Does your dog have a stinky problem? A little bit of gas is natural, but excessive gas is no fun for you or your dog. As much as it’s no fun for you to smell your dog’s farts, gas can make your dog uncomfortable, too.
What can you give a dog for gas? There are actually a lot of different solutions for treating and preventing gas in dogs. Let’s talk about it.
What Causes Gas in Dogs?
There is no single cause of gas in dogs. There are many things that can cause gas in dogs. It helps to figure out what might be causing your dog’s gas before you go about treating it.
1. Eating too Quickly
When dogs gobble their food, they tend to swallow a lot of air along with their food. The air must come out somewhere. If your dog doesn’t belch, the air must travel through the digestive system and come out the other end.
The thing about gas caused by eating too quickly, though, is that it usually doesn’t stink. If your dog’s farts are smelly enough to clear a room, there is probably a different explanation.
You should still help prevent your dog from swallowing too much air when they eat. All that extra air can cause pain and discomfort, even if it doesn’t have a bothersome smell. Trapped air can also cause a deadly condition called bloat.
Make sure you feed your dog at least twice a day. The less food they eat in one sitting, the less air they’ll swallow.
You can also slow down your dog’s eating by placing a clean rock in their food bowl. Your dog has to work a little harder to get all the kibble from around the rock. For a more elegant solution, look at treat balls or puzzle bowls.
2. Changes to the Diet
While you probably eat different food for every meal, your dog likely eats the same thing every day. That is until you change their food.
Your dog’s digestive system gets used to digesting one type of food. Abruptly changing your dog’s food can upset their digestive tract and cause gas or diarrhea.
When you want to switch your dog to a new food, you should do so gradually. Add a little bit of the new food to the old food for a few days, then do half and half, then add a little of the old food to the new food. This transition should take at least a week or two.
3. Low-Quality Food
Cheap food is cheap because it contains lower-quality ingredients that are harder for your dog to digest.
Have you ever found corn in your own or your child’s poop? Your dog can’t digest corn any better than you can. Many cheap dog foods contain corn, and their digestive system has to work overtime trying to digest it.
Other filler ingredients can be digested, but they turn into gas.
Check your dog’s food. Filler ingredients include corn, wheat, and soy. Try switching your dog to a food without these ingredients to see if it helps reduce their gas.
4. Food Intolerance
Food allergies and intolerances are becoming an increasing problem among dogs. These intolerances and allergies can cause symptoms like:
- Chronic ear infections
Food ingredients that are more prone to cause allergies and intolerances include:
If you suspect your dog has a food allergy, the best way to determine the problem is a limited-ingredient diet. You can buy a commercial hypoallergenic kibble or talk to your vet about making food for your dog. Once your dog’s symptoms have cleared up, you can gradually add back foods to see what they react to.
Gas is just one of many problems that obesity can cause in dogs. Obesity can also cause things like:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Bladder stones
- Anesthetic complications
- Reduced lifespan (by up to 1 or 2 years)
How can you tell if your dog is overweight? When your dog is standing up, you should be able to feel their ribs. They should also have a waistline when viewed from above or the side.
As with humans, helping your dog lose weight includes less food and more exercise. However, your dog may require a special weight-loss food. That’s because simply reducing the amount of your dog’s current food could lead to nutritional deficiencies.
The best thing to do if you think your dog is overweight is to take them to the vet. Your vet can tell you how much weight your dog should lose and how best to do that.
6. Digestive Tract Illnesses
Many digestive tract illnesses can cause stinky gas. These are often also accompanied by diarrhea. If your dog has loose stool, vomiting, or diarrhea along with gas, you should take them to the vet for a checkup.
7. Health Problems
Beyond just digestive tract issues, other health problems can cause gas, too. If your dog has other symptoms or changing their food doesn’t help, it may be time for a trip to the vet.
Preventing Dog Flatulence
Some gas is inevitable, but you can reduce how much gas your dog passes with these tips:
- Change your dog’s diet
- Be careful about what human foods you give
- Walk your dog after feeding them (heavy exercise can lead to bloat, but a walk can help loosen the gas for your dog to release it outdoors)
- Give your dog probiotics
- Slow down their eating and feed more, smaller meals
- Only make one dietary change at a time
Treating Gas in Dogs
There are several different ways to treat gas in dogs. Some methods involve giving them medications, like Gas-X. Other ways to treat gas in dogs require a lifestyle change.
What Can You Give a Dog for Gas?
Are you looking to give your dog medication to help them with their gas problem? Here are a few things you can give a dog for gas.
Can I Give My Dog Gas-X?
Gas-X is the brand name for simethicone, a medication that helps relieve gas in humans. Always talk to your vet first, but Gas-X is generally considered safe for dogs.
Gas-X works by helping small air bubbles combine with other air bubbles. The resulting large air bubbles pass through your dog’s digestive tract more quickly.
While it won’t help your dog’s farts stink less, it will help your dog feel more comfortable. That’s because they’ll experience less pain and pressure while gas exits their system.
You should always confirm dosages with your vet first. However, common doses for Gas-X are:
- 20 mg for small dogs
- 40 mg for medium dogs
- 80 mg for large dogs
Can I Give My Dog Pepto-Bismol for Gas?
Technically, you can give your dog small amounts of Pepto-Bismol to help relieve their gas. However, you need to use it very sparingly. Pepto-Bismol can cause your dog’s stomach lining to bleed.
If you want to give your dog Pepto-Bismol, we recommend talking to your vet first.
You’ve probably seen plenty of ads for probiotics for people. The truth is that dogs can benefit from probiotics, too. What are probiotics, and how do they help?
All animals have beneficial bacteria in their digestive tract to help digest food. Lots of things can cause the number of good bacteria to get out of whack.
Probiotics are good, live bacteria. They can help your dog digest their food better. Better digestion equals reduced gas.
It is possible to give your dog human probiotics. However, there are a growing number of probiotics for dogs on the market. These are a safer bet for your dog because they contain numbers and strains of bacteria best for dogs.
How Else Can I Treat Gas in My Dog?
Giving your dog medication for gas is often a temporary solution. There are lots of other ways to treat and prevent has in your dog.
Change Your Dog’s Diet
A poor diet is one of the most common causes of gas in dogs. Changing your dog to a higher-quality food is one of the simplest ways to reduce your dog’s gas.
Since food sensitivities and allergies can also cause gas, you may want to consider a limited ingredient diet with a unique protein and no fillers (like corn, wheat, or soy).
Slow Down Their Eating
Exercise Your Dog
Exercising your dog helps jiggle gas out of your dog. A walk outdoors within 30 minutes of feeding your dog can help your dog release their gas outside. A word of caution, though – intense exercise, like running, too soon after a meal can cause bloat.
Go to the Vet
Since many health problems can cause gas, it’s always a good idea to get your dog checked out by the vet. Some tests your vet may run include:
- Basic Vet Exam – The physical exam and discussion of your dog’s symptoms will help your vet decide what other tests to run.
- Blood Tests – Your vet may order blood tests if they suspect your dog’s gas is a symptom of something like pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).
- X-rays or Ultrasounds – These tests help your vet see if your dog has bloat or an intestinal blockage causing the gas.
- Fecal Testing – These tests check for parasites and bacterial infections in your dog’s poop.
Bloat (Gastric Dilation Torsion)
Bloat is a condition where a dog’s stomach fills with gas and twists on its axis. Large-breed and deep-chested dogs are the most prone to bloat. However, any dog can have it.
Half of all dogs who develop bloat die from it. Even one-third of dogs who receive surgery for bloat still die.
Dogs who gulp their food are more likely to get bloat since they tend to swallow more air when they eat.
Symptoms of bloat include:
- Retching (trying to vomit, but nothing comes out)
- Enlarged abdomen
- Agitation, pacing, obvious discomfort
If your dog displays signs of bloat, you must get them to the vet immediately.
Colic in Dogs
You may associate colic with babies and horses. Colic (trapped gas) can affect dogs, too. It can cause them as much discomfort as it does for horses and babies.
Symptoms of colic are similar to those of bloat. While colic isn’t as deadly as bloat, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You may want to talk to your vet if your dog is showing any of these symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Bloated abdomen
- Pacing or restlessness
- Arched back and tucked feet (signs of pain)
- Listlessness, fatigue, or depression
If you believe your dog’s colic is caused by something simple, like eating something they shouldn’t, you may try to treat it at home. Chronic colic should be seen by your vet, however. It can indicate a serious problem.
Try gently massaging your dog’s belly and back at the same time. This should help trapped air start to move through your dog’s digestive tract.
Colic has many of the same causes as gas that escapes from your dog. So, the other advice in this article can benefit a colic-y dog, too.
Wrapping Up Gassy Dog Remedies
Hopefully, we’ve given you plenty of ideas on what to give a dog for gas that will help. Your dog will feel better, and your nose will be happier.
When in doubt, it’s always best to go to the vet and get their expert opinion.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.