Dogs are renowned for having really bad smelling flatulence, and sometimes their breath isn’t a whole lot better. In spite of that, they never seem embarrassed, and still make lots of friends at the dog park.
We may laugh but if your dog has either of these problems, it’s not that funny. They’re a lot less pleasant to cuddle up to. Even worse, if your dog is flatulent, you may be blamed for the smell!
By far the most common cause of bad breath in dogs is dental disease. Plaque accumulates on the teeth; this is a soft sticky build up of bacteria which can be found predominantly on those big upper molars at the back of the mouth. This leads to inflammation of the gum, calculus formation, and loose teeth. Not only is this painful, but it smells.
Some foods can also cause bad breath. A well known example in people is garlic – if you’ve eaten it as part of your meal, you’ll often have no friends for a little while.
Let’s look at the other end. All dogs produce gas in their gastro-intestinal tract, as part of the normal digestion of food. Most of the gas that passes from the intestines doesn’t smell at all. Any bad smell is caused by hydrogen sulfide, better known as rotten egg gas.
Some dogs swallow large amounts of air while eating, especially if they gulp their food. This has to go somewhere, and while dogs will burp, a lot of it often comes out the other end. This isn’t usually offensive, but can be quite loud.
The foul smelling flatulence is usually due to poor digestion of certain nutrients, such as protein or fiber. When partially digested food reaches the large intestine, it ferments and releases excess gas. Some dogs also like to eat rotten food or other unsavory items, and this too adds an unpleasant odor to their wind.
If your dog is excessively smelly at either end, it’s important that he’s checked by your vet. There are some less common medical causes of flatulence , such as intestinal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease that need medical treatment. Similarly, dental plaque needs to be removed – it doesn’t just cause bad breath, but can lead to more serious conditions such as heart valve damage, and kidney disease. This is usually done under general anesthetic – most dogs won’t voluntarily lie back and open wide.
Although you’re not likely to stop his flatulence altogether, you can reduce the smell.
1. Feed your dog several smaller meals a day, rather than one large meal. This will help to increase the digestion of nutrients, and reduce the amount of partially digested food reaching the large intestine. Less fermentation means less gas production.
2. Encourage your dog to eat slowly by putting an appropriate sized clean rock in his dinner bowl. He’ll have to dig around the rock for his kibble, and he won’t be able to quickly gulp his food. This will reduce the amount of air he swallows.
3. Change his diet to a highly digestible, low residue prescription diet. Your vet can recommend a suitable food for your dog. This too results in less nutrients reaching the large intestine, and reduced fermentation and gas production.
4. Digestive enzymes can help. These can increase the breakdown of nutrients in the diet and help improve digestion and absorption. The result is again less fermentation.
Dog Smog Remedy attacks your dog’s bad smell from both ends. It can be sprayed in your dog’s mouth, just like a breath freshener,and the peppermint and fennel will stop bad breath in its tracks. It also contains digestive enzymes which help break down food, and reduce the amount of noxious gas your dog produces.
Try these steps to wipe out your dog’s smell, and you’ll be cuddling on the couch again in no time. Better still, your friends and family won’t avoid you any more.