Understanding and managing this problem
Canine flatulence is often a taboo subject that bothers some Whippet owners. If you’re a Whippet owner, you probably know that they’re elegant, graceful creatures with a slim figure and a penetrating gaze. But what you also know is that they can also be real fart machines! Who hasn’t experienced this kind of situation with their Whippet? My Pimprenelle has never been without one! I particularly remember a certain time, in the car, when I wondered where that nauseating smell was coming from 😂! And she didn’t seem to mind… 🤣!!!
Just like us (yes 😉), our Whippet can emit farts. So far, nothing abnormal. It’s a normal, natural phenomenon. However, as soon as they become more frequent, or even chronic, and if, on top of that, they’re accompanied by other symptoms, something needs to be done.
So, in this article, we’re going to talk about the delicate subject of gas in Whippets. We’ll explore the reasons why your Whippet may have gas and how to manage the problem.
1. The causes of gas in Whippets
Just like us humans, dogs can get gas for a variety of reasons. Most of the time, this is completely normal. In humans, as in Whippets, large quantities of noisy but odourless gas are caused by the fermentation of stagnant carbohydrates in the intestines. Flatulence is a mixture of foul-smelling gases, ammonia, volatile fatty acids, and hydrogen sulfide.
So, what exactly is going on in your Whippet’s digestive system?
– Poor diet:
One of the most common causes of gas in dogs is the food they eat. Certain foods can cause gas more than others, including beans, peas, dairy products, and certain types of protein. The carbohydrates in their intestines come from the starches in their cereals or the vegetables in their kibbles.
– Dietary deficiencies:
Deficiencies of certain nutrients can lead to excessive fermentation of food in the colon and thus be a source of flatulence.
– Over-rapid swallowing:
Despite their slender stature, Whippets can be real gluttons. In fact, they are known for their voracious appetite and tendency to eat quickly. Swallowing food too quickly can cause your dog to ingest air, which can lead to gas.
– Food intolerances:
Like humans, some dogs may have intolerances or sensitivities to certain foods or additives that can cause digestive upset and gas. Others have difficulty digesting certain ingredients, such as wheat, soya, or chicken.
– Sudden dietary changes:
Above all, don’t change your Whippet’s kibbles overnight. Too radical a change of brand or composition can upset his intestinal flora. It can also upset his stomach and, ultimately, lead to excessive gas production.
– Stress and anxiety:
Just like us, Whippets can get a knot in their stomach when they’re stressed or worried. A noisy or anxiety-inducing environment, a change in routine or even a separation can upset his digestive system. Bloating and gas are then commonplace (see my previous article on the signs of stress in your Whippet).
– Other medical reasons:
Although less common, gas can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as inflammatory bowel disease or other gastrointestinal disorders. Not to mention intestinal parasites.
2. How can you reduce your Whippet’s gas?
Now that you know why your Whippet is a little gas factory, what can you do about it?
– The right food:
The first step to managing your Whippet’s gas is to provide him with the right food. Opt for a high-quality food, specially formulated for dogs with sensitive digestion. Choose foods containing high-quality proteins and avoid those containing ingredients known to cause gas. So, it’s vital to check the composition of your whippet’s kibble. Choose complete, balanced foods containing high-quality proteins such as fish, beef, or chicken. Avoid products packed with additives and containing cereals with a high glycemic index, such as corn or wheat. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask your vet or a canine nutritionist for advice.
– Good nutrients:
Nutrients such as probiotics, prebiotics and digestive enzymes can promote intestinal transit and thus reduce gas production. These « good » bacteria help balance your Whippet’s intestinal flora. So don’t hesitate to supplement your dog’s diet with high-quality specialized products.
– Small portions and regular meal frequency:
If your Whippet tends to gobble up his food, consider buying a special bowl that encourages slower feeding. Also consider dividing your Whippet’s meals into several small portions throughout the day, rather than giving him a large amount of food all at once. This will reduce feeding speed and minimize air intake. Finally, maintain a regularity in mealtimes to help regulate your Whippet’s digestive system.
-Treats and supplementary food:
Limit treats high in fiber, grain, or potentially problematic ingredients. If you want to give your Whippet treats, opt for healthy, digestible options, such as lean pieces of meat or cooked vegetables. However, limit these as much as possible, as an overfilled stomach makes gas worse.
-Gradual food transition:
If you’re changing your Whippet’s food, gradually reduce the old food by combining it with the new one for a few days. Do this gradually over a week or two, or even longer. First 25/75, then 50/50 over a few days. This allows the digestive bacteria to slowly adapt to the new elements to be broken down. The same goes for your stomach, and above all, it reduces the risk of gas.
-Walks and relaxation:
If your whippet is naturally anxious, opt for relaxation exercises such as massage or walks. They’re ideal for relaxing nervous little tummies.
While gas can often be a source of amusement (or embarrassment), it’s essential to know when it could indicate a more serious problem. If your Whippet’s gas is accompanied by other symptoms, such as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargic behavior, consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Only a clinical examination will lead to a diagnosis. The right treatment can then relieve your pooch’s symptoms.
At the end of the day, even with all the precautions in the world, your Whippet could still experience gas from time to time. Gas in Whippets can be annoying, but it’s often normal and can be managed with a few dietary and lifestyle adjustments. It is, after all, just a natural part of digestion. And it can also be a source of humor. Who could resist a laugh when your elegant Whippet, sitting proudly on the sofa, lets out a little » Pfft » 😉
Gas can be a little embarrassing, especially when you have guests over. But they’re also a reminder that our pets, just like us, are living beings with their own little imperfections. And, frankly, who could blame a Whippet for a little wind?
It’s important to consult your vet to rule out any underlying medical conditions. By following the advice in this article, you can help your Whippet feel more comfortable and reduce unpleasant odors. Enjoy every moment with your canine companion, gas or not!
Some additional information:
- “How to Stop Dog Farts” – American Kennel Club: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/how-to-stop-dog-farts/
- “Flatulence – farting and gas problems in dogs” – Vetwest: https://www.vetwest.com.au/pet-library/flatulence-farting-and-gas-problems-in-dogs/
- “Things to Know on Dog Farting Awareness Day” – Scientific American: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/dog-spies/things-to-know-on-dog-farting-awareness-day/
- “Diet and dog farts” – ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322420322_Beynen_AC_2018_Diet_and_dog_farts