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I have had many dog breeds, and each one of them farted. That has not changed since getting my Golden Retriever, and he does fart as well (obviously). This got me wondering, in comparison to my other dogs, do Golden Retrievers fart a lot?
As a whole, Golden Retrievers do not fart a lot compared to some dog breeds, such as bulldogs. Occasional gas is normal; however, any increased gas is often due to dietary reasons. For example, poorly digestible foods, eating too fast, or changes in diet may cause a Golden Retriever to fart more.
Passing gas is normal and happens to us all, including our canine friends. However, while occasional flatulence is not unusual, there are occasions when you may find your Golden Retriever farts much more than usual. Or the gas they produce may be incredibly stinky.
This article will explore all things flatulence and Golden Retrievers.
Reasons Why Golden Retrievers Might Fart More
Typically if your Golden Retriever is farting more than usual, there is a reason why. And more often than not, there is a dietary reason behind the gassy attack from your Golden Retriever on your nose.
By becoming a fart detective, you can quickly determine a pattern of when your Golden Retriever farts more. However, chances are it will be one of the reasons discussed below.
Changing a dog’s diet abruptly can cause digestive issues. Digestive issues often occur when you transition your Golden Retriever to a new diet.
Diet transitions usually happen during the various growth phases from puppyhood to adulthood and then a senior dog. For example, you may have decided to change your dog’s diet from kibble to a raw diet or to another brand based on a recommendation from your veterinarian.
So, for example, you could go with 25% new food + 75% old food for three days, then three days of 50/50, then four days of 75% new + 25% old followed by 100% new.
However, be aware that even a slow transition may cause increased gas. And abruptly changing the diet may not only cause increased farting but diarrhea and stomach upset as well.
Another potential dietary issue for increased flatulence is a diet high in fiber. Or, allergies or intolerances to an ingredient in the food or digestion issues could be a cause.
Those are discussed next.
If your Golden Retriever is experiencing frequent gas while being fed high-quality or premium dog food in proper portions, it may have digestion issues.
In this instance, your Golden Retriever may not be digesting its food correctly or not absorbing the nutrients from the food very well. Your veterinarian can test for digestive issues in either case, so you should have your dog tested for maldigestion.
However, another cause could be an intolerance or allergy to something in the food.
Allergies or Intolerances
A food allergy occurs when the immune system reacts to harmless food.
Food intolerance occurs when the body has a chemical reaction to eating a particular food or drink. Food intolerances are most often milder and do not involve the immune system.
The most common food allergens in dogs are proteins, mainly from dairy products, beef, lamb, chicken, eggs, soy, or gluten (from wheat) [source].
However, while increased farting and very smelling farts may be a side effect of an allergy, there typically will be additional issues such as:
- Itching skin
- Weight loss
- Lack of energy
An intolerance is often much more common, especially in dairy products. For example, many dogs are lactose intolerant, and gas is a common side effect of dairy intolerance.
Most often, lactose intolerance in dogs comes from feeding Golden Retrievers cheese or other dairy products.
Feeding your Golden Retriever table scraps is often the single most significant cause of farting in our dog. Human foods are often high in fat and sugars, which can be difficult for your Golden Retriever to digest.
The result? Lots of farts.
Even certain vegetables and fruits can cause increased gas due to the high fiber content. While a good amount of fiber is beneficial for your dog, too much can cause gastrointestinal woes, including bloating and gas.
Some vegetables are very prone to causing more flatulence in our dogs. Vegetables, especially raw, like cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, are healthy treats for dogs. Still, too much of them could lead to smelly farts.
Soup bones can also be another culprit if meat is still on it. The marrow and meat on a soup bone can be challenging to digest and cause digestive issues, including farts. Furthermore, the meat on the bone can quickly become rancid, which further leads to digestive issues, including excessive and very smelly gas.
Dairy products such as cheese or milk can be especially problematic if your dog is lactose intolerant.
Interested if your Golden Retriever can drink milk? Then, check out his post: Giving Milk to a Golden Retriever: Is It Okay?
Basically, if food is hard to digest, it can spend more time fermenting in the colon, which causes increased gas.
Eating Too Fast
Many Golden Retrievers are very food-driven, resulting in them gobbling up their food at a surprisingly fast rate. Or, if there are other pets in the house, they may eat fast out of fear of another pet getting their food.
Flatulence is a normal biological function and is often due to fast eating. The culprit in fast eating is swallowed air, and a large amount of air is swallowed with the simple act of eating.
If air is not released through burping, it must exit through the other end. Swallowed air tends not to have an objectionable odor.
According to the American Kennel Club, several health issues can lead to gastrointestinal problems in dogs, including:
- Canine colitis
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Intestinal parasites
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Often a side effect of an illness is excess gas. In addition, gas can cause bloating and be very uncomfortable for your Golden Retriever.
If none of the apparent causes discussed seems to be causing excessive farting in your dog, a vet should check it out to rule out any health issues.
Often being overweight can cause gas in Golden Retrievers. Eating more food than they need means it takes more time for the stomach to empty, which means it has more time to ferment and produce farts.
If you’re not sure if your Golden Retriever is too fat, read this article I wrote on assessing your dog’s body scale: A Fat Golden Retriever? (How To Know and What to Do).
What Makes My Golden Retriever Farts So Smelly?
Chances are you have experienced occasions when your Golden Retriever farts are so stinky that they may water your eyes. I call my Golden Retrievers noxious gas, “stinky puppy farts.”
The blame for stinky farts is bacteria and the large intestine (colon). The fiber in the diet cannot be digested easily by a dog’s own enzyme system. However, it can be more easily digested by gas-producing bacteria in the large intestine [source].
So, a high-fiber diet is good, but one that is too fiber-rich means a more optimal environment for gas-producing bacteria in the colon. This means more gas and more of the stinky gas as well.
A calorie-rich diet (a lot of food) also increases transit time through the colon, which means more time for those gasses to ferment and become more noxious.
The more time it gets to spend in the intestinal tract, the more fermentation and the worse the smell.
Tips To Reduce the Amount of Golden Retriever Farting
To ensure your Golden Retriever doesn’t suffer from any digestive issues and excess gas, you can take a few steps to ensure optimum gastrointestinal function and health.
Step one is to ensure your Golden Retriever has a healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle that includes the appropriate balance of food, water, sleep, stress, exercise, socializing, and playtime.
A high-quality, premium dog food with adequate exercise can do wonders for healthy digestion. Activity in dogs is well known to prove motility (the ability to move food through its digestive tract.). In addition, an empty digestive tract helps decrease gas, so feeding proper portions is recommended.
Exercise and a good premium diet can also help keep your Golden Retriever at a healthy weight, which helps to decrease flatulence from too many calories.
I wrote an article on Golden Retriever puppy pooping, including what is normal in frequency and composition. That article has great information for adult Golden Retriever too and discusses normal poop frequency and composition. Check it out here: Golden Retriever Puppy Pooping: How Often Is Normal?
Low Residue Diet
If your Golden Retriever is having digestive issues, often your veterinarian will recommend a low residue diet. Most veterinarian offices sell premium, low residue dog food.
A low residue diet is one that has a very low or no crude fiber content. It is best described as a high digestible diet. A low residue diet contains very digestible ingredients in that they are almost entirely metabolized during the digestive process.
The benefit of such a diet is that it is more quickly and wholly digested, which means better digestion and more nutrients available to your dog. An added benefit is less gas due to better transit time through the colon and emptying of the stomach.
Ingredients typically found in a low-residue diet for dogs include dried white rice, chicken, chicken fat, fish meat, and dried eggs. In addition, some low-residue dog foods contain prescription medicines in them for different diseases.
Multiple Meals a Day
Most Golden Retrievers are fed twice per day, but the disadvantage of two meals is they are typically larger. This means the food remains in the stomach longer and increases the likelihood of more gas.
Try feeding your Golden Retriever three times per day instead. Smaller meals may be easier on your Golden Retriever’s stomach and decrease gas. In addition, less food means less transit time and fermentation, which may help reduce farting.
Feeding multiple meals a day won’t reduce the amount of food your pet consumes. But rather, the calorie consumption will be distributed in smaller portions more frequently.
I split Bailey’s meals into three: two meals and an equivalent amount for the third meal for snacks or for training. His snacks are freeze-dried liver, broken into fingernail-sized pieces.
Use Kongs or Other Stuffable Chew Toys
A great way to slow down a fast eater is by using Kong toys or other stuffable chew toys. These chew toys come in various styles, and the larger ones can hold a full meal.
Throw some food in a blender, add some pre or probiotics, and freeze them overnight. The following day you give the Kong, and your dog will need to spend some time licking out its food.
If you Google Kong recipes, you’ll find many great recipe options for your Golden Retriever. It might take some experimentation to find the right foods and consistency that is ideal for your dog.
In addition to slowing down a faster eater, the Kong also makes the dog work for their food and stimulates them mentally. So, put another way, it helps keep your dog calm because it’s focused on getting out its food.
Many professional dog trainers recommend Kongs for hyperactive dogs, big chewers, and fast eaters.
Prebiotic and Probiotic Supplements
Including probiotic supplements in your Golden Retriever diet can reduce stinky farts. In addition, probiotics add good bacteria to the intestines, improving gastrointestinal health.
You can opt for capsules or liquid. However, it is good to chat with your vet before adding any supplements to your dog’s diet.
A better (and less expensive) option is low-fat, plain yogurt.
Low fat, plain yogurt has good bacteria and is high in protein and low. In addition, Golden Retrievers are often fond of the taste of yogurt, so it can be a great addition, provided they are NOT lactose intolerant.
Steer clear of sweetened ones or one with fruit to avoid artificial sweeteners and added ingredients.
I typically add yogurt to my Kongs for my Golden Retriever.
I soak his premium kibble in water for a few hours, then add some low-fat, plain yogurt and a little peanut butter made for dogs (low fat, no sugar), and a little cheese (he is not lactose intolerant). I puree it in the blender and then stuff it in the Kong and freeze it.
Golden Retrievers, as a breed, are not prone to farting a lot (fortunately). However, on occasion, when a Golden Retriever is farting a lot, it is most often due to overeating or eating the wrong thing.
The good news is that the vast majority of the time, a lifestyle change in the quality or amount of food and an increase in exercise is all it takes to balance your Golden Retrievers’ digestion.
Not only is that good for him, but it’s good for your nose as well!