What your dog eats can result in excessive wind and sometimes mild stomach upsets. If your dog frequently gets lots of variety and leftovers, try keeping the diet plain for a few weeks to see if this improves things. Does your dog eat a poor quality diet? A diet high in soy, starches, corn and carbohydrates can favour gas production. Switch to a premium quality dog food with meat as the first ingredient not cereals. As a pleasant side-effect, because these diets are more readily digestible you will also have less waste out the other end.
You can also try switching to a low residue, easily digestible diet (the equivalent to just boiled chicken and white rice) and feed small meals frequently. Some dogs that have developed a mild food intolerance can often go back to a normal diet after 6 months or so, but just need some time off for gut rest. Before you do any diet changes, particularly if you are looking for a long-term solution and are home-cooking, consult with your veterinarian to ensure you are using a balanced diet.
All diet changes should be made gradually over at least 1 week, unless your Veterinarian advises otherwise. Some other ingredients that are known fart-makers are cauliflower, broccoli, peas, beans, cabbage and bread. In particular, any type of bean or legume really will make you fart. Lactose from cheese, milk and yoghurt can also cause excessive flatulence. Also avoid Carrageenan, which is a thickener and stabiliser found in many pet foods.
Just as we can get an imbalance of bacterial flora in our intestines, dogs can too. Probiotics can help correct bacterial balance in the dog, whilst prebiotics that support the growth of the correct bacteria might also be effective. These are contained in some prescription diet foods in the form of beet pulp.
Activated Charcoal and Enzymes
Theoretically adding digestive enzymes to your dog’s food can help with the breakdown of carbohydrates, resulting in less gas production in the colon. Consult with your veterinarian about these, as there are some very inexpensive types formulated for dogs that are effective and easy to administer.
Another option is activated charcoal, which can be fed as tablets or made into a slurry. You don’t want to add activated charcoal permanently, as it can interrupt the absorption of other nutrients, but up to 3 days is fine. Your veterinarian can recommend an effective dose.
If all else fails, the best plan is to make sure you walk your dog frequently in the great outdoors. Aim for a short walk after eating and again a few hours later or in the evening. The exercise will help with intestinal motility and release those gas pockets out into the fresh air, rather than in an enclosed space.
Some dogs really will clear the room with their farts and even more amusing, wake themselves up. So long as the flatulence is not excessive or particularly smelly, we might have to move on from the fart jokes and consider it within the realms of normal. If however the farting is really disturbing you and your dog, try some diet changes, exercise and perhaps probiotics, prebiotics and activated charcoal before you banish your dog from the house.