No matter how much you love dogs, you have to admit they are a bit… smelly sometimes. Many owners are embarrassed to talk about that. Even fewer know why do dogs fart so much and if they are experiencing stomach pain or is this normal.
Dogs don’t really care that their farts are an inconvenience for you and your guest. However, other than being an embarrassment, they can be an indication that something is wrong. Why do dogs fart so much and how to know when they are in pain?
If you want to learn this, you’re in the right spot.
Why Do Dogs Fart So Much?
All animals fart. While many people don’t know do dogs fart at all, the truth is they are especially prone to this issue. No matter if they are loud and smelly or silent but deadly, no one loves dealing with dog farts. Still, this is inevitable.
There are many reasons behind a dog fart, but they are more or less the same as in people. These reasons include:
- Wrong kind of food
- Swallowed air
- Stomach issues
After your dog eats, bacteria found in the intestinal tract decompose the food into useful nutrients. A by-product of this is rather stinky hydrogen sulfide gas. Some foods have more of this by-product than others. This gas gets trapped in the colon, and the only way for a dog to get it out is farting.
Still, why do dogs fart so much more than most other pets we have? Well, while occasional gases are normal, if you feel like you need a gas mask, then something’s wrong. This is especially the case if farting is followed by some other signs of stomach issues. However, we’ll go step by step.
Why Are Some Breeds Gassier Than the Others
Next to digestion, another common reason why do dogs fart so much can be in their eating habits. If a dog swallows too much air while eating or drinking, he will fart. Just like stomach gas, the air needs to go out a certain way, and farting is the way to do so. This phenomenon is known as aerophagia. Some breeds have worse eating habits than the others, which results in more farts. This usually includes short-nosed brachycephalic breeds and speed-eaters, such as:
- Boston Terriers
- Lhasa Apsos
- Shih Tzus
These dogs have rather flat faces, making it harder for them to eat the way dogs are supposed to. They will take in a lot more air during eating and drinking than most other canines. And as we’ve mentioned, this air has to get out of the body.
Because of this, these breeds will be more prone to flatulence.
Fast eating, which is an issue with many of these breeds, is another common cause of gas.
If you’ve noticed your dog eats too fast, try putting a tennis ball in his dish. This will slow down his eating. Other good options for pacing your dog are puzzle feeders, which will force him to stop and think before eating.
Foods That Make Dog Gas
If you wonder why do dogs fart so much, just look at their diet. Good dog foods won’t make your dog fart excessively. However, if you feed your dog table food from time to time, you might worsen the flatulence. Human foods that are known to increase the risk of farting are:
- High-fat foods
- Milk and dairy
- Spicy food
- Sugary items
If your dog eats these foods in large quantities, he might experience some health issues.
Not to mention that pepperoni dog farts aren’t pleasant not just for them, but for our noses, as well! If your pooch takes just a nibble of salami, chances are nothing bad will happen. However, if he eats an entire block of tofu, prepare yourself for some extreme farting shortly.
Luckily, most of the time, the worst-case scenario will be a dog’s upset tummy. Still, why cause your furry companion any pain if you can avoid it? Having an unhappy stomach isn’t a pleasant occurrence.
Intolerance to some ingredient
Dogs are similar to humans in more ways than you might know. Some canines can develop intolerance to certain foods, just like we do.
For example, many dogs are lactose intolerant.
If this is the case with your dog, expect some dog farting and diarrhea when he eats any dairy.
This isn’t the same as a standard allergy to dairy, which will cause skin itching and a flaky coat.
Keep in mind that dairy isn’t the only thing that can upset a dog’s stomach. In fact, most dogs suffering from chronic gas have some food intolerance that you probably don’t know about. On rare occasions, this is caused by proteins.
More often, however, the culprits are carb fillers in many dog foods, such as:
These carbs, also known as resistant starches, cannot be digested in the small intestine. Instead, they will be passed to the large bowel.
There, a bacterial fermentation will happen, and it will, further on, lead to gas. The same will happen with many foods that contain ingredients that dogs cannot fully digest.
Carbs aren’t the only questionable ingredients in dog food. In fact, many commercial dog brands include additives that can cause an upset tummy. One of the most common additives is carrageenan, which is used mostly in wet dog foods.
Some studies even proved that this additive can cause inflammatory bowel disease! While these proofs still aren’t fully accepted, fewer and fewer owners are prepared to risk their pooch’s health. This is why some high-end brands have dropped carrageenan and use formulas without it. Hopefully, this is a trend that will continue and more brands will start avoiding additives.
Some health issues can also cause your dog to fart more than usual. In fact, many vets have had worried dog owners who’ve reported that: “my dog has loose stools and smelly gas.” These dogs usually ended up having either food intolerance or some health problems. Luckily, most of these problems are fairly easy to treat. Some, however, are quite serious and require everyday care.
Most common health issues that cause flatulence are:
- Canine colitis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Intestinal parasites
- Irritable bowel syndrome
If your dog is farting more than usual, it would be wise to contact your local veterinarian. Not to mention that having constant gas can’t be pleasant for your dog!
One of the easier health issues your dog might have is bacteria overgrowth. If this is the case, your vet will treat it with some antibiotics and probiotics. This is usually enough to help your dog get rid of flatulence issues. Intestinal parasites are also quite common culprits, but the vet will easily get rid of them. He’ll use some worming medication and your dog will soon be as good as new. Keep in mind that this medication, too, can cause farting.
However, constant farting can also mean your dog has issues with his pancreas. Intestinal tumors are also a possibility. I spotted on time, most of these issues are treatable, but they’ll require a significant amount of care.
This is why it’s essential you report any change of dog behavior to your vet. While farting isn’t the most pleasant thing to speak about, it can indicate many serious health problems.
Why Does My Dog Fart so Much and Stink?
Dog gas caused by swallowed air usually doesn’t smell. However, if dog gas smells like sulfur or poop, this commonly means some food-related issues are happening. Maybe you gave your dog too much spicy food, or he ate veggies for a few days.
Either way, the more the fart smells, the worse the issue is.
As we’ve already established, food digestion creates a gas that contains sulfur. When a dog farts after bad food, it will smell like rotten eggs. So, if you wonder why dog fart smell so bad, food is the likely answer. Don’t worry, this type of smelly gas usually passes after a few days. However, if it continues, this could mean you haven’t eliminated the culprit from his diet.
This might also mean the reason is some health issues, especially if this gas appeared suddenly.
Can I Give Something to My Dog to Help His Stomach?
First and foremost, don’t ever give your dog medicine without contacting your veterinarian. Also, don’t switch his diet entirely on your own. This can cause more harm than good.
If your dog has an intolerance to certain ingredients, the solution is simple.
Just remove these ingredients from his diet, and this should fix most tummy issues. There is usually no need to give your dog meds in such situations.
When you don’t know why do dogs fart so much suddenly, you probably want to give them some medicine.
Many owners give their farting dog simethicone called Gas-X, but this isn’t recommended. Gas-X and similar medications won’t reduce the gas amount, they just help with pain levels and discomfort your dog experiences.
This is done by speeding up the process in which tiny gas bubbles in the stomach merge into bigger bubbles.
These big bubbles are easier to expel and are thus less painful. In other words, Gas-X will help your dog contaminate the air much faster.
Of course, there are some health benefits to such medications.
They can be very useful if your dog is experiencing any abdominal pain or bloating. You shouldn’t give this medication on your own and you should always contact your vet prior to this.
Also, Gas-X can be dangerous, even deadly, for many herding dogs, such as collies and corgis.
A better solution would be the use of probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that help digestion.
While they don’t work for every farting problem, they are much healthier than ‘real’ medicine.
They can even outcompete many bacteria that produce methane, which will, in return, reduce gas. And they are a much more long-term solution to medications such as Gas-X.
When Should You Take Your Dog to the Vet?
In most cases, even the smelly gas isn’t the cause for concern. Dogs fart from time to time and this is entirely normal.
However, some signs might mean something is wrong. To know if you should take your dog to the vet, ask yourself these questions first:
- Is your dog prone to having smelly gasses?
- Have you recently changed his diet?
- Is there an obvious cause for the sudden farting?
If the answer to all of this is ‘no’, you should rush to the vet.
Now you know the reasons why do dogs fart so much. In most cases, farting is a normal occurrence.
It is the way the body gets rid of excess gas that is either consumed or produced during digestion. In rare cases, however, constant, smelly farts can be a sign that something is wrong with your canine’s tummy.
If your dog’s digestion suddenly changes, especially if the farting is accompanied by diarrhea, don’t wait. Call your vet immediately and tell him what is wrong. You might even be saving your dog’s life this way.