It starts out with a seemingly innocuous toot, but when your pooch's wall of gas hits you squarely in the face, you may need to bolt. Gassy dogs need love, too, so if you're frequently embarrassed by your dog's "fragrance," try toning him down with some safe home remedies.
Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes
Bacterial cultures can be your rank Rover's best friend. Adding 1 or 2 tbsp. of low-fat yogurt with each meal can help reduce internal gas. Probiotics and digestive enzymes, found at your local pet supply store or veterinarian's office, are also beneficial microscopic bacteria. These enzymes help make your dog's innards digest food better and help put the skids on gassy buildup.
If your dog's flatulence startles the neighbors and brings small children to tears, consider treating your dog to activated charcoal tablets or biscuits. Zinc acetate and yucca, found in health food stores, can also be beneficial. In a 2001 study reported in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs given charcoal, yucca and zinc acetate dietary supplements produced significantly less odor in their intestinal gas; taken separately, charcoal was the most effective of these treatments. Since charcoal can rob the body of nutrients, it's best to limit usage to one or two days, advises the website VetInfo.com.
Feeding your pooch a poor-quality food -- one with fillers and byproducts -- may contribute to excessive gas, especially if the dog is allergic to any ingredients, such as corn, wheat, soy or dairy. You can generally get around this by feeding food that lists as a main ingredient meat-based protein, such as chicken or beef, and whole grains that are easily digested. Choose a food from a reputable producer that has done animal feeding trials and research to improve its products, advises Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. And you'll definitely want to stay away from highly fermentable table scraps, especially foods like beans, cabbage or onions.
Though your dog's smells may borderline on toxic, the issues that cause the gas are usually harmless, such as simply swallowing too much air. Prevent your dog from wolfing down her food by feeding smaller, more frequent servings and by providing highly digestible food in a raised feeder. More serious causes of gas may be inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome, caused by food sensitivity or intestinal bacterial overgrowth, according to PetMD. These conditions are generally accompanied by more severe symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea; see your veterinarian if your dog's gas persists.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Elle Smith has been an advertising professional for more than 25 years. Her work for ABC, CBS and Sony Pictures Television has appeared on radio, on air, in print and outdoors. In addition, Smith has more than 20 years experience in marketing, graphic arts, commercial photography and print production, and is a licensed real estate agent with property management certification in California.