If you were ever wondering “do dogs fart?”, the answer is a resounding “yes!”
Every puppy parent has smelt the odd dog fart – it comes with owning a dog, right? Just like us humans, gas can come in all shapes and sizes; some are silent, some are loud, some smell so bad you have to leave the room in a hurry! And then there are the ones that disappear as quickly as they appeared – the phantom fart…
Passing gas is just a part of your dog’s life, with no way of completely stopping them from happening. However, before you resign yourself to a life of endless unbearable farts, there are ways you can help reduce their horrible smell and frequency.
And, just like us, a lot of it comes down to gut health and diet!
When your dog is regularly passing smelly wind, it could be a sign that something is wrong. But, how do you know when there is something to worry about? Here at the Petlab Co., we have looked into what causes those pungent poofs and a few ways you can help reduce those hard-hitting, stinky toots!
Pretty much the same as us humans, your dog will fart from time to time. This is caused by gas building inside the stomach or intestine. When released from the anus, this bubble of gas can make a sound or let off an unpleasant smell.
And, unsurprisingly, some dogs will be more flatulent than others. Why? Well, it all boils down to their breed, habits, diet, and even their allergies.
Take a look at some of the reasons your pup may pass wind more than others…and when to know if it could be a more serious issue.
Although it may sound a bit strange, the volume and consistency of farts can all come down to their breed. Brachycephalic dog breeds, such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers and Boston Terriers (dogs with short/flat snouts) normally suffer from wind more so than others. This is due to the shape of their skull. You see, when brachycephalic dogs eat and drink, they tend to take in more air, resulting in a build-up of gas in the intestines or stomach.
We can all hold our hands up and admit to being guilty of falling into a few bad habits when it comes to our furry friends. Sometimes, all it takes is looking into a pair of puppy dog eyes during supper and the rest is history.
Unfortunately, not all ‘human’ food is good for our pooches. Lots of our food is high in fats or has been made with spices – all that can cause havoc in your dog’s stomach. The best thing to do it to limit table scraps as much as possible. The odd nibble is completely okay, but too much could be the answer to those smelly puppy farts!
Read up on the 5 common human foods that can be fatal for your dog here!
When it comes to allergies, they can affect your pup internally and externally. If they suffer from an environmental intolerance; pollen, dust or perfumes, you will notice your dog scratching and itching – but what happens when the allergy is internal?
Having an allergic reaction to something they have eaten can result in very smelly and offensive farts. Dairy is one of the biggest causes of digestion issues in dogs; loose stools, indigestion, cramps, and wind.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to discover the exact cause of your pup’s dietary intolerance. Your vet should be able to help you work out a plan to find out what foods don’t agree with your pup, if this is something you suspect…
Dinner time is normally one of your pet's favourite times of the day – well, that and “walkies!” When they see their food bowl coming, many dogs can’t help but want to bury their mouths into their delicious dinner…one minute the food is there, the next it’s gone.
Eating quickly could be the reason your pup is suffering from wind. As said above, brachycephalic dog breeds take in too much air when they eat and drink, so when your pup gobbles up their dinner too quickly, they can experience a similar effect.
How to get around this problem? If your pup is a very fast eater, try them with a slow-release feeding bowl, available from most pet shops. This will portion out how much food they get at one time and allow their stomach time to digest at a slower rate.
A simple change in your dog’s diet could be the reason they’re producing terrible farts. Although it is encouraged to change their diet if they’re suffering from bad gas, this change could be another contributor. If this diet change is sudden, your pup’s body will take a while to adjust, which could result in wind. The best thing to do is to slowly introduce new food into your pup’s diet.
Petlab Co. Pro Tip: If you have decided to change your pet’s diet for a specific reason, start by slowly adding the new food to their current diet. This will allow your pup’s digestive system to acclimatise to the new food and reduce any problems.
It can be hard to know if you’re giving your pup the best food for them. There are countless brands and options, so much so that deciding the perfect diet for your pooch can be seriously overwhelming.
Many dog food brands on the market are packed with unnecessary fillers that cause havoc on your pooch’s digestive system. A lot are extremely carbohydrate dominant, using corn, soy or wheat to bulk up the food – which your pup could be allergic to.
Read up on how to settle a dog’s upset stomach here.
There is no way to stop wind completely, but there are ways we can reduce the frequency and severity. Plus, once you know what is causing the bad gas, you can take action and support your pup’s health – and your sense of smell – accordingly.
Changing your pup’s diet can help reduce those smelly farts. Of course, a sudden change of diet can cause an upset tummy, but if you start to introduce better quality food into their diet slowly, it will benefit them hugely in the future. You’ve got to play the long game when it come’s to your dog’s tummy health.
Trying to find the perfect, healthy food for your pooch can be hard. Our advice is to focus on the ingredients, rather than choosing food based on their brand. Lots of top pet food brands are packed with unnecessary, harmful additives that can upset your pup’s tummy and give them little to no nutritional benefits.
Every dog is different, and the cause of their gas will also be unique to your pup. If you change their food to a higher quality option and you’re still experiencing terrible wind, then you will know that the cause of the flatulence might not be from their new diet.
If your suspect your dog might be allergic to food, always discuss your concerns with your vet. You could consider switching to hypoallergenic diet formulations that are on the market which contain hydrolysed proteins, meaning that the ‘reactive’ proteins are already broken down into molecules that the immune system will not recognise as allergens.
If you decide to try a specialised hypoallergenic dog food, it should be fed for a minimum of 8-12 weeks to assess your pooch’s response. It is important to feed them only the hypoallergenic dog food during this period, avoiding all other foods, treats, table scraps, and medicine whilst introducing the new specially-formulated food.
Sometimes a small change like adding a tasty supplement, like a dog specific multivitamin or probiotic, to your pet’s diet could be the answer to reducing their stinky farts. Overall health is key, so keeping on top of their digestive and immune system health can positively affect their health and wellbeing – including their frequency of gas.
When a dog is more active, their flatulence will be less frequent than a lazy pup. If you have a pooch that loves to sleep and lay around all day, it is time to change this bad behaviour.
Make sure you’re taking them for a bread-appropriate length walk daily. Not only will this help with any gas issues, but the regular exercise will help support your pooch’s overall health – an all-round winner.
I know, obvious right? Well, talking to your vet could be the best way to reduce your pet’s gas. All the options above can help you discover the cause on your own, but if you try them and still notice your dog producing frequent, smelly farts, seeking your vet is key.
Inflammation of the bowel, pancreatic disease and gastrointestinal disease are all serious conditions that could be the root of your pup’s wind issues. Many of these illnesses come with other symptoms; vomiting, abdominal swelling, loss of appetite and diarrhoea. If you discover any of these along with smelly farts, there could be a more sinister problem.
Let’s face it, gas is just a natural part of life and a regular occurrence when you’re a puppy parent. The only time you need to worry is if these farts become an extremely regular and daily occurrence. None of us want our dogs to be unhealthy, so finding the root of the problem as soon as possible is ideal. After all, our job is to make sure our pets are healthy, happy and enjoying their life with us by their side - with as little bad smells as possible.