Your dog's gas is unpleasant for you, but imagine the discomfort it causes your pooch. Gas may not be a life-threatening condition, but it is one you should deal with immediately. A number of things can cause your dog to develop gas, but thankfully many remedies exist, such as adding yogurt to your dog's food to rid you both of the indelicate symptoms of gastric imbalance.
Upsetting the Balance
Your dog's diet is the first place to look for causes of his flatulence, especially if he gets bits from your plate. Table scraps don't contain balanced nutrition for your dog and they can be hard to digest, causing a dog's system to become imbalanced. Illness, too, can disrupt the order of things in your pup's digestive tract. Either situation can result in depleting the good bacteria normally present in your dog's stomach to help him properly digest food. Without enough good bacteria in his gut, your dog will become gassy.
If your dog's system becomes imbalanced, introducing beneficial bacteria can help put things right. Acidophilus is an ingredient in live-culture yogurt that will increase the amount of good bacteria in your pup's tummy and balance things out. Just a tablespoon-size dollop of yogurt -- teaspoon-size if you have a small-breed dog -- mixed in with his kibble once a day should be enough to set things right again.
Isn't Dairy Off-Limits?
Your dog's vet might have advised you against feeding your dog dairy products because he can't digest lactose. In fact, giving your dog milk on a regular basis is a common cause of gas. The live cultures in yogurt, though, are actually yogurt's saving grace. Those cultures make digestion easier for your dog, plus the amount of yogurt you'll need to help balance his system won't be enough to cause gas. Even dogs who are especially lactose sensitive can eat yogurt.
Other Gas Remedies
Your dog will probably love yogurt-covered kibble, but you can do additional things to reduce or eliminate the gas problem. Slow down mealtime by putting a sizable object like a large rock or tennis ball in the middle of your dog's dish. Having to eat around the item will force your dog to eat slower. If you have more than one dog, they might both be eating quickly to keep each other from snitching food. Feeding dogs in separate locations can make mealtimes more relaxed. Adding fiber to your dog's diet will keep things moving through his system, not allowing food to linger long enough for gas to form. Making sure your dog gets enough exercise can help, too. An after-dinner walk can serve as quality time that physically benefits you both. If all else fails, you can mix over-the-counter digestive enzyme supplements with your dog's food to help your dog digest the meal without turning it to gas.
- "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats"; Editors of Prevention Health Books
- VetInfo: Treating Dog Gas Problems
- VetInfo: Home Gas Remedy for Dogs
- "Vet on Call"; Editors of Pets: Part of the Family
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.