How Do We Get Our Dog to Stop Passing Gas?

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Q. Our dog farts a lot. My husband and son think it’s hilarious, of course, but I could really do without both the farting and the jokes about the farting. Is there some way to stop this?

A. While I can't help you with the jokes — I like fart jokes as much as the next man — I can offer some tips on the toots. Start with a veterinary checkup for your dog, because sometimes gas-passing is more than meets the nose — there could be a serious health problem. If everything checks out, here are some things to talk over with your veterinarian:

Move it: Moderate exercise can help move everything along the digestive tract and out the back door. Just remember to stay upwind and pick up after your pet. For dogs prone to bloating, ask your vet about the safest way to exercise your dog around meal time.  

Change it: Consider a change of diet. While gas is a normal byproduct of digestion, if your pet is gassy as a blimp, his diet may need some adjustments. Talk to your veterinarian not only about your pet's regular meals, but also about any between-meal snacks he is enjoying, whether you're handing them out or he's finding them himself.

Slow it down: Not only do wolfers swallow air when they inhale their food, but they often overeat as well, backing up the digestive system. Pets with short noses — Pugs and Bulldogs, for example — are also not designed for an optimal intake situation. The result of swallowed air and excess fermentation is belches, flatulence or both. Several companies make bowls designed to slow down gulpers. You can also toss the bowl and feed from food puzzles — toys that make a pet work to get food a little bit at a time.

If your dog is healthy and nothing turns down the toots, you might just have to learn a few fart jokes to get along.

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