How can I stop my dog’s smelly farts?

Original Question: Well. This is an unusual problem. My Bernese/Border Collie cross (Samson) is 6 years old. He is in great health, eats Science Diet Dry and a few biscuits for snacks. My problem with him is this... his farts are smelly enough to peel the paint off the walls. It only happens at night when he is relaxed. I don’t like the idea or cost of a raw diet. Is there something we can give him that is not too costly? - Brad

How can I stop my dog’s smelly farts? Apr 26, 2018

Hi Brad,

That’s hilarious. And it’s pretty common. Sorry to hear it brother.

Here’s what you can do…

Our pets can produce excessive digestive ‘gas’, or flatulence, for a number of reasons. It could be maldigestion/malabsorption of food, a food allergy, a bacterial infection, a parasitic infection, a disease occurring in the digestive tract (from blockage to cancer), an imbalance of the normal gut bacteria along with other causes.

If you want to try and solve this with a treatment and no diagnostics, there are a few things you could try. You could change the diet to something with a different main source of protein and carbohydrate (switching from a chicken based diet to a beef based diet). Make sure you do this slowly over the course of at least a week in order avoid causing further upset and monitor him closely for worsening signs like diarrhea or vomiting. You could try adding a supplement to the diet like a probiotic. This is a powder mixture of ‘good’ bacteria that line the gut and help balance the microbes that are supposed to be there. This is inexpensive, very effective and easy to get at any pet supply store. These are simple treatments that may or may not work, and also, may work briefly but then fail after a few weeks.

If this is not helping, and even before you try a treatment, the best idea is to see your veterinarian and perform some tests to make sure there is nothing more serious going on. I would recommend a parasite test by dropping off a fecal sample and performing routine testing like blood work and a urinalysis. This would give you a good idea if your dog is generally healthy or not. If nothing is found and the problem persists, your veterinarian will likely continue investigating to find a cause. They may recommend a fecal culture, X-rays, a rectal exam and even more specific tests based on the results. Some veterinarians may recommend a treatment trial of medication or a diet trial on a medical food.

Hopefully, the simple things will work and this will resolve. I hate to think about how it must smell in there of the paint is coming off the walls.

Best of luck,

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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