Dog farts. Noxious, noxious dog farts.
March 5, 2017 1:12 PM   Subscribe

The best dog in the world (foreground) is now a middle aged (7 year old) lab mix, and as his little doggy muzzle turneth gray, he has a problem. A stinky dog fart problem. What should we try, and in what order? A very friendly dog who gets sad when no one wants him in the same room as them thanks you.

This has been going on for about 6 months. We hadn't changed any food or treats for 3-4 years until about three weeks ago, when we switched from Taste of the Wild High Prarie (a bison/venison dog food) to the same brand's Pacific Stream Salmon, which is apparently less problematic for dogs that start to have issues with some proteins.

Dog is otherwise in good health, normal digestion and excretion, etc; clean bill of health from a vet in the past 12 months, although we didn't discuss this issue at the time. The pet food store we go to suggested a probiotic next. But I'm curious what (if anything) has worked for the Stinky Canines of Metafilter, especially as I eye the ingredients list on and note just how many galactooligosaccharide-rich legumes are in high quality dog food. I'm not a canine health expert, but I think an awful lot of humans would be in the same boat as our pupdog here if you gave them a dried kibble made of meat and garbanzo beans supplemented with inulin for extra fiber.
posted by deludingmyself to Pets & Animals (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I had amazing success just by adding yogurt to my gassy dog's diet.

He was a pretty big guy, about 85 pounds at his lightest, and I'd add maybe half a cup or so of plain, homemade yogurt to his breakfast. It worked almost like magic. If I'd forget or run out of yogurt, he'd be farting again in pretty short order.

It probably wouldn't work in every case, but it's easy and inexpensive to try.

Any regular store-boughten plain, active culture yogurt should yield the same results. Just be careful to avoid anything artificially sweetened, as some sweeteners are toxic to dogs.
posted by ernielundquist at 1:21 PM on March 5, 2017 [6 favorites]

We have adorable, flatulent Boxers. Flatulent, drooling, shedding, snoring Boxers. We deal with the fartiness very simply and cheaply by putting a heaped tablespoon of low-fat plain yogurt on top of every meal. Ours are fed twice a day and they actually now refuse to dig into their dinners until the yogurt gets dropped on top. It makes a massive difference to their gut health and fragrance.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:24 PM on March 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

There are dog biscuits with charcoal. I give them to my own dogs sometimes but unfortunately neither of them is really enthusiastic about them, each just eats theirs to keep the other from getting it.
posted by dilettante at 1:35 PM on March 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Venison cat food turned our cat into a weapon of mass destruction. Unless there's a specific medical reason you need to feed your dog this particular food, it might make sense to try a different protein source because the venison might be making it worse.
posted by jesourie at 1:50 PM on March 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Venison cat food turned our cat into a weapon of mass destruction. Unless there's a specific medical reason you need to feed your dog this particular food, it might make sense to try a different protein source.

Yeah, in case I wasn't clear, we just did the switch off of venison.

Oh, and rechecking my notes, it was actually only Feb 22 that we made that change, so it's actually only been 12 days. Life comes at you fast in 2017 (and full of dog farts).
posted by deludingmyself at 1:54 PM on March 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Came in to mention yogurt, which did wonders for my pug. He gets a tablespoon of the plain organic stuff in his morning kibble. Seems to like it as well.

I also got into the habit of keeping a scented candle and a lighter in every room...
posted by rpfields at 2:43 PM on March 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

This stuff sprinkled on his food.
posted by jbenben at 3:25 PM on March 5, 2017

N-thing the yogurt suggestion, it worked for my Staffy. (When I took her in for a consult, the vet was a little amused by my farty complaints until the dog let one rip right there in the small exam room, at which point he apologised. Profusely.)
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 3:34 PM on March 5, 2017 [11 favorites]

The vet just had us put our dogs on Missing Link for bad hips, and I picked up the Senior version that has probiotics.

The powder itself smells like sushi left in a hot car for a couple days (seaweed and oyster and fish meal all feature heavily in the ingredients), but the dog who was having trouble getting up is already doing a little better after a few weeks and our spryest dog, who'd been dropping eye-watering asphalt farts in my office all day every day for months because she's a disgusting trash beagle, still looses the occasional audible toot but they don't smell like a sarcophagus anymore.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:16 PM on March 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

I can confirm that at least some humans have the same experience if they eat food that has had inulin included in it. Surely there is a dog food that doesn't have inulin added.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 4:38 PM on March 5, 2017

Get a bowl designed to slow down your dogs eating speed. Eating quickly can mean they swallow air which comes out as farts.

My mum swears by feeding your dog burnt toast, which seems to work for her farty dog. It doesn't stop the quantity but the charcoal decreases the obnoxiousness of them.
posted by wwax at 7:07 PM on March 5, 2017

I have an older version of your farty dog! We did everything - tried the yogurt, the dietary restrictions and changes - the works. We even threw in a human probiotic and bupkiss. Then my vet prescribed this and our life is miraculously gas free. Seriously, the change has been so profound, we remark upon it daily. What a lifesaver.
posted by msali at 7:37 PM on March 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Raw food was a game changer for both of our dogs vs. stink and gas. One would routinely have typical "dog farts." The other while not as noxious, would audibly fart anytime she put her front legs up on something (she loved to have her front legs up on the ottoman to look out of a back window.

We switched to raw food (whole chicken backs/necks and occaisional legs/feet from a local processor at the time), and 1) they were producing about 1/4 - 1/3 the amount of stool, 2) the stinky dog switched from multiple bad dog farts per day to a bad dog fart once or twice a year(!) 3) beag stopped audibly farting all the time. I guess another thing is 4) beag gained about 15 pounds in the next six months. When starting this, definitely pay attention to your dogs' weights and be aware of over feeding.

When the dogs are eating the whole chicken pieces, the crunching of the bones can be disturbing, and sometimes they'll have a big of diffiuclty swallowing. Because of the difficulty we've switched away from whole bone-in chicken.

Over the years (and with various dogs) we've tired a few different things. Ground beef with bone resulted in runny disgusting stool. We've tried "band name" raw food suppliers; usually they mix in some veg etc. Our dogs were not fans and getting them to eat became a chore. Chicken drumsticks, or thighs with bone in was consistent and enjoyed by the dogs, but obviously expensive, and kind of a "can't find anything else."

Currently, we buy from some local people (we found them on kijiji/craigs list) who grind up chicken with bone and throw in some offal/organ meats. Our current only dog loves this and it's $7 per 5lb frozen bag ($CDN prices). If the people we're buying from stop and I can't find another source I will buy a meat grinder capable of handling chicken bones and continue via this route hoping I can find some cheap chicken prices. He gets veggies as scraps from when we're prepping dinners.
posted by nobeagle at 6:39 AM on March 6, 2017

Update: sometimes it is none of the obvious things, and your dog's digestive system starts to fail more and more spectacularly, and you eventually get an ultrasound and realize your dog has inflammatory bowel disease.

Moose is starting on steroids today. Thanks to Metafilter for this initial direction; I think we probably saved at least one vet visit because we'd been so comprehensive on the diet front from the beginning.
posted by deludingmyself at 12:40 PM on April 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Further depressing update: it was not IBD, it was gastrointestinal lymphoma, and it moved fast.

I hope that's not the case for anyone else coming across this thread later with dog farts questions. It's probably not. I hope for you it isn't.
posted by deludingmyself at 5:07 PM on May 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

So sad to read this. Very sorry for your loss.
posted by rpfields at 6:01 PM on May 22, 2017

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