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Your dog's nutrition is important for a healthy & happy life. petMD experts help you to know what to feed your dog, how much food to feed, and the differences in dog foods, so your dog gets optimum nutrition.
Nutrition Nuggets is the newest offshoot of petMD's Dog Nutrition Center. Each week Dr. Coates will use her expertise and wisdom to blog about the intricacies of dog nutrition.

Is Your Dog’s Food Making Him Fart?

February 26, 2016 / (3) comments

My dog farts… a lot. Apollo could be the poster child for a support group for farting dogs. He’s a boxer, a breed notorious for producing noxious plumes of gas. He has inflammatory bowel disease and severe food allergies, both of which are associated with “rectal flatulence, as we say in the medical profession,” to quote the veterinarian from Walter the Farting Dog.


When I have good control over Apollo’s diet and inflammatory bowel disease, his gas subsides to normal levels, but when he eats something he shouldn’t, watch out!


Which brings me to my first point in this post dedicated to foods that reduce farting in dogs: If your pet has other symptoms of gastrointestinal problems, like weight loss, changes in appetite (decreased or increased), vomiting, or the production of abnormal stools, make an appointment with your veterinarian.


Abnormal farting can be a symptom of several, potentially serious diseases including:

  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
  • Gastrointestinal infections
  • Intestinal parasitism
  • Pancreatitis
  • Food allergy or intolerance
  • Inflammatory bowel disease


Once you are convinced that your dog is healthy and just farts a lot, it’s time to look at his diet.


The first thing to do is simplify, simplify, simplify. Table scraps, including what your kids drop (or throw) on the floor, and dietary indiscretion (e.g., getting into the garbage, horse poop in the pasture) can cause sensitive dogs to produce large amounts of foul-smelling gas. For about two weeks, make sure your dog eats absolutely nothing but his regular dog food. If his gas subsides during this time, you know it’s these extras and not his dog food that is to blame.


If your dog’s farting continues unabated after simplifying his diet, it’s time to change his food. A variety of dietary components can play a role in producing gas: Indigestible carbohydrates, especially soluble fiber sources like chicory, inulin, fructooligosacharides, pectins, psyllium, plant gums, oats, barley, beet pulp, and some types of fruits and legumes are likely causes because they are food for the many types of gas-producing bacteria that live in a dog’s large intestine.


Another culprit, particularly if your dog’s farts are especially foul-smelling, is meat. When a dog eats a diet consisting of a large amount of meat or meat that is not very digestible, bacteria within the large intestine break it down, releasing gasses that truly reek.


Individual dogs respond differently to particular foods, so picking the right diet does involve some trial and error. I recommend starting with an over-the-counter diet that is labeled as being highly-digestible or for dogs with a sensitive stomach. Look for products made from high quality meats (things that sound like something you’d eat) but that aren’t too high in protein; around 25% on a dry matter basis will meet all your dog’s needs without overdoing it. Also, avoid high-fiber foods, particularly those that contain several of the ingredients mentioned above.


Because food allergies/intolerances are a common cause of increased farting in dogs, another route to consider is a novel ingredient diet. Diets made from ingredients like duck and potato and venison and pea are available over the counter and worth a try. Probiotic supplements containing beneficial gut bacteria that can out-compete gas producing bacteria may also be helpful.


If two or three diet changes don’t make a difference, talk to your veterinarian. He or she can recommend prescription dog foods that do an even better job at reducing dog farts.


Does your dog fart a lot? What have you done to get it under control? 

Comments  3

Leave Comment
  • And with Pitbulls
    02/28/2016 09:27am

    What is the best food to feed your Pitbull?
    Very often owners make the mistake of giving their Pitbull food that is not suitable for the breed, causing them a lot of health issues. The main problem is that pit bulls, like most dogs, will eat almost anything you give them, and as much as you give them. This can be very dangerous and can significantly decrease the life span of your furry friend. To be on the safe we have made a selection of some of the best dog food for pitbulls covering different needs and stages of their life.
    Have articles with best dog food for dogs
    Detail here :http://goo.gl/wccGNx

  • 08/06/2016 05:46am

    What about Earthborne and Bullymax dog foods? I use the Earthborne Plains Feast w/ Bison Meal, supplemented with Nupro & Salmon Oil.

  • A dog's diet
    03/04/2016 06:24pm

    I normally cook for my dog. She eats a lot of chicken, but on occasion, she'll also have cooked ground turkey or sometimes beef (if we have pot roast). While her meal will consist mainly of meat, I do add some rice and vegetables like peas, green beans, broccoli and carrots. For calcium, I might add a small sprinkling of finely shredded cheddar cheese if she doesn't get a small bit as a treat during the day. Sometimes, I will give her commercial dog food (the moist chopped blends), but that's only when I haven't been able to cook. I have noticed that the only time her farts stink is when she gets the dog food since it does contain more meat than other foods.




Photo of Jennifer

... graduated with honors from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. In the years since, she has practiced veterinary medicine in Virginia, Wyoming, and Colorado. She is the author of several books about veterinary medicine and animal care, including the Dictionary of Veterinary Terms, Vet-Speak Deciphered for the Non-Veterinarian .

Jennifer also writes short stories that focus on the strength and importance of the human-animal bond and freelance articles relating to a variety of animal care and veterinary topics. Dr. Coates lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband, daughter, and pets.