What Is Flatulence?
Flatulence occurs when gas accumulates in your dog’s intestinal tract and colon. This is a normal process that occurs when bacteria break down certain types of food. While it can be disruptive and disconcerting, it is rarely indication of a severe health problem.
What Are Some Causes of Flatulence in Dogs?
Dietary causes are the main source of flatulence in dogs. Low-quality foods with ingredients that can’t be fully digested can cause gas. So do random table scraps and foods containing lactose. Some animals may also have food sensitivities and allergies, too, so it’s important to find out what your dog’s stomach can and cannot handle.
Flatulence can also occur when a dog wolfs down his food. If he eats too fast, your dog may swallow air that will eventually have to find its way out.
Which Dogs Are Most at Risk?
All dogs are prone to flatulence, especially if they’re fed a low-quality food with fillers and artificial preservatives, random table scraps, too many snacks or foods they’re allergic to.
Could Flatulence Be A Symptom of Another Health Issue?
Persistent canine flatulence can be a side effect of certain medications and can also be a symptom of other medical problems.
What Can I Do to Reduce My Dog’s Flatulence?
Feeding a consistent and healthy diet is the best way to reduce your dog’s flatulence. Here are a couple of rules to follow:
- Feed your dog a nutritious, highly digestible food. Do a little research to find the brands that are appropriate for his age, breed and lifestyle. Watch out for ingredients like ash, low-quality proteins and corn products that make your dog feel full, but aren’t rich in nutrition. And do ask your vet for advice about pet food.
- Don’t feed your dog random table scraps. Allergies or sensitivities to certain foods are common.
- If your adult canine is a fast eater, you might divide his portion in half and let him eat two small meals a day.
- Know your dog’s allergies and food sensitivities, and steer clear of foods that will irritate her stomach.
- Some dogs are also lactose intolerant, so dairy is a no-no.
You’ll know you’re feeding your dog a healthy, highly digestible food when he no longer has gas and begins to excrete firm, well-formed feces.
What Are Some General Hints for Choosing a Healthy Dog Food?
- Look for food that has an AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) label claim.
- Choose premium rather than generic or economy-brand dog foods.
- Meat—not a meat by-product—should be first on the list of ingredients.
- There is low or no ash.
- There is minimal to no corn, cornmeal or wheat, fillers that can irritate allergies.
- There are minimal to no chemical preservatives.
- Omega fatty acids, which have great health benefits, are included in the ingredients.
When Is It Time to See the Vet?
If your pet’s flatulence persists even though you’ve changed his diet and aren’t feeding him anything out of the ordinary, schedule a visit with the veterinarian. Your dog may have a medical problem, gastrointestinal irritation or a food sensitivity you aren’t aware of.