Any dog owner will know all too well that some alarmingly unpleasant smells can come out of the back end of a dog, and even if you are more than familiar with this concept, it doesn’t make it any more pleasant to deal with!
Gas or flatulence is something that all dogs-and people-deal with from time to time, and whilst this can be unpalatable, it is a normal side effect of the digestive process. Whilst sometimes severe or chronic flatulence can indicate a problem that will require investigation, generally it is something that we don’t think about too much, other than when the dog has just poisoned the air in the room and everyone’s attention is drawn to it.
However, if your dog’s emissions are really starting to bother you or you are wondering if there is anything that you can do to reduce the severity or frequency of your dog’s bouts of gas, you may be in luck. In this article, we will share seven top tips for reducing flatulence in your dog, and trying just one or two of these out can often make a big difference. Read on to learn more.
First of all, if you are concerned about any aspect of your dog’s health or care, it is wise to talk to your vet first even if you are not sure that the problem is medical in nature. Your vet may be able to make some general suggestions or have some ideas specific to your own dog or situation-or they may simply give you the go-ahead to carry out an idea of your own, or be able to explain to you why it may not be a good idea.
Some dogs are allergic to the common grains that are widely used as a bulking agent in many dog foods, such as wheat. Whilst only a small percentage of dogs are truly allergic to wheat to the extent that they will react very badly if they eat it, there is virtually no value to wheat in terms of its nutritional content for dogs.
Picking a grain-free food will allow your dog to get the maximum level of nutrition from their diet, and reduce the chances of your dog reacting badly to an ingredient that ultimately they do not need at all.
Grains are not the only potential allergen that can be present in dog food-theoretically any ingredient or substance can cause an allergic reaction in a dog. Some of the more common non-grain allergens are things like seafood and additives such as preservatives and colourants, and so once again picking a high quality food without unnecessary grains or other ingredients can help.
One thing that is often overlooked when it comes to the digestive process of dogs and how it works is the effect that movement and exercise has on the dog’s digestive system and general gut motility.
Taking your dog for a gentle walk after they have eaten or encouraging them to stretch and move around will help to get everything moving normally in terms of their digestive tract, and can help to avoid problems such as constipation and bad gas.
Probiotics are a type of “good” bacteria that resides in the body and helps to keep the body healthy and everything working as it should-you may have seen adverts on the TV for probiotic yoghurts. Generally, neither dogs nor people actually need to make a special effort to add probiotics to their diet-but if your dog has recently had a bout of diarrhoea or is rather gassy, they may benefit from a booster of probiotics to help to get everything back to normal.
Many dogs eat so fast that they can clear a bowl in the time it takes you to put it all the way down onto the floor! This can lead to problems because it often means that your dog will not chew the food properly, which is important to begin the digestive process, start breaking down the food, and prime the stomach to go to work on the meal.
There are a wide range of different things that you can try to slow down your dog’s eating-such as putting obstructions like large dog-safe balls into their bowl so that they have to eat around them. You can also buy specially designed bowls that have tracks and raised areas in them that again, will force your dog to eat more slowly.
If your dog is fed just twice a day, splitting up their daily food allowance into three or even four portions instead may help with wind, because your dog’s stomach will not have to process so much food at a time after a long period of inactivity.
This is often enough to cut out gas and also, help to resolve problems such as reflux in dogs that are prone to it.