What Can Be Done for a Dog With Gas?

by Sarah Dray
    "We know it was Dad when he blames me."

    "We know it was Dad when he blames me."

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    Doggie's gas leaves you gasping for breath, and it's not likely a lot of fun for him either. Intestinal gas, itself not dangerous, can be uncomfortable. It can make Doggie feel bloated and might affect his eating habits and behavior. If gas is a recent phenomenon, a vet visit is in order. Rule out sickness before you work through behavioral options.

    A number of intestinal parasites and worms can cause gas. Roundworms, which live in your dog intestines, can be the cause of gas, bloating and diarrhea. Hookworms can also cause gas, as well as increased appetite and loose stools. If your dog hasn't been dewormed for a while, ask your vet what to do first. He might need several doses of deworming medication in order to get rid of different worms. At any rate, a vet visit will allow your vet to give a thorough exam that might turn up medical causes for flatulence.

    One of the main causes of gas is swallowing air. When Doggie eats or drinks too fast, he swallows air. Doggie suddenly has a lot of gas. Since you can't tell Doggie to slow down, you have to make him do it. One way to do this is to buy a special food bowl known as "slow feed bowl." This is a food bowl with molded knobs inside it. In order to eat, Doggie must work around the rounded protuberances, slowing down as a result. If you have more than one dog, hurried eating could be an instinctive attempt to avoid losing the food to another dog. Try feeding the dogs in separate rooms to see if that makes a difference.

    A number of people foods can wreak havoc in Doggie's tummy and cause gas. Dairy foods can cause digestive upset in many dogs, and so can spicy foods or foods high in fiber, such as beans. Foods that are very high in fats -- such as french fries, potato chips and chicken skin -- can also cause cause gas and stomach upset.

    Dogs can't digest carbs well, so feeding a dog food high in carbohydrates can lead to gas. The most common culprit is corn, although wheat and rice can also cause tummy trouble. High-quality pet food should contain little to no filler such as corn. Read the ingredients' list to find a dog food that lists a non-byproduct protein -- chicken, duck or salmon, for example -- as the first ingredient. If you plan on switching to a different dog food, gradually switch over by mixing old with new over the course of about 10 days. Sudden dietary changes can cause digestive upset.

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    About the Author

    Sarah Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including "Woman's Day," "Marie Claire," "Adirondack Life" and "Self." She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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