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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Passing Gas (Flatulence)




Condition Overview

Dogs who pass gas often can embarrass or distress their owners. The most common cause of flatulence is swallowing large amounts of air while gulping food.


You will know it when you hear (or smell it) but a sudden bout of flatulence, accompanied by abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite, or diarrhea, is an indication to seek veterinary attention.


The most common cause of flatulence is swallowing large amounts of air while gulping food. The next most common cause is eating highly fermentable foods such as onions, beans, cauliflower, cabbage, and soybeans. Flatulence also occurs with malabsorption syndromes. The excess gas is related to incomplete digestion of carbohydrates. Boxers are renowned for flatulence problems.


It is important to first rule out any malabsorption syndrome.


Change the dog's food to a highly digestible, low fiber diet, and avoid giving table scraps. Feed 3 small meals instead of one large one to keep the dog from gulping food and swallowing air. If this does not stop the flatulence, consider switching the dog's food again.

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Taking your dog for a walk can help relieve gas. Check the dog food for soy ingredients which are packed with protein, but difficult for many pets to digest. Overeating can overload the gut, which allows things to ferment that normally wouldn't. Keep your dogs diet under control. Most adult dogs and cats can only digest small amounts of milk. They don't produce enough of an enzyme called lactase, which is needed to digest the lactose found in milk. Try removing any dairy products from the dogs diet for a few days and see if anything improves.


If further treatment is desired, simethicone can be given to absorb intestinal gas. Simethicone is available over the counter for people as a liquid or in tablets. The dose for dogs is 40mg once or twice a day after meals. Charcoal based treats and biscuits, and supplements that contain yucca, may also assist with gas.


Please contact your veterinarian with questions regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +


Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats

Publisher: Bantam Dell Publishing, 1996

Website: http://www.randomhouse.com/bantamdell/

Authors: Matthew Hoffman, Laura Catalano, Maryanne Dell

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