Pull my paw!

Pull my paw!

With some foods like soy and bean-based kibbles, the more they eat the more they toot.

I shouldn’t have eaten that burrito. Or chili with beans. Corned beef with cabbage? What was I thinking?  Even the most iron-stomached person will have this lament from time to time, and experience the discomfort and potential social stigma of intestinal gas.

Most dog and cat owners have probably noticed that their four-legged friends will “pass gas” as well. Unfortunately, dogs don’t exercise the same decision making when it comes to what they eat or how fast they eat it.  Poor dietary choices—mostly eating spoiled or rotten food—are the primary cause of canine flatulence. Cats will get “gassy” as well, but not as often as dogs.

Chronic flatulence in our pets, however, has more varied causes and should be taken seriously. If your pet routinely passes gas, consider the following potential root causes.

Slow down there, Fido! Dogs and cats that “wolf” down their food—taking large gulps of air in the process—will often experience flatulence. Although it’s difficult to force a pet slow their roll at the bowl, there are a few tricks to make them take their time. Placing their hard food on a cookie sheet is one old fashioned remedy. There are also a number of slow feeder bowls that reportedly work well. A pet that eats slower will typically be less gassy.

(Full disclosure: this author cares for a dog who eats much too fast. I recently adopted a Black Lab/Saint Bernard/Newfoundland shelter dog named Buddy, who typically consumes his 3 ounces of kibbles in less than 45 seconds. Flatulence is the inevitable result, which has me earnestly looking at slow feeder bowls.)

Lactose intolerance. It’s hard to resist giving our dogs a bite of an ice cream sandwich or our cats a little milk. The truth is that dogs and cats don’t tolerate dairy very well, which upsets their digestive system and causes gas.

Beans and peas. Plant-based protein like peas and soybeans provide pet owners with an inexpensive way to provide carbohydrates and fiber to their dogs and cats. Although these foods work well for many animals, they can produce indigestion in others. If your pet isn’t gulping down a lot of air when eating or consuming dairy but still has flatulence, then this may be the next most likely cause to consider.

Disease. There are many medical conditions that causes flatulence in dogs and cats, including intestinal parasites, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and enteritis. More seriously, flatulence could be a sign that your pet has tumors, irritable bowel syndrome, and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. If changes in diet and eating habits aren’t producing results, a visit to your veterinarian is definitely in order.

If you have a dog or cat who is healthy otherwise yet still prone to indigestion and gas, you may be surprised by the difference diet makes. Simpler, more natural pet food options like NuturPak Pet’s wet foods come packed with protein but not with pea and soy based-protein that can cause flatulence. NaturPak Pet is focused on the development and manufacture of complete and balanced wet pet food products, using fresh and whole food ingredients. For more information on the benefits of NaturPak Pet food, contact a representative today.

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