My Dog has Wind – How to Help Flatulence in Dogs
Wind is a normal bodily function in both humans and dogs. A build-up of gas in the intestine causes flatulence, usually occurring whilst the body is trying to break down food.
Gas, although unpleasant, is usually not a cause for concern in our pets. However, if it becomes a persistent issue, there are many home remedies that should ease your dog’s discomfort.
A small number of medical conditions are associated with flatulence in dogs; which may indicate your dog is actually in pain. Although this is very unlikely, it is worth bearing in mind should the flatulence persist. If the wind is accompanied by prolonged sickness and diarrhoea, you should seek assistance from your vet immediately.
The Signs of Flatulence in Dogs
- Excessive rumbling or sounds from the abdomen
- Swollen stomach and bloating
- Regular expulsion of gas from the anus
The Causes of Flatulence in Dogs
There are a variety of causes of flatulence in dogs.
The least sinister reason may simply be that they are inhaling too much food as they are eating. This is likely to be because they are giddy and excited to get their food; and can be resolved by feeding your dog smaller portions more often throughout the day.
This can also be helped by investing in a specifically designed bowl to ensure your dog eats more slowly. If flatulence is caused by your dog inhaling air, the wind should be relatively odourless.
Alternatively, flatulence may be due to certain foods that are making their way into your dog’s diet. There are many foods that dogs will struggle to digest, including peas, beans, and milk, causing your dog to expel excess gas.
Many budget dog foods will use milk and other dairy products to thicken the gravy, and many dogs are lactose intolerant. So, switching to a more premium dog food may be a quick fix to your flatulence issues.
Keep a close eye on any snacks and treats your dog is being fed throughout the day, which may be causing excess gas. Additionally, if you have recently switched your dog’s food, and have noticed a considerable increase in wind, then you will have likely found a quick and easy fix to your issues.
There are also a few, uncommon, more sinister reasons for flatulence in dogs, including viral infections, parasites, and bowel disease.
Some Breeds will have More Wind
Flatulence is much more common among certain breeds of dog. Short-nosed dogs such as bulldogs and boxers suffer greatly from excess gas, as the nature of their face means they inadvertently inhale excess gas during dinnertime.
How to Know if the Wind is Causing Pain
If the gas is prolonged or excessive, it is likely your dog is suffering from at least a small level of discomfort. However, unlike humans, dogs do not have the power to communicate this verbally, so the discomfort or pain often shows itself in the dog’s behaviour.
Often dogs will become lethargic and sleep more, showing little interest in things they usually love. However, some dogs show increased irritability and aggression and can begin chewing furniture and other objects in a bid for attention.
Treatments for Flatulence
The most straightforward fix for your dog will be to ensure they have no access to any scraps or excessive treats. On the most part, dogs should not be consuming food made for humans, especially those that are heavily seasoned. Restricting them to their dinner bowl should help resolve your dog’s flatulence issues. Foods such as vegetables present no serious dangers for your dog, but can have stinky repercussions.
If this is not effective, you may want to consider changing up their diet. As mentioned, cheaper dog foods often bulk their meat out with wheat or milk, both of which dogs cannot usually digest. Do not assume that just because a food is labelled as hypoallergenic, it will cure your dog’s flatulence issues; it entirely depends on your pet’s circumstances.
Consider adding probiotics into your dog’s daily routine to help their digestive system function fully. Probiotics will help support good gut health in your pet.
Increase your dog’s activity level. Dogs may suffer from digestion problems, which lead to excessive wind if they are not getting enough exercise. Stick to a regular walking routine with your pet to ensure everything is working as it should.
It may be the case that your dog was born with or has developed a food allergy which is causing the flatulence, and undoubtedly a great deal of discomfort. Your vet should be able to run routine tests for this simply, and if this is the case the issue should be quickly resolved by eliminating the food.
One Step at a Time
When making dietary changes or adding in supplements to your dog’s diet and routine, make sure you make one change at a time.
This way, you will be able to see the reason for any changes in your pet, helping to develop long lasting habits that prevent the flatulence reoccurring.
When to See a Vet About Wind
When your dog has flatulence, it can be difficult to know when to visit your vet.
You should have already tried everything mentioned above, such as changing their diet. You should also ensure they have not had any ‘treats’, have no access to any scraps from the dinner table, and have a regular exercise routine. If you have implemented these changes but the wind continues, it is time to see a vet.
A vet will diagnose any possible allergies or anything more sinister that may be lying beneath. They may also simply be able to assure you that what you are experiencing is entirely normal.
Your vet will more than likely ask you for a sample of the dog’s stool, as well as details of their current diet and exercise regime.
If flatulence is paired with vomiting or diarrhoea, it is always best to seek a vet’s advice.