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When she nibbled on my fingers during the car ride home or barked at her reflection in the floor length mirror in my bedroom, it was adorable.
When she started doing little puppy stretches after long periods of napping, I thought that was super cute too.
That is until one day when I happened to mute the TV just as she got up to stretch. Her little puppy butt leaned back and up into the air and I heard the famous “pfffff” sound of puppy gas.
It’s a stench that no dog owner can ignore, but for some dogs, gas is a much bigger problem than it is for others. I’d never really thought about it before Shasta came home. Passing gas is normal, right?
After I did some research, it became clear that gas can be a sign of bigger problems that even your dog might not be aware of. Read on to learn exactly why your pup cuts the cheese so often and if you should be concerned about it.
Why Do Dogs Get Gassy?
There are multiple reasons for dogs to become more gassy than usual. The first cause is typically the food they eat. Like humans, some foods are harder to digest than others (especially grass!), leading to an increased amount of gas.
Foods dogs can’t eat will either trigger their allergies or have lactose in it, which most dogs are unable to digest.
Many dog food brands are also loaded with fillers, because they make it cheaper for companies to mass produce food, even though the fillers aren’t naturally digestible.
Dogs can also become gassy from eating too fast. When they rush to eat their food at mealtimes without even pausing to chew, it’s hard on their stomachs.
They inadvertently swallow air, which builds in their intestines and causes gas.
Why Does My Dog Fart So Much?
The best place to start figuring out the cause of your dog’s gas is their food. Even if they’ve eaten the same food for years, check the ingredients list.
Grains are in many dog foods and are one of the top seven most common food allergens for dogs, and it can be developed over time.
Other than monitoring what foods they eat and how quickly they gulp down meals, you can look at their individual case.
If you’re in the breeding business, dogs who are pregnant will also have an increased amount of gas. Pregnancy gas may just have to be left alone, if your vet recommends it.
Dogs each struggle with gas for different reasons, which is why it’s so important to analyze their lifestyle and daily routine before looking for medication or other remedies.
Check to make sure they’re not eating anything indigestible when you’re not looking, like pillow stuffing or yard debris.
Home Remedies for Dog Gas
You may be too busy to take your dog to the vet for something as common as gas, or you might be under a strict budget. That’s okay! There are a few home remedies you can try to see if they give your dog any relief.
- Switch Their Food—Opt for a sensitive stomach based formula, which will avoid fillers, grains, and carbs. There are many brands to choose from, so you can find one that’s right for your budget, such as Taste of the Wild. A high-quality food subscription service such as NomNomNow may also be a good idea. Feed your dog their normal amount of food and you may find that’s all they needed.
- Buy Them a New Bowl—Bowls made for dogs who eat fast will have raised edges or plastic barriers inside the bowl. This forces your dog to slow down, which can cure their gas problem.
- Space Out Meals—Feed your dog one or two more times a day than they normally get fed, just with smaller portion sizes. They’ll be less hungry at each meal time and may eat at a more normal pace.
- Try Fennel Seeds—Fennel seeds are an all-natural way to help your dog with digestion. Grind one teaspoon of seeds into a powder and serve with their food, or mix with water and inject it into their mouth.
Over the Counter Remedies
Some dogs need a little more help with their gas than others. If your dog has tried spacing out their meals, using a different bowl, or tasted different sensitive stomach foods, it’s time to look for one of these over the counter remedies.
- Dog Probiotics—Probiotics will balance out your dog’s intestinal gut health, aiding their digestion and soothing upset stomachs (source). Follow dosage instructions on the container and never use any that are past their expiration date.
- Gas-X—The simethicone in Gas-X works quickly to relieve stomach problems, if given the right dosage. Small dogs can take up to 20 milligrams, medium-sized dogs can have 40 milligrams, and large dogs may take 80 milligrams with their food.
- Aspirin—Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory medication, so if your dog is very clearly uncomfortable, bloated, and passing lots of gas, it can be a short term solution. Vets recommend a dosage of between 10-40 milligrams, but use sparingly as it’s not meant for daily use.
Shasta’s gas ended up just an issue with how fast she ate. I was able to slow down her eating with a slow eater bowl.
Now she has fun at every meal, trying to get each piece of kibble with her tongue while maneuvering the food around the bowl.
Try out some of these home remedies first before moving on to medication. The solution to your dog’s gas issues may be simpler than you think. If anything else comes up that worries you, your vet is always a phone call away.
You can never be too careful when it comes to your dog’s health. Monitor their gas after trying different relief options, and talk with your vet about further help if nothing works. You’ll find the answer to your dog’s gas problem and life will soon go back to normal.