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Why does my dog fart so much?

Husky dog laughing advice

Most dogs neither notice nor care if they fart.

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Gulping down too much air at meal time or a bad diet are just two reasons why your dog may be farting so much.

By Dr. Helen Donald BA BVetMed MBA MSc MRCVS

Published on the 12/08/2020, 10:37

It can be embarrassing and downright unpleasant if your dog farts a lot, but thankfully there are ways to reduce the problem.

Why does my dog fart so much and stink?

Farting can either be a result of excess air being gulped down, for example when a dog eats, or the gases given off by bacteria in your dog’s tummy. The first type may not be too smelly, but the second can cause some deeply unpleasant stinks. The mix of bacteria in your dog’s tummy is very much affected by what it eats, and poorly digested foods such as milk and fibre-rich foods, particularly peas and beans, seem to aggravate farting. Spoiled foods that your dog scavenges when out for a walk will often bring on a tummy upset too, accompanied by some very nasty smells.

Is it normal for dogs to fart a lot?

Some farting is normal and to be expected, but it does seem to be more common in dogs that are fairly sedentary, have a poor-quality diet, get fed human table scraps or scavenge when being exercised. Some infections such as giardiasis, which is usually picked up from contaminated water, may also cause excessive wind. Occasionally farting may be a sign of a food allergy or sensitivity or a more serious problem.

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk    

How do I get rid of my dog’s bad gas?

Your first step should to be to gradually change your dog’s diet. You could try a specialist diet for dogs with sensitive stomachs or any good quality, high-protein diet. Stop feeding table scraps and limit treats while you work out which foods are causing the problem. If your dog has a tendency to scavenge when you take them out, try using a muzzle for a few days. More frequent exercise should also help things.

Dog probiotics change the balance of bacteria in your dog’s tummy and increase the number of good bacteria that help in digestion. In the short term they may appear to make things worse, but it’s worth persisting for a couple of weeks to see if they help.

If you go to see a vet, they may also be able to suggest other supplements that are helpful for some dogs, such as activated charcoal. If you think the cause of the problem is your dog eating too fast, simple tricks like smaller, more frequent meals, feeding on a plate rather than a bowl or using food dispensing toys may help to slow them down.

Which dog breeds fart the most?

Brachycephalic or flat-faced dogs may fart more than other breeds because their face shape causes them to swallow a lot of air when they eat. Greedy dogs that rush their dinner may also be prone to air swallowing. Breeds known for sensitive stomachs and digestive issues may be more likely to suffer from wind but, usually, it’s down to the individual and their diet and behaviour.

Do dogs know when they fart?

Some owners are convinced that their dog knows when they have farted, usually indicated by a guilty look or their leaving the room if it thinks it is going to be shouted at. Yet in all probability most dogs neither notice nor care if they fart.

When should I see a vet?

Always see a vet if you notice any sudden change in your dog’s digestion, such as increased farting or diarrhoea or constipation that may indicate an underlying problem. Farting isn’t just unpleasant; it may also be a sign of a more serious digestive problem, particularly if your dog’s wind appears uncomfortable or if it’s associated with weight loss.  

What should I ask a vet about my dog's farting? 

It can be embarrassing raising this subject with a vet, but they are very used to it and will have plenty of good suggestions to help you deal with the problem. If dietary changes don’t improve things, you should ask a vet for tests to rule out infections or other digestive problems. A vet may ask you to bring them a poo sample as a start, but your dog may also need to have blood tests or an ultrasound scan, if things don’t settle down.

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk