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What Causes Gas in Dogs and How to Prevent It with the Right Dog Food

If you own a dog, you likely understand how unpleasant it can be when they pass gas.

Not only does it create an unpleasant odor, but it can also be a sign that your dog is experiencing digestive issues that could affect their health and comfort.

There are numerous causes of gas in dogs, including diet, allergies, infections, and parasites. Depending on their breed, age, and lifestyle, some dogs may be more susceptible to flatulence than others.

As a pet caregiver, you should do everything possible to prevent or reduce your dog's flatulence issues.

One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by choosing the best dog food for gassy dogs that provides your dog with the necessary nutrients without causing stomach distress.

But how do you determine the best dog food for your gassy dog? What should you look for in dog food for dogs prone to flatulence? And what are some of the best options available on the market?

In this article, we will address these and other concerns. We will help you find the best dog food for gassy dogs that will prevent or alleviate gas issues in your furry friend.

BestForPets will also provide some advice on how to introduce new dog food to a dog with flatulence without causing digestive distress.

By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what causes gas in dogs, what to look for in dog food for gassy dogs, and the best options available. Let's get started!

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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1. What Causes Flatulence in Dogs?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UttiqgwiCHM

Flatulence, also known as farting, is caused by an accumulation of gas in the digestive tract.

There are two ways gas can enter the digestive system: by inhaling air or by bacterial fermentation of food in the intestines. Various factors such as diet, health, and lifestyle can influence both of these aspects.

The most common cause of flatulence in dogs is a change in diet or the consumption of contaminated food (dietary indiscretion).

Dogs that consume hard-to-digest foods such as grains, legumes, dairy, soy, spicy foods, or high-fat foods may produce more intestinal gas.

These foods can also cause food allergies or sensitivities, resulting in inflammation and gas production. Additionally, dogs that eat too quickly or too much can swallow more air while eating, leading to gastric issues.

An underlying health condition that affects the digestive system is another common cause of flatulence in dogs. These health problems include:

  • Colitis, which is inflammation of the large intestine or colon
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common digestive disorder
  • Stomach infection (gastritis)
  • Parasitic infections in the intestines
  • Inflammatory gastrointestinal disease (IBD)
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Cancer

These health problems can impair digestion and nutrient absorption, resulting in excessive gas formation in the intestines. They can also cause nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, blood in the stool, and loss of appetite.

Depending on breed, age, and lifestyle, some dogs may be more susceptible to flatulence than others. For example, overweight, sedentary, or obese dogs are more likely to develop chronic flatulence, regardless of their diet.

This is because obesity and lack of exercise can affect the digestive system’s metabolism and motility.

Additionally, short-nosed breeds such as Pugs, Boston Terriers, Shih Tzus, and Lhasa Apsos tend to inhale more air when eating or breathing, exacerbating gastric issues.

Dog flatulence can be a normal and harmless occurrence, but it can also indicate a serious health problem. Observe the frequency and severity of your dog’s flatulence, as well as other signs of digestive distress.

If your dog’s flatulence is excessive, smelly, or accompanied by symptoms of pain or discomfort, consult your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

2. What Are The Clinical Signs Of Flatulence In Dogs?

Dog flatulence can be a normal and harmless occurrence, but it can also indicate a serious health problem.

Observe the frequency and severity of your dog’s flatulence, as well as other signs of digestive distress. Common clinical manifestations of canine flatulence include:

  • Expulsion of gas with or without odor from the anus
  • Mild abdominal discomfort
  • Mild abdominal distention or bloating
  • Excessive gaseous emissions or abdominal rumbling (borborygmus)

Consult your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment if your dog’s flatulence is excessive, smelly, or accompanied by symptoms of pain or discomfort.

Bloat, also known as gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV), is another severe condition that can cause gas and bloating in dogs.

When the stomach twists and fills with gas, cutting off blood supply to the stomach and other organs, it becomes a life-threatening emergency.

Dogs with GDV may have a history of unproductive vomiting, excessive drooling, and restlessness.

They may also exhibit an enlarged or bloated abdomen, a painful abdomen, and an overall distressed appearance. GDV requires immediate veterinary intervention for stomach decompression and torsion correction.

If you suspect your dog has GDV, immediately take them to the nearest emergency clinic. Do not attempt to give them food, water, or medication, as these could worsen their condition.

While GDV is more common in large and deep-chested breeds such as Great Danes, German Shepherds, and Standard Poodles, any dog can be affected.

To prevent canine flatulence and bloating, feed your dog small, frequent meals, avoid physical activity before and after feeding, and avoid foods that can cause flatulence or bloating.

3. What To Look For In A Dog Food For Gassy Dogs

First, it is important to understand that not all dog foods are created equal. Some dog foods may contain grains, legumes, dairy, soy, and other ingredients that can cause or worsen gas in dogs.

These ingredients can be difficult for dogs to digest, particularly those with sensitive stomachs or allergies. Additionally, they can lead to excess gas in the intestines, resulting in bloating, flatulence, abdominal discomfort, and other digestive issues.

Therefore, it is essential to choose a high-quality, natural, and balanced dog food that meets your dog’s nutritional needs without causing gastrointestinal distress. Good dog food for gassy dogs should have the following characteristics:

3.1 Highly digestible animal proteins

Animal proteins are the easiest for dogs to digest and provide essential amino acids for muscle maintenance and growth.

Check the label for premium animal proteins such as meat, poultry, and fish as the first ingredient. Avoid feeding your dog plant-based proteins such as soy or maize gluten meal, as they can cause allergies and gas.

3.2 Low-fiber carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide energy and fiber to dogs, but an excess of fiber can cause flatulence and diarrhea. Rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin are low-fiber carbohydrates that are gentle on the stomach and easy to digest.

Wheat, maize, barley, and peas are high-fiber carbohydrates that can cause gas and bloating in dogs.

3.3 Probiotics and prebiotics

Probiotics are gut-dwelling bacteria that aid in digestion and immunity. Prebiotics are fibers that nourish and promote the growth of probiotics.

Consider dog foods that contain probiotics and prebiotics, as they can help balance the intestinal flora and prevent or reduce gas problems in dogs.

3.4 Omega fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential lipids that promote skin and coat health, cognitive function, joint health, and other benefits. Additionally, they have anti-inflammatory properties that can aid digestive problems.

Look for dog foods containing omega fatty acids derived from fish oil or flaxseed oil, as they can help prevent or alleviate flatulence problems in dogs.

In addition to these characteristics, you should choose dog foods that lack artificial additives, fillers, by-products, and other low-quality ingredients that can harm your dog’s health and cause flatulence issues.

When reading and comparing dog food labels, pay attention to the guaranteed analysis, ingredient list, feeding instructions, expiration date, and manufacturer information.

4. What Food To Avoid For A Gassy Dog

hunting dog searching in field

Diet is a primary cause of flatulence in dogs, as we have seen. Therefore, avoiding foods that can cause gas or digestive distress is one of the best ways to prevent or reduce gas problems in dogs. Foods to avoid feeding your dog include:

4.1 Peas, beans, soybeans, and other legumes

High-fiber foods such as beans, lentils, and peas can cause excessive fermentation and methane production in the colon. Some dogs may also develop allergies or sensitivities to these foods.

4.2 Milk and dairy products

Most dogs are lactose intolerant, meaning they cannot properly metabolize milk sugar (lactose). This can cause dogs to experience flatulence, bloating, diarrhea, and vomiting.

4.3 Human food scraps

Human foods may be too spicy, fatty, or sweet for dogs, leading to digestive and gastric issues. They may also contain toxic or harmful ingredients for dogs, such as garlic, onion, chocolate, grapes, raisins, and xylitol.

4.4 Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts

In small quantities, these vegetables are beneficial for dogs, but they can also produce sulfur-containing gases that can be extremely pungent.

If you feed your dog these vegetables, do so sparingly and prepare them thoroughly to make them easier to digest.

4.5 Dog foods containing unnecessary fillers (such as maize, soy, and cereals), artificial ingredients, and chemical preservatives

These ingredients can reduce the quality and digestibility of your dog’s food, leading to flatulence and other health issues. Some dogs may also develop allergies or sensitivities to them.

4.6 Expired food

Expired food may be spoiled or contaminated with bacteria or mold, which can cause gas and other severe health problems in dogs. Always check the food’s expiration date and store it properly to prevent spoilage.

4.7 Sudden change in diet

Changing a dog’s diet too quickly can cause digestive distress and flatulence problems.

If you want to switch your dog to a new food, do so gradually over a period of 7 to 10 days by gradually increasing the proportion of the old food to the new food until you reach 100 percent new food.

4.8 Too many dog treats

Dog treats can be a great way to reward your dog or supplement their nutrition, but if given too often or in large quantities, they can cause gastric distress.

Dog treats should not account for more than ten percent of your dog’s daily caloric intake, and they should be carefully selected to avoid ingredients that may cause gas or allergies in dogs.

By avoiding these foods that can cause gas in dogs, you can improve your dog’s digestive health and comfort.

You should also provide your dog with a high-quality, age-, size-, breed-, and activity-appropriate diet that includes easily digestible animal proteins, low-fiber carbohydrates, probiotics, prebiotics, and omega-3 fatty acids.

It should also be free of artificial additives, fillers, by-products, and other low-quality ingredients that can be harmful to your dog’s health and cause flatulence issues.

5. How To Introduce A New Dog Food To Your Gassy Dog

Appenzeller Mountain Dog, Dog Nose

Once you have selected the best dog food for gassy dogs, you must introduce it to your dog gradually and carefully.

This is because sudden dietary changes can cause digestive upset and rejection in dogs, particularly those with sensitive stomachs or allergies. To avoid these issues, follow these steps:

  • Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with your dog’s old food. For example, you can start with 10% new food and 90% old food.
  • Over the course of 7 to 10 days, gradually increase the amount of new dog food while decreasing the amount of old food. For example, increase the new food by 10% and decrease the old food by 10% every day until the new food makes up 100% of the diet.
  • During and after the transition, observe your dog’s appetite, stool quality, and the frequency and severity of flatulence. If your dog exhibits symptoms of intolerance, allergy, or illness, such as vomiting, diarrhea, irritation, or loss of appetite, you may need to slow down the transition or switch to a different dog food.
  • Consult your veterinarian if your dog exhibits persistent or severe symptoms of intolerance, allergy, or illness after consuming the new food. Your veterinarian can diagnose the issue and prescribe medication or a different diet for your dog.

By introducing the new dog food gradually and carefully, you can help your dog adjust to the new diet and prevent digestive upset.

“Discover the Best Dog Foods for Gassy Dogs and explore new options to improve your furry friend’s health at BestForPets.”

6. Some Tips To Help Gassy Dogs

Banner of Irish Setter dog smelling daffodil flowers

In addition to choosing the proper dog food for gassy canines, there are other things you can do to help your beloved companion feel more comfortable and content. Here are some helpful suggestions for gassy dogs:

  • Feed your dog smaller, more frequent portions to prevent overloading and the intake of excess air. This will help prevent gas and bloating in your dog.
  • Avoid giving your dog table scraps or human foods that may cause flatulence in dogs, including legumes, broccoli, dairy products, spicy foods, and fatty foods. These substances can cause flatulence and other digestive issues in your dog.
  • Maintain your dog’s hydration by always providing fresh water. Water can help remove toxins and waste from your dog’s body and prevent constipation, which, in some dogs, can also cause gas.
  • Regularly exercise your dog to stimulate digestion and prevent obesity. Physical activity can help your dog burn calories and fat, which can reduce flatulence production in some cases. It can also help your dog eliminate excess gas through burping or farting.
  • If your dog’s flatulence problem persists or worsens, consult your vet. Your veterinarian can examine your dog and diagnose any underlying health conditions that could be causing your dog’s flatulence.

They can also prescribe medication or suggest dietary adjustments to help your companion. By following these tips, you can help your gassy dog feel better and enjoy a happier, healthier life.

7. Conclusion

Lovable, pretty puppy of chocolate color

There are numerous causes of gas in dogs, including diet, allergies, infections, and parasites. Depending on breed, age, and lifestyle, some canines may be more susceptible to flatulence than others. Dog flatulence can have a negative impact on their health and wellbeing, as well as yours.

Therefore, it is essential to choose the best dog food for gassy canines that can prevent or reduce gas issues in your furry companion.

A high-quality dog food formulated for canines with flatulence should contain highly digestible animal proteins, low-fiber carbohydrates, probiotics, prebiotics, and omega fatty acids. It should also be free of artificial additives, fillers, by-products, and other low-quality ingredients that can harm your dog’s health and cause flatulence issues.

However, before switching to a new dog food for your gassy dog, you must gradually and carefully introduce it to them. This is because sudden dietary changes can cause digestive upset and rejection in dogs, particularly those with sensitive stomachs or allergies.

Follow a detailed guide on how to transition your dog from their old food to their new food over the course of 7 to 10 days. During and after the transition, monitor your dog’s appetite, stool quality, and the frequency and severity of flatulence. Additionally, consult your veterinarian if your dog exhibits signs of intolerance, allergy, or illness after consuming the new diet.

BestForPets hopes that this article has helped you discover the best dog food for gassy dogs to prevent or reduce gas issues in your furry companion. We also hope that you have learned how to introduce a new dog food to a dog with flatulence without causing digestive distress.

By selecting a high-quality, natural, and balanced dog food that satisfies your dog’s nutritional requirements without causing gastrointestinal distress, you can improve your dog’s health and your own.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, concerns, or experiences regarding dog food for gassy canines in the comments section below. We are eager to hear from you.

Author Image

Dr. Elsa Fabian

Dr. Elsa Fabian, DVM, is a qualified veterinary and medical editor with seven years of experience and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. She has edited approximately 700 projects, such as research papers published in academic publications, continuing medical education training materials, and pet health articles.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Elsa Fabian

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