Most dog owners have witnessed the shock and bewilderment of their canine companion in the event of a fart. A quick internet search reveals endless hours of hilarious footage, with dogs staring at their butts in marvel or dashing away in disgust. But, if you’re wondering why your dog is scared of farts, there may actually be more to this behaviour than you think.
As part of the digestive process, dog farts naturally occur from time to time in any dog friendly household. Whilst the majority will be “silent but deadly”, if you’ve ever seen your dog jump up and suddenly move away, it’s a pretty good bet that they’ve just farted.
Do dogs know when they fart?
Your dog will no doubt feel the gas passing through their intestinal tract, though the emission of the fart can sometimes be startling. Dog’s don’t feel embarrassment, so it’s much more likely their surprise is due to this unexpected bodily function, and the potentially loud sound that comes with it. Just like with people, there's no doubt your dog didn't notice their own fart!
Do dogs smell their own farts?
When it comes to farts, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and methane all come together to form sulphur gasses capable of clearing a room in seconds. With such a superior sense of smell, your dog will be sure to notice any passing gas. Whether or not they mind, now that's another question.
Why is my dog scared of their own farts?
There are a number of reasons your dog could be afraid of their own farts, and while the feeling and the smell may surprise them, other reasons come into play as well.
The unexpected noise
Often, dogs are afraid of unexpected noise. This can be the case with thunderstorms, rain outside and… you’ve guessed it… the sound of passing gas.
You can help your dog get used to surprising noises by reassuring them when it happens. Speak to your dog in a soothing, gentle tone and continue about your day. This will help your dog learn the noise is nothing to fear.
A negative association
Let’s face it; dog farts can be unpleasant, particularly in company. Scolding your dog can create a negative association that when they fart, they’ll be told off by their owner. Dogs that are afraid of their farts are often fearful of their owner’s reaction. Try not to tease your dog, just pet or reassure them and move on.
As this is a natural process that will occur throughout your dog’s lifetime, it’s best to look at reducing the farting as opposed to scolding. You can do this by feeding high quality dog food and making sure they get plenty of exercise. Lots of regular activity will get the body moving and help them to expel any built-up gas.
Passing gas can be uncomfortable
Gas moving through the intestinal tract can be as uncomfortable for dogs as it is for people. Small, regular meals can aid digestion, as can the introduction of probiotics into your dog’s diet.
When it comes to farts, it isn’t only their own that can startle your dog. Human farts can be just as scary for many dogs.
Why is my dog scared of my farts?
Over time, your dog will most likely habituate to their own passing gas, as it’s a function they can feel and predict on some level. This isn’t the case with the human members of the household, so your dog may startle more easily.
Much like with their own, if your dog is scared of human farts, this probably comes down to the fact they’re hearing a sound they didn’t expect. Dogs can hear sound up to four times further away than people, so imagine how loud a human fart must sound.
Why does my dog leave the room when I fart?
Have you ever considered they just don't like the smell? Your dog's incredible sense of smell not only is the reason they leave the room when you fart, but it also contributes to the fact that farts can frighten a dog. With over 300,000 olfactory receptors, your dog is very sensitive to smells around them. Letting your dog move away is the best course of action.
Diet, temperament and activity level can all influence flatulence, and some dogs are more prone to passing gas than others.
Outside of their breed, if your dog is scared of farts, it may simply come down to personality. Reassuring your dog, desensitising them to noise, and letting them move away, are all important steps in helping your pup overcome their fear of your farts and theirs.