Our dog gets really bad gas. Her gas is so bad at times, that I swear it’s going to peel the wallpaper off our walls! What could be the cause and is there anything we can do to help?
Slowly Suffocating in Shepherd Park Plaza
Dear Slowly Suffocating,
What you’re experiencing is a natural part of pet ownership, unfortunately. The good news is that there is likely an easy explanation and a quick fix for your pup’s fume-y situation; however, in some cases, stinky gas can be a sign of a bigger problem. Our friends at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine offer the following advice:
Certain diseases, such as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and inflammatory bowel disease, can cause excessive gas in pets. Because the amount of gas that a dog or cat produces can be quite variable, consult your veterinarian if you notice an increase in the frequency or any signs that your pet may be bloated and uncomfortable.
In addition to diseases, excessive gas can be caused by the food in your pet’s diet as well as your pet’s eating habits. Dr. Yuri Lawrence, a Ph.D. student in the Gastrointestinal Laboratory at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, explained some common causes.
“Swallowed air from eating or drinking water too fast often makes the largest contribution to gas in the gastrointestinal tract,” Lawrence said. “Diet also could play a role—consuming soybeans, beans, peas, and other legumes also can lead to excessive gas.”
In these cases, changing your pet’s diet could help. Lawrence said general ways to reduce gas include feeding a highly digestible diet, removing consumables that include legumes and lactose, and reducing swallowed air by feeding your pet small, frequent meals. However, be sure to consult your veterinarian before making any changes in your pet’s normal routine.
If everything checks out at the vet, your next step might be to consider adding a probiotic to your pet’s food. Probiotics and digestive enzymes, found at your local pet supply store or veterinarian’s office, are also beneficial microscopic bacteria. These enzymes help your dog’s system digest food better and help put the skids on gassy buildup. Also making sure that your pooch isn’t getting into food that she’s not supposed to have (i.e. cat food) can help. Here’s to hoping that the air clears in your home soon!
How you can help:
Have you ever considered fostering a pet for a shelter? If so, CAP (Citizens for Animal Protection) is holding a foster orientation class on Saturday, July 29 at 11 a.m. Potential foster parents must be 18 years of age or older and have landlord approval prior to attending the orientation. To learn more and register for orientation, go to: www.cap4pets.org
Do you have a question for Tabby? If so, email her at dear firstname.lastname@example.org
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