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My Dog Farts A Lot; How Can I Stop Him?

English bulldogs, farting dogs, dogs farting

Ah, the unmistakable odor of….well, dog farts! We’ve all had to deal with a flatulent dog a few times, particularly if we have breeds that are known for having excess gas. Some breeds can clear a room on a regular basis simply by farting. But is there anything we can do to minimize gas and the accompanying aroma of flatulence in our dogs? We asked Dr. Kevin Winkler, who explained the whys and whats of canine gas and what to do about it:

“Let’s be honest, we have all had an issue with flatulence at least once in our own lives.  We joke that it must have been the beans we ate or deny it and blame the dog.  Well, some dogs really do have a real issue with flatulence.  Like the problem in people, there are a myriad of reasons for that stink you smell.  You don’t mention anything specific about breed or diet in your question, so let’s examine some generalities.”

Some Dog Breeds Fart More Than Others

“We all have some gas in our intestines.  It can come from swallowed air or gas produced in the GI tract.  With dogs, air may be swallowed normally when panting.  Since dogs cool by panting rather than sweating, any increased panting will result in some swallowed air.  For some dog’s, panting occurs because of breathing difficulties.  Think about the dogs with flat faces (examples include Bulldogs, Shih Tzus and Pugs).  They often pant because of their anatomy.  They cannot breathe normally.  As a result, these breeds may have a lot of flatulence due to air swallowing or aerophagia.  Surgery to correct anatomic problems may help decrease flatulence.”

Anxiety and Dog Farts

“Some dogs are extremely nervous or anxious resulting in panting and aerophagia.  Anti-anxiety medications may help these dogs.  Some eat like they might never see food again.  These dogs may be helped by more frequent feeding of smaller meals or placing food in special bowls that slow feeding.  Still others may have respiratory diseases or gastrointestinal disease.  These cases need to be treated medically.  In all cases, the swallowed air has to go somewhere.  Flatulence is usually the safest and most common means of escape.”

Change Foods to Reduce Dog Farts

“Diet is another common source of gas.  Beans (including soy and peas) and fermentable fibers result in dietary origin gas.  Dairy products such as milk and cheese also result in large amounts of gas.  Any change in diet may also result in at least a transient increase in flatulence.  For these patients with dietary origin problems, an alteration in their diet may improve things.  If not, it may require specialized testing to see if there is an intestinal problem.”

“There are several medications that can be used to help with gas, depending on the cause.  You should check with your veterinarian before starting any medication.  And remember…  the next time your friend blames that stink on their dog, they may just be correct!”

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