All dogs fart. Flatulence is a normal symptom of their digestive system processing something they ate, but too much flatulence can be linked to a poor diet or an underlying health condition.
Being scavengers at heart, most dogs tend to eat anything and everything in sight. They’re quick to eat the crumbs off the kitchen floor, a slice of meat slipped under the table, or something they find out on a walk, which can cause them to put on a few too many pounds. It can also cause the odd stinky (room-clearing) fart.
But when is gas a sign of something to worry about? As embarrassing as it sounds, keeping an eye (or nose) out for changes in your dog’s farts is as important as their coat, skin and teeth. We take a closer look below to help you get to the bottom of your dog’s farts and find them a better diet.
What causes a dog to fart excessively?
From a technical point of view, dogs’ digestive tracts work to break down food in their stomach over roughly four to eight hours (compared to half an hour in humans).
And despite the evolution of dogs, this essentially means dogs are inherently carnivorous and aren’t as well-built to digest carbohydrates like us. They often lack the digestive enzymes needed to break down fibres, potatoes and grains, causing fermentation in the intestine, which, you guessed it… leads to excessive gas.
Farting is normal and has a direct link to the digestibility of the foods your dog is eating. Excess flatulence could also be brought on by eating too fast, overeating, irregular feeding, lack of exercise, or too much high-intensity exercise.
Should I be concerned about my dog’s farts?
If your dog is farting more than usual, and it’s becoming the new norm, it could be a sign of a more serious issue. These include pancreatic or intestinal diseases, parasites, and inflammatory bowel disease. Emotional distress can also cause digestive problems in dogs.
Talk to your vet if you’re worried, especially if you notice your dog is restless, in pain, vomiting or has chronic diarrhea.
How to dial down the flatulence, naturally.
While there are quick-fix options on the market designed to suppress your dog’s gas, it’s a bit like brushing the issue under the carpet. Instead, it’s best to holistically treat their smelly problem with a change in diet, feeding behavior and scheduled exercise that suits your dog.
Feeding: Feed your dog one, two or three times a day, but don’t allow free feeding. This allows time between each meal for their digestion to catch up. However, if your dog tends to gulp their food down, or eats like it’s a competition when other dogs or animals are around, change up their environment so they can eat in peace. Alternatively, look to use enrichment toys (like KONG) and slow feeders to encourage licking, chewing and lengthening their mealtime.
Exercise: It’s a necessary component to your dog’s well-being, happiness, metabolism and getting those bowels moving. But moderate your dog’s exercise before and after eating. Flatulence can be a symptom of jumping, running and playing on a full belly.
Diet: Many commercial pet food brands use less digestible sources of protein (e.g. vegetable-derived or fat-based proteins) and fillers like grains (carbs) and sugar, all of which increase flatulence and hinder your dog’s gut and digestion. This is because they impact the pH acidity levels within your dog’s stomach. This means it takes longer for your dog to digest and can cause excess gas build-up while it tries to break down the food.
A biologically appropriate, whole-prey diet made of high-quality, free-range ingredients can eliminate this problem. Because biologically appropriate diets, like a high-meat rich diet, are more easily digestible and don’t impact the pH acidity levels in dogs’ stomachs as strongly.
ZIWI Peak Tripe & Lamb air-dried recipe and canned food are great options for dogs that might have gut sensitivities. Made from 35% cold-washed tripe – a palatable and nourishing natural probiotic – it also contains vitamins and minerals to help support gut health and digestion. Just like all ZIWI Peak recipes, it contains no grains, potatoes or tapioca starch.
Remember, when transitioning your dog to a new food, it can also cause them to pass gas. That’s why it’s important to transition over a five-to-eight-day period and allow your dog’s stomach to get used to the new menu.
Dr. Elissa Marriott, BVSc, CVA(IVAS) – Testimonial On Digestive Health
"I spend a great deal of my professional life working with clients that have animals with very complicated health pictures. The very first treatment protocol I start with is diet; you are what you eat, and nutrition is what you absorb, so let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. And ZIWI Peak is undoubtedly a better place to start.
We supplement Tuppy’s raw-meat-based diet with ZIWI Peak regularly. She is very enthusiastic about the product, and she loves the taste, the smell and texture. Her stools are consistent in color and texture without too much smell."
- "Flatulence & Digestion Whole Dog Journal" by Gregory Tilford.