All dogs get gas from time to time – it’s just a natural part of life.
But whereas most dogs only destroy the air quality of your home on occasion, others seem ready to rip at any given moment. This may not really bother some owners, but others may care enough to try to avoid gassy breeds altogether.
We’ll try to help you do so below, as we identify nine of the breeds that have developed a reputation for being particularly gassy. We’ll also talk about the finer points of dog farts and provide a few tips for limiting the amount of gas your pup produces.
Do Some Dog Breeds Really Fart More Than Others?
Let me just say right off the bat that nobody knows for sure whether some breeds are gassier than others.
Despite my best attempts, I was unable to find any study involving somebody with a lab coat and clipboard following different dog breeds around, tallying their farts (If I’m hit by a bus, someone please delete my search history).
This was obviously disappointing – we have to read a lot of dense, dry (translation: boring) studies to answer some of our reader’s questions and provide the best possible information. A study about recording dog farts would have offered a pretty fun reprieve. It would have also made me cackle like a 7-year-old, but that’s beside the point.
However, there does appear to be a general consensus among those wise in the ways of dogs that some breeds are indeed gassier than others. This not only includes most K9 of Mine contributors I asked, but it also includes trainers, groomers, nutritionists, and breeders.
It also includes some vets, like Dr. Evan Antin, who states plainly, “I’ve found that some dog breeds do tend to be more flatulent than others” (for the record, he crowns English bulldogs as fart champions).
This all makes sense, so it shouldn’t be surprising; dog breeds vary in innumerable ways.
Their physical and behavioral characteristics obviously differ in many ways, but many of their biological characteristics vary too. Moreover, the digestive tracts of different breeds often work in slightly different ways and exhibit different tendencies too.
For that matter, bloat has been empirically demonstrated to occur in some breeds more than others.
For the unfamiliar, bloat (also called gastric dilation and volvulus) is a serious, often fatal condition that occurs when gas fills a dog’s stomach. So, it’s obviously a much more somber subject matter than dog farts, but they both involve gas in the digestive tract, and one has been shown to be more common in some breeds than others.
Nevertheless, it’s important to point out that there are a million factors involved in gas production. We’ll talk about a few of the most influential factors in a bit, but just understand that not all bulldogs (for example) will be gassy. It also means that your dainty little lap dog may poison the air more often than you’d expect.
This also means that there are some things you can do that may help reduce the amount of gas your dog produces. We’ll talk about that later too, but first, let’s properly
shame identify the worst offenders.
9 Gassy Dog Breeds Who Frequently Let Wind
The nine breeds listed below all have a reputation for being pretty gassy. We primarily offer this as a warning for soon-to-be owners, but it may also serve as confirmation for those poor souls living alongside rootin’ tootin’ pets.
1. English Bulldogs
English bulldogs may be cute, but they’re certainly capable of clearing out a room in record time, sending innocent victims fleeing for fresh air. And unfortunately, there are a variety of reasons bulldogs are gassy, so it’s not something that’s easy to address.
For starters, many English bulldogs simply have sensitive systems, which seem to be inherently primed to poot. But another big reason they likely fart so frequently is because they’re a brachycephalic (short-faced) breed, who often have eating and breathing difficulties, which likely cause these canines to swallow a lot of air.
Boxers are notoriously gassy. This is likely related to the fact that boxers are susceptible to a variety of gastrointestinal issues. Many have sensitive stomachs, and the breed appears particularly at risk of suffering from bloat. Boxers are also enthusiastic eaters, which can cause them to swallow a ton of air at chow time.
3. Doberman Pinschers
It isn’t clear exactly why Dobermans are so gassy – all their owners know is that these beautiful pups may unleash noxious gasses at any given moment, so it’s always important to remain ready to bolt out of the room. Dobermans are susceptible to bloat, so they may just be predisposed to swallowing a lot of air.
4. Golden Retrievers
Golden retrievers are another breed with a reputation for being gassy. But there doesn’t appear to be any obvious reason why. Like most other large breeds, they are susceptible to bloat, but that doesn’t seem to explain the issue completely.
Personally, I’m a little curious if this is just an artifact of sampling bias. All dog breeds fart, and golden retrievers are one of the two or three most popular breeds on a year-in, year-out basis. So, it may just be that there are lots of golden retrievers out there, which just drives up the number who seem gassy.
Pugs are certainly adorable little pups, but they can pollute your air space in a way that’d make a big dog jealous.
Pugs are susceptible to a variety of health problems, but relatively few are gastrointestinal in nature. Accordingly, they’re probably considered extra gassy because – like other brachycephalic breeds – they may swallow a lot of air during their daily lives.
It’s also worth considering the fact that because pugs often live up to the lap-dog moniker, their owners are often in the line of fire. In other words, they may not fart more often than the average pooch, but because they are rarely far from your side, you end up taking the brunt of their butt bouquets.
6. Pit Bulls
Pit bulls have a lot going for them – they’re sweet, adorable, smart, loyal, and athletic. But they also have a reputation for producing a generous amount of gas.
There aren’t any obvious explanations for the reason pit bulls tend to fart a bunch, but many do have slightly sensitive digestive tracts. This means it may be worth experimenting with different pittie-friendly foods, to find one that limits the gas as much as possible.
Of course, beagles are gassy – it just seems to fit their rough-and-tumble, ready-to-rock demeanor. They’re also shameless pups, who probably don’t feel bad for blowing you up on a daily basis.
Beagles don’t suffer from many health issues that explain their gassy nature. However, they are mischievous little four-footers, who probably eat things they shouldn’t more often than many other breeds do.
8. Yorkshire Terriers
You wouldn’t expect Yorkies to be gassy by looking at them – they are positively dainty dogs, who don’t look capable of unleashing the kind of chemical warfare they sometimes do. But Yorkies are frequent farters, which is probably linked to their tendency to suffer from portosystemic shunts and other associated medical issues that challenge their digestive systems.
It is especially important to avoid giving Yorkies very much people food; aside from helping to reduce the amount of gas they produce, it’ll also help your pet feel better too.
9. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers
Soft-coated Wheaten terriers frequently appear in discussions of canine gas. Unfortunately, their tendency to produce a lot of gas is likely related to their susceptibility to gastrointestinal disorders, such as protein-losing enteropathy.
In fact, it is probably wise to keep a close eye on your Wheaten terrier’s gassiness and visit the vet if things get out of hand or your pup begins exhibiting any other troubling symptoms.
What Causes Gas in Dogs?
Typically, dog farts are said to occur for one of two reasons:
- Gas is produced by bacteria and other microorganisms breaking down the food in your dog’s intestinal tract. This is normal, and different types of food (and microorganisms) produce different gases. Some — like those rich in methane or sulfur – stink. Others produce gasses rich in carbon dioxide and other largely odorless substances.
- Regular air ends up in your dog’s digestive tract. This usually occurs when dogs swallow air (an occurrence called aerophagia), but there are a few rare health conditions that can also allow air to enter the digestive tract. Eventually, most of this air has to find its way out via one of two available exit points.
These causes aren’t terribly controversial, but it should be noted that at least one nutritionist, Dottie Laflamme, DVM, Ph.D., DACVN with Nestle Purina Pet Care, remains unconvinced that swallowed air contributes to flatulence, citing a lack of published research or evidence. However, she does concede that there is evidence linking swallowed air with bloat.
I haven’t been able to find any other authorities challenging the notion of swallowed air contributing to flatulence. For that matter, plenty of top-tier human medical resources – like the Cleveland Clinic – seem to have no issue with the concept.
But we thought it was worth mentioning.
Danger Signs: Gas Isn’t Always Harmless
Gas is usually not a health concern, but it can be associated with an underlying medical condition. There’s no quick-and-easy way to know without talking to your vet, but there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
For example, dogs who are producing more gas than normal and suffering from other intestinal ailments should probably see a vet. Similarly, dogs who’ve never been very gassy may need veterinary attention if they have bad gas suddenly and start farting left and right for no obvious reason.
Consider your dog’s demeanor too. A dog with standard-issue gas problems probably won’t appear terribly bothered by their farts. On the other hand, a dog with a problem may experience pain or discomfort alongside the gas.
This is simply another occasion in which you’ll need to trust your dog-parent instincts, act in your pet’s best interest, and err on the side of caution. If nothing else, consider contacting the folks at Ask a Vet from JustAnswer – it’s cheaper and easier than taking your dog in for a checkup.
How to Reduce Gas in Dogs
Assuming that your dog is healthy, and his gas is no cause for concern, you can take a few steps that may help fix the situation. You won’t be able to completely eliminate his gas, but there are a few techniques that may prove helpful.
Consider Changing His Diet
A lot of dogs become gassy because of the ingredients in their diet. We’ll list some of the most common culprits in a minute, but for now, just know that dietary changes are something worth exploring when dealing with a gassy pet.
Be sure you select a dog food designed for sensitive stomachs when making the switch and do so slowly to help your dog’s body adjust to the new food.
Cut Out the Table Scraps
We get it – sometimes your pooch deserves some delicious human food. We generally try to explain that while this isn’t a fabulous idea, it’s not the end of the world if you stick to dog-safe foods and keep the quantities minimal.
That said, a lot of human foods can trigger gas in dogs, so you’ll want to cut out the human foods (to the extent that you can resist) until you can identify which foods are causing the problems.
Provide More Exercise
Getting your pup active will help keep his intestines operating well, and it’ll help encourage him to poop more. This will often help reduce the amount of gas he produces, but even if it doesn’t, it’ll help expel a lot of the gas while you’re outside.
It’s all about the small victories.
Slow Down the Eating Process
Eating too quickly is one of the primary ways by which dogs are thought to swallow air. So, it’s a good idea to try to slow down the process as best you can.
If your dog is anxious at feeding time because of behavioral or social issues, you’ll want to work to dissolve any tension and address the root cause of the problem with your vet, a canine behaviorist or trainer. It may even be possible to help your pet chill out at chow time by feeding him in a different place than your other dogs – perceived competition can cause dogs to wolf down their food.
You can also purchase slow feed dog bowls which make it challenging for your dog to slurp up his kibble.
Can Gas-X Help a Gassy Dog?
You can give Gas-X to some dogs, but it can be deadly for others – so you should always call your vet before giving your dog any medication.
But that’s kinda beside the point anyway: Gax-X (simethicone) works by making it easier to expel gas; it won’t do a darn thing to eliminate the gas. In fact, Gas-X is actually one of the first things dogs suffering from bloat are often told to do by their vet.
We’ve written about Gas-X in detail before, so check out that article if you’d like to learn more. But unfortunately, Gas-X is not a solution for your farting four-footer.
Foods That Commonly Cause Gas in Dogs
To an extent, gassiness is a personal issue for dogs. Different individuals simply have different reactions to various foods and ingredients.
But there are a handful of things that are commonly associated with increased gas production:
- Red meat
- “Cat treats” (You know what I mean)
- High-fiber foods
- Most carbohydrates (aside from rice)
- Fermentable fibers, such as chicory, inulin, psyllium, oats, barley, beet pulp, and fruit
Dealing with stinky dog farts is just part of the gig for dog owners. But on balance, I’m sure we’re all willing to put up with poisonous air every once in a while, to enjoy all the awesome stuff our floofs do. Just remember that while gas is usually no cause for concern, you should always consult your vet if your dog’s gas problem presents any of the red flags mentioned above.
Let us know what breed your dog is and rate his fart-factor in the comments below. It’ll be interesting to see if our readers’ experiences align with the reputations of the breeds we list above.
Thankfully, my Rottie isn’t particularly gassy, but when she does decide to depressurize, the results can be deadly. And, as I’ve explained before, hers are normally loud, which helps provide me with some warning.