Solutions to the Gassy Dog Dilemma
Flatulence is, unfortunately for pet owners, a common problem in dogs. Natural food supplements can clear the air.
There is no specific cause of dog flatulence in most cases, so treatment tends to fall in the realm of promoting gastrointestinal health.
Holistic vets say increasing fiber in a dog’s diet can be helpful, as can various GI supplements. Enzymes might help as they encourage maximum digestion and absorption of nutrients – less waste means less colonic bacteria to ferment and pass as gas.
Probiotics are helpful in ridding the GI tract of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts, which may contribute to GI problems.
Vets also advise owners of gassy dogs to try experimenting with diet. Some diets (especially those high in carbohydrates, like beans and certain byproducts) are more likely to produce more foul-smelling gas.
A dog who is a fast eater ingests air while gulping down food which is usually expelled as flatulence. Feeding small volumes of food frequently and placing objects such as bricks in the bowl to slow feeding can be helpful. There are dog bowls on the market designed to do the same thing.
The original version of this column, “The Natural Vet” by Shawn Messonnier, DVM, was published in AKC Family Dog.