Why Dogs Get Gas and How to Prevent It
I’ve often said that dogs are my favorite life form. But even dogs have little ‘flaws’ and one of them is their tendency to flatulence.
Countless jokes have been written and cartoons made about people using their dogs as scapegoats when they accidentally “let go.”
In other words, some dogs are known for their ability to clear a room in a second if the food doesn’t fit.
But seriously, people often wonder why dogs get gas and what can be done about it.
Why does kibble make dogs gassy?
Excessive gas production is usually caused by incomplete or inefficient digestion of the right foods or by an inappropriate diet and especially heavily processed kibble.
Most people now understand that processed foods are generally not good for our dogs. Such food is usually stored in warehouses and stored for months before it ends up in the dog litter box. They usually contain grains, rancid fat, poor quality diseased meat by-products, hair, feathers, chemicals and preservatives. There are many videos on this topic.
But even if processed food were made from the best quality ingredients, it is still far from what nature intended.
Why some breeds have weaker digestion
When it comes to digestion, there is a huge difference between different dog breeds and individual dogs. Some dogs do not have the same ability to produce enough digestive acids and enzymes.
For example, if you look at herding dogs such as German Shepherds, Border Collies and Poodles, they tend to have weaker digestive systems than Labradors or Golden Retrievers.
My thought is that shepherd breeders unknowingly selected dogs with weaker digestions because they needed dogs with a lower food drive. Sheepdogs were bred for herding and not for eating the sheep!
How do the pancreas, stomach and digestive system relate to the spine?
Digestion starts with the enzymes in the saliva and continues in the stomach and intestines. The stomach and pancreas play a crucial role in digestion. Both organs are closely connected to the thoracic-lumbar junction of the spine.
The stomach and pancreas function depend on receiving their energy flow from this segment. This will be explained in more detail profound in my article about stomach bleedingT And pancreatitis.
When energy flow decreases, the mobility of the stomach is compromised. It also leads to lower than optimal production of gastric juices and pancreatic enzymes.
A simple way to improve your dog’s digestion
If your dog tends to have gas or diarrhea, mix 0.5 to 1.5 teaspoons of raw, organic apple cider vinegar into his food.
I also suggest that you pay attention to the 13th intervertebral space and have your dog’s back examined by an experienced physical therapist or chiropractor.
Digestive Enzyme Supplements: Are They Good or Bad?
People often ask if they should give enzyme supplements and in some situations the answer is yes.
Think of digestive enzymes as a crutch for times when the body isn’t producing enough digestive enzymes on its own. However, if you continually give these enzymes to dogs that don’t need them, the production of digestive enzymes will decrease.
In my opinion, it is better to improve your dog’s enzyme production before supplementing. Crutches are good if we can’t walk, but they will make us weaker over time. It is important to exercise to improve function.
If your dog’s digestive system is very weak, you may need to find good quality digestive enzymes that contain papain and bromelain.
Are antacids good for dogs with poor digestion?
Using antacids will reduce the production of gastric juices, which will have a negative effect on your dog’s digestion.
The role of bacterial microflora on flatulence
Bacterial microflora is crucial for good digestion and reducing flatulence. A diverse population of bacteria also prevents the growth of disease and flatulence-causing bacteria. It is also extremely important for the proper functioning of the immune system, because 80 percent is directly related to the intestines. The healthier the microflora, the less flatulence and more efficient immunity.
Why low-carb eating is better
Grains and starches are not a natural part of a dog’s diet. Dogs have much shorter digestive tracts than herbivores and cannot properly process foods high in carbohydrates. This often results in excessive food fermentation and flatulence.
The overuse of antibiotics in veterinary medicine is also directly related to flatulence. Such practices kill beneficial probiotic bacteria and allow resistant pathogenic bacteria to thrive.
Simple steps to prevent flatulence
- Ideally, do not feed kibble and stop feeding grain and dairy products, including yogurt.
- Avoid grain-based treats and make sure your dog doesn’t get junk food from others.
- Switch to a diet of raw or cooked meat with vegetables and bones and watch videos on the preparation of natural food.
- Have your dog adjusted by a chiropractor or treated by a physiotherapist to check crucial spinal areas such as T13, L4 and L 6-7.
- If you notice that certain foods aggravate your dog, remove them for a while. If you reintroduce these foods and your dog reacts again, I suggest eliminating them longer or permanently.
- Many dogs do not tolerate beef, buffalo or bison well. They may not have evolved on a diet containing such meat. It is rich in arachidonic acid, which has high inflammatory properties.
Supplements against flatulence
- Give your dog all-natural minerals and certified organic whole food vitamins.
- Mix 1/2 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into your dog’s food.
- Add powerful probiotics to your dog’s food to replenish gastrointestinal microflora. Don’t forget that there is one Significant difference in the microflora of humans and dogs. That’s why I recommend dog-specific probiotics made with organic ingredients.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM