If your Aussie is constantly farting it can quickly get just a little too much to handle. I know the feeling, my dogs have been through this before.
Farting, or more politely, flatulence, is something that often happens with Australian shepherds and owners are always messaging us about it.
This article has everything you need to know.
What we’ll cover:
Reasons why your Australian Shepherd farts so much
How to stop your Aussie from farting so much
Whether or not dog charcoal biscuits work
When to seek veterinarian help
Key points summarized
Normal Vs Excessive Farting?
Before worrying too much, it’s important to identify if your Aussie is farting excessively, or within reason…
While there isn’t a magic number to go by when it comes to normal/vs excessive, we can give a ball park figure.
If your Aussie farts less than 5 times per day this is still considered normal (although that much be too much for you already!).
If your Aussie is farting over 5 times, and upwards of 10-15 times per day then this is considered to be excessive for dogs. Dogs should be able to go multiple days without farting once.
3 Key Reasons Why Your Aussie Keeps Farting
Let’s get right into the three main reasons behind why your Australian shepherd is farting excessively.
I will say now though, if your Aussie only lets off a few pops here and there, then its nothing to worry about. Our dogs let off gas just like we do, and sometimes they can’t help but rumble away.
1. Diet and food problems
Of course, the first thing we need to consider is your Aussies diet. This is the number reason behind a gassy Aussie.
From the kind of ingredients to food allergies or food intolerances, if something isn’t quite right, it can result in excessive gas production, which you’ll fall victim too.
Foods known to cause Aussies issues:
- Chicken, pork, lamb, beef are all common allergens and don’t actually digest too well!
- Dairy of milk products. These are common in treats
- Fibers. Particularly fermentable ones like oat bran, pectins, psyllium, and lactulose
- Peas, beans, soy beans (common in kibble)
- Onion, garlic, salt, spices
- Raisins, currents, figs, grapes
- Xylitol, chocolate, caffiene, many nuts
- Additives and preservatives
As you can see it’s a long list of some very normal-sounding ingredients. And if you take a quick glance at your Aussie’s dog food, you’ll likely find multiple of these in there!
Chicken, beef, lamb, pork
The biggest culprit though would be the source of protein. Despite how common chicken, beef, lamb, and pork are in dog food and dog treats, they are all common allergens, meaning they digest particularly well and can trigger food allergies. This is all it takes for excessive flatulence.
It’s accepted that all dogs are lactose intolerance once into their adult years. Some to a greater extent than others. After pups are weaned off their mother’s milk and onto kibble or dog food, their body naturally stops producing lactase, which is the important enzyme required to breakdown lactose. So, if your adult aussie is consuming treats or food with dairy products, this is definitely something to change.
If you’ve recently switched food or kibble this could be what’s causing the gas. While your Aussie might love the taste of their new kibble, it could be too much for their digestive system. Sometimes, it suggests the kibble isn’t good for them, but there is a chance they adjust and their body adapts to digestive it with less negative side affects, like gas.
More tips regarding diet will be listed below.
2. Swallowing too much air (Aerophagia)
My friends have australian shepherds, and one thing I realized was just how quick they wolf down their food! I’m sure they would break some records if it was timed.
The thing is, this isn’t good for them and when dogs eat too quickly, they consume a lot of air. This air then gets trapped in their stomach until it finds it’s way out: either end.
Swallowing too much air can actually be dangerous too. If too much air is swallowed is can cause bloat and something more serious like gastric torsion, which can be life threatening and is considered a medical emergency.
Causes of Aerophagia:
- Eating too fast
- Eating too soon after exercise
- Eating from bowls too low down
- General stress and anxiety can increase air consumption
- Eating fermentable foods that expel gas once inside
- Respiratory issues
While swallowing air doesn’t seem like a big deal, it’s important to ensure this isn’t the case for you Aussie. I’ll run through tips in the next section to prevent this from happening.
3. Underlying health concerns
According to the Vet West Animal Hospital, Australian Shepherds can experience a variety of health issues that may lead to excessive flatulence as a symptom.
These health issues can include:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
- Intestinal Parasites
- Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI).
Although excessive flatulence is one of the symptoms related to these health issues, it is essential to monitor this symptom closely.
It can be challenging to diagnose your Australian Shepherd’s health problems at home or through online searches.
Therefore, it’s essential to schedule routine check-ups with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues before trying to address the problem on your own.
Thankfully, most instances of excessive flatulence in Australian Shepherds are typically associated with diet or aerophagia rather than underlying health concerns.
However, it’s still necessary to keep the possibility of health issues in mind and seek professional veterinary help as needed.
3 Ways to stop your Aussie farting so much
There are a few effective ways to help reduce gas in Australian Shepherds. By implementing some simple changes, you can help your furry friend feel more comfortable and improve their digestion.
`. Raise the food bowl
One helpful tip is to elevate your Aussie’s food bowl. The position of their neck when eating can impact their air consumption and lead to excessive gas. By raising their bowl to a comfortable height, you can help align their neck and reduce stress on their body as they eat. This is known to be an effective way to prevent digestive issues like Aerophagia.
Thankfully, there are many raised food bowls available in different heights or adjustable ones you can buy. You can find them easily online. Alternatively, you can try placing their bowl on a box or step and monitor the changes over a week. Remember to share this tip with other Aussie owners and reference this page.
2. Consider changing kibbles
Changing your Australian Shepherd’s kibble may seem daunting and expensive, but it could be worth it to reduce flatulence.
Start by examining the ingredients in your current kibble and consider if a switch is necessary. While all kibbles contain some flatulence-inducing ingredients, choosing one with fewer irritants is beneficial.
Here are some tips for transitioning to a new kibble:
- Opt for a kibble made with a different protein source, such as salmon, duck, turkey, or fish, instead of chicken, beef, pork, or lamb.
- Look for kibbles designed for sensitive stomachs, which typically contain fewer ingredients, including fewer irritants, to make digestion easier and reduce flatulence.
- Consider grain-free kibbles, which are known to alleviate flatulence in dogs.
Choose a reputable brand and allow your Australian Shepherd 5-10 days to adjust to the new food. Keep an eye on their gas issues after a few weeks.
If you’re unsure about making changes to your dog’s diet, consult your veterinarian before proceeding.
3. Reduce stress & anxiety as much as possible
Stress and anxiety can lead to negative health consequences for Australian Shepherds, including excessive flatulence due to conditions like Aerophagia and IBS. Here are some factors that can contribute to canine stress:
- Lack of exercise and physical activity
- Insufficient attention and affection from owners and family
- Long periods of being left alone
- Stressful household environments
- Punishment or shouting
- Lack of mental stimulation through training or puzzle games
Given the many potential causes of stress in Aussies, it’s important to evaluate each major area of their life to determine if they may be lacking in any way. For instance, they may need more socialization or exercise, or perhaps they require additional mental stimulation.
By cultivating healthy habits and an active lifestyle with a consistent routine, you can help ensure that your Australian Shepherd is free from stress and able to thrive. Not to mention, enjoy a fart-free home!
Do Charcoal Dog Biscuits Reduce Flatulence?
If you’ve been dealing with this smelly situation for a while already you may be aware that charcoal dog biscuits are a popular way to reduce the farts.
They do work, and veterinarians often recommend them. I have also tried with my doggos when they went through their farting episodes, and to my surprise, they did work.
There are two important things to know however:
- This is only a short term solution to bad odor, not a long term fix
- You must only give DOG charcoal biscuits, as the ones made for humans are not the same
If your Aussie has some seriously gas and you have friends over then you could offer them a couple of charcoal dog biscuits as a temporary fix.
Still, in my opinion, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian first before giving your Aussie charcolal biscuits.
Key Points to Know
Let’s summarize the most important causes and solutions given throughout.
Diet is the likely cause
In Australian Shepherds, their diet can also be the primary cause of excessive flatulence. Other reasons may include aerophagia and health concerns. To avoid worrying, it’s best to consult a veterinarian early on to rule out any health issues.
Swallowing too much air
When it comes to the issue of swallowing air, there are a few things to do. First, raise their food bowl to help prevent them from swallowing air while eating. Avoid feeding your dog too soon after exercise, and consider using a maze bowl to encourage slower eating.
Avoid common allergens, and limit stress
Switching to a kibble that avoids common allergens and irritants, and using a sensitive stomach formula, can also be helpful. Reducing stress in your Aussie’s environment and ensuring they get enough exercise and mental stimulation are also important.
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