by Kymythy Schultze
When asked this question, I sometimes joke to the person inquiring that it’s good they’re going to start taking responsibility for their own emissions and stop blaming the dog! But seriously, frequent gas in your dog shouldn’t be ignored. It can be much more than just unpleasant aromatherapy. First the question: What causes gas in dogs? Unfortunately, there is not one simple answer as the reason can range from bad food to parasites to illness. To get to the, uh, bottom, of what’s causing gas in your particular furry friend you first need to look at the whole animal. Is the dog healthy and in good condition other than having gas? If your dog is not in good health, then a trip to your favorite veterinarian (preferably one who practices alternative medicine) is in order. If your dog is in good health, other than occasionally clearing the room, then it may be time to try a few simple natural remedies. The most important factor is food and this includes your dog’s regular diet and any treats they receive. Your dog could have food allergies or the food may be of poor quality. We’ve probably all heard the expression “Garbage in = Garbage out” and it applies to your canine friend as well as yourself. If your dog’s diet contains any ingredients that interfere with normal digestion they may experience stomach problems, including gas. And don’t forget to examine treats that are given. From my experience as a canine nutritionist over the last two decades I find a fresh food diet creates the healthiest dogs I’ve ever seen. Real species-appropriate food is easy for dogs to digest and utilize. I’ve fed my own Newfoundland dogs this way for about 20 years now and we do not have any problems with gas (good thing too with a dog the size of a Newf – we’d blow out the windows!). To learn more about preparing a simple meal of real food for your dog check out my book “Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats” as it explains exactly how to go about doing it correctly. Even if you’re not willing to prepare your dog’s meals, you should definitely focus on finding a better source of nutrition to help eliminate gas.
Some dogs, even on a good diet, will occasionally get into something they shouldn’t and let you know about it the odiferous way. Here are few natural remedies to try:
1. Peppermint – tear up a couple of leaves of this herb into their food.
2. Nux Vomica – this is a homeopathic remedy and should be given away from food.
3. Enzymes – these help to breakdown undigested food.
4. Probiotics – flora found in the digestive system; these “good guys” help knock out the “bad guys”. Look for the non-dairy variety.
5. Massage – relax your dog onto his back and gently massage the midline of the stomach, and yes, it does help to coo and talk calmly!
Do not try all of the above at the same time or you’ll never know which worked best. But, do try them, as they are all gentle and effective ways to allow your farting furry friend back into the fold!