Our furry friends have so many endearing qualities, especially the way they love us unconditionally. But some pets have another, less lovable trait: the ability to clear a room with their gas.
Flatulence is the result of excess gas in the gastrointestinal tract. Most gas is swallowed while eating or chewing, but some gas is produced during digestion or made by bacteria in the bowels. It is completely normal for pets to ingest gas, especially chow hounds who wolf down their food, or brachycephalic (snub-nosed) breeds
who often breathe through their mouths.
Usually, there’s no need to worry about “windy” pets, but if your pet is passing more gas than usual, there could be an underlying medical reason. Intestinal parasites
, food allergies
, inflammatory bowel disease
and intestinal bacterial overgrowths can all cause excessive gas and unusual bowel movements. If your pet’s appetite and stools are normal, but his gas has increased, ask your vet about trying the following:
- Mix up mealtime: Replace large meals with smaller portions, fed throughout the day.
- Stop scarfing: Discourage rapid eating with a “slow feeder” bowl. Make your own by placing a smaller bowl upside down in your dog’s bowl before filling it.
- Amend the menu: Ask your vet about a prescription low-residue food, which is more easily digested.
- Ditch dairy: Avoid offering anything with lactose, which can lead to gas.
A few toots now and then are totally normal, but if you find yourself frequently holding your nose around furry friends, get them to the vet!