What to Do When Your Dog Has Gas

by on 26/12/11 at 10:52 am

Somewhere in my memory there is a “you might be a redneck joke” that proclaims if your dog has gas and you take credit, you may fit the bill. All kidding aside, dog flatulence is hardly a laughing matter. Speaking from experience when my father would bring his Beagle to the house, I can remember clearing a room after a particularly nasty episode. As a dog owner, you probably don’t look forward to dealing with this sort of thing, either, so it’s best to work toward handling the problem before it gets too, uh, explosive.

It’s important, first, to determine the cause of the problem gas. Where people are concerned, we tend to get gas when we eat certain foods or intake too much air as we eat. It’s similar with dogs, so it’s probably a good idea to watch his/her eating habits for a few days to see how the food is eaten. Keep track of everything given to your dog in this time – meals, snacks…and watch for instances where the dog might be chewing on a bone or a stick outside. From here you can work to eliminate foods gradually to determine if one of them is causing the stench.

For example, if you have been feeding your dog a specific brand of food, trying a small change – like from beef to chicken or turkey, or a meat-based meal to one that is more vegetarian – and see if it makes a difference. Take note of the combinations you use and watch for signs of gas. It is also a good idea, if you have a larger breed that may be more apt to eat fast – to try smaller portions and encourage slower eating.

Let’s say after experimenting with the food, you notice that the flatulence problem hasn’t gone away. What now? You can’t not feed your dog, but this may tell you that the food is not necessarily the culprit. There is the possibility your dog may have worms or some kind of bacteria that is causing the gas. At your earliest convenience, make an appointment with your veterinarian for an examination. The doctor will be able to tell you if your dog needs medication or a more drastic change in diet to help the gas problem.

Whatever you do, don’t let it get to you – literally. Your dog can’t help the smell, and there are temporary solutions to use like air fresheners or opening a window until you figure out the problem. Be mindful of what your dog eats and does, and you can eliminate the discomfort of gas for both of you.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on pet supplies and dog supplies.

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