Treating Flatulence with Dietary Supplements in Dogs

PetMD Editorial
Written by:
PetMD Editorial
Published: January 25, 2011
Treating Flatulence with Dietary Supplements in Dogs

Often, the dog is blamed when foul smells “perfume” a room. But if your dog has the ability to clear a room with his frequent emissions, there may be something you can do to help make things a bit less "potent."

Causes of Flatulence

Gases are produced in the intestinal tract as a by-product of normal digestion. As these gases build up and pass through the body, they are expelled either alone or along with feces during a normal bowel movement. And while it remains a normal bodily function, certain animals produce and release an abnormal amount of gas. Persistent flatulence is not a life-threatening condition, but it can be uncomfortable for those living with the potent pup.

One of the main causes of gas in the intestinal tract is air swallowed during eating. Dogs that gulp their food and eat rapidly may have a greater amount of air in their digestive tracts than those that eat at a more sedate pace. Another cause of excessive gas buildup is food quality. If the pet food is less digestible, or has poor-quality ingredients, the animal’s digestive tract may not be able to process it properly, resulting in excessive amounts of gas. Flatulence can also result when a dog gets into the garbage and/or eats something that is not a normal part of the daily diet.

In addition, food allergies may play a role in the development of excess gas in the digestive tract. Flatulence can also come about as a result of intestinal disease or infection that interferes with the normal function of the intestinal tract. If flatulence is a result of a digestive enzyme deficiency, the animal may not be able to properly digest the food he eats.

If a severe case of flatulence is a sudden occurrence, the animal is experiencing signs of discomfort (i.e., groaning, stretching, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea), and has a diminished appetite, consult your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian can run diagnostic tests to rule out intestinal diseases as well as digestive enzyme deficiencies. Tests that might be recommended include blood analyses, fecal examination, X-rays, etc.

Treating Flatulence

Depending on the situation, your veterinarian may recommend a different diet; a new method of feeding your pet; or the addition of enzymes, probiotics, and/or dietary supplements to the animal’s food. A good-quality, well-balanced diet will allow for easier digestion and reduce the amount of waste being produced.

If the pet is a fast eater, there are several methods available to slow down his eating and reduce the amount of air ingested in the process. Keeping pets out of the garbage and not providing table scraps or human food treats will also reduce the incidences of indigestion, as does regular exercise.

Image: WilleeCole / via Shutterstock

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