Cat and Dog Gas: 8 Things You Never Wanted to Know
Cat or dog gas stinks in more ways than one. We've got eight steps to stop your pet from cutting the cheese. Sure it's funny at first -- but if you've got a flatulent pet, your nose will quickly tell you it's no laughing matter.
Fortunately, you don't have to resort to wearing a mask, and trust us, your pet doesn't mind basking in his own stench.
1. Preventing dog and cat gas one day at a time
Whether it's a new whole food or a new or brand of pet food, introduce different products very slowly -- little-by-little over the course of at least two weeks.
2. Reducing fiber and fat can reduce dog and cat gas
Cutting the fat in your pet's diet and replacing it with fiber will relieve flatulent symptoms 95% of the time, says Dean Severidt, DVM, a veterinarian of 30 years.
3. Slowing down during meals to prevent cat and dog gas
Eating too quickly is a major cause of gas in pets because the dog or cat consumes a lot of air.
Add a little water to dry food, which forces your cat or dog to eat more slowly, says Stacy Alldredge, owner of Who's Walking Who, a dog training school in New York.
You can also buy a special dog bowl that's designed to slow down gulpers, or put the food in a variety of food-hiding balls. The latter are designed to keep a dog busy so she eat more slowly. And, says Alldredge, if you hide them around the house it can take even longer to eat.
4. Vegetables can cause dogs and cats to have gas
Steer clear of foods known to cause gas. Asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, beans and nuts are big offenders. Soy is also problematic, says holistic veterinarian Jean Hofve, DVM, because dogs lack the enzymes needed to digest soy. Soy is mostly added to lower-end foods.
5. Supplements to control gas in dogs and cats
Dr. Ernie Ward, a small animal practitioner for 20 years, recommends adding yucca schidigera to your pet's food to reduce flatulence. This can be purchased in health food stores but many foods already contain it, he says. Or pick treats that contain charcoal, which helps with gas. As a last resort, he suggests Simethicone, which is in many antacids, typically non-prescription. Check with your vet first, of course.
Hofve advises adding digestive enzymes or probiotics to your pet's food.
6. Stimulation to control dog and cat gas
Make sure your pet is stimulated throughout the day, says Hofve. "If food is the only thing they have to look forward to, pets are bored and will eat too quickly."
7. The quality of food you feed can be causing your cat's or dog's gas
George Luntz, president and co-founder of the natural pet remedies site PetAlive.com, advises giving your pet the best quality food you can, preferably organic, because it has fewer fillers in it. But try to spread the food over two meals rather than one, he says.
8. After The Fact
It's too late: You've got a gassy pet. A little light exercise should help work it out and could stimulate a bowel movement, says Luntz, but don't do anything too vigorous immediately after a meal.