in his digestive tract, such as a tapeworm. To combat this, you should administer a worming treatment to your dog about once every three months. As you do, you should be aware that one single worming treatment will be able to get rid of all types of worms; treatments that work against tapeworms are usually ineffective treatments for round worms.
We Still Love Our Dogs in the End!
If your dog farts, you already know he can be the source of embarrassment - not to mention a rather foul odor. But once the stink has cleared, it’s important to remember that he’s still your loveable little buddy - one that will be loyal and true to you until the end. Why let the occasional bout of intestinal gas get in the way of that kind of bond?