Gassy Pets

a dog lying lazily

While the occasional release of gas from a pet can be funny or even cute, excessive tooting may present more of a problem than just being unpleasant to be around—releasing too much stinky gas could be a sign of a health problem.

Certain diseases, such as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and inflammatory bowel disease, can cause excessive gas in pets. Because the amount of gas that a dog or cat produces can be quite variable, consult your veterinarian if you notice an increase in the frequency or any signs that your pet may be bloated and uncomfortable.

In addition to diseases, excessive gas can be caused by the food in your pet’s diet as well as your pet’s eating habits. Dr. Yuri Lawrence, DVM, MA, MS, Diplomate ACVIM, and Ph.D. student in the Gastrointestinal Laboratory at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, explained some common causes.

“Swallowed air from eating or drinking water too fast often makes the largest contribution to gas in the gastrointestinal tract,” Lawrence said. “Diet also could play a role—consuming soybeans, beans, peas, and other legumes also can lead to excessive gas.”

In these cases, changing your pet’s diet could help. Lawrence said general ways to reduce gas include feeding a highly digestible diet, removing consumables that include legumes and lactose, and reducing swallowed air by feeding your pet small, frequent meals. However, be sure to consult your veterinarian before making any changes in your pet’s normal routine.

Your pet may be your best friend, but putting up with flatulence can be annoying. If your pet is experiencing excessive gas, see your veterinarian for guidance and suggestions.

Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University. Stories can be viewed on the Web at Suggestions for future topics may be directed to

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