It really, really stinks in here.
February 12, 2007 6:30 PM   Subscribe

Stop my dog from farting!

OK, this is a bit gross...

I have a 7 yr old male pit (fixed), about 95 lbs. He's become very lazy in his old age, so he's a bit flabby. We keep him to a reasonable diet -- 2 cups of dry dog food, Nutro Senior diet, a day -- and rarely give him human food or anything else that might mess with his digestion. He lives a pretty sedentary lifestyle; he mostly enjoys laying on the bed in our bedroom. Lately, however, he's become extremely gassy. Walking into the room is like entering a stink chamber of death. As far as we can tell, he's not eating anything weird outside that might give him the killer farts. Any advice? Does he need more exercise? A change in diet -- if so, to what?
posted by papakwanz to Pets & Animals (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Beano or Curtail, perhaps?
posted by cog_nate at 6:41 PM on February 12, 2007

My dad's pug could knock a fly off a manure wagon. Then they started mixing some rice with its dog food, and it's become somewhat more bearable (although it's not recommended to go for a ride in the car if the dog's going along).
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:41 PM on February 12, 2007

More exercise will definitely help. But this problem is normally diet-related. To address the symptom, you can try adding a few tablespoons of plain yoghurt to his food (I assume you're dividing his daily ration into two meals, if not, you should), but the problem is most likely that he's developed a sensitivity to one of the ingredients in his food (it's a good idea to rotate protein sources at least a few times a year to avoid this), and you should try switching foods, ideally to one with a different protein source, but at least to one without corn (perhaps try Nutro Ultra, it's an excellent food). The Senior diets tend to be simply the regular diets with added filler, which can, itself, be a cause of the problem - you can just feed the regular adult diet at a reduced amount and add your own filler to make the dog feel fuller (canned pumpkin (NOT pie filling), green beans, etc. work well).
posted by biscotti at 6:47 PM on February 12, 2007

I'll also mention that a vet check is never a bad idea when you have a sudden change like this - there might be something else going on with him.
posted by biscotti at 7:14 PM on February 12, 2007

Have you checked the stools to see if they're unusual? Does he wolf his food down? Are you 100% positive he's not sneaking scraps or other sources of food? Here are some causes in humans which will apply somewhat to the dog.

Also here are some threads questioning Nutro foods (some good, some bad). It's always worth investigating the dog food you're using as I've found that quality is often dubious. Even the beloved IAMS went downhill in quality a few years ago when Procter & Gamble bought them out. Also some dogs might do better on a slightly different brand.
posted by rolypolyman at 7:47 PM on February 12, 2007

Sounds like he needs his anal glands expressed. The vet or almost any dog groomer can do it for you.
posted by JujuB at 8:09 PM on February 12, 2007

Response by poster: JujuB:

Problem seems to be that his anal glands are TOO expressive!

Anyway, thanks for the input. I set up a vet appointment for him tomorrow morning, and I'm going to look into a different brand of food. Any recommendations of good (affordable) dry food?
posted by papakwanz at 8:58 PM on February 12, 2007

Previously. After checking for medical problems and finding a good food, if the problem still persists you may want to look into Prozyme. It's a digestive enzyme that will help your dog digest his food. As dogs get older they produce less digestive enzymes and that can cause flatulence. As a side bonus, it helps produce smaller poops.
posted by hindmost at 9:37 PM on February 12, 2007

If eating too fast is indeed a problem, I read somewhere (possibly here) that putting a baseball in the middle of the bowl (this was for big dogs) forced the dog to eat around and therefore eat slower

I guess you could also use a funnel cake thingamajig?
posted by Satapher at 10:57 PM on February 12, 2007

charcoal tablet a day (shop around)... you'll notice immediate improvement.
posted by de at 12:06 AM on February 13, 2007

7 years is nowhere near old age for a dog - he's in the prime of his life and should be getting tons of exercise, which will absolutely help with digestive issues.
posted by iconomy at 5:22 AM on February 13, 2007

don't know if this helps, but our dogs get really gassy if we give them rawhide chews.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 5:36 AM on February 13, 2007

I find it bizarre that you're feeding a 7 year old pit bull senior food. That's absolutely crazy to me--their life-span is 14 - 17 years, no?

My pit is 9, weighs just under 80 lbs and eats twice as much as your dog (4 cups a day given in 2 portions) as well as whatever treats I give him over the day (bones, whole apples, fruit and vegetables of all kinds when I'm cooking (I'm veg), raw eggs, etc.). He is moderately exercised and usually only in the summer (he hates going out in the winter and is usually only out for 10 minutes a day when there's snow on the ground).

However, I feed my dog high-quality dog food that isn't primarily made up of "meal"s and and fillers. Ultra has all those things in spades (they're listed first on the ingredients). I suggest that you switch to a more reputable brand of food (the ultimate diet, eukanuba, fromm, a BARF diet, etc.) and see if that doesn't help make your dog want to do some exercise while in the prime of his life and, hopefully, cut down on the flatulence.
posted by dobbs at 6:23 AM on February 13, 2007

Someone already suggested yogurt, but you also might want to consider adding an acidophilis pill to your dog's diet for awhile and see if there is an improvement.

It deflates our noxiously gaseous pug.
posted by answergrape at 6:36 AM on February 13, 2007

Eliminate soy in his diet.
posted by ottereroticist at 7:06 AM on February 13, 2007

I wanted to Weigh-in really fast on this one.

Nutro *is* high quality dog food. My girls have been on the natural choice-large-breed-lamb-and-rice for a long time, as my golden has been known to get flatulent. The lamb meal and rice are gentler on the stomach. I would consider dropping the senior and trying the food I just mentioned...but remember, baby steps, switching all at once is almost guaranteed to make the problem worse.

I used to feed Hundenflocken, which is AWESOME food, and they eat very little because there are NO fillers, but it's $$.

Wanted to point out that Eukanuba is NOT recommended, as it's a bulking diet for big dogs. Same with science diet, no dog should be on that unless prescribed. Iams is junk too now that it's owned by pedigree. Eagle Pack is really good food too, but it upsets my Golden's stomach, or it did when she was younger, and we've never looked back.

Oh, one more thing--the good brands, Hunden, Nutro, Eagle Pack, are 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Meaning, even if you've fed the whole bag, you can take it back to the store and get your money back. I had this happen w/ some Nutro a long time ago, my dog just didn't like it, went to the dog store and just in conversation mentioned it, and she was like "bring it back in! We'll trade it in !!". So I did. Anyway, I'll stop talking now.
posted by TomMelee at 7:21 AM on February 13, 2007

isn't primarily made up of "meal"s and and fillers.

Sorry dobbs, but identified meat meals ("chicken meal", "salmon meal") are actually the best possible ingredient to see in the top 5 ingredients, because meat meals are the meat minus the water, and since ingredients are listed by weight, that means you're getting far more nutrients by weight than non-meal meats ("chicken" has less nutrients by weight than "chicken meal", because "chicken" includes the water). Generic meat meals ("poultry meal", "fish meal") and by-products of any kind are lower-quality ingredients (not least because the standards for handling and identification are lower), but specific meat meals are an excellent dog food ingredient.

Since Nutro Ultra is the only Nutro food to have ever made the Whole Dog Journal's recommended foods list, I'm comfortable that the ingredients are more than acceptable. I'm a bit of a dog food crazy (while I definitely recognize that diet's just one of the many ingredients of health, it's also one of the only ones we have any direct control over), and I only feed foods on the WDJ top ten, so I don't feed any other Nutro brand, but I use their Ultra in my feeding rotation.

I generally agree with TomMelee's diet suggestions, including NOT recommending Eukanuba - it's got corn and a variety of other low end ingredients which can lead to gas problems (but it's not a "not recommended food" because it's a "bulking diet", it's because it has mediocre ingredients and it's made by the new and destroyed Iams Company - Eukanuba is a medium-grade food, better than things like Beneful, nowhere near as good as truly good food). Eagle Pack has too much grain IMO and any of the "breed specific foods" (like "large breed") simply contain added fillers for the most part, and fillers can be a problem for some dogs (not to mention that you're being ripped off price-wise, since you're paying the same money for fewer nutrients).

Please keep in mind that the seemingly more expensive foods are actually more cost effective, since you feed less of them and your dog can actually utilize more of the ingredients (which also means smaller stools).
posted by biscotti at 7:35 AM on February 13, 2007

My 8 year old gassy greyhound barely toots at all anymore (and even then they don't peel the paint like before) since I've been feeding her Nature's Variety Prairie dog food. The kibble is coated with freeze-dried raw diets which, they claim, provides some of the microbials and enzymes that are destroyed during the kibble-making process. They even have frozen raw food if you're into that (we use the kibble and add the frozen raw medallions to supplement; don't have the freezer space to go totally raw). I cannot say enough good things about this food. We rotate between the different protein varieties, and the dog loves them all. No more hair-curling stink!
posted by misskaz at 7:43 AM on February 13, 2007

Oops. I'm in Canada and have never heard of Nutro and was just going by their site/ingredient list and was lumping my "poultry meal" with my "chicken meal". I stand corrected.

Incidentally, biscotti, can you list the WDJ top ten?
posted by dobbs at 7:49 AM on February 13, 2007

Best answer: Incidentally, biscotti, can you list the WDJ top ten?

Well, they don't actually do a top 10 anymore, because there are so many foods which meet their criteria for approval on the market now.

Here's what made this year's list which are also relatively obtainable (there are way more which they approve of and I can look up specific foods if you like):
Blue Buffalo (available at PetSmart)
Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul (which I don't like because it's a generic food, manufactured by someone else for this label, which means the quality can be dodgy)
Eagle Pack Holistic Select (the only Eagle Pack on the list)
California Natural
Solid Gold Mmillennia
Natural Balance (available at Petco)
Innova (all types)
Prairie (which is Nature's Variety)
Royal Canin Natural Blend (available at PetSmart and most other pet stores)
Ultra Holistic Nutrition (used to be Nutro Ultra - available at most pet stores)
posted by biscotti at 3:07 PM on February 13, 2007 [6 favorites]

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