When dogs break wind so that the whole room stinks, it is very unpleasant for the owners. We humans can control and suppress this natural need relatively well, unlike our four-legged friends. However, if your dog has bloating, it will not go out of the room or into the fresh air out of consideration for you. So what can you do about it and whatare the causes of the dog's bloating?
Causes of dog bloating
Dog flatulence can smell quite unpleasant, but in many cases it is not a cause for concern. Flatulence, to use the veterinary term, is caused by an excess of intestinal gases. These are noticeable from noises in the intestine as well as by the emitted flatulence. Serious diseases and acute poisoning can lead to bloating, but are rarely the cause. It is usually due to poorly digested food or dogunfriendly foods such as peas and beans or unripe fruit.
One reason for the flatulence, for example, may be an excessive amount air that your four-legged friend swallowed while eating. Also, the excess intestinal gases can be caused by the swelling of food components and an intolerance to certain ingredients. Flatulence can be triggered very specifically and by different types of meat, cereals or vegetables.
In terms of nutrition, bloating is often due to the fact that the dogs are overwhelmed with the digestion of their food. There is then a so-called food-processing disorder.
In this case, components of the food are not digested properly and are broken down by bacteria in the rectum. However, it is not actually responsible for this function, which is why bad-smelling gases form.
These foods are difficult to digest for dogs and therefore unsuitable:
- Table waste Food
- Meat offal high in connective tissue
- Insufficiently digested carbohydrates Chewing items
- Foods such as mushrooms, broccoli, cabbage, raw beans and other legumes
If your four-legged friend has a sensitive gastrointestinal tract, it may happen that he also cannot digest it properly if the food is too cold. If you change his diet too suddenly or feed him only once a day, your dog may also experience bloating.
Beans may have unintended consequences - As with humans, bloating in dogs usually does not have a negative effect on their health and is due to digestive difficulties of various kinds.
Possible diseases as a cause of bloating in dogs
The fact that your dog has excessive flatulence is due to increased gas formation in the intestine. In most cases, these are harmless causes, such as your dog simply swallowing too much air while eating (hastily), or its food is not properly digested and ferments in the body. But also lack of exercise, eating faeces or the normal ageing process can lead to bloating. If the above-mentioned reasons for flatulence are excluded, there may be more serious medical causes, e.g.:
- Gastrointestinal disease
- Chronic inflammation of the mucous membrane in the intestine
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome, often associated with mucous diarrhoea
- Infection with Giardia (single-celled micro-organisms), worms and other intestinal parasites
- Dysfunction of the pancreas
- Tumour diseaseIntestinal blockage, for example due to swallowing an object.
Your dog's bloating may also be triggered by prolonged treatment with drugs such as antibiotics. For possible side effects, your vet is the right contact person.
When is it necessary to go to the vet?
In general, it is always a good idea to have an animal doctor clarify unusual behaviour of your dog. You, as the owner, know your furry friend best. If your dog's bloating seems strange to you, or they are are paired with other problematic symptoms and unusual behavioural symptoms, it helps to consult an expert.
Chronic bloating should be urgently investigated If your dog has permanent or regular bloating, it is advisable in any case to investigate this problem. In addition to nutrition, other causes such as diseases or even poisoning are also possible.
Symptoms of dog bloating: What signs should you look for?
Typical noises and smells are a striking feature of flatulence in dogs. However, if you experience other symptoms that may be of concern to you, we recommend that you contact your vet. Often, bloating is accompanied by:
- Loud noises in the stomach and intestines
- Persistent and frequent flatulence Extreme smell
- An arched back (dog constantly has bloating and makes a cat's back)
- A distended, bloated belly
- Changed faeces (e.g. unusual, light brown colour)
- Acute problems with digestion (e.g. diarrhoea and vomiting)
- Stomach cramps and pains Lack of appetite
- Bad faeces smell
- Weight loss
If your dog shows any of these signs in addition to the bloating, or otherwise behaves uncharacteristically, you should consult a vet. Even if you are not sure about the cause of the flatulence, a medical check-up is recommended. In such cases, it is important to clarify the actual trigger so that serious reasons can be ruled out.
What helps for the bloating?
If you know the cause of your dog's bloating, treatment is relatively simple. Avoid the causes, for example, by not providing the relevant food any more or by changing the diet of your four-legged friend.
A dog food for sensitive dogs can also be a solution. Sensitive food is characterised by a highly digestible and thus gentle recipe, which brings with it high acceptance with our beloved four-legged friends.
How to change the feed?
If you want to give your four-legged friend a different dog food, you should do it step by step. Add a small portion of the new variety to your usual feed each time.
After a few days you can increase the portions continuously until the new dog food has completely replaced the old one.
--- it is also helpful to pay attention to what your four-legged friend is eating.
This will help you to find out the cause and avoid it.
Further measures against dog bloating
- If your dog has bloating, you can gently massage his stomach to release gases. Gentle foods such as chicken and unsalted rice can help with acute symptoms.
- If your four-legged friend is an older dog, special dog food is recommended. This is ideally suited to the needs of older animals and mainly contains easily digestible ingredients.
- In the case of a food intolerance, a test is usually necessary to find out which ingredients your four-legged friend does not tolerate – for example, by means of an exclusion diet. This should be done after consultation with a veterinarian. In the elimination or exclusion diet, your dog will receive a food with only one protein and carbohydrate source not tried previously. Give this to a fully grown dog for max. 8 weeks - for a young dog a shorter period and only in consultation with the vet - otherwise a nutrient deficiency could occur. Once the improvement has occurred, run a ‘provocation test’ with the old food. If the symptoms reappear, switch back to the previous good diet and test which protein and carbohydrate sources your dog can tolerate.
- Some home remedies are also suitable as measures if your dog has bloating. These include cumin and fennel tea.
- If your four-legged pet swallows a lot of air when eating, you can avoid this by using an anti-gobble bowl.
- The problem is particularly common in short-muzzle breeds such as the Pug and the French bulldog.
- Competition for food often entails ingestion of air. Therefore, leave your dog to eat alone and in peace.
- If your dog likes to gobble his food, an anti-gobble bowl can help.
- If your dog's bloating is due to overloading of the gastrointestinal tract, you can reduce the amount per meal. Small portions of food do not strain the digestive system as much.
Only use household products carefully and consult an expert if there is any uncertainty.
Conclusion: Bloating in dogs is unpleasant, but can be treated easily
As unpleasant as bloating may be for your dog: In general, they can be treated relatively easily. Since bloating is often associated with dog food, you can have your four-legged friend tested for intolerance with the help of your vet. Balanced dog nutrition is the best way to prevent bloating in the long term. But also general changes in everyday life, such as an anti-gobble bowl or increased attentiveness during walks, can protect against future bloating.
Author of the guide
“Surrounded by cool north wind, the stormy Baltic Sea and sleeping dogs, I live, blog and write in the Hanseatic city of Rostock. Since dogs and cats accompanied and fascinated me from a small age, I have specialised professionally in the dog and pet industry. As a “dog-copywriter” I fill the websites, blogs and social media accounts of animal companies with life. At the moment I am the proud owner of two male dogs, with whom I like to wander through the nature of Northern Germany.”