Is my dog's farting normal? Your gas questions answered

Reviewed by our experts. More info
Louise Hawkins
cavoodle lying on beige bed with tongue out with digestion Supp

Dog farts — they’re the elephant-sized stinker in the room we can’t ignore. Whether it’s silent-but-deadly or a tuneful toot, let’s get to the bottom of the matter to find out what’s normal and what’s not.

Your dog’s gas should not have a powerful stench — at least not on a regular basis. But if your relaxing evenings are frequently interrupted by a strong pong from your pup, then it’s time to investigate the matter further.

What causes dog flatulence?

To a certain extent, flatulence is normal, and a healthy diet should not result in foul gas. But if you’re noticing that your dog is farting a lot or it’s malodorous, there might be a gastro disturbance that needs professional attention from your vet.

We take a look at some of the common issues that cause dog flatulence, including:

  • Processed food

  • An unbalanced microbiome

  • Eating things they shouldn’t

  • Swallowed air (aerophagia)

  • Allergies and intolerances

  • Medical conditions

Processed food

Highly processed food, like kibble, is usually full of refined carbs, artificial flavours and preservatives. It often relies on high-carb and high-fibre plant proteins. These include legumes, which generate a lot of gas when digested.

Other common ingredients in kibble include beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, wheat and potatoes, which contain a high proportion of lectins. Dogs don’t produce the right kind of enzyme to break down lectins in their stomach. It’s not until they reach the large intestine that bacteria begins to ferment the undigested lectins, producing gas and leading to uncomfortable bloating and flatulence.

An unbalanced microbiome

Your dog’s microbiome plays a crucial role in their digestion, immune function, and overall health.

Dysbiosis is an unbalanced microbiome caused by an overgrowth of certain bacteria or a lack of microbiota diversity, leading to increased gas and farting.

Eating things they shouldn’t

Meaty morsels from the bin, scraps snaffled at the park, or counter-hunting for tasty tidbits — some dogs are more prone to eating things they shouldn’t, which can lead to gassiness.

Avoid feeding your pup leftovers from your plate, keep your bins securely covered so they’re not tempted to go rummaging in the rubbish, and steer them clear of discarded food on the ground. It’s also helpful to train your dog to ‘drop’ and ‘leave’ when they pick something up from the floor, like grated cheese or fatty trimmings.

Swallowed air (aerophagia)

If your pup tends to guzzle their food with gusto, they’re probably swallowing a lot of air too. The excess air has to leave the body one way or another, either by belching or farting.

Aerophagia is more common in Brachycephalic breeds like pugs and bulldogs. Because of their shortened snouts, they rely on mouth-breathing — leading to a reputation for flatulence and snoring.

Reduce your pup’s tendency to gulp down their food by using interactive puzzle feeders, lick mats or slow-feeding bowls. They’ll swallow less air which will reduce bloating and gassiness.

Allergies and food intolerances

Canine food allergies are very rare and usually trigger itchy skin and hives — signs that the immune system is in overdrive.

An intolerance to a particular ingredient is more likely than an allergy. Flatulence and other digestive disorders like vomiting and diarrhoea can often be the first signs of food intolerance or sensitivity.

Vets can conduct a saliva test to help find out if your pup has a food intolerance and can advise you on how to conduct an elimination diet to confirm the offending ingredient.

Medical conditions

Health issues that directly affect the digestive system often create gassiness as a sign of illness. If you suspect your pup is suffering from any of these medical conditions, consult your vet straight away for professional advice and treatment.

  • Irritable Bowel Disorder (IBD) The inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract can cause digestive disorders including vomiting, diarrhoea and flatulence.

  • Pancreatitis Inflammation in the pancreas stimulates the organ to release its digestive enzymes early. When this happens, the enzymes start to break down the organ itself, leading to further inflammation. Abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and increased gas production are common signs of this disease.

  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) EPI is the inability to produce enough enzymes to digest food effectively. It can trigger diarrhoea, vomiting, and weight loss despite an increased appetite. Greasy, fatty poos are also a key sign of EPI. Bacterial fermentation of undigested food in the large intestine can produce very stinky gas.

  • Parasites or pathogens Infections from parasites or pathogens can trigger digestive problems, which create excessive gas.

What else causes smelly dog farts?

  • High-fat diets. A diet that’s high in fat can slow down the digestive process, leading to increased fermentation and gas production.

  • Large meals. A large meal can demand a lot from your pup’s digestive system and cause bloating and gas. Instead, try feeding a half-portion of their daily food in the morning and evening.

  • Constipation. When faeces stay in the colon it gives bacteria more time and opportunity to ferment and putrefy, creating bubbles of gas that build up in their system. Make sure your dog’s diet contains the right amount of dietary fibre to keep things moving along nicely.

  • Obesity. Overweight pups can find it hard to squat, making it difficult to expel all the poo from their system. Like constipation, when faeces isn’t completely expelled, bacteria acts on the waste producing gas as a byproduct. If your dog is overweight, speak to your vet about the best way to reduce the extra weight with a nutritious diet.

  • Medication. Some medications, like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can have antibiotic properties that can impact the composition of your pup’s microbiome. If your dog has been on a course of NSAIDs, you might experience changes to their poo and an increase in flatulence until their microbiome restores to full health.

  • Stress. About 15% of all gastrointestinal issues are related to stress and behavioural triggers in our dogs.

  • Exercise on a full stomach. Wait an hour after each meal before exercising your pup to avoid bloating and subsequent farting.

How nutrition affects dog flatulence

What your dog eats directly affects their digestive system. Quite simply, some food makes dogs fart.

But it’s not just food that affects your pup’s gassiness: gut health has a significant impact too.

Microbiome health and good guts

Trillions of microorganisms make up your dog’s gut microbiome. Increasingly, research points to the importance of a balanced and diverse microbiome for overall health and wellbeing, not just for digestion.

A healthy microbiome contains a rich diversity of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Dogs eating the same food every day often have a limited microbiome. If they’re given something their microbiome is not used to processing, they can develop a gurgly tummy and become gassy.

A diet that contains a wide variety of wholefoods naturally rich in prebiotics can help create a diverse and robust microbiome in your pup.

When you transition your dog to a fresh food diet, like Lyka, it’s normal for their system to take a while to adjust to the new variety of ingredients. The many benefits of good gut health make it worth persisting through the onbowling period.

Fresh food for less gas

Instead of processed dog food, choose a complete and balanced diet that’s made from delicious human-grade animal protein with the correct balance of nutrients to nourish your dog from the inside out.

A diet that includes essential fatty acids may promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut to improve digestive health and reduce the production of gas and other signs of digestive issues. Omega-3 is a natural anti-inflammatory, beneficial for disorders like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Lyka’s healthy dog food is free from plant-based proteins like lectins and contains the right amount of essential fatty acids and prebiotic dietary fibre to boost gut health and minimise digestive issues like flatulence.

Read how a fresh food diet stopped Lyka’s gas issues.

Natural remedies for flatulence

If your dog has bad gas, consider feeding them a bioavailable, wholefood diet that promotes digestive health. Lyka’s vet-formulated meals use carefully selected ingredients that boost gut health and reduce gassiness, including:

Fennel Seeds. These tiny seeds pack a powerful punch when it comes to supporting digestion and are widely used as a natural remedy for flatulence.

Ginger. This aromatic spice is great for sensitive stomachs and can boost healthy digestion, leading to relief from gas.

Prebiotic dietary fibre. Dietary fibre is vital for digestive health. Soluble fibre, found in psyllium seed husk and carrots, feeds the good gut bacteria in the colon to improve digestion. Insoluble fibre is found in vegetables like bok choi and green cabbage. When used in the right proportions, it can prevent constipation that leads to fermentation in the gut and an increase in trapped wind.

When should I talk to my vet?

There’s always the possibility that even minor symptoms, like smelly dog farts, could have a more serious cause.

Issues with the liver, pancreas and intestinal tract can all have digestive symptoms, some of which are more serious. Sometimes it can even be a symptom of generalised anxiety.

If your dog’s gas is accompanied by any of the following signs, it’s time to visit your vet for some medical advice:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Inappetance

  • Persistently eating grass

  • Eating dog poo

  • Having more than two bowel movements per day

How exercise can help

Regular exercise promotes healthy digestion by stimulating the muscles of your dog’s digestive tract, helping food move through their system and preventing constipation.

When dogs don’t get enough exercise, their digestive system can slow down leading to gas and bloating. It can also contribute to weight gain and obesity affecting your dog’s ability to eliminate their waste completely, creating pockets of gas in their colon.

If your pup has a particularly gurgly stomach, also known as borborygmus, it can be caused by excess gas. Trapped wind can be painful for your pup, but a good walk or a run around the park can help their system release it naturally.

What Supp for digestion?

Lyka’s Digestion Pupper Supp is a unique blend of ingredients, including prebiotics and probiotics to develop and maintain a strong digestive system.

Each bite-sized dose contains hero ingredients like pomegranate peel — a powerful superfood bursting with antioxidants to help digestion and nutrient absorption. Soluble fibre, inulin is also added to boost beneficial bacteria and promote an optimal microbiome.

Formulated by our co-founder and in-house Integrative Veterinarian Dr. Matthew Muir, together with a team of Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionists, each delicious dose is designed for targeted and preventive digestive care.

Dog gassiness FAQs

What are the most common legumes found in dog food?

– Peas
– Chickpeas
– Lentils

What processed grains should you look out for in our dog’s diet and avoid?

– Wheat and wheat products (gluten meal)
– White rice
– Corn (or maize)

Is grain-free food good for your dog?

When you hear the term ‘grain-free’, you naturally assume it’s healthy. The original premise of grain-free was low glycemic load (low carbohydrate/starch to support low inflammation in your pet’s body).

But, when it comes to dry food (also known as kibble) for pets, that’s far from the truth. Although foods are ‘grain free’, they are not ‘low carbohydrate/starch’ and the manufacturers have usually replaced grains with starchy vegetables and legumes in the same high quantities

In fact, the FDA published a study showing links exist between grain-free dog food and cases of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), which created a lot of fear and confusion around the correct way to feed your dog.

As mentioned above, not all grain-free dog food is bad for your pup. We use organic white quinoa in our Barn Raised Turkey and Grass Fed Lamb recipes, but our Free Range Chicken and Grass Fed recipes remain grain-free, and most importantly, low starch/carbohydrate, and thus low glycemic load. Read more here.

What are some potential intolerants or allergens that could cause gassiness?

– Beef
– Lamb
– Chicken
– Fish
– Dairy
– Wheat
– Egg
– Soy

Ready to start eating fresh and ditch those stinky farts for good? Build your first box today.

This article was reviewed by Lyka's veterinary and nutrition experts

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