Which Is Worse… The Offensive Odor or the Underlying Condition?
Here are some helpful definitions before we begin with this subject:
- Flatulence is the accumulation of gas in the alimentary canal.
- Flatus gas in or from the stomach or intestines, produced by swallowing air or by bacterial fermentation.
Why Is My Dog So Gassy?
There are several reasons a dog may have flatulence. According to Dr. Karen Becker, the formation of gases in the digestive tract is the result of bacterial fermentation, which almost always has a dietary cause.
- Your dog’s food and/or treats might contain indigestible carbohydrates, especially soluble and fermentable fibers. Be VERY cautious about feeding any treats that are on the grocery store shelves. Stick with treats formulated by holistic veterinarians like Life’s Abundance treats, formulated by Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM: Click Here To Order Life’s Abundance Treats! Stop ALL other items you are feeding your dog, and ONLY feed this type of treat and the food. That’s it.
- Bean meals could be causing gassiness as well. There are many reasons beyond flatulence to avoid pet foods containing soy, chickpeas, and other legumes. Legumes are not a species-appropriate diet for carnivores. Pet food manufacturers add plant proteins to their formulas to boost the overall protein percentage, instead of using more expensive, and species-appropriate, animal protein. Stick with high-quality protein foods that include prebiotics and probiotics that will assist your dog in digesting its food.
- A dietary indiscretion, meaning your dog ate something he shouldn’t have, can cause gas…like a little bunny, field mouse, or the like.
- Your dog may need to go to an anti-inflammatory, paleo, species-appropriate diet: Click Here To Learn More About Feeding A RAW DIET To Your Dog. Dogs who have IBD or Crohn’s disease seem to find a raw diet the most comfortable to digest.
- Finally, it’s also possible that dogs who gobble their meals and swallow large amounts of air experience increased flatus as a result. However, aerophagia (excessive air swallowing) by itself shouldn’t cause a stinky gas problem. Try to get a bowl that is for dogs who “inhale” their food and slows them down. There are little “cones” built into the bowl and your dog is forced to “eat around them” this helps tremendously. Here are a few options you can try: Click Here To Order A Slow Feeding Dog Bowl That Will Help Reduce Bloating If Your Dog Eats Too Fast.
GI Disease and Flatulence
Certain medical conditions can increase flatulence in dogs, including GI disorders that involve malabsorption of nutrients in the intestine. The poorly absorbed nutrients encourage fermentation in the colon, which creates excessive, smelly gas.
In inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the GI tract is infiltrated with inflammatory cells that alter the environment of the intestines and disrupt normal microflora (friendly bacteria). This can lead to bacterial overgrowth that inhibits the ability of the intestine to absorb nutrients. In pets with IBD, gassiness is actually one of the least concerning symptoms, since these animals are also often suffering from weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and protein loss.
Intestinal parasites like giardia and parvovirus can also cause flatulence in dogs by disturbing the ability of the intestine to absorb nutrients.
Another culprit is antibiotic therapy. According to Dr. Karen Becker, antibiotics kill off friendly bacteria right along with pathogenic bacteria, which can contribute to flatulence.
Addressing Your Gassy Dog’s Diet
When there is no clinical evidence of GI disease (and even when there is), one of the first things I do with patients with excessive gassiness is to address the diet.
It’s often beneficial to put a pet with GI upset on a bland diet for some time. The bland diet I recommend is ground, cooked turkey and canned pumpkin or cooked sweet potato vs. beef and rice. Here is a great form of a turkey food: Click Here To Order Life’s Abundance Canned Turkey & Shrimp!
Canned pumpkin (100% real pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix!) is rich in soluble fiber (the type that dissolves in water to form a viscous gel, which also coats and soothes irritated bowels). A great “treat” with pumpkin in it can be found HERE.
My reason for recommending chicken, lamb, or other protein sources is simple: hamburger has more fat, which can worsen GI upset, and boiling ground beef doesn’t substantially decrease the fat content.
Additional Suggestions for Reducing Flatulence
Make sure your dog is well-exercised, as there is some evidence that dogs who get the least amount of exercise have the greatest problem with gassiness. Also, ensure your pet gets ample opportunities to poop each day. Exercise, as with humans, allows the bowels to move more regularly and allows excess gas to escape the GI tract.
An essential oil blend may also assist your GASSY LASSIE: Click Here To Order Endless Mt. Oil Blends Digestion Blend.
Some people like to try the exercise and essential oils blend first, then add the nutritious treat, and then if you are still experiencing gassiness, move to the food changes noted above. We hope this will help you determine why your dog is so gassy!