Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Gassy Pets. What To Do With Those Dogs That Blast You Out Of The Living Room?

My two puppies,,,and Jitterbug, the cat, who thinks he's a dog.
Can you guess which has the gas problem?

I get some great questions on Pawbly. They run the gamut from life-threatening, to which I simply answer; "Get off the computer and get to the ER now!" to the funny and fairly common pet stuff, like today's from Elizabeth; "What can I do for an 8 month old puppy with terrible, smelly gas?"

All of us suffer from this from time to time, and pets are no exception. We all have the same biology so we share many of the same conditions.

A gassy dog is especially difficult when they sleep in your bed,,
but it does give you a convenient excuse.

Here is my answer;

Gas, or flatulence, occurs for a few reasons. It is a normal part of digesting and processing food, so it will be impossible to stop all of it.

BUT, It can also be associated with poor diet, poor ability to digest food, and intestinal problems like worms, etc. so talk to all of these with your vet before dismissing  it as a normal puppy thing.

The more plant based your diet is the more likely you are to suffer from gas. The gas is a by-product of the guts bacteria breaking down the food we eat so that it can be converted into energy. Foods like beans, legumes, etc. are notorious for making us gassy, but they are excellent sources of protein and fuel for our body. Add to this that puppies have an incredibly efficient and over active metabolism (especially those large and giant breeds) and you can get a gassy puppy.

So, if we can't avoid farting puppies what can you do to minimize it? Well, you can see if a different diet will be easier on the digestive system? Some diets that are lower in fiber and filler can reduce the gas, BUT, I am always far more concerned that you stay on a very good, veterinary recommended, age and breed appropriate food. Ask your vet for their recommendations and then you can do your own in home food trial to see which food(s) might be easiest on his system. BUT, remember that each diet change should be done slowly and gradually (over a week or more) and then do a few weeks on the new food while you collect your data/observations.

I have a Great Dane patient who at 4 years old had recurrent bouts of bloat and terrible burping problems, so he is on a daily gas reducer..but I would never recommend a long term medication until the easier and safer to change stuff was eliminated.

I hope this helps,

Let me know if anything works, or if you identify what he is sensitive to.

Krista Magnifico, DVM

The fumigator in our house is Charlie, on the right.
Why? Because he is a poop eater, and that gives him gas.
I know, so gross.
Dr. Chambreau is a holistic veterinarian who contributes many answers to Pawbly and offers a fresh perspective to the traditional veterinary protocols and treatment options. To read more about her please visit her here, or on Pawbly.

Here is Dr. Chambreau's answer:

Could you tell me what you are feeding, what supplements you give and how long the gas has been going on?  How are his/her stools - firm, soft?  When does the gas occur - anytime, or only after meals? If the stools are soft it would be good to have the stool checked for parasites by your local veterinarian.

The quick and easy answer is to begin using probiotics. My favorite is Mitomax, a super probiotic. I have had many animals' smelly gas clear up while using this, though sometimes they need to stay on it. Unlike other probiotics, it is very stable and is ok at the low stomach pH.There is an icon on my home page for it ( You could also get other pet probiotics if near a pet health store. (by the way, if you put in your city, we can be more specific in our answers)

The longer answer is to generally improve health. There are 7 keys that can help you do this, with a link on my home page.

Please let me know a little more and if you have questions about the holistic approach (7 keys to health). 

So, you see there is a wealth of information and interesting pet things to learn at Please stop in and say hello, ask a question, or even add some information of your own! Pawbly is all about helping people take better care of their pets.

If you want to see me in person, you can find me at the clinic, Jarrettsville Vet, or on Twitter @FreePetAdvice.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much for this useful article. I like it.