Home remedies for dog flatulence (gas) can help reduce the levels of a dog’s gas, however, it’s also important considering why a dog is gassy in the first place. This may require putting on one’s investigative hat, so to find the culprit. Sometimes, the cause is the dog’s diet or perhaps the dog ingests air when eating too fast. With the help of a veterinarian, the ultimate underlying cause should be detected so to address it accordingly. Following are some home remedies for dog flatulence that can help reduce excess gas at least until the underlying cause is tackled.
When excess air comes up through the mouth, it’s known as a burp; whereas, when expelled by the opposite end, it’s known as a flatus. Flatulence is, therefore, the medical term used to depict the excessive formation of gases in the stomach or intestine, but why does gas form in dogs in the first place?
Excess gas in dogs is mostly created in mainly three ways: by swallowing air, bacteria in the dog’s intestine breaking down certain undigested foods and as a result of certain medical conditions.
Swallowing air, also known as “aerophagia” is something that is often seen in dogs who are prone to eating fast. These dogs ingests lots of air as they are eating, gulping down their meals like there’s no tomorrow. This is often seen in dogs raised in multi-dog households due to competition.
Other possible causes of dogs swallowing lots of air include respiratory diseases or anything that increases a dog’s respiratory rate such as feeding a dog shortly after being exercised. Brachycephalic dogs (dogs with pushed-in faces such as boxers, bulldogs and pugs) are prone to ingesting air due to their conformation.
Diet-related flatulence in dogs is often due to eating diets that are rich in soybeans, peas, oats, barley, beet pulp, chicory, beans, lactose, fibrin, psyllium, oat bran and milk products. Flatulence may be produced more when dogs eat spoiled foods or when a dog is switched to a new food too suddenly.
Medical conditions known for causing excess flatulence in dogs include a variety of intestinal diseases such as
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), presence of parasites, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bacterial or viral enteritis, and some types of cancer. In the case of flatulence due to medical conditions, dogs often exhibit symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, stomach gurgling sounds (known as “borborygmus”) and weight loss
Last but not least, excess gas may be seen in dogs who are very sedentary. This can be an explanation as to why senior dogs get more gassy as they age, although disease processes should also be ruled out.
10 Home Remedies for Dog Flatulence
These home remedies for dog flatulence take a multi-faceted approach. What may work for one dog, may not work for another, considering that there can be so many underlying causes of flatulence in dogs.
Finding the solution will take some patience and trial-and-error. Before trying home remedies, consult with your vet. And while you take your dog there, make sure to drop off a fecal sample so to rule out pesky parasites.
1) Encourage your dog to exercise. Movement helps keep a dog’s joints in good shape, a dog’s brain active and helps maintain a dog’s digestive system in top shape, helping promote regularity and the expulsion of gas.
2) Feed in a quiet environment. If your dog is prone to eating fast due to competition with other dogs in the household, feed your dog in a quiet spot out of the other dog’s view, where he can relax.
3) Invest in a slow feeder. There are several food bowls now on the market that help encourage dogs to eat slower. Alternatively, you can try putting something like a tennis ball or large rock in the bowl so to slow the dog down.
4) Feed several small meals. Feeding several small meals each day, rather than one or two large ones, is easier for the dog to digest.
5) Switch to a digestible diet. Avoid diets that are too high in fermentable fiber and fat. Examples of foods often recommended by vets include Eukanuba Low Residue Formula, Hill’s I/D, Purina EN Gastroenteric, Royal Canin Low Fat formula. Novel protein or hydrolyzed diets may help a dog with flatulence if food allergies are an underlying cause for the flatulence.
7) Probiotics, prebiotics and digestive enzymes. Providing dogs with probiotics and pancreatic digestive enzymes can help reduce gas formation in some dogs. A popular probiotic often suggested by veterinarians is Fortiflora.
8) Look for charcoal cookies. Cookies containing activated charcoal can help provide gassy dogs some relief.
9) Doggy gas-relief products. There are several gas relief products made purposely for gassy dogs. Many of these products contain parsley, slippery elm bark, ginger root, Yucca schidigera, fennel seed and zinc acetate. Examples of products include Vet’s Best Gas Busters and NatureVet’s NoToot.
10) Try gas relief products for humans. There are several gas relief products for humans that can come handy for dogs. Beano is a product suitable for dogs; however, the liquid version should be avoided as it contains xylitol which is highly toxic to dogs. Beano is a digestive enzyme with a high margin of safety. You can give 1/4 tablet with every meal for small dogs, while medium sized dogs can get half a tablet and large dogs a whole tablet, suggests veterinarian Dr. Scott Nimmo. Usually in a week, dog owners may notice improvement, although it sometimes helps even after a single dose.
Gas X, containing the active ingredient simethicone, is another product that can help release excess intestinal gas; however, it doesn’t stop dogs from producing gas in the first place.
- J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2001 Mar 15;218(6):892-6. Administration of charcoal, Yucca schidigera, and zinc acetate to reduce malodorous flatulence in dogs.Giffard CJ, Collins SB, Stoodley NC, Butterwick RF, Batt RM.
- Yamka RM, Harmon DL, Schoenherr WD, et al. In vivo measurement of flatulence and nutrient digestibility in dogs fed poultry by-product meal, conventional soybean meal, and low-oligosaccharide low-phytate soybean meal. Am J Vet Res 2006;67:88-94.