Common Causes of Dog Farting

Let’s face it. Dog farts can be nothing short of absolutely foul. So foul in fact, the really bad ones can make you want to leave the room. Of course, not all dog farts are smelly. Some are just loud and embarrassing, especially if you have company over and your dog lets one rip right in the middle of a conversation. Talk about awkward!

Even though canine flatulence can smell bad and cause some truly interesting moments when in public, in most cases, the problem is fairly benign. There are special circumstances where a dog has gas for some underlying health reason, but in most cases, it’s not that serious.

Your Dog Keeps Farting: Why is it Happening?

A fart is an expulsion of air or gas from your dog’s stomach and intestines from their behind, or anus. This expulsion of air or gas can be loud or silent, long or short, wet-sounding or dry-sounding, along with smelly or odorless. It really depends on the day and the underlying cause of your dog’s gas. Gas related to food and diet tends to smell pretty bad, while gas related to swallowing too much air doesn’t smell much at all. If a dog also has diarrhea happening, their gas may sound “wet” and possibly be accompanied by liquid or runny fecal matter. If your dog is gassy, don’t worry too much. It’s perfectly natural and usually benign.

In fact, almost all mammals with a digestive system also have gas and may fart. The only animal that doesn’t really fart is a sloth, because gas is released through their breath instead of through their digestive tract and rectum. A sloth’s gas is reabsorbed back into their bloodstream and quite literally, breathed out through their lungs. Dogs, however, fart the old-fashioned way.

Most gas in dogs is from the process of digesting their food. Food ferments inside the intestinal tract as bacteria tries to break it down. When it can’t be properly broken down, it sits there and produces noxious gas that has to be released somehow. The smell doesn’t bother your dog one bit, but unfortunately for you, you may need to hold your nose for relief from the stench.

Symptoms of Gas and Flatulence in a Dog

Your dog may experience other signs of gas along with farting. Some dogs exhibit belly bloat and swelling when gas gets trapped in their digestive system and begins to build up. You might hear odd rumbles and grumbles coming from your dog’s belly, too. Some dogs may act as though they are in pain or suffering from (usually mild) discomfort in their tummy. Your dog will fart and might even burp in their attempt to expel the gas and trapped air from their body.

Sometimes flatulence is accompanied by foul odors, while other times, you may only hear it but not smell anything. Dogs can also experience other symptoms along with gas and farting, especially if there is some underlying cause. Dogs can have an upset tummy and runny stools, and some dogs may also experience canine vomiting.

Still other dogs may have gas accompanied by unexplained weight loss and lack of appetite, especially if your dog has some type of gastrointestinal disease you don’t know about. If you suspect your dog is suffering from more than just a mild case of trapped gas, you should see your vet as soon as possible to rule out anything serious. Signs and symptoms of gas can vary depending on the underlying cause, and where the gas is coming from. Burps don’t usually smell, but dog farts can have a terrible odor.

Most Common Causes of Dog Farting

Dogs can fart for many reasons. Some of those reasons are benign, while others may be more serious. If you aren’t sure what’s causing your dog’s gas, you should check with your vet and get expert help.

Your Dog Swallows Air

One of the most common reasons of them all is from your dog swallowing too much air. Dogs swallow a lot of air when they eat too fast or eat too soon after exercising. There are also certain breeds more prone to swallowing air than others. Usually, these are the brachycephalic breeds with flat heads and faces. If your dog is very competitive, he may eat fast to compete with other dogs in the household. Or he may just be downright greedy. Thankfully, farts that are from swallowing too much air don’t typically smell bad. They may make a sound when they come out but rarely do they stink.

Your dog might also burp from swallowing too much air. If you think your dog might be swallowing a lot of air, you can mitigate this problem by feeding him from a bowl on a small platform. This forces them to eat more slowly. You can also get a bowl designed for gluttonous eaters, or try putting an object in their food bowl they have to eat around to force them to slow down. You should also wait at least 30 minutes after exercising before letting your dog eat.

If none of those measures work, you could try feeding your dog smaller meals through the day to reduce the amount of air they swallow and to aid them in properly digesting their food in between feedings, and to help reduce the amount of air they swallow at mealtimes.  

Your Dog is Eating Foods He Can’t Digest

The other most common cause of dog farting is almost always related to their diet. Your dog’s digestive system is designed to break down the food your dog eats and move it through the intestinal tract, taking the nutrition it needs and expelling the rest. However, there are certain foods that dogs have trouble digesting properly. When this happens, the food essentially sits there and due to bacteria, ferments.

This fermentation creates noxious gas and tummy rumblings that build up and ultimately must come out, usually in the form of stinky farts. Things like peas, soybeans and other legumes, dairy, spices, and foods high in fat are all prone to causing canine flatulence.

Human food is usually not a great choice for dogs, because many of them can be toxic foods for dogs, especially in large amounts. Even if they aren’t toxic, they can still cause tummy upset. Fruits, foods that have high sugar content, and foods that are high in fiber can all cause your dog to fart.

Your Dog’s Brand of Food is Poor

Another consideration when it comes to your dog’s diet is the brand of food they may be eating. Some brands are poor quality food, loaded with fillers and additives that help your dog to feel full, but don’t necessarily nourish them properly. Many of those ingredients can cause gas and farting because of an intolerance to them. Wheat, corn, soy, and even some types of oats can mess with your dog’s digestive system and cause flatulence.

That’s why it’s important to feed your dog a brand that has high-quality ingredients, and preferably whole foods that are low in fiber. If you find your dog still seems gassy after reducing their carbs and fiber content and you already feed them a good brand, you might have to try changing their protein source. They could be more sensitive to one source over another.  

Your Dog is Sensitive

Some dogs may suffer from food allergies or intolerances. In either case, gas and farting are often the result. Unfortunately, allergies and intolerances can be hard to narrow down. It may take some time and you may have to put your dog on a special diet. Ask your vet to make recommendations to help you.

However, don’t just change your dog’s food right away. Dogs can also be sensitive to sudden switches, so it’s important when trying a new food to introduce it slowly and gradually. This will help you to avoid any potential tummy upsets that may cause your dog to become gassy and uncomfortable.

Your Dog is a Garbage Picker

Dogs are nosy little creatures, so sometimes gas may not be caused by anything you’re feeding them on purpose, but instead caused by something they are eating on the sly. They are little scavengers and if they smell something intriguing in the garbage, they will eat it.

However, whatever they are eating could be spoiled or even be toxic for them, which can cause serious tummy woes. It’s important to keep your trash out of your dog’s reach and keep an eye on them when they are outside so they don’t get into your neighbor’s garbage.

Your Dog is a Poop Eater

In other cases, dogs could be eating gas-causing fecal matter dropped into their path by other animals in the household or found while running around the neighborhood. To dogs, another animal’s feces is like candy. As gross as it sounds, they absolutely love it. Despite their love, it still can wreak havoc with their intestinal tract and even introduce unwanted parasites. You should make every effort to keep other animals out of your yard and any feces left by other animals should be picked up, or your dog may be tempted to eat it.

Your Dog Suffers from Underlying Illness

There are several illnesses and chronic diseases that can contribute to your dog’s gas and farting problem. Dogs that suffer from an overgrowth of bacteria in their small intestine may be gassy, as well as dogs with inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and gastroenteritis. Dogs can develop gas related to intestinal parasites, pancreatic disease, and even could have gas because of canine tumors.

Your dog’s gas could be coupled with other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, bloating and discomfort, loss of appetite, and weight loss too, especially if there is an underlying health condition. So, if you see symptoms that seem beyond the norm, you should take your dog to the vet for a full workup.

Treating and Preventing Your Dog from Farting

Gas is an all too common ailment for dogs, especially if they are eating foods that don’t agree with them or swallowing too much air. The best way to treat and prevent gas is to figure out what’s causing it. Methods and treatments will vary based on the cause. If your dog’s gas is related to their diet, sometimes just tweaking what you allow them to eat can make all the difference.

If you think your dog is getting into something he shouldn’t, then you may need to make some adjustments to your dog’s environment and routine. Maybe that means keeping the lids on trash cans, maybe that means walking your dog on a leash instead of letting him roam the backyard freely. Once your dog no longer has access to whatever he is eating that’s causing the upset, his gas should soon become a thing of the past.  

If you believe your dog’s gas is the result of swallowing too much air, you’ll need to take steps to minimize it. You may have to feed your dog away from other household pets and break the feedings up into multiple smaller meals throughout the day. Don’t forget to give your dog ample time to digest his food in between eating and exercise.

Speaking of exercise, you should also make sure your dog is getting plenty of opportunities to move his body. Regular exercise helps to keep your dog’s digestive system and bowels working and moving properly, leaving no time for food to get trapped or begin to ferment. And finally, if you think your dog may be truly ill, see your vet. Not all causes of dog farting are so common. At least if you catch an underlying health issue early, your chances of treating it successfully will be much higher.

Sources:

“Flatulence – Farting and Gas Problems in Dogs.” Vetwest Animal Hospitals, 15 Nov. 2017, Accessed 4 Jan 2019. www.vetwest.com.au/pet-library/flatulence-farting-and-gas-problems-in-dogs.

“Gas in Dogs.” PetMD, Accesed 4 Jan 2019. www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/digestive/c_multi_flatulence.

“How Gas Affects Dogs.” Petwave, 16 July 2015, Accessed 4 Jan 2019. www.petwave.com/Dogs/Health/Gas/Symptoms.aspx.

“How to Stop Dogs Farting.” Www.mypetwarehouse.com.au, Accessed 4 Jan 2019. www.mypetwarehouse.com.au/my-pet-blog/pet-care/dog/how-to-stop-dogs-farting.

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