Last Updated on May 18, 2023 by The Puppy Mag
A little pop here and there is manageable, but when your great dane is letting them rip continuously, it can become a big problem. This article will explain why your great dane farts so much, and how to reduce his excessive flatulence.
3 Reasons Why Your Great Dane Farts So Much
A diet that is poorly digested is the main reason why great danes fart a lot. Excessive flatulence can also be caused by digestive issues, swallowing too much air when eating, eating the wrong types of food, or due to a health issue.
Many owners struggle with this problem, and although at first, it may evoke a few laughs, I know how troublesome this problem can be… Especially when you have guests over! Let’s find out why your great dane is clearing the room, then the solutions.
1. Diet & Food
Consuming certain types of food will be the main reason why your great dane is so gassy. There are ingredients that naturally cause more gas as they are processed by the body, and there are ingredients that simply don’t agree with his body. Either one can cause gas.
There’s also a wide range of common allergens that are put into most treats and food, chicken, and beef being two of the main ones. Yep, chicken and beef, despite their popularity are actually common allergens, and many dogs don’t digest them well.
Common food ingredients known to cause digestive issues:
- Chicken, beef, pork, and lamb (very common in all dog products)
- Soybeans, beans, or peas (very common in kibble)
- Oat bran, lactulose, psyllium (fermentable fibers)
- Milk and dairy products (very common in all dog products)
- Spicy foods
- Rotton or spoiled food
- Food additives and preservatives
It’s very likely that the dog food you are using now contains one or many of the items above.
● Chicken and beef are used in most kibbles.
As you know, chicken and beef are the most common flavors and protein sources for the majority of kibbles and treats. But as they are allergens, they often cause issues with digestion. You could try opting for a kibble that uses salmon, duck, or turkey as these are not allergens and typically digestion better.
● Foods with grains.
Foods with a lot of grains and fermentable fibers are another big culprit. The ways these ingredients digest causes them to expel gas in the large intestine, which soon comes out as lethal farts. Grain-free dog food (which most owners use now anyway) is known to reduce flatulence.
● All dogs are lactose intolerant (to some extent).
When your puppy is still consuming his mother’s milk, his body will naturally produce an enzyme called lactase, which is responsible for breaking down lactose.
The problem is that when puppies are weaned off their mother’s milk and onto kibble, their body stops producing lactase (slowly). This effectively makes them unable to properly digest lactose from thereon forward, making them lactose intolerant (some more than others). This causes digestive issues which leads to excessive flatulence
● Have you switched foods recently?
Switching foods is something I will suggest you do if you suspect it’s the kibble. But the reason I’m asking that question here is that the process of switching foods itself can cause your great dane to become gassy.
His body will take a while to get used to the new food and this process may take 2-3 weeks. Always keep this in mind. You may be switching to a new food that is destined to work well, but farting will be the result in the meantime regardless.
The reason it’s always suggested to use a “premium” dog food is that low-quality brands (usually the cheaper ones) often use more controversial food ingredients and “bulk up” their formulas with fillers and low-quality carbs.
This makes it seem like you’re getting a lot for your money, but in actual fact, you’re just getting a lack of quality nutrition and irritable food ingredients waiting to cause digestive problems.
2. Aerophagia (swallowing too much air)
Aerophagia is a condition whereby your great dane is swallowing too much air. This can happen due to stress or most commonly when eating and drinking.
Although this doesn’t sound like too much of an issue, swallowing too much air can lead to some very serious health issues like bloat and gastric torsion (GDV).
Swallowing too much air can impact digestion and even change the layout of the abdomen. As you can see, It’s something to be taken seriously.
Reasons why your great dane may be swallowing too much air:
- When eating from a bowl that’s too low down. With great danes being so big, this is easily done.
- Anxiety or stress can cause dogs to swallow air naturally throughout the day.
- Eating too fast
- Eating too soon after exercise
- Eating too many fermentable foods that expel gas as they breakdown
- Underlying respiratory conditions
There are many reasons that can cause too much air in the gut. I will run through one of the main ways you can combat this and a good precaution you can take in the next section.
3. Underlying Health Issues
When digging deep to find out the related health issues that can cause excessive flatulence, Vet West Animal Hospital revealed the following:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
- Intestinal parasites
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)
Excessive flatulence can be a symptom of all of these health issues, which may be currently undiagnosed in your great dane.
The only way to know for sure is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. They will be able to perform all of the health check-ups necessary.
In most cases, your great dane will be gassy due to diet and swallowing too much air, but it’s always important to stay on the safe side and rule out health conditions.
Popular Great Dane Articles:
● Why Isn’t My Great Dane Eating?
● Why Your Great Dane Follows You Everywhere
● How Big Do Great Danes Grow To? And When?
Ways To Stop Your Great Dane Farting (Prevent Excessive Flatulence)
Let’s run through the most effective ways you can reduce your great dane’s flatulence problem. It’s best to try one at a time and give it 1-2 weeks to see if the gassiness reduces before moving on to the next one.
1. Raise His Food Bowl
Raising the food bowl is something you can try right away. By raising the food bowl to the correct height the alignment of his neck and body are better ready to swallow his food.
This effectively reduces the amount of air swallowed while eating, preventing the possibility of bloat and excessive gas. This is one of the best methods to prevent aerophagia.
The diagram below demonstrates the correct height to eat:
I recommend making this change first to see whether it improves the situation. If your great dane is currently eating from the floor level, this will be a welcomed change for him regardless as it will put less strain on his neck.
You can put his food bowl up on a step as a temporary solution, or you can pick a raised food & drink bowl from Amazon.
2. Consider Switching Foods
You may want to consider switching foods. Check the kibble you are currently using for any of the suspect ingredients.
Admittedly, it’s hard to find a kibble nowadays that avoids all of the ingredients outlined above, but the more you avoid, the better.
It’s likely you are already using a premium kibble, but if it’s currently chicken and beef-based, try switching it for a kibble that uses salmon, duck, or turkey as the main protein source. These are not allergens and they generally digest better.
On top of that, you could also try a formula that is tailored for sensitive stomachs. Kibbles that are made for sensitive stomachs are usually more easily digestible and cause less irritation, resulting in less gas production.
But please remember, if you do try changing foods, your great dane will need a couple of weeks to settle into the new food. This alone may cause some gas.
And as always, if you are unsure about dietary adjustments, please consult your veterinarian first.
3. Reduce Stress & Anxiety As Much As Possible
Aerophagia (swallowing of air) can also be caused by stress and anxiety. You may not have known that stress and anxiety are just as prolific in dogs as it is in humans.
Many things can cause your dane stress. From hectic living environments, not receiving enough exercise (physical and mental), or from spending too much time alone, stress is easily caused and can result in Aerophagia.
Consider the overall lifestyle of your great dane and take an honest look at whether he’s lacking in any areas.
One problem that many great danes face is spending too much time alone. Great danes can be extremely dependant on having company and really don’t cope well when left alone.
2-4 hours is the max for most danes, so if yours is dealing with this every day, it may be causing him excess stress and anxiety (without you knowing).
Ensure your great dane:
- Receives 40-60 minutes of physical exercise every day
- Receives at least 30 minutes of dedicated basic command training
- Has access to interactive puzzle toys to keep him entertained
- Isn’t spending too much time alone
- Receives enough general attention from you and the family
- Has all of his needs met
Healthy habits and lifestyle results in a healthy body.
Do Charcoal Dog Biscuits Help Reduce Gas?
If you’ve already made a few Google searches or spoken to your veterinarian about this topic, you would have likely seen charcoal dog biscuits mentioned a few times.
Veterinarians frequently recommend charcoal dog biscuits as an immediate, short-term solution to reduce flatulence.
Activated charcoal has many positive health benefits and is typically made from natural items like coconut shells, bamboo, or wood. The charcoal helps absorb toxic substances as well as excess gas from the stomach and intestines.
Many owners including myself have had positive experiences with them.
But please understand, charcoal biscuits are only suitable as a short-term solution, and can’t be used continuously as a remedy. It’s important to find the real cause and solve it properly.
And you must make sure that you buy charcoal biscuits MADE FOR DOGS. Human-activated charcoal is different and should never be given to dogs.
Key Points Summarized
Let’s run through the main take-aways from this article. I’ll sum up the most important points below.
● Your great dane is more than likely disagreeing with his kibble or certain ingredients
● Aerophagia (swallowing of too much air) is the second most common reason, followed by health concerns
● It’s important to rule out health concerns first with your veterinarian
● Raise your great danes food bowl up from the floor to reduce air consumption when eating
● Avoid feeding your great dane too soon before or after physical exercise
● Charcoal dog biscuits may be a good short-term solution but consult your veterinarian first
● Consider switching the kibble to avoid culprit ingredients and common allergens
● Consider using a kibble formulated for sensitive stomachs to make digestion easier
● Evaluate your great danes overall lifestyle and try to reduce stress wherever you can
Thank you for reading!