Cute But Stinky What causes my pet to have gas

Every pet owner knows the awkward moment of realizing your pet has gas…and it’s pretty potent. As the classic kid’s book points out, “Everone Farts.” Yes, but humans usually attempt to do something about it (or have the courtesy to leave the room). Pets won’t and you’ll suffer.

So what causes a normal, healthy pet to have bad gas? “The most common cause of flatulence is a change in diet or from the dog eating something spoiled (dietary indiscretion). Most cases of chronic flatulence are caused by a diet that is poorly digested by the dog.” (VCA Animal Hospitals).

This shouldn’t be a surprise because humans deal with the same issue. Animal diets are unpredictable because they often eat anything and everything they find on the floor. Even if you are careful and consistent with quality pet food and scheduled feedings, pets find food just about everywhere.

Treats can also be a problem. Many dogs, for example, love peanut butter as a special treat. However, for some dogs this is the equivalent of the “musical fruit” we sing about as children. So here are a few rules of thumb:

  • When your pet has bad gas, take note (and write down) what they’ve ingested during the last 3-4 hours.
  • After a bad case of smelly gas, observe your pet’s next stool sample to see if something got into their system and created issues. If their stool is runny or unhealthy, this may indicate a stomach bug or a bad source of food.
  • When you try a new brand or type of food, pay attention to how this impacts their gastrointestinal system. If you’re uncomfortable, they probably are as well.

And one last note about smell: Making sure your pet is bathed and groomed properly could be the easiest solution. After all, pets seek out and find smells they like that may be repulsive to the human nose. You may be mistaking smells in their ears, fur, coat, and paws for tummy troubles.


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