How to manage dog flatulence issue

Startlingly loud or smelly silent killers, most pet owners aren’t immune to a dose of dog flatulence. But how often should your dog be passing wind? What is considered normal, and what constitutes excessive flatulence in dogs? We take you through the causes and the cures and share some fun facts about dog flatulence that will knock the wind out of you.


What Causes Dog Flatulence and How to Manage It:

Flatulence is caused by the build-up of gas in your dog’s stomach or intestinal tract and is expelled through the anus. It’s a perfectly normal reaction of the body, just like us as humans. Gases formed in your dog’s digestive system can be caused by several reasons, most commonly from eating too fast, swallowing air or something in their diet. If your dog is overweight, obese or sedentary (including elderly), they are at a higher risk of developing chronic flatulence, irrelevant of diet. However, and you’ll be glad to hear this, there is such a thing as excessive flatulence in dogs, and there are treatments and remedies to cure it.

In order to determine how to best manage and treat your dog’s flatulence, you first need to explore the causes.

  1. Eating too Fast:

When your dog eats too fast, they swallow large amounts of air, which expands in the stomach and creates a build-up of gasses, resulting in excessive flatulence. Dogs that eat too fast are also at risk of developing Gastric Dilation or canine bloat, where the stomach bloats so severely that it can twist within the dog’s abdomen, preventing any gasses from escaping and cutting off circulation.

To help slow down a dog who eats too fast, we recommend the following:

  • Dividing your dog’s food into smaller portions and feeding them more frequent meals. By making the meals smaller and spacing them out, your dog can better digest their food.
  • Ensuring your dog is fed in a quiet, safe and non-competitive environment. Some dogs will scoff their food down in fear of it being taken away or eaten by another animal in the home. Scoffing, especially with minimal chewing, can lead to many medical and behavioural problems for your dog.
  • Utilising a slow-feeding bowl to draw out their mealtimes is an effective solution. This will help them develop a slower eating pace, aid digestion, and prevent choking, vomiting, gastric bloat and excessive flatulence.
  • Make them work for it. This won’t be suitable for all dogs or their owners, for that matter, but using training and scavenging games to feed your dog is a great way to keep them entertained and stop them from eating too fast.
  1. Swallowing Air:

Aerophagia, or swallowing air, is not always a direct result of a dog eating too fast. Short-nose and Brachycephalic breeds such as Pugs, Bulldogs and Shih Tzus are prone to swallowing more air due to the shape of their face, as they breathe more through their mouth than their nose. Dogs that are stressed, anxious and scared will usually swallow more air, causing increased flatulence.

To prevent your dog from swallowing too much air, we suggest the following:

  • Invest in an elevated dog bowl for your brachycephalic pooch. When these short-nosed breeds eat, their noses end up firmly pressed against their feeding bowl, restricting the airflow and forcing them to breathe through their mouth. As they scoff at their food, they simultaneously gulp large amounts of air, leading to excessive flatulence.
  • Just like us, dogs inhale more air when they’re stressed, anxious or scared, so determining what’s triggering your dog is the key to stopping their extreme bouts of wind.
  • Ensure you are not feeding your dog straight after exercise or activities that cause them to pant excessively.
  1. Diet and Food:

Diet and poorly digested food are the most common causes of dog flatulence, causing excessive fermentation in the colon and increasing gas formation.

Foods that can cause bad flatulence in dogs include but are not limited to:

  • Soybeans, corn, peas, beans
  • Dairy products
  • Fermentable ingredients
  • High-fat diets
  • Spicy foods
  • Low-quality ingredients, fillers, or artificial preservatives
  • Low-quality treats
  • Diets high in fibre
  • Spoiled food
  • Table scraps
  • Food stolen from the bin
  • Steamed vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts

Allergies and intolerances are other common reasons for flatulence, as well as digestive diseases and disorders.

To help remedy and reduce dog flatulence, we advise the following:

  • If you are changing your dog’s food or introducing new ingredients to their diet, we suggest doing this as a slow transition to avoid stomach upset.
  • Avoid feeding your dog food that is known to cause excessive flatulence.
  • Be consistent with your dog’s diet – mixing and matching are not recommended.
  • Ensure that there are no underlying medical issues, allergies or intolerances that are triggering the digestive system.
  • Check that your dog is not constipated or experiencing diarrhoea.
  • for a highly digestible diet with a low fibre and fat content.
  • Incorporate a probiotic into your dog’s diet to aid digestion.
  • Keep your dog active – plenty of physical exercise and playtime.


What Are the Symptoms of Dog Flatulence?

The symptoms of flatulence in dogs seem, well, pretty obvious, right? Expulsions of gas and a variation of smelly odours generally come to mind. But did you know dogs can also experience abdominal discomfort and bloating? You may even hear some rumbling. Though, they don’t usually experience any extreme pain. Excessive flatulence can be cause for concern.

So, when is it time to see a vet? If your dog is suffering from excessive flatulence as well as vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss, lethargy or loss of appetite, we recommend that you urgently seek veterinary attention. These can be tell-tale signs that your four-legged pal has developed a disease, such as:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Enteritis
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Tumour or cancer
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)
  • Stomach infection

What Determines the Sound and Smell of Dog Flatulence?

The volume and power of your canine’s wind are based on how much air is coming out of them and at what intensity it’s being expelled. And the smell? Well, that’s all centred around what they’ve eaten. Although, if your dog is experiencing long-term flatulence with a putrid odour, there may be some underlying issues with their gastrointestinal tract that need addressing.

Often when we think of our dogs passing wind, their shock and horror of what just came out of them are quite amusing to us. How can they be so confused by something that just came out of their own body? Well, dogs don’t have the same mental capacity as us, so they don’t understand the concept of flatulence or that gas comes out of their body. It’s the same reason they generally turn around and enjoy a great sniff of what’s just come out of them.


Best Dog Food for Flatulence:

Full disclosure, no dog food will stop your pup from passing wind entirely. It’s an essential and natural function of the digestive system. There are treatments, remedies and dog foods, however, to help reduce flatulence and cure your dog of chronic gas.

Some of the best foods for dog flatulence are:

  • High-quality protein
  • Flaxseed
  • Parsley
  • Ginger and turmeric
  • Fennel
  • Spinach
  • Blueberries
  • Probiotics
  • Low-fat ingredients
  • Low-fat content

The best dry dog foods for flatulence available in Australia are:


Hills Science Diet



Pro Plan Dog Health

Is charcoal beneficial for dog flatulence?

Charcoal, whether charcoal tablets, biscuits or treats, are excellent for dog flatulence. Charcoal absorbs the excess gas in the intestines and helps to detoxify, supporting and treating symptoms of smelly gas, indigestion, diarrhoea and unsettled stomachs.

Just like people, what you put into your dog’s body will also affect what comes out.

Flatulence in dogs is a normal and natural bodily function; it’s when it’s excessive and prolonged that there is cause for concern. Managing your dog’s diet and ensuring their environment is equipped for their breed and nutritional needs are essential. Understanding flatulence symptoms and causes in your dog are going to aid in reducing the excessive passing of gas and providing suitable treatment.

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