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Help My Dog with a Gas Problem
Help, my dog has a gas problem, what should I do? If your dog tends to pass gas that has everybody looking for cover, you know your dog certainly has a flatulence problem. Of course, just as in humans, a few episodes every now and then are natural, but you may be dealing with a problem if this tends to happen a lot and you are forced to open all the windows in the dead the of the winter.
Before you put your dog outside, or place him in a separate room, it would be best if you could investigate the root of the problem and try to resolve it. Your dog will certainly feel better and be much happier if he could spend quality time with you, his beloved owner, despite the occasional stink!
Causes of Flatulence in Dogs
Five Causes of Flatulence in Dogs
Flatulence is the emission of air that has been trapped in the dog's stomach and intestines. The air has very likely been swallowed from the mouth, however it may also be formed by certain nutrients braking down in the dog's intestinal tract. While releasing the air trapped is a good thing, too much may be indicative that there may be a problem. Often, the problem can be easily solved by following some easy guidelines.
- Eating too Fast
Often, a lot of air is swallowed when the dog eats very fast. Eating fast is often seen in multi-dog households when dogs are competing over food: either to finish up quickly so to visit the other dog's food bowl or to avoid the other dog from visiting the food bowl. Some rescue dogs often wolf down their food because they have learned food is scarce and should be gulped down before somebody else does.
If your dog eats fast, you can solve this by purchasing a food bowl that slows him down. These can be found online, and sometimes in large pet retail outlets. By slowing your dog down, your dog will have less gas and may be less prone to a dangerous condition affecting deep chested dogs known as ''bloat''.
- Cheap Food
If you are feeding your dog a cheap food, like those found in your local supermarket, your dog may be prone to stomach problems and flatulence. Stay away from dogs foods full of fillers. Try instead to invest in some super premium dog foods and see if they make a difference. Look for foods that have meat as the first ingredients. Same goes with feeding dogs certain unhealthy table scraps that may be hard to digest.
If you are switching dog foods always make sure to do so gradually over the course of at least a week. Gradually add the new food to the regular food and increase it while decreased the regular food. Abrupt diet changes are known to cause vomiting, diarrhea and even bloody stools. Not to mention flatulence.
- Food Intolerance
If your dog is on a good diet but is still gassy, chances are he may suffer form an intolerance to a particular ingredient which causes him to get an upset tummy and flatulence. Generally foods with less fiber may work better for gassy dogs. Several people also claim that their dog is a lot less gassier once they switch to a raw diet. Some dogs on the other hand may have a harder time digesting carbohydrates.
Consult with your vet if you suspect there may be a food intolerance involved. Your vet may prescribe a special diet that will expose your dog to proteins he never ate before or an easier to digest diet and see how he reacts.
- Bacterial Imbalance
Your dog's gut is populated by several bacteria, but when there is an imbalance between the good bacteria and the bad, this can cause digestive problems and excess gas production. Fortunately, this can be remedied through by introducing some of the good bacteria. By giving your dog probiotics, there will be friendly bacteria which are essential for the health of your dog's intestinal tract. The addition of probiotics will help to lessen the production of gas, explains veterinarian Dr. Peter.
Of course, there are also some breeds of dogs that are unfortunately gassier than others. Some breeds notoriously known for being gassy are Boxers, Pugs, Bulldogs and Rottweilers. Brachycephalic breeds in particular, (those with pushed-in faces) are prone to flatulence due to the way their mouth and nose are structured.
With these breeds there is not much you can do as these dog breeds are gassy because of their conformation, but you can help these ingest less air by making sure they eat more slowly. If your dog has a severe gas problem, consult with your vet. In certain cases, your vet may prescribe a prescription treatment for canine flatulence or he/she may recommend an over-the counter gas medication such as Gas X (simethicone).
Disclaimer: this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used to replace professional veterinary advice. If your dog is exhibiting health problems, refer to your veterinarian for a hands on examination and diagnosis.
© 2011 Adrienne Janet Farricelli