What Does it Mean for a Dog to Have Gas?

by Tom Ryan
    His gas problem might mean he needs other food.

    His gas problem might mean he needs other food.

    Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    Everybody gets gas occasionally, including your dog. Unpleasant as it may be when it strikes, according to the ASPCA, very seldom does it indicate a serious health issue. Instead, your dog's diet or eating habits are more likely to blame -- consulting your vet and changing your buddy's food can put a stop to this smelly problem.

    Inexpensive dog food saves money at the store, but you might pay for it in poor air quality later. Low-quality foods are loaded with fillers, preservatives and additives that your dog's body struggles to process, which in turn gives him a case of flatulence. Switching him to a higher-quality food with more natural ingredients may help, so ask your vet for a recommendation. Similarly, eating table scraps can give your dog gas, as his body isn't used to processing the same types of foods and ingredients that yours is.

    If your dog gets a little too excited at mealtime, it could cause a gassy situation. Dogs that eat too much, too fast are prone to flatulence, in large part because they swallow air while wolfing down food. That air escapes in the form of gas after it passes through his body -- a process that may make him feel rather uncomfortable. Feed your dog twice daily, and if he still gorges himself too quickly, switch to a bowl engineered to inhibit fast eating.

    Just like people, dogs can suffer from food allergies and intolerances to certain ingredients, like grains and dairy. Try switching your dog's food, and consider taking him to see a veterinarian. The vet can perform allergy tests on your dog to determine what food allergens may be at work, saving you the time and effort of performing your own trial and error testing at home.

    Stomach illnesses, bacteria and infections can cause the type of stomach upset that gives your dog gas. Taking him to the vet can either confirm or rule out the presence of the various potential medical causes, like stomach parasites, improper digestion or general chronic gastrointestinal upset. Your dog's apparent flatulence may not even be gas at all -- impacted anal glands can make putrid odors emit from the same area, but a professional can drain them for you to eliminate the issue.

    Photo Credits

    • Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

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