Flatulence is the emission of gas accumulated in the intestines through the rectum. It can alter the relationship between a dog and its owner when it is very frequent and foul-smelling. They are caused by two main things: the ingestion of air or an excessive production of gas in the digestive tract. We will see that there are different measures to get rid of this flatulence: food supplements, regular deworming, adapted food...
Why does my dog have gas?
Flatulence is the emission of excess gas from the digestive tract through the rectum.
If dogs have occasional flatulence, then there is no need to worry, it is completely normal. Gas is normally produced during digestion. However, when flatulence is too frequent, it means that gas is present in excess. It is then important to determine the cause of the gas and to put in place appropriate measures.
There are mainly two things that can lead to excessive gas accumulation:
- the ingestion of air by the animal when drinking, eating or panting. For example, dogs swallow air when they eat too quickly. Accumulated air can also be evacuated by eructation ("burping").
- gas production by bacterial fermentations.
Several causes can be responsible for bacterial fermentations
A diet not adapted to the animal
When certain ingredients are not well digested by dogs, residues can be found in the colon. These residues lead to bacterial fermentation in the colon and the production of gas. This is the case, for example, of certain sources of starch contained in kibbles: peas, lentils, potatoes. Note that the most digestible source of starch is rice.
A sudden change in diet
The intestinal microbiota (also called digestive flora) is sensitive to sudden changes in diet. This can lead to digestive disorders such as flatulence, diarrhea, etc...
Digestive worms can also affect digestion and cause flatulence.
A food intolerance or allergy
Some dogs do not tolerate or are allergic to certain ingredients in their food. Among the digestive problems caused, flatulence is possible.
Chronic digestive problems
This is the case, for example, for dogs suffering from exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, chronic inflammatory bowel disease, etc...
Taking certain medications
Antibiotics, for example, can alter the intestinal microbiota and be responsible for digestive disorders such as flatulence.
What are the solutions?
To limit gas intake by dogs, several things are possible. For dogs that eat too quickly, it is possible to slow down the food intake by distributing the ration in a non-gassy bowl or by moistening the kibble. It is also recommended to divide the dog's ration into 2 to 3 meals per day. The dog must be calm during meals, and competition between dogs must be avoided.
To avoid excessive gas production, several things are recommended.
Proper nutrition is essential for proper digestion. It is important to choose premium quality kibble with highly digestible ingredients. A change in diet can bring about a marked improvement with a significant reduction in gas frequency. A hyperdigestible or hypoallergenic diet, as prescribed by a veterinarian, is sometimes necessary.
The change of diet must be done progressively over 1 to 3 weeks (if the composition of the food is very different): we talk about a dietary transition. To do this, the quantity of the new food must be gradually increased and the quantity of the old food must be decreased.
Regular deworming is also very important. It is recommended to deworm dogs at least 4 times a year with a dewormer sold in a veterinary clinic.
Finally, food supplements can be very useful for dogs that have a lot of flatulence.
A cure of probiotics can first be carried out: these are good bacteria that promote a good functioning of the digestive flora and a good digestion, there are several food supplements containing probiotics.
There is also the food supplement Copronat Arcanatura which helps reduce flatulence in dogs (it is also recommended during coprophagia).
A veterinary consultation is necessary if the problem persists or if other symptoms are associated (loss of appetite, diarrhea, etc...).