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Four ways to reduce flatulence in dogs

Gracie taught me the joy of rolling in the grass... by Bennilover CC 6.0

Four ways to reduce flatulence in dogs

Being the owner of a dog that passes a lot of gas can be embarrassing and unpleasant. Some breeds, like Boxers and Bulldogs, are naturally more flatulent than others, but if you think your dog’s flatulence is excessive, there may be some things you can do to help ease the problem…

Check it’s not a medical issue

Passing gas occasionally is perfectly normal, but if it’s a persistent problem it may be worth having a quick word with your vet, just to make sure your dog doesn’t have an underlying medical condition. It’s likely though that the situation could be improved with a few simple changes to the dog’s diet.

Diet

The main source of flatulence in dogs is diet and digestion. Some foods will exacerbate flatulent tendencies and should not be fed. Dogs’ digestive systems are different to humans, and they find vegetables rather more difficult to digest than meat or meat-based products. This is just one of the reasons why it’s not clever to give a dog food from your own plate. Instead of scraps of food that may cause flatulence why not give your dog the best healthy dog treats instead?

Flatulence can be the result of a mild intolerance to one or more ingredients in a dog’s diet. It might take a little detective work to find out exactly what’s causing the issue. It could be due to the type of protein you feed your dog but is more likely to be down to cheap fillers in dog food, like corn, wheat, or soy. Low-quality foods can cause gas because the dog finds it difficult to fully digest all the ingredients. Dairy products are another common cause of flatulence. Always choose a high-quality dog food brand. Easy digestion is one of the benefits of grain free dog treats.
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Every dog is unique, and it may be that small simple change will be effective for your dog. Perhaps a diet that includes plenty of chicken would be better than one with a lot of beef, for example. Too much variety could also be the issue, it may seem boring to us, but less variety in a dog’s diet may mean less gassiness, so instead of beef, followed by chicken, followed by lamb, try sticking to one main source of protein overall.

Some flatulence can be linked to an imbalance of bacterial flora in the intestines. In this case, probiotics for dogs should help.

Remember that any changes to diet should be made gradually, as changing things too quickly might cause indigestion or tummy upsets, leading to more gas.

Feeding methods

Some dogs gulp down excess air when they eat their food, which can be another factor that adds to flatulence levels. This can be connected to respiratory issues and helps explain the link to flat-faced breeds like Boxers and Pugs. There are a couple of things owners can do to help keep their dog from eating too fast.

Slow feeder bowls are designed to help pets eat more slowly. They have raised areas inside them which animals need to eat around. This encourages the animal to eat and drink at a slower pace, which prevents gulping behaviour, reduces air intake, makes ingestion slower and digestion easier. If you’re not sure about purchasing a slow feeder bowl you can test the theory out first by putting an obstacle, such as a ball, in your dog’s bowl.

Another tip to encourage good digestion is to give smaller portions, perhaps three small meals a day, rather than one large meal. Overeating is another cause of indigestion.

Some advice recommends that owners avoid feeding dogs shortly after exercise. The more relaxed your pooch is at feeding time the better.

Exercise

Overweight and sedentary dogs are more likely to be flatulent than their leaner counterparts. Playtime and exercise promote healthy digestion. Exercise will also help get the intestines moving and release those pockets of gas into the fresh air. Regular exercise is a must if you want to keep your dog healthy and less odorous.

It’s natural for dogs to expel gas now and again, and it’s usually nothing to worry about. It would be unrealistic to expect to eradicate flatulence altogether, but a few gentle tweaks to your dog’s lifestyle should improve matters greatly.

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