Dog flatulence is something all pet owners have probably experienced at one time or another. Like their human counterparts, dogs are susceptible to a buildup of gas in the intestinal tract and colon and when that gas is eventually expelled the results can be less than pleasant for everyone around them.
Flatulence is common, but what exactly causes it and is there anything you can do to reduce it? The scientific reason for it is as a side effect of bacteria in the intestine breaking down certain types of food. While it may not smell very good, this gas is rarely a sign of anything more serious. The most likely cause is going to be related to your dog's diet and that means it is easily corrected.
The most common cause of dog flatulence is eating low quality food that cannot be easily digested. The less fully the food is broken down, the more likely it is for gas to build up during the digestive process. Easily digested food that breaks down completely will be able to pass through your dog's digestive system without causing any issues.
Another possible cause is food allergies. Like humans, dogs can be allergic to certain foods, most often lactose. Also, table scraps can be too fatty or rich for a dog's system to handle properly and this may lead to digestive issues and excess gas. Finally, gas can develop if your dog eats too quickly because this means he'll be swallowing air along with his food.
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While persistent dog flatulence may be a side effect of certain medications and may rarely be a sign of an underlying medical problem, more often than not it is simply related to your dog's diet or eating habits. Flatulence does not discriminate by breed either, occurring in any type of dog, including Australian Shepherds, depending on their diet and their allergic tendencies. Any dog that doesn't get a proper diet can end up suffering from bouts of gas.
So what can you do for your dog if he does tend to experience gas quite often? The number one step is to ensure that you are consistently feeding him a healthy diet. Avoid foods that contain cheap fillers like corn and ash and make sure that you choose a food that is appropriate for his age, breed and lifestyle. Your vet can recommend the best foods to use, so make sure to ask for his advice.
You can also reduce or eliminate flatulence by not feeding your dog table scraps and identifying and avoiding any known allergens. It may also be necessary to avoid foods that contain lactose, such as dairy products. Also, you may want to feed your dog in smaller amounts several times a day if he is a fast eater to reduce the amount of air he takes in while eating.
While flatulence may be unpleasant it doesn't have to be a cause for alarm. If your dog tends to be overly gassy then you should take a careful look at what he's eating and how he eats and see what steps you can take to remedy the situation. Not only will this help to reduce dog flatulence, but feeding your dog a healthy diet is also good for his overall health so you can both feel better and breathe easier!
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