Flatulence in Dogs: What Counts as Normal?

sad dog

sad dog

Is your dog passing more wind than usual?

A little bit of flatulence can be perfectly healthy but if it has become excessive and persistent, it could potentially be a sign of a digestive imbalance or ill health.

 Why It Happens

Some flatulence is perfectly normal but excessive wind can occur if gas builds up in the digestive system.

This can happen for a number of reasons, including swallowing too much air when eating, inadequate digestion of food in the stomach and small intestines, and infections and disorders affecting the GI tract.

Allergies, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, bacterial and viral infection and parasites can all lead to chronic flatulence as one of the symptoms. Poor quality dog food can also be a common culprit, especially if it has swapped a meat base for corn or wheat (which dogs find difficult to digest).

Foul-smelling gas will usually be down to diet or illness. Excessive air intake can produce flatulence but this will mostly have an inoffensive smell.

 What to Do Next

The first step is to make sure that your dog is in good health. Signs that this is not the cause can include vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal discomfort.

If he or she hasn’t been examined by your vet recently, make this a priority. A physical examination can help to pinpoint signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal problems. Blood work, a urinalysis, x-rays and a faeces examination may also be recommended in line with your dog’s symptoms.

If an examination hasn’t highlighted anything obvious, speak to your vet about possible causes.

 Treatment for Flatulence

 Assuming that there is no medical problems accounting for your dog’s flatulence, it may be useful to try some of the following tactics to determine why it is happening and eradicate the problem.

Diet: Soybean, beans, cauliflower and cabbage can contribute to flatulence, as can diets that are rich in fibre. Switching to smaller and more frequent meals can prove useful if your dog is currently struggling to digest food properly. Three smaller meals can encourage your dog to eat their food less quickly, which can reduce gas build-up in the digestive system. A diet that is lower in fibre will generally be easier to digest.

Exercise: Lack of exercise can contribute to poor digestion. Regular physical activity will reduce the potential for constipation, which could otherwise encourage further gas build-up in the bowels.

Probiotics: A decrease in the “good” bacteria in your dog’s intestines can contribute to flatulence. This balance can be restored via probiotics.

Speak to your vet if you are not sure whether probiotics would benefit your dog.

[Photo Credits: zer0_pt]