Flatulence. It can strike any dog breed, although I hear about it more often with greyhounds, shepherds, boxers, bulldogs, and other bully breeds. Just because you have a breed that may be more prone to excessive gas doesn't mean that it should be “normal.”
I’ve heard the horror stories. I’ve smelled the results. Sometimes you have to just plain leave the room to save your soul. It’s the putrid gas that can come from our dogs. The flatulence that makes you wonder “what is happening inside my dog’s gut”? It can strike any dog breed, although I hear about it more often with greyhounds, shepherds, boxers, bulldogs, and other bully breeds. Just because you have a breed that may be more prone to excessive gas doesn't mean that it should be “normal.” We have come to accept these common issues as “normal” because it is happening to so many dogs.
Many times we end up at our veterinarian’s office to make an attempt at fixing the problem. Most often the conventional thought process is to put the pet on a limited ingredient, hydrolyzed protein garbage pet food that is made by a large conglomerate. In reality, these foods may reduce some of the potent flatulence but in turn don’t give your pet excellent nutrition in the process. What we do know is that gas from your pet can oftentimes be resolved with a few simple, inexpensive supplements.
So, what is gas and where does it come from?
If you grew up with brothers you may know all too well about gas production. Gas, particularly flatulence, is when trapped air from the digestive tract is expelled. Many times the gas can be a product of swallowing or gulping large amounts of air when eating or drinking, but most often comes from the poor digestion of food. The additional symptoms associated can be bloating and painful or tight abdomen.
Is it the food?
A simple solution to your pet’s gas may be as easy as a food change. If your pet food is heavy with corn, wheat, and soy this may not digest easily, resulting in putrid fermentation in the gut. Nowadays, corn and soy are the highest genetically modified crops grown in the United States. It’s sad, but true, that the worst of the worst GMO crops are approved for our “animal feed,” which includes your cats and dogs. Jeff Smith, founder of The Institute for Responsible Technology and author, has found that animals fed GMO feed had greater stomach disease over those animals who were not fed GMO food. In addition to using some common sense here, I can’t say I’ve ever seen cats agree to raid the local cornfield as their next meal source. The most nutritious food in the cornfield is a field mouse, but never the corn itself. Most often when you upgrade your pet’s food and eliminate these pesky ingredients, you have a healthier animal with less gas!
In other news, maybe you are already feeding a grain-free, non-GMO food and your pet is still experiencing gas. Some additional culprits may be an intolerance to a particular ingredient or simply just not digesting their food correctly. If you haven’t already, it would be worth adding a digestive enzyme to your pet's meal. Digestive enzymes are great at supporting the body in many ways. If you are feeding a dry food, the enzymes of the raw matter have been depleted from the cooking process. Enzymes are needed for digestion, support to sensitive stomachs, allergies, body odor, stiff joints, excessive gas, bloating (especially after eating), excessive shedding, stool eating (usually from poor digestion of food), poor skin and coat, loose stool, and even hairballs for our feline friends.
We also like to suggest several options that add additional fiber to the diet. A few of our favorites are the Fruitables Canned Digestive supplement, Flora4 Sprouted Seed Topper, Firm Up! Dehydrated pumpkin, Animal Essentials Colon Rescue, and Answer’s fermented Goat’s Milk. These supplements are all supportive to the digestive system. Our customers have given us feedback about the fantastic results when these have been added to reduce digestive distress.
Oftentimes we also forget that the “extras” such as biscuits, treats, chews, etc. could be a factor in the excess gas as well. That extra Milk Bone that your dog gets at the bank drive-thru is often not the best option. If your dog expects a treat, then take your own dog-approved treat with you instead of accepting the less-than-great biscuit from the bank.
As we all know, there are some foods that fall into a food group that is known for excess gas. If you feed extra veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage your pet may exhibit gassy effects. If you also incorporate beans into any homemade meals, this too could be a culprit.
End Results (no pun intended)
With all of this being said, if the gas is persistent, you may need to make a few switches to find the right combination. You may even want to visit your veterinarian to rule out any digestive diagnosis which may be troublesome to the digestive tract. If all checks out well with the veterinarian then a consultation at The Pet Beastro can also help your pet. We can find a food that fits your pet’s symptoms to reduce the gas (for everyone’s sake!) as well as the right supplement combination to help with the digestive system. The end result? Hopefully, a restful night of sleep without having to reach for the gas mask.