Grain-free diets for dogs typically contain meats, fats, vegetables and fruits, along with added vitamins and minerals. They don't contain any cereal grains, which can sometimes upset a pup's stomach. Unfortunately, the absence of grains doesn't necessarily guarantee that Spot won't experience any gastrointestinal upset when he eats his meals, resulting in stinky gas.
While grains such as corn, wheat and rice may cause gas in our canine companions, other ingredients can too. Some of these foods include beans, soybeans, peas and milk-based products such as cheese, according to petMD. All of these ingredients might be found in your pup's grain-free diet and could be the cause of his gaseous emissions. Grain-free diets generally are higher in fat than other dog foods, sometimes containing as much as 22 percent fat, according to the Dog Food Project website. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, the Association of American Feed Control Officials recommends only a minimum of 5 percent fat in an adult dog's diet. Unfortunately, large amounts of fat in your pup's diet can cause gas.
Wolfing Down His Diet
If Spot is suffering from frequent gas, it could be because he's wolfing down his food and lots of air along with it, warns the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The higher amounts of fat contained in grain-free diets make them more palatable to dogs, according to the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Because it's more palatable, Spot may scarf down a grain-free diet more quickly than he would another type of food. When feeding him, divide Spot's daily allotment of food into two or three smaller portions to prevent him from eating it too quickly and ingesting excess air, which can cause gas.
Just because a food is grain-free doesn't mean that its ingredients can't trigger a food allergy in your pup. Food allergies can lead to an upset tummy and smelly gas, according to the ASPCA. Proteins are the culprits behind most dog food allergies, warns Modern Dog Magazine. You'll find proteins in your pup's grain-free food in the form of meats and some vegetables. Allergies can vary from dog to dog, so you'll have to visit your vet to determine exactly which proteins your pup's immune system is responding to. She'll put Spot on a restricted diet, containing only one type of protein and one carbohydrate, or a hypoallergenic diet to see if this helps.
Many people mistakenly think that a grain-free diet will solve a pup's gastrointestinal issues because it doesn't contain grains, which are more difficult for a dog to digest, but this isn't always true, according to petMD. Visit the vet if Spot is having chronic gas issues, because a medical issue could be to blame. If you've recently changed your pooch's diet to a grain-free one, the food itself may not be to blame for Spot's stinky gas. Abrupt changes in a pup's diet can cause gas, advises MyPetED. When changing your pup's diet, always do so over the course of a week or two, so that Spot's tummy can adjust to it with little to no upset.
- petMD: Gas in Dogs
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Flatulence
- The Whole Dog Journal: Does Your Dog Have Gas?
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Selecting Nutritious Pet Foods
- The Dog Food Project: Grain Free Products
- Modern Dog Magazine: Food Allergies 101
- Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine: Nutrition for the Adult Dog
- petMD: Grain Free -- Is It Really The Answer?
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.