Symptoms of Stomach Gas in Dogs

Stomach gas in dogs is perfectly normal. Stomach gas can build up in your dog's intestine and escape through the anal opening as flatulence. Let's discuss the origins and symptoms of stomach gas in dogs, and find out what you can do to improve it.

Causes of Canine Flatulence

It's normal for your dog's gastrointestinal tract to produce a certain amount of gas. Gases usually accumulated as a by-product of digestion. The normal bacteria that live in your dog's intestinal tract, and help him digest his food, produce gases as a waste product. Over time, these gases can build up into episodes of flatulence.

Most dog stomach gases have no odor. Only about one percent of the gases that form in your dog's intestinal tract have a smell. Usually, episodes of flatulence occur when your dog eats something that causes the bacteria in his intestinal tract to produce more gaseous waste products. These episodes of flatulence don't last very long; chronic, persistent flatulence, however, is usually a symptom of illness.

Factors that Can Worsen Dog Flatulence

Your dog might experience temporary increases in stomach gas if he eats something rotten or overeats. Dogs who eat high-fiber diets or soy-based diets often experience more flatulence than dogs who do not. Food allergies can cause flatulence in dogs, though flatulence due to food allergies is usually accompanied by other symptoms, including nausea and vomiting.

Some diseases and disorders that could cause chronic, persistent flatulence include:

  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Gastrointestinal infections
  • Malabsorptive disorders, or disorders that affect your dog's ability to absorb nutrients from his food
  • Maldigestive disorders, or disorders that affect your dog's ability to digest his food

Symptoms of Dog Flatulence

Most dogs get stomach gas due to dietary factors, although swallowed air can also contribute to the build up of gas in the intestines. If your dog is having a bout of normal flatulence, then you will probably notice him farting a lot. The flatulence may or may not smell. Your dog's stomach may make grumbling noises and he may experience abdominal pain or cramps.

If your dog's stomach gas is a symptom of an underlying condition, then he will suffer from other symptoms in addition to flatulence. Vomiting and diarrhea are typical symptoms of gastrointestinal upset. Your vet will need a complete physical exam and thorough medical history to diagnose the cause of your dog's stomach gas, and a range of tests may be necessary.

Easing and Preventing Stomach Gas in Your Dog

Ease and prevent canine stomach gas by making sure your dog does not eat rotten food, dead animals or trash. Feed him a low-fiber diet that is not based on soy. Feed him smaller meals, more often, so that he eats more slowly and does not swallow as much air. If your flatulent dog is in the habit of scarfing down his food quickly, feed him alone; the presence of other dogs may be encouraging him to eat more quickly than he should.