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Beagle Gas Problems


Beagle gas, Beagle farts... The medical term is flatulence and this sort of problem is not uncommon with the Beagle breed. If your Beagle seems extra gassy, you'll want to read this section.

We will go over all of the different reasons that cause gas problems and specific steps that you can take to resolve this issue.

While it may seem that the only inconvenience to this issue is the smell (which in and of itself can be plenty of motivation to get things resolved), gas can also cause discomfort to a dog due to bloating and cramping, so it is best to not ignore excessive flatulence issues.
Flatulence occurs when there is an expulsion through the rectum of a mixture of gases that are byproducts of the digestion process. While some make joke about this ("Blame it on the dog!"), when a dog is chronically gassy, it can actually be quite an issue.

While rare, some cases of gas can be caused by a medical condition:

- Malfunction of the pancreas. In these cases, there are usually problems with food absorption that will cause a dog to lose weight due to malnourishment.  

- Respiratory disease. Respiratory disease causes an increased respiratory rate that can lead to a dog gulping his food very quickly. If you suspect that either of these may be the case, you will want to bring your Beagle to the veterinarian for a full and complete checkup.

- Inflammatory bowel disease. With this, there is a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.

- Neoplasia. With this condition, there is an excessive growth of tissue in the bowel.

This page will go into the details of how to treat gas problems with Beagles that are related to food and other simple causes (non-medical emergencies) and can easily be treated at home.

There are some rather simple changes that you can make that will either drastically cut down on your Beagle's gas or completely eliminate it. It is recommended to try more than one of the following suggestions if gas is severe, as all treatment is very safe without any side effects.

What Causes Beagle Gas and Suggestions to Fix This

1. Eating Too Fast

One element that may cause a Beagle to be gassy is the aspect of eating too quickly. With some dogs, it does not matter if they just as a snack 20 minutes earlier... or what type of food is in the dish…they will wolf it down like there's no tomorrow.

Three things happen when a dog eats too fast that causes gas problems:

1- When a dog gulps down food too fast, he also brings a lot of air along with it.  

2- The food is not chewed enough to be easily digested.

3- Eating too fast reduces the amount of saliva and its enzymes that would otherwise be mixed into the food to

Fortunately, there are some easy fixes for this:

1- Serve meals in a bowl that is designed to promote slow eating. These are dog food bowls with permanent protrusions which gently yet effectively force a dog to eat around them, which aids in slower eating. A dog will eat 4 to 6 times slower with this method.

2- Keep your Beagle's current bowl but add an element called a portion pacer. It is shaped like an orb and sits in the bowl. You'll want to choose one that is made of safe stainless steel. Similar to the above method, it keeps a dog from eating his meals too quickly. It can help a dog to eat 4 to 8 times slower.

3- More frequent yet smaller meals can help. For example, if you normally feed your Beagle once per day in the evening, you can try switching to twice per day (do make sure that the actual amount does not increase). While some adult dogs can do fine with one main meal per day, plus snacks, some Beagles do better with 2 or even 3 smaller meals spread throughout the day.

4- Do not allow your Beagle to eat directly after exercising. When a dog is breathing heavier than normal, he will eat faster than normal. This is also important to lower the risk of bloat, which is a life threatening condition. A good rule of thumb is to wait 30 minutes after a walk and 1 hour after any intense exercise.

5- If you have more than 1 dog, there may be a competitive eating environment, even if you are not aware of it. This can be resolved by making sure that the dogs do not eat side-by-side. Each dog should have his own designated area, in separate corners of a room if possible. The Alpha dog should have his bowl placed down first, followed by any other dogs.  
2. Certain Foods

In some cases of a Beagle's main food being changed, there can be gas problems for the first few weeks as the body becomes accustomed to the new diet.

If a Beagle remains gassy or if there have not been any recent changes, the problem is most likely one particular food ingredient.

Here are the top culprits that can cause a Beagle to suffer from gas:

Corn - Corn can cause gas problems and the main reason for this is that it is not digestible.
If you are home cooking for your dog, simply do not add this as a vegetable. If you are feeding your Beagle according to Healthy Home Cooking for the Beagle, there is no need to make changes, as corn is not an included vegetable in the recipes.

Meat - Each Beagle is very unique when it comes to gas problems. A meat that causes a problem for one dog may not be an issue for another. For this reason, making a switch from a lamb based meal to a fish based meal can do the trick or vice-versa. The main element to remember is that changing the main meat course can offer a Beagle relief from a gassy stomach.

Liver treats - From a poll of Beagle owners, the one treat that appears to cause the most gas is liver based. If your Beagle is eating this, cutting this out and using an alternative can be the answer (more ahead).

Broccoli - This is a good food choice for dogs when added to meals; it offers vitamins A and C, folic acid, fiber, calcium, magnesium and potassium. But, it is known for being a gas producing food. This vegetable is a soluble fiber which means that it does not break down until it reaches the dog's large intestine. Once there, it produces gas. Removing this food can help quite a bit. Good alternatives are carrots, peas or potatoes.

Forbidden foods - It is not out of the realm of possibilities that a Beagle is sneaking into the trash can to find leftovers and throwaways of food that his humans have put in there. Dogs that get into the trash can sneak out pieces of food that are too high in fat or too high in carbs thus causing gas. IN addition, of course, some foods in there will be toxic to canines. For this reason, do be sure to have "beagle proof" trash cans both inside and out.    

3. Rawhides

Rawhides do have a couple positives: they can help clean teeth and keep a dog busy, BUT the dangerous far outweigh any pro's. Even "real beef" hides are wound together and sealed with a glue that is a toxic chemical. The hides are barely digestible. Not only can large swallowed chunks cause intestinal blockage, but they also - due to being very hard to digest- cause dogs to be very gassy. They can also cause a dog to have loose stools. 

There are much better alternatives to rawhides: 

 1- Knuckle bones - One of the safest bones that you can give to a Beagle, but watch out! Once you start, he'll never want another snack other than his knuckle bone! These are relatively inexpensive and you can obtain them from your local butcher.
2-  Quality Treats - There are two high quality treats that we recommend:
The potato chews are rawhide free, made with real chicken, last a good while, promotes dental care and they taste good from what we see when Beagles attack them.  The yam veggie hides are thick cut treats that are low in calories but high antioxidants. The shape is great for the teeth and these are a good vegetarian option.
4.  An imbalance of bacteria in the digestive system. Most of you know the basics of the good VS bad bacteria in one's digestive system and this applies to canines as well. Over time, there can be a buildup of 'bad' bacteria that causes an imbalance. This imbalance can most definitely cause excessive gassy problems. It can also cause constipation or diarrhea and bloating.

Tips To Fix Gas Problems

1) Luckily, what works well for humans also works well for Beagles with bad gas problems due to this sort of bacteria inequity. You'll want to add good bacteria to the digestive system and plain yogurt is the way to go since it contains probiotics.  

This is a safe food for dogs to eat - just be sure to NOT obtain the low-fat, low calorie variety as it can contain unsafe additives. Regular, plain yogurt works very well and most Beagles love the taste.

2) Another food item that works to cut down on gas is pineapple and this also is safe for Beagles to eat. Do keep in mind that it is high in natural sugars, so it should be given in moderation. With that said, it does work to reduce gas due to the bromelain found in it. Bromelain is a particular enzyme that aids in the decomposition of proteins.

As a side note, it is also thought to decrease coprohagia issues (eating feces).

Recommended Supplements to Treat Gas

If your Beagle has really excessive gas and better treats, better food and slower eating does not seem to be fixing the problem, you may want to choose a safe and healthy supplement to fix the problem.  

The #1 recommended supplement for dogs with gas is Prozyme. It comes as a powder which makes it very easy to sprinkle on a meal. Here is what you'll want to know about : It is made in the US, does not enter the bloodstream (so it doesn't interfere with any medications that a dog may be taking) and it is made from plants. One of the great things about this supplement for gas is that it also works to help with coat issues as well (dulling coats and/or excessive shedding).
The #2 recommended product is a plant based aid. It is a safe, no filler, no sugar, no preservative aide that is derived from 4 plant based enzymes. They work in combination to help a dog process fats and carbs, which then takes a burden off the digestive tract and cuts down on gas problems.
A Note About Activated Charcoal

You may have read that given a dog activate charcoal can help with gas.
However, it is NOT recommended to give this to a Beagle without express consent from the veterinarian. This is normally reserved for certain cases of ingestion poisoning. If the wrong dose is given, it can cause dangerous dehydration and/or a dangerous surge in blood sodium levels.

A Final Word

If you make the above changes and your Beagle still have a bad gas problem, it will be time for a vet checkup even if there are no other symptoms. Please remember that catching issues early is the best method for fast and effective treatment. 
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