Gas in dogs is relatively common and if usually not a serious issue even though it’s unpleasant and can be embarrassing if you have guests over and they mistakenly think you cut the cheese in spite of you insisting that it wasn’t you.
However, gas in dogs can be an indicator of a more serious underlying issue so it’s important to address if it’s a chronic issue or something that suddenly started happening.
So if you’re wondering, “what can I give my dog for gas?”, below you’ll find the potential reasons for why your dog has gas and what you can do about it.
Causes for Gas in Dogs
There are wide-ranging reasons for why a dog could be experiencing gas. It ranges from totally normal to serious cause for concern.
Much of the gas that dogs and humans alike experience comes about during the digestion process, when hydrogen sulfide gas is produced as food gets broken down in the digestive system. This is the gas that gets released as flatulence.
A lot of dogs tend to eat really fast, which means they end up swallowing a bunch of air in the process. This is especially true for dogs that have shorter snouts, like French bulldogs, Boston terriers, pugs, and other breeds.
Some gas is normal, just as it is in humans, but if your dog is constantly farting particularly bad smelling gas, then something more serious could be at the root of the issue. If your dog is just recently having bad gas all of a sudden or if it’s accompanied by frequent diarrhea or blood in the stool, it could be an indication of something more serious.
Getting An Evaluation from a Veterinarian
Your veterinarian may check for the following underlying causes if your dog has frequent gas:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Intestinal parasites
- Canine colitis
These are some of the health issues that can lead to gas in dogs. As you can see, there are relatively harmless reasons for gas in dogs but there are more serious ones as well so if your dog is having bad gas out of the blue, then you should get your dog in to see the veterinarian to be on the safe side.
Some of these conditions do have treatments that can reduce the gas that your dog is experiencing.
Making Changes to Your Dog’s Diet
Abrupt changes to your dog’s diet can result in increased gas as your dog’s digestive system adjusts to the new diet. When changing your dog’s diet, easing them into it and slowly changing to a new dog food will likely lead to less gas than if you just changed it with no transition period.
On the other hand, if your dog has been on the same diet for a long time and is having strong gas, then it could be because the food you’re giving them doesn’t go well with their digestive system. In this case, you can try transitioning your dog to a new food.
Individual dogs have specific reactions to certain brands of dog food and the ingredients within them. That’s why it can take some experimenting to find a dog food that matches well with your dog’s digestive system.
When shopping for dog food, look for products that contain high-quality meats yet have low amounts of protein and are low in fiber. Dog foods that fit this criteria may be labeled as dog food for “sensitive stomachs”.
Avoid Giving Your Dog Table Scraps
If you give your dog table scraps without looking into human foods are acceptable for dogs to eat, you could be unwittingly be giving your dog unhealthy or even dangerous food that they shouldn’t be eating.
The foods that we as humans eat often cause digestive issues in dogs, including gas. Many of the foods we eat are too high in fat, fiber, and sugar for dogs. Also, most dogs are lactose intolerant so any dairy will likely upset your dog’s stomach.
Don’t Let Your Dog Eat Things They Shouldn’t
Dogs are very curious creatures and they will get into almost anything that you let them. Keeping your dog out of the trash is important because there are all sorts of toxic things they could eat or choke on.
One of the easiest things you can do to ensure that your dog can’t get into the trash can is to put your trash can in a cabinet.
If you don’t have a tall cabinet in your home that can fit a trash can, you can try getting a trash can with a tighter fitting lid and/or a mechanism that is more difficult for your dog to open. simplehuman sells high-quality trash cans that have foot-operated pedals that many dogs can’t get into, as it’s difficult for them to press the pedal and rummage through the trash at the same time.
If you need more, you can pair that with an external latching system, something like Munchkin Xtraguard Dual Action Multi Use Latches. These are made for keeping kids out of things like cabinets but can work for dogs too.
You can also try something like the iTouchless 4 Gallon Pearl White Sensor Trash Can or the STERILITE 12.6 Gallon Locking Lid Step On Kitchen Wastebasket. It may take some experimentation to find a solution that keeps your dog out of the trash.
There may be other issues in your house that you need to find a solution to, like keeping your dog out of the cat’s litter box.
You may also need to keep your dog from picking up or eating harmful things they find on the ground when you go for walks.
Eliminate Foods that Cause Gas in your Dog
Chronic gas and flatulence are usually due to a diet that is poorly digested by your dog. Foods that are difficult to digest can vary slightly from dog to dog but there are some common foods that trigger excess gas in dogs.
Some of the foods that are likely to cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs and lead to gas include dairy, spicy food, food high in fat, beans, soybeans, peas, and more. You can avoid most of these foods by only giving your dog their dog food and not table scraps.
Your dog may be allergic to a certain ingredient in their dog food, in which case you can try another dog food brand to see if switching helps or your veterinarian can help determine exactly what ingredient your dog is allergic to so that you can avoid dog food brands containing that ingredient.
Have Your Dog Eat Slower
One thing you can try if, like many dogs, your dog scarfs down their food as fast as possible, is to break up their meals into smaller portions throughout the day. This will help your dog to avoid swallowing so much air that gets released as gas.
Make Sure Your Dog Gets Plenty of Exercise
Your dog should get a lot of exercise and playtime, especially if you have a puppy or younger dog. Exercise is good for digestion, so it should help with flatulence.
Dogs who are more sedentary will tend to have more flatulence. Exercising will help with the flatulence but will make your dog happier and healthier overall.
What to Give Your Dog for Gas
If your dog has bad gas, one of the first things you can do is try a new brand of dog food. A dog food product geared towards dogs with sensitive stomachs is a good place to start. Some like Purina’s Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food.
If your dog has chronic gas or has had a sudden onset of increased gas, it’s a good idea to get your dog to your veterinarian to rule out anything serious.
Your veterinarian might prescribe an antacid or a medication such as simethicone.
You can also try a probiotic product for dogs, such as BlueBiology Canine Probiotic.
Some amount of gas in dogs is perfectly natural. It’s when the gas is particularly strong and chronic when your dog’s quality of life could be suffering or when there could be a more serious underlying health issue.
For less serious gas, you can try a new dog food, preferably one formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs and try probiotics for dogs. Stop feeding your dog table scraps if that’s something that you do.
If your dog has chronic gas, you should get your dog into the vet to see if there are any health issues that need to be addressed and explore treatment options for gas or any conditions your dog may have.