Flatulence and Your Dog

Does your dog have gas that would gag a maggot?  Sometimes our companions have flatulence, and that is normal.  However, if the dog is frequently passing gas, something may not be quite right.  There are several things you can do to help this problem.

The first is overhaul the dog’s diet.  Many dog foods have a lot of soy in them.  Soy is notorious for producing gas.  Pick a dog food that does not contain soy and slowly change the dog over to it.  This alone may produce the desired result.  You may have to try several foods over a period of time to find one that your dog will tolerate well.  Just be sure to switch foods gradually, substituting a little of the new food for the old food and gradually increasing the amount of new food while decreasing the amount of old food.

Certain people foods, such as milk, cheese, broccoli, and cauliflower, will cause any dog to have gas.  Stop feeding any of these to your dog if you are having problems with excessive flatulence.

If changing the dog’s diet to a food with less soybean does not relieve the flatulence, try switching the protein too.  If you normally feed a dog food with beef in it, try one with lamb or chicken.  One dog could only tolerate a diet of lamb and rice.  Any other food not only made him have flatulence, it made him aggressive.

Adding fiber to your dog’s diet will cause food to move more quickly through the intestines, giving gas less time to develop.  You can try feeding the dog canned pumpkin or green beans.  Just be careful not to add too much fiber, or you will cause your dog to have diarrhea.

Sometimes flatulence is caused by an imbalance of the good and bad bacteria in the dog’s gastrointestinal system.  Feeding your dog yogurt with active acidophilus cultures in it can help.  It usually takes about a week for this to be effective.  If your dog will not eat the yogurt, you can give them the chewable tablets or capsules of acidophilus people take to balance their system.

Sometimes a dog has excessive gas because he gulps air when he eats.  This happens especially when the dog eats very quickly.  You can slow things down by putting a large object that the dog cannot eat, such as a big rock, in the dog’s bowl.  The dog will have to eat slower to pick their food up around the obstacle in their bowl.

Finally, exercise helps excessive flatulence.  It stimulates the intestines and helps remove excessive gas from the dog’s system.  When dogs have a bowel movement, which exercise stimulates, they also eliminate excess gas.

If none of these remedies helps, talk to your veterinarian.  Your dog may require a special diet, or the flatulence may signal a health problem that needs a veterinarian’s attention.  This is especially true if the flatulence starts suddenly.  Any sudden change in a dog’s body warrants a trip to the veterinarian to rule out a health problem.