Pet Care Basics, Vet Minute

Vet Minute: How to Help a Gassy Dog

My dog has bad gas! Sound familiar? Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer, talks about smelly dog farts and how to help a dog with bad gas. In this Vet Minute, Dr. Greer will also talk about what causes dog gas and gassy dog breeds. If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.

How to Help a Dog With Bad Gas

What Causes Dog Gas?

Frequently it’s due to diet changes that may be too frequent, too fast, too inappropriate for the dog. So every time we change our dog’s food, we change the bacteria that live in their GI tract. Or if you’re changing food more often than every 14 days; that’s how long it takes for the bacteria to stabilize in the in the dog’s GI, then we’re going to set ourselves up for all kinds of problems. So if you do have a tendency to have a dog with that problem, the more consistent the diet that you feed, the less chances are that you’re going to have this as an ongoing problem, once we get it stabilized.

My Dog Has Bad Gas. What Can I Give Him?

Probiotics are very helpful if a dog has bad gas. We have Doc Roy’s GI Synbiotics that comes both as a granule for the larger dogs and as a paste for smaller dogs or puppies. That’s one good way to get the right bacteria into the dog’s GI tract. Number two is don’t change the diet frequently. Some people will try adding things like pumpkin, which every time you do that, you’ve changed the food and you’ve then set the dog up for some other kind of a problem. The less frequently you change food, the more consistent you are. No table food, no extras, no change in the treats. What you feed every day is what you should feed every day. We’re going to see fewer problems with that. Some people prefer to use yogurt, and yogurt is not a bad thing if your dog doesn’t have a lactose problem. But it doesn’t put the bacteria in the GI tract that we think dogs should have. So if we’re using a veterinary product like the GI Synbiotics by Doc Roy’s, that’s going to be putting the bacteria in that we know dogs should have in their intestinal tract.

Gassy Dog Breeds

There are definitely some breeds that do tend to have a problem. A lot of them are the brachycephalics, the shorter-faced dogs, like the bulldogs, the boxers, the pugs. They tend to take in a lot more air as they’re eating, which then of course has to go somewhere. Either they’re going to burp it or they’re going to pass it through their GI tract leading to this smelly dog fart. Those short-faced dogs tend to be a problem. If we can slow them down and get them to eat slower, they’re less likely to take in a lot of air as they’re eating. That can be really helpful. So, using a slow feeder bowl, using a cookie sheet that you spread the food out on, putting tennis balls in the bowl, anything we can do to slow them down and not have them taken as much air as they’re consuming their food is going to help as well.

Written by: Marty Greer, DVM

Director of Veterinary Services

Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, has 40+ years’ experience in veterinary medicine, with special interests in canine reproduction and pediatrics. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1981. She’s served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services since 2019. In 2023, Dr. Greer was named the Westminster Kennel Club Veterinarian of the Year.

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.