Gas—flatulence, as it's properly called—can be caused by a number of things, most of them involving diet. Although gas itself is not dangerous, bloat caused by excess gas could be a medical emergency, so don't delay in taking your doggie to the vet if he gets bloated.
Change His Diet
A probable reason for Rover's gas is what he's eating, according to WebMD Pets. The main culprit: table scraps. Dogs' digestive systems are not equipped to properly digest fermentable foods such as soy, dairy products and beans. So if you've been sneaking some of that to Rover on the side, stop immediately. Dogs also have trouble digesting carbohydrates in general, WebMD points out—so spend some time reading labels. Premium food should have protein listed as the first two or three ingredients. If corn, soy or wheat is at the top of the list, consider switching to something else.
Change His Eating and Drinking Habits
Another reason for doggie gas is swallowing air while drinking or eating. This is common in dogs who swallow their food in seconds, so one way to fix the problem is to slow down their eating. You can try hand-feeding small portions of food at a time or spreading the food throughout the day rather than feeding two large meals. Or look for special "slow-feeding" bowls, which make it difficult for Rover to eat too fast because they have grooves and plastic spikes in them that he must maneuver around in order to get the food.
Go Out for a Walk
Exercise can help stimulate digestion, so things "move along" better. The more active Rover is, the better his digestion will be. If food moves along the digestive tract properly, it won't be stuck inside the body for too long—which can worsen gas problems and the odor that comes with them. If you're already taking your dog for daily walks, make them longer or more frequent.
Visit the Vet If All Else Fails
Smelly gas could be caused by malabsorption syndrome. "Malabsorption" basically means your dog's body cannot digest and absorb food properly, so some of it passes through undigested. This causes not only foul-smelling gas, but also frequent diarrhea and weight loss. Sometimes bacteria grow in the small intestine, worsening the problem. A vet will need to figure out what's causing the problem—for example, a pancreas or an intestinal problem—so she can treat it. Treatment could include probiotics, antibiotics or a change of food.
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.
Tammy 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.