My Dog Has Bad Gas (How Can it Be Stopped?)
When a dog has bad gas, you’re usually the last to know. But when the condition reveals itself, it usually does so in the most horrifically malodorous way possible. If it’s a common occurrence, it can grow rather tedious, if not disconcerting. So what can you do?
The Nature of Bad Gas in Dogs
Dog flatulence can be a naturally occurring phenomenon. In most cases, the source of dog gas stems from your pooch swallowing excessive air. However, the stink that can accompany the gas can come from a digestive system-based process called bacterial fermentation.
Essentially, bacterial fermentation is caused by foods that are difficult for a dog’s stomach to break down. This mixes with gas that the dog may develop, and any excess gas will exit your dog’s backside as a means of escape. Because of the bacteria, the unpleasant aroma becomes part of this “exit strategy.”
In some cases, the development of bad gas in dogs can be a symptom of an overarching, serious condition. Some of these conditions could relate to gastro-intestinal issues, such as internal parasites, inflammatory bowel disease, or even cancer. Frequently, these conditions are also accompanied by other signs, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and a refusal to eat.
If you suspect that your dog’s gas problems are symptomatic and not caused by what he’s eaten, take him to your veterinarian right away. If you go this route, it may behoove you to also bring a small stool sample along for your vet to inspect. Doing so could provide the visual evidence needed to make the most specific diagnosis possible.
How Can I Stop Bad Gas?
If you surmise that your dog's gas is simply a product of his diet or eating habits, there are several methods that you can deploy to curb the stink. Some of these tactics seem fairly obvious since they involve food. Others are more subtle in nature, to the point where your dog may gloss over the change.
The most obvious change you can make is assessing your dog’s diet and making necessary changes. It’s recommended that your dog’s diet consists of highly digestible foods that are low in fiber and fat. You can find a wide range of dog foods that feature an abundance of carbohydrate and protein sources - ingredients that are effective weapons in minimizing flatulence.
Another key part of a diet change is to eliminate table scraps. A dog’s digestive system is simply not well-equipped to break down some of the food that we may be tempted to give them, and this inefficiency could easily lead to a stinky pooch. So refrain from giving into his begging, no matter how persuasive his begging gets.
Some of the changes you can implement are designed to slow down his eating habits. Keep in mind that bad gas can be caused by excessive air swallowing. A good chunk of this excess could come from your buddy rapidly wolfing down his dinner.
One of the ways you can slow him down is to put large stones in his food bowl. The presence of the stones will cause your dog to be more selective and careful when he eats, which will, in turn, slow the consumption of air along with the food. If you go this route, you'll obviously want to make sure that the stones you use are too large for consumption.
Finally, don't underestimate the power of exercise and activity to lessen your dog's amount of bad gas. A simple routine of low-impact exercises, such as a nice, brisk walk around the neighborhood, will increase the functional efficiency of your dog's digestive tract. The uptick in efficiency will allow your dog to break down food better, which could lead to less gas.
Remember - It’s Part of Nature
Even as you deal with your dog’s bad gas, it’s important to keep in mind that flatulence is literally the nature of the beast. Don’t ever punish him or do anything drastic for something that occurs organically; you’ll only damage the bond that you have with your dog if you do. It’s always important to embrace your dog for who he is, even if you do occasionally have to plug your nose in order to do so.