Ask A Vet: My dog has bad gas!

Q : My dog (a Boston Terrier/Pug mix) has been having some issues over the last month or so with really bad gas.  In the last week I have noticed his stool is loose, although not liquid.  I can only image that with that much farting he also has a certain amount of stomach pain.  He eats and drinks well and his energy and tempermant have not changed. In fact with the weather getting a bit cooler, his energy is up.

Do you have any suggestions for what kind of food might be better?  He has been on Nature’s Path, Nutrience, Kirkland Brand, From, among others. Thanks for any advice you have.

Who, me? (image: thanks Sam Mountain for her pic of Monkey!)

A: Everyone produces gas. This includes cats, dogs, hockey players, supermodels, and celebrities (George Clooney comes to mind).

The two most common causes of flatulence in dogs include :

– Eating too fast – When a dog eats too fast, swallowed air (aerophagia) makes its way to the intestines very quickly and in a more concentrated quantity.

–  Food that is not easily digested by individuals may become food for bacteria in the digestive tract. Bacteria release gas as they consume food, and the gas passes through the intestines until it reaches the anus.

The first thing I recommend is to accept that no matter what you do, your dog will still have gas from time to time. Gas alone, without vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or poor appetite does not necessarily mean your dog has a stomach issue.

However, if your dog’s gas seems extreme, consider experimenting with a diet change. Humans with flatulence issues should avoid beans, cabbage, broccoli, or any other food with a demonstrated history of exacerbating their problem. Diet is also the simplest way to deal with gas in dogs. Easily digestible diets marketed as “sensitive stomach” formulas often lead to reduced gas. Try feeding your dog several small meals of an easily digestibale diet. Also consider cutting out rich human foods from the diet.

Remember to always change your pets food gradually to avoid stomach upset and as long as your dog doesn’t feel sick or in pain, the gas isn’t a very big deal.

Hope this helps,

Dr Lissa

 

 

2 comments

  1. What is the best way to get a “stuffy face” (Bosties, pugs, etc) to eat slower? Wee Lola Pug has a similar issue (exacerbated by acid reflux), and I’m quite certain its from eating too fast.

    Thanks!

  2. RebTee, I’ve found a few good ways to get dogs to eat more slowly.

    Pet stores sell special ‘balls’ (and bowls with balls in them) that you put in the food dish, and the dog has to eat around them (though I’ve heard a tennis ball can work, too).

    I’ve also put my dog’s dry food in a Kong, forcing her to tip it over and roll it around, eating piece by piece.

    Lastly, and this is not for everyone, I know some people scatter a scoop of food across the floor (ideally one that can be cleaned easily!). The dog then eats it all, piece by piece, not only doing it more slowly than from a bowl, but also being busied with a challenge (to find every single piece).

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