How to Help a Dog With Gas

How to Help a Dog With Gas

Posted by Volhard Dog Nutrition on Jun 28th 2023

If you're a proud pet parent, you know that there's nothing like the unconditional love and companionship a four-legged friend can offer. But, living with a gassy pup can be a real test of your love and patience. You're sitting there, enjoying a quiet moment or maybe even having guests over when suddenly your adorable pooch tries to empty a room using biological warfare.

What is Dog Flatulence?

Dogs are passing gas just the same as humans do! This normal, physiological process starts with the food reaching the stomach. The digestive system uses microorganisms to break down dog food into nutrients, creating hydrogen sulfide gas as a result of the process. The body then relieves itself of this trapped gas through flatulence.

It's normal for dogs to relieve their gas buildup several times a day without being overly smelly or loud — a sign of healthy digestion. In fact, you shouldn't even notice when it happens!

Why is My Dog's Flatulence Getting Worse?

Although passing gas is a clear sign that your dog's tummy is working, it might sometimes feel like your dog is waging biological warfare against you; they're either passing excessive gas, or their farts are getting smellier!

Chronic flatulence is not to be taken lightly; quite the contrary, it's a sign that your dog's digestive tract is struggling. Maybe your dog's stomach is not thrilled with certain foods, and acting up through smellier, more frequent farts is a way of making its grievances known.

An upset stomach will menacingly gurgle and rumble as a sign that it's unsuccessfully attempting to process food. The excess gas building up in the digestive system will take up space in the gut, causing pain and discomfort, just like in humans.

Other causes of an increased number of dog farts include:

  1. Cancer
  2. Canine colitis
  3. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  4. Intestinal parasites
  5. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  6. Pancreatitis

Reasons why dog gas is getting worse

Some Dogs Belong to More Gassy Breeds

Although most dogs clear the room with their farts from time to time, some breeds do it for sport. Brachycephalic dogs (that is, short-nosed breeds) swallow too much air when eating, which, in turn, gets trapped in the digestive system. Others are genetically predisposed to digestive issues that make them more flatulent.

In general, you might be dealing with a gassy dog if they belong to any of the following breeds:

  • Beagles;
  • Boxers
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • English and French Bulldogs
  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Pit Bulls
  • Pugs
  • Rottweilers
  • Shih Tzus
  • Yorkshire and Boston Terriers

Home Remedies for Immediate Gas Relief

Your dog's farts will hit you like a freight train every now and then — there's no way around it. And for precisely for those rare yet untimely moments, we've put together a list of DIY remedies to help clear the digestive tract:

1. Gently Massage Your Dog's Tummy

Gently rubbing your dog's belly will get the trapped gas moving while providing comfort. Get yourself into a comfortable position, get the dog to lie next to you, and use your flat palms to gently massage your dog's abdomen. Apply only light pressure in a circular motion.

2. Draw a Warm Bath for Your Dog

A warm bath will help get the gas moving along while providing relief from the discomfort. You can also try massaging your dog's belly while they're in the bath.

3. Probiotics

Supplementing your dog's good bacteria intake will help solve your dog's digestive problems. Some probiotics are even formulated with prebiotics, which is really beneficial because they'll feed the good bacteria found in the gut!

A comprehensive list healthy, probiotic-rich food options includes:

  1. Apples
  2. Asparagus
  3. Bananas
  4. Cheese
  5. Chia seeds
  6. Flax seeds
  7. Garlic
  8. Goat milk
  9. Homemade yogurt
  10. Kefir
  11. Seaweed

Gassy dog breeds

How to Approach Long-Term Excessive Gas in Dogs

Dog gas relief requires a clear understanding of its causes and symptoms in order to be effective. Belly massages and warm baths might work against acute gas pains, sure, but when it becomes a daily occurrence, you have to go back to the drawing board. Only by examining your dog's diet and feeding habits will you be able to help soothe their chronic digestive issues.

Is Your Dog Getting the Right Nutrients?

Nothing messes up the gastrointestinal tract more than an unhealthy diet.

Poor-quality food, high in additives, processed ingredients, and carbohydrates, as well as indulging in table scraps, could set your dog up for gastrointestinal (GI) issues. The GI tract will work overtime to separate poor nutrients from hardly digestible ingredients — too much effort for such a small reward! Furthermore, poor digestion will only worsen your dog's gas issues, adding to the discomfort.

Aside from poor digestion, feeding large amounts of poor-quality food can increase the risk of chronic inflammation, obesity, and cancer.

Dry Dog Foods are Heavy With Carbs

The high levels of carbohydrates found in numerous dry dog food brands will only wreak havoc on your dog's digestion. And we're not talking about complex carbs (that is, polysaccharides, which are both healthier and harder to digest), but about simple carbs (that is, monosaccharides, which increase the risk of weight gain and diabetes).

The more carbohydrates are present in your dog's food, the higher the levels of their blood glucose, thus increasing the risk of diabetes. Likewise, a more active GI tract requires more digestive enzymes from the pancreas — if the latter doesn't keep up, the excess carbs will remain undigested in the stomach or colon, leading to gut bacteria fermentation and, unfortunately, even more gas.

Switching to a High-Quality Diet

The easiest way toward solving your dog's digestive issues and, by extension, improving their health is feeding a fresh, healthy diet! A gradual transition to a diet that's low in carbohydrates, high in protein, and moderate in fat will ensure that your dog's body has the best chance of high digestibility.

Also, a fresh diet packs an essential ingredient missing from dry kibble: water! With proper hydration, the GI tract will have an easier time digesting nutrients — no more working overtime with minimal rewards!

A combination of high-quality meat, bones, raw eggs, steamed vegetables (like broccoli or carrots), fruit, and raw dairy products make up a solid high-quality diet. Or, if you don't have the time for it, an insightful consultation with our expert nutritionists will put you on the right path toward switching to the best dehydrated, all-natural Volhard diet!

Use a Slow-Feeding Bowl

Preventing excess gas is both about what food your dog eats and how they eat it.

Certain dogs, such as short-nosed breeds, swallow too much air when eating. This, in turn, leads to air getting trapped in their stomach. Others simply gulp down their food as if it were their last meal ever!

In such cases, we recommend introducing a slow-feeding bowl to prevent your dog from simply inhaling their food. This way, your dog will no longer put pressure on their stomach or run the risk of esophageal obstruction. Furthermore, they will enjoy a better eating experience while staying mentally stimulated!

With the Right Food and Feeding Practices, Your Dog Will No Longer Pass Excessive Gas!

Numerous factors contribute to a gas problem with your dog, such as:

  • The quality or brand of food that you are feeding
  • A negative chemical reaction within the digestive system
  • Gulping down their food quickly

As a final tip, try using Nux Vomica to reduce or eliminate the problem of flatulence. Nux Vomica — otherwise known as Poison Nut — is a successful homeopathic treatment against indigestion and flatulence in pets. You can purchase Nux Vomica through online sources or even at your local health or homeopathic stores!

Any change in a dog's flatulence speaks of their digestive health, and it must not be taken lightly. Although belly massages and warm baths might relieve it for the moment, bad gas can be indicative of more serious health issues. But, with just a handful of feeding practice and dietary changes, you can bring peace to your dog's stomach ... and to your family's nostrils! For more advice on dog nutrition, health, and training, make sure that you contact us and check out our blog!

Volhard Dog Nutrition and its expert nutritionists are now offering online consultations to help more dog parents discover why, what, and how to feed their dogs the healthiest of foods! Speaking to a Volhard nutritionist will help you understand the inseparable relationship between healthy food, a healthy body, and a healthy mind. If you're interested in contacting one of our Volhard nutritionists, don't hesitate to access our consultation page!

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