Last Updated on May 18, 2023 by The Puppy Mag
If your puppy is farting excessively, it’s important to find out why and consider getting them checked.
This article explains the main causes behind excessive flatulence in puppies, what you can do about it at home, and when to see a vet. Let’s get into it.
5 Reasons Why Your Puppy Farts So Much
Excessive farting in puppies is caused primarily by dietary issues or food intolerances, swallowing air when eating or drinking, genetics, a lack of exercise, or due to underlying health issues.
Knowing the causes of flatulence is necessary to help you resolve it.
Below are 5 of the main reasons why your puppy has smelly gas. If any reasons stand out to you, you’ll know what to focus on first.
1. Diet Issues or Food Intolerances
Diet is in fact the most common reason for excessive farting. Let’s discuss the common issues below:
- Carbohydrates: If your pup’s diet contains a lot of carbohydrates, he’ll be farting a lot. Carbs and fiber may not always digest as they should, which can lead to fermentation and then gas.
- Food Intolerances: Many dogs are intolerant of a wide range of ingredients. Wheat, corn, soy, chicken, beef, lamb, pork are just a few of a much longer list of common allergens. Following an elimination diet is one of the preferred ways to “weed” out any offending ingredients. Your veterinarian can make an appropriate diet for your pup, based on his current health, age, and size.
- Grain-Free: There’s still to this day a lot of speculation about whether or not grain-free is better or worse. But one thing we are sure of is when it comes to digestion and flatulence, grain-free is the way to go. Grains such as corn and wheat can be particularly hard to digest, directly causing gas production.
- Table Scraps: Pups have naturally sensitive stomachs and should only eat dog food that’s formulated for puppies. Any kind of human food, table scraps, or inappropriate dog treats can lead to an upset stomach, digestive problems, and of course, smelly farts!
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2. Swallowing Too Much Air
When air gets consumed, it has to be expelled… This is a well-known issue for both puppies and dogs of all ages.
- Swallowing air while drinking or eating: This is a common problem that causes a range of digestive issues and excessive flatulence. Rushing food will no doubt lead to accidental air consumption. Once swallowed, it will cause mild to severe discomfort until it’s released.
- Eating at the wrong angle: Although this mostly affects only the larger breeds, it’s still worth mentioning. Large dogs who bend their neck down to the floor to eat are most likely to consume extra air. Dogs should eat a higher level, around 6-10 inches off the floor depending on their height.
3. Genetically Predisposed To Have Gas Issues
There are some breeds that are prone to farting more than others.
- Brachycephalic breeds: That’s the official term, but we know them as “flat-faced” breeds. If you have a breed with a flat face then they are unfortunately prone to breathing difficulties, and swallowing air will be a lifelong issue for them. Most popular brachycephalic breeds: Boxer, French Bulldog, Pug, Pekingese, Boston Terrier, Shih Tzu, English Bulldog, Lhasa Apso, Cavalier King Charles Special
- Breeds with sensitive stomachs: Apart from flat-faced breeds, there are breeds that have naturally sensitive stomachs. Labradors, Huskies, German Shepherds, and Border Collies are just a few of many breeds that have “soft stomachs”. This doesn’t mean they can’t live a healthy life, but it does mean they suffer from digestive issues much more than other breeds.
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4. Lack of Exercise or Inactive
Remaining active and physically fit is important for nearly all aspects of health. If your pup is overweight or too inactive, gas issues can be the result.
- Mobility keeps everything moving: Remaining active will keep your pup’s body fired up and healthy. The bowls, digestive tract, and stomach will process and move food through his system easily when he’s physically mobile. Inactivity slows all bodily processes down.
- Out of shape: It’s not often you see overweight puppies, but it can happen. If your pup has too much excess weight it can lead to excess gas production and flatulence.
5. Underlying Health Issues
In more unfortunate cases, excessive flatulence could be a sign your pup has an early underlying health issue.
Underlying health issues:
There can be a range of health issues to do with the gut, digestion, and closely located organs. Some of the most common issues that lead to gas:
● Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
● Inflammatory Bowel Disease
● Canine Colitis
● Gastric Dilatation Volvulus
How To Stop Your Puppy Farting So Much
Let’s run through the best solutions to the issues covered above.
1. Adjust diet & nutrition
Ensure kibble is high-protein, low-carbs, formulated for puppies:
High protein kibble (usually premium kibble) contains a higher meat content. Meat contains a range of enzymes and ultimately puts less stress on the gut to digest it. High protein diets usually mean less flatulence.
Make the kibble wet:
Whenever feeding your pup kibble, ensure it’s not left completely dry. Add a small amount of water to make the meal wet. This aids digestion and reduces gas production.
Grain-free formulas have both positive and negative arguments, but in most cases, digestion IS improved. Improved digestion means less stinky farts.
Change diets slowly:
While in the quest to reduce your pup’s farting power, you may end up changing diets a few times. This is fine, but you must do it S-L-O-W-L-Y. Gradually phase the old food out and the new food in over the course of 7-10 days. Failing to do this can cause an upset stomach and gas!…exactly what you’re trying to avoid.
Visit your veterinarian and try an elimination diet:
If you suspect a certain ingredient to be causing the gas, try using a kibble that doesn’t contain it. Elimination diets can be hard to plan so contacting your vet is recommended. An elimination diet may reveal a certain ingredient that your pup doesn’t get along well with.
2. Try slow feeders & raising the food bowl
Use a slow-feeding bowl:
These are food bowls designed to hold kibble in such a way that it’s slightly harder to retrieve. By slowing down the speed at which your pup eats, the amount of air gulped in will also decrease. Recommended option (Amazon)
Raise the food bowl:
If you’ve got a big puppy, then he’ll benefit from eating off the ground by several inches. You can buy a raised food bowl like this one on Amazon (this one is adjustable so as he grows you won’t need to buy another!) By raising the food bowl you are creating better alignment as your pup chews and swallows his food resulting in less air consumption.
3. Increase exercise & overall activity
Be sure to remain as active as possible with your pup without causing them injury or physical stress.
2-8 months is when the most serious growth will occur and this is when getting plenty of rest is crucial. After this, most physical growth will slow and he’ll be ready for an increased exercise regime.
4. Visit your veterinarian
Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian:
If you can’t figure out what’s causing excessive gas with your puppy, then it’s important not to waste any time, and visit your local veterinarian for a thorough health check-up.
So many different things can cause excessive flatulence. If you are unsure or have no good idea as to why it’s happening, play it safe and visit your veterinarian.
Excessive Farting Isn’t Your Puppy’s Fault
This sounds obvious, but it deserves its own section.
I get it, the last thing you need when you’re trying to relax after a hard day’s work, is to have your oxygen replaced with your puppy’s lethal farts.
But remember, your pup isn’t doing it on purpose and apart from health issues and genetics, it’s likely due to a problem that you have control over.
Never punish your puppy or show frustration. This will only lead to fearfulness and a lack of trust between your puppy and you. And trust me, this alone will cause much bigger problems than a few bad farts.
If your puppy is farting excessively, it can be frustrating and hard to live with.
Most of the time it will be due to diet or food intolerances, followed by swallowing too much air or receiving a lack of exercise. And for some breeds, they are just made to fart more. These are breeds with flat faces or sensitive stomachs.
In unfortunate cases, excessive gas can be a sign of an underlying health issue. If you don’t already have a good idea of why your pup has excessive gas, it’s crucial to visit your veterinarian as soon as possible for them to rule out health concerns.
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