Flatulence in dogs: what causes? What solutions?

In addition to producing foul odors, gas causes unpleasant bloating for the dog. Its gases result from digestive disorders which can be remedied. But to find the solution, you will first have to find the cause of your farts.

Where does flatulence come from in dogs?

Flatulence corresponds to the rectal emission of an excess of gas present in the digestive tract. In the large intestine and the small intestine of the dog there is a proliferation of bacteria whose function is to:

  • Help digest food (by breaking down poorly digestible elements, for example);
  • Manufacture vitamins and distribute nutrients in the body;
  • Provide energy to the intestinal cells (in particular by fermenting soluble fibers);
  • Break up toxins;
  • Fight against harmful bacteria.

By performing these missions which promote digestion, bacteria produce gas. When it becomes frequent, gas is the result of poor decomposition foods, especially carbohydrates and proteins, which remain in the colon and generate abnormal bacterial overgrowth.

Flatulence in dogs: what are the causes?

The surplus bacteria that cause regular gas are usually caused by:

  • A diet indigestible too rich in:
    • assimilable carbohydrates and in particular in starch (found in starchy foods), in fructose (simple sugar) and in lactose (milk);
    • fibers making up legumes (peas, lentils, etc.), whole grains, fruits and vegetables (especially if they are raw);
    • poor quality proteins of plant or animal origin (ration containing too much bone, cartilage, tendon, etc.).
  • A change of food. A digestive disorder occurring immediately after a dietary change is explained by a transition made too quickly. The sudden replacement of one brand of kibble by another did not give the animal’s digestive system time to adapt;
  • Theaerophagia. Too rapid ingestion (due to stress, to a state of excitement) can cause aerophagia: the dog suffers from intestinal gas because he has swallowed a large quantity of air. For this same reason, short-nosed brachycephalic breeds (bulldog, pug, Boston terrier, Lhasa Apsos, etc.) are often prone to flatulence;
  • A intolerance food with certain components (generally proteins).

How to cure flatulence in dogs?

Once the cause of the gas has been determined, several solutions are available to you to resolve your pet’s digestive problems:

  • Feed it quality food. It is important to choose Premium type kibbles made up of highly digestible ingredients. You can try a food without cereals (nor legumes which sometimes replace cereals) and rich in qualitative animal proteins. High-end products are generally more expensive but the daily ration is less important than for standard kibbles. A dietary change can bring about a marked improvement in gas frequency;
  • Make a gradual dietary change. As the dog’s digestive system is sensitive, it should be avoided to disturb it by introducing new foods too quickly. In the event of a change of diet, respect a current transition over ten days during which you will mix the new kibbles with the old ones then gradually increase the portion of new foods;
  • Avoid overeating. To facilitate digestion, distribute your pet’s daily ration in two to three times. Make sure he eats his meals in a calm, stress-free way. If you have several dogs to feed, place them in different places so as not to create competition between them. If your pooch has a tendency to eat too quickly, use an anti-gluttonous bowl so that it slows down and swallows less air;
  • Ban poorly digestible foods. In case of excessive gas, it is recommended not to give leftovers or any food not specifically designed for dogs. Beware of foods rich in fiber which will quickly cause inflammation of the digestive system in sensitive subjects. Namely that the most digestible source of starch is rice. Sugar is to be avoided;
  • Offer her a natural treatment. Some food supplements are effective in combating excess gas. Thus, a course of probiotics can be carried out to restore the balance of its intestinal flora. By capturing the disturbing elements present in the dog’s digestive system, activated charcoal also helps remedy bloating and intestinal disorders.

Flatulence in dogs: when should you consult a veterinarian?

Gas is not a serious health problem in dogs. However, if despite your best efforts, his gas persists and is accompanied by other symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, apathy, weight loss…), a consultation with the veterinarian is essential. Chronic disorders are sometimes a sign of pathology (digestive parasitism, pancreatic insufficiency, inflammatory bowel disease, food allergy, etc.) that the professional will be able to detect and to which he will provide a solution.

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