Every dog parent knows the smell. Our precious pups are capable of some truly terrible toots. We don’t walk, we run from the room and hope that “silent but deadly” is not really as deadly as it smells.
Dog farts. We accept them as an unfortunate fact of life. The price we are willing to pay for the love, loyalty, and sweet companionship of the canine kind. But what if we didn’t have to?
It is possible to ease the assault on your senses.
What are dog farts?
It may seem like a silly question – we all know what dog gas is. But knowing more about it can help us better understand what causes dog farts and how to stop them.
As food travels through the digestive system, it breaks down and releases gasses like hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane into the intestine. Your dog may be even gassier if he’s an enthusiastic eater. We all take in a little air with our food, but dogs who eat too fast take in much more than the rest of us. The nitrogen and oxygen we breathe everyday travels along the digestive system with the rest of your dog’s food and comes out on the other end. More air means more gas.
Why do dog farts smell so bad?
The gasses that make up dog flatulence aren’t odorless. All that intestinal air mixes with notoriously stinky gasses like hydrogen sulfide and ammonia while still in the body. The result is a signature scent that nobody wants to smell and your dog pretends not to notice.
Though we all feel a little gassy sometimes, dog farts live on a completely different level. Dogs can clear a room in seconds and do so regularly. We deal with it because we love them – but why do dog farts smell so bad?
Look no further than your dog’s food. Many of the foods your dog eats – including the little brown pellets you keep in your pantry – are full of sulfur-producing ingredients. Wheat, barley, and soybeans are major culprits, as many dog food manufacturers use these in their recipes. If you feed your dog fresh food, you may want to lay off the legumes and eggs.
When these foods break down in your dog’s digestive system, the sulfur builds in their intestines and comes out in a terrible, invisible cloud along with other gasses.
How to stop dog farts
Dog farts aren’t troublesome to just those of us who have to smell them. Gas in your dog’s body can cause pain. Though it usually relieves itself, the pressure gas creates can feel like a tummy ache for a pup. Most humans have experienced the feeling, too. Putting the brakes on the gas can be beneficial for both you and your pup.
Unfortunately, neither you nor your dog will ever live a completely fart-free life. But there are ways to make your dog less gassy and make the flatulence he does have less lethal.
Here are three things you can try to get your dog’s farts under control.
1. Try a slow-feeder bowl
Some dogs treat meals like a race. The faster the bowl is empty, the better! But being an enthusiastic eater could mean your dog is swallowing lots of air – and it has to come out somewhere. Slowing your dog down can reduce the amount of air he takes in and even help some breeds avoid a deadly condition known as bloat.
Slow-feeder bowls come in different styles, but the most common look like small mazes that make your dog take smaller bites to get his food. They provide mental stimulation for your dog by giving him a bit of a puzzle to figure out as he feeds. These puzzles aren’t so hard that your dog will starve, but it does give him some food for thought as he eats his actual food.
If you’d like to give slow-feeding a try before you buy, you can usually get the same result by separating your dog’s food into the cavities of a muffin tin.
2. Check for food allergies
Dogs with sensitive stomachs are more likely to be gassy. You may not know it, but food allergies can be an issue for dogs, and common allergens include foods that you’d never suspect. Many dogs are sensitive to grains, poultry, and dairy. Dogs, of course, love food and will never let on that his favorite snacks make his stomach upset – but the toots will tell.
Feeding your dog food that he’s allergic to can give him bubble-belly and turn his tummy into a ticking stinkbomb. If you notice that your dog seems gassier or itchier after eating something specific, discuss the possibility of a food allergy with your vet.
3. Feed fresh food
As mentioned above, many dog food manufacturers use sulfur-producing ingredients in their recipes – even the higher-tier “fancy” brands. If you take a peek at the ingredients list on the label in your pantry, you’re likely to see wheat, barley, soybeans, and/or peas near the top.
Though some would argue that dogs are carnivores and don’t need carbs in their diet, these foods are safe for dogs to consume, have some beneficial properties, and may even help your dog avoid heart disease. However, dog food manufacturers often include these in unnecessarily high amounts as “fillers”. The more of these foods your dog eats, the more sulfur they produce, the more smelly gas you’re going to have hanging in the air.
Instead of feeding your dog the same ol’ kibble every day, consider feeding fresh food. I can personally vouch for this method. When I adopted my rescue pup, he had the grossest, most gag-worthy gas from the kibble the shelter was feeding. We switched to fresh and immediately, the gas was gone – or at least undetectable. We also saw a number of other incredible health benefits that make the time it takes to prepare his food worthwhile. Using a recipe calculator like BalanceIt.com can help you put together balanced meals for your pup to ensure he’s getting everything he needs.
If you’re short on time, there are a number of fresh-food companies that will deliver your dog’s meals to your door. These recipes are pre-portioned and tailored to your pup’s needs. They typically contain a healthy protein and vitamin-rich ingredients – carbs included – but in amounts that won’t send your dog into a farty frenzy.