If you’re a dog parent, you’re likely to deal with a gassy dog at one point or another. Here is the best dog food for gassy dogs and which ingredients to avoid.
It happens to all dog parents at one point or another. Our furry friends with sensitive stomachs eat something funky or start a new diet and become unbelievably gassy. While the stink is no fun to deal with, we also want our dogs to be comfortable and happy, and knowing that their stomachs are upset isn’t fun. Luckily, dog farts are an easy symptom to treat and can usually be fixed with a few diet changes — it’s all about finding the right formula.
Gas can be caused by a variety of factors. However, if your dog’s gas is more than usual, this is usually an indication that your pup’s diet is irritating their stomach or they’re unable to break down their food properly. Sometimes, it may even mean that they may have a type of inflammatory bowel disease, but it may also be characteristic of their breed (think pugs and bulldogs).
If you’re currently dealing with a gassy dog or if you just want to be prepared for the future, we’ve broken down which limited ingredients are best for soothing irritated tummies, and the top dog food for gassy dogs. Keep reading to learn more!
Why Is My Dog Gassy?
It’s no secret that everyone is gassy at some point or another. It’s normal for your dog to have a little bit of gas each day. If your dog eats too fast or drinks water too fast, they can end up gulping down a lot of air, too. This may be the culprit for why your dog tends to be a little gassy after mealtimes.
Gas is also a natural response to digestion, for dogs and humans alike. When we eat food, our body works to break it down so it can absorb the necessary nutrients it needs and get rid of the excess waste. As a result of the breakdown process, gas can form in the digestive tract (particularly the large intestine) and the stomach. However, gas needs to be released, which can sometimes result in gassy dogs.
However, if you notice intense gassiness in your pup, it may be time to look deeper. Diet is almost always the culprit for intense gassiness. If you notice repeated gassiness in your dog that lasts for more than a few days or if you notice much smellier gas than usual, you may want to take a look at your dog’s diet to narrow down the culprit, then schedule a visit with your vet.
Dog Food Allergy or Intolerance
If your dog has more severe gas, it could be because of a dog food allergy or intolerance. Just like human food allergies, dog’s can have food allergies as well. These usually present themselves as food intolerances, so you may notice your pup itching their ears, feet, or bottom, or even symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and general stomach discomfort like gas. Dogs can have allergies and sensitivities to grains like wheat or even some proteins like chicken.
Visit your veterinarian right away if you think your dog has a food allergy or intolerance. This will help you narrow down which foods may be bothering them, and help get your pup on the road to recovery. Dog food allergies can be intimidating, but our guide on allergies can help you navigate your dog’s food and learn to recognize the signs of a dog food allergy.
If your dog remains gassy after giving your dog helpful foods and eliminating gas-inducing foods from their diet, it may be time to visit the veterinarian. Gas may also be a sign of sickness or a gastrointestinal condition, so don’t hesitate to talk to a trusted veterinarian about this.
Ingredients That Can Help Relieve Gassy Pups
Addressing your dog’s diet is one of the best ways to help relieve your gassy pup. Which ingredients make the best dog food for gassy pups? Here are six ingredients to look for.
1. High Quality Protein
When it comes to meat, it’s important to find high-quality ingredients that are good for your dog and their stomach. High quality, animal-based protein sources are always labeled as specific meat. For instance, look for “USDA beef,” “beef liver,” “wild salmon,” or a specific organ name.
Low quality protein is often labeled as “meat meals.” So, if you see “chicken meal,” “beef meal,” or “turkey meal” on a dog food ingredient label, it’s best to avoid this — the exception to this is salmon meal, which is actually a great ingredient for sensitive pups. Otherwise, meats labeled as “meals” are vague on purpose. They usually contain byproducts and leftovers such as beaks, talons, eyeballs, hair, feathers, bones, and more, so you think your dog is getting chicken, but in reality they’re mainly getting the chicken’s leftovers.
Not only is this void of the nutrients your pup needs, but these leftovers and animal parts can also be difficult for your dog to digest.
Opt for high quality protein and specific meat names to ensure your dog is getting the nutrition they deserve and to help relieve gassiness.
(On that note, there are plant-based protein sources that are high-quality, too, including garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas) and pea protein.)
Another ingredient that may be able to help relieve gassiness is flaxseed. Flaxseed contains a variety of health benefits for dogs, such as promoting heart health.
When taken in moderate amounts and incorporated into dog food, this can help relieve gas and promote regular digestion. Ironically, too much flaxseed can actually lead to bloating and gas, so stick to recipes that include flaxseed versus feeding raw flaxseed directly.
Parsley is not only an ingredient that can help soothe your dog’s digestive system and relieve gas, but it’s also known for helping to reduce the unpleasant smell of your dog’s gas. If you have guests coming over or just want a break from plugging your nose and leaving your windows open, grab some parsley.
4. Ginger and Turmeric
Ginger is the main ingredient in many home remedies for humans, so it’s no surprise that this ingredient can also help gassy dogs. Ginger is a rich source of antioxidants that help soothe nausea, motion sickness, and help relieve gastrointestinal problems like gas and bloating.
Similarly, turmeric can help relieve gassiness in dogs, too. This is because turmeric contains curcumin, a natural ingredient that offers relief from inflammation and can help keep your dog comfortable.
It’s important to moderate the amount of turmeric you give your dog as too much can irritate their digestion and even lead to diarrhea and vomiting. Instead of giving turmeric or ginger in addition to dog food, look for dog food that includes these ingredients, like Sundays for Dogs.
It may come as a surprise, but fennel is a great ingredient in dog food that can help aid digestion and soothe gas. Fennel is known for a lot of benefits. It freshens breath, offers protein, and is packed with minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese.
6. Probiotic Treats
If your pup’s gas situation isn’t improving with these diet changes and ingredients, or if you simply want a stronger approach to beat the stink, try probiotics. Probiotics are an excellent tool to help digestion and add nutrients to your dog’s diet. They work by promoting the growth of good bacteria in your dog’s gut.
The gut’s microbiome can be a tricky place, especially if your dog already has an irritable stomach or is trying a new diet. Good bacteria in your dog’s gut is essential to digestion, but these can sometimes become destroyed, leading to stomach aches and gassiness. To help intense gassiness in dogs, probiotics can help.
Talk to your dog’s veterinarian before starting your pup on any probiotics. There’s a lot to choose from and these come in many different forms. From specific probiotic dog foods to capsules, powders, and more, your veterinarian can help you make the best decision to relieve your dog’s gas.
7. Low-Fat Ingredients
It’s important to balance how much fat is in your dog’s diet. Too little fat can lead to a lack of energy, lack of fullness, and even lack of vitamins and nutrients. Too much fat, on the other hand, can lead to unhealthy weight gain. So, balancing fat intake is important when feeding your pet.
However, if you’re trying to soothe your dog’s stomach and get rid of gassiness, it may be a good idea to feed them foods especially low in fat until their gut is back in balance. Foods that are high in fats are harder for your dog to digest, leading to some of the gas and stink you may be noticing.
For instance, if you’ve ever given your dog table scraps that maybe weren’t so healthy for them, you likely noticed a bit of gas later on. This is because humans can digest foods with higher fat content more easily than our furry friends can.
How can you look for this on the dog food label? Look for lean protein, vegetables and fruits, and healthy oils rather than fats. For example, look for sunflower seed oil or wild salmon oil instead of canola oil or vegetable oil. And remember, some fat is good, especially for high-activity dogs like working dogs and sport dogs!
Ingredients that Stink
In addition to knowing which ingredients are the best in dog foods for gassy dogs, it can also help to know which ingredients you should avoid. Here are the foods that may be making your dog extra gassy and extra smelly.
Broccoli is packed with nutrients like fiber and vitamin C while being low in fat. When broccoli is included in dog food it’s an excellent tool to help promote your pup’s health and wellness. However, if you’re feeding your dog too much broccoli or broccoli as a frequent training snack, it may lead to gassiness. It can also make gas extra smelly.
If you’d like to feed your dog broccoli, consider a dog food that contains broccoli. Not only is Sundays packed with broccoli and other vegetables, but it’s made by a veterinarian, so your dog will get just the right amounts of broccoli without all the gas!
Another ingredient to avoid altogether if you’re dealing with a gassy dog is Brussel sprouts. While these cruciferous vegetables are nutritious for dogs and can promote health, even small amounts of them can cause intense gas and bloat. This is because of the high content of good bacteria. Bacteria is great for the gut and helps balance it, but too much can result in a build-up of gas.
Soybeans and Corn
Many dog foods contain soybeans and other soy products. While these ingredients are high in protein and nutrients, they can also cause irritation and discomfort in your pup and lead to gastrointestinal issues. In fact, soy is one of the most common dog food allergies along with corn, so if you’re noticing severe gassiness in your dog when starting a new food, check the label for soy. It may just be that their tummies have a harder time processing these ingredients, leading to gas.
Corn is another common dog food allergy that can sometimes present itself as gassiness along with other gastrointestinal issues. For example, you may notice diarrhea, vomiting, and gassiness or discomfort.
Not only can corn cause irritation and gassiness in dogs, but it’s also not the best ingredient to include in dog food in the first place. All the ingredients in your dog’s food should have a purpose. Because corn has little to no nutritional value for pups, some dog food companies use it as a filler ingredient rather than for nutritional content.
Corn has a high glycemic index, isn’t easily digestible, and may increase blood sugar levels in dogs. Avoiding corn in dog food can help your dog's health and keep their gas at bay.
Peas are another common ingredient that may cause gas in dogs. Similar to corn, peas have a higher glycemic index and are difficult for dogs to break down. Because of the extra work your dog’s digestive system has to do to break down peas and digest them, this can cause gas.
Dairy is another common dog food allergy. If you feed your pup milk or dairy products, be prepared for some gas.
Best Dog Food for Gassy Dogs
Knowing which ingredients can help relieve gassy dogs is a great start, but what about finding a dog food that incorporates these ingredients all the time? If you’re looking for the best pre-made dog food for gassy dogs, look no further than Sundays.
Sundays uses clean ingredients that you can recognize and pronounce. When you’re looking at the label, you’ll find only the highest grade USDA beef, beef heart, beef liver, and beef bone. You’ll also find nourishing ingredients like spinach, beets, cherries, strawberries, turmeric, ginger, selenium yeast, blueberries, carrots, apples, tomatoes, and oranges.
These ingredients are not only packed with the vitamins, and minerals your pup needs, but they’re also gentle on your dog’s digestive system and can help soothe gassiness. And, if you want to prevent gas altogether, you can rest easy knowing Sundays avoids most gas-inducing ingredients.
Other Tips for Helping Your Gassy Pup
In addition to making diet changes and giving your dog nutritious foods that will fuel healthy digestion and help them stay comfortable, here are a few other tips that can help relieve everyday gas in your pup.
Make Diet Adjustments Gradually
Dogs are creatures of habit, so fast change can be intense on their stomachs and digestive systems. Plus, if your dog is gassy, they’re likely already experiencing some discomfort or even pain. To help keep your dog comfortable, make diet-related adjustments gradually.
If you’re introducing new foods into their diet to help relieve gassiness, do so slowly and in smaller quantities before increasing the amounts. If you’re switching their dog food altogether to relieve gassiness, gradually increase the percentage of new food over the course of about two weeks, starting at about ⅕ (20%) new dog food mixed in with the old dog food.
Avoid Table Scraps
If your dog is gassy, it might be best to avoid giving your dog table scraps until their digestive balance is back to normal. Table scraps aren’t always bad to feed your pup. In fact, giving your dog fruits and veggies without any butter, seasonings, or oil can be beneficial to your dog’s health.
In fact, our guide here breaks down what table scraps are OK to feed dogs, and which aren’t.
If your dog is gassy, however, it’s best to avoid table scraps altogether for the time being.
Help Your Dog Eat Slower
If your dog is gassy, especially right after mealtime, helping them eat slower can help. When your dog eats fast, they can end up gulping down lots of air with their food. This can cause some irritation when their bodies digest the food, and can result in particularly uncomfortable, smelly gas.
There are many ways to help your dog eat slower. You can purchase a specially designed feeding dish that separates food and makes your dog eat slower as they have to work for the food bits. You can also use a muffin tin and pour a little bit of food in each cup to again add a little time between the scarfings.
Say Goodbye to Stink and Hello to Sundays
As a dog parent, you want to make sure your furry friend is comfortable, happy, and healthy. But keeping your dog’s digestive system comfortable, happy, and gas-free may be a little easier said than done. Choosing what food is best for your dog is the first step.
With the range of dog food options and ingredients out there, it can be difficult to find the best dog food for gassy dogs. Luckily, when you use Sundays, you can avoid gas-inducing ingredients and give your pup the range of nutrients they need to thrive.