Rescued by the Rescued: How My Rescue Dog Helps My Recovery From Alcoholism

Rescued by the Rescued: How My Rescue Dog Helps My Recovery From Alcoholism

My rescue dog is not only a reminder of my recovery from alcoholism, but also an extension of it. -Christopher Dale

In August 2013, a gaunt, 3-year-old mutt was among hundreds scavenging for food on Puerto Rico’s Dead Dog Beach, an especially harrowing locale for strays on an island notorious for its homeless dog epidemic.  Puerto Rico is overrun with more than 250,000 stray dogs, and has only five shelters despite being the size of Connecticut.  These inundated, often unsanitary havens have a kill rate of 99%.

For decades, Dead Dog Beach has been a dumping ground for strays captured on other parts of the island.  Here, a quick death – often coming by the blade of a machete or the treads of an ATV – seems preferable to the slower, more painful alternatives of poisoning, starvation, or being mauled to death by equally desperate strays and – sickening yet unsurprising – cannibalized.

Against all odds, a good Samaritan – a selfless, compassionate soul truly doing God’s work – scooped the emaciated mutt up, placed him in a car, and drove him to a makeshift shelter near San Juan Airport.  The shelter was run by (“sato” is Spanish for “stray mutt”), a Brooklyn-based organization that transports strays from Dead Dog Beach, provides them with initial veterinary care, and places them in foster homes throughout the NYC and Boston areas.

At the airport shelter, the volunteer staff nicknamed him Vector.

vec·tor [VEK-ter]  verb.  1) To guide in flight by issuing appropriate headings. 2) to change direction of (the thrust of a jet or rocket engine) in order to steer the craft.

Rescued by the Rescued: How My Rescue Dog Helps My Recovery From AlcoholismVector should be dead, but instead he joined my family two years ago.  Vector should be unable to sleep for fear of never waking up, but instead he is currently snoozing in his plush doggie bed. And when he wakes up, Vector doesn’t have to sift through trash for rotting scraps, because he has a bowl with healthy food and, next to it, another with clean, fresh water.

Vector’s recovery was nothing short of remarkable. He quickly blossomed from a skittish, shaking nervous wreck to a nub-wagging (he lost his tail, presumably on the beach), face-licking, meatloaf-begging companion.

His progress during the first few weeks with us – scattered yet staggering, imperfect yet inspiring – was especially endearing. We watched as Vector slowly came to realize that our home – a spacious, three-bedroom ranch house in suburban New Jersey with an ample front lawn and grass-covered backyard – would be his permanent home. At first, this realization was tenuous; periods of sheer, puppy-love joy mixed with a haunting anxiousness, as if Vector was expecting to suddenly find himself back on that God-forsaken beach where he struggled just to barely survive.

Rescued by the Rescued: How My Rescue Dog Helps My Recovery From Alcoholism

Vector had hit the doggy lottery, but his survival instincts simply wouldn’t allow him to believe that in the beginning. He was still on guard, still suspicious, still waiting for the other paw to drop. Not surprisingly, he was afraid to leave our house, for fear that he would never get to come back. For the first two weeks or so, he was too nervous to so much as relieve himself outdoors (even in the backyard), making pee pads – and several area rugs – necessary short-term substitutes for fire hydrants.

For my wife and I, this was a small, temporary price to pay for the humbling, gratifying and joyous act of welcoming Vector into our home and, in doing so, saving his life.

After all, we’d been through this before.

My first few months of sobriety were the most nerve-wracking of my life. Everything felt weird, especially anything that wasn’t an expected part of my strict schedule. For me, there had been no Moses-parting-the-Red-Sea miracle that immediately removed my obsession to drink. That said, early sobriety consisted of a rigid regimen that can be summed up in six words: Work. AA meeting. Gym. Home. Repeat. And though executing my daily plans was arduous, deviating from them would have been a far more draining and dangerous prospect.

A dog, of course, doesn’t know quite what to expect. So in late 2013 – in his own early stages of a life-saving recovery – Vector knew one thing and one thing only: he was safe in this house. The thought of leaving it overwhelmed him, as outside meant out of safety.

Rescued by the Rescued: How My Rescue Dog Helps My Recovery From Alcoholism

Admittedly amateurs (Vector is a first dog for us both), my wife and I did our best to gain Vector’s trust, both in us and in the safety of the area immediately surrounding our house. As we did so, we had the privilege of witnessing the steady progress of a family member we quickly came to love; and as we did so, we recalled the delicate first few months of my own fledgling recovery, and how this careful intensity bound us closer together as surely as addiction’s grasp had pulled us apart.

Vector is not only a reminder of my recovery, but also an extension of it. His safety – as well as everything else that is good and pure and true in my life – is part of a limitless ripple effect whose genesis is the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Vector lives because I was taught how to live, and he will recover because of my recovery. He is a 22-pound gift of this miraculous journey of progress, and I am grateful far beyond my ability to convey this with suitable eloquence. We could rescue Vector only because, four years ago, I was rescued by the Fellowship of AA.

 

Christopher Dale is a freelancer who writes on society, politics and sobriety-based issues.  He has been published in a variety of prominent outlets, including Salon.com, The Advocate and The New York Post.  He is also a contributing blogger to TheFix.com, a sober lifestyle website.  He can be reached at .

To learn more about the amazing work by The Sato Project, visit or visit them on Facebook .

How Long Until My Dog Grows Back Her Thick Winter Coat?

How Long Until My Dog Grows Back Her Thick Winter Coat?

ASK AKC

 

Dear AKC: We just had our 11-month-old English Springer Spaniel trimmed. My husband and I are of a different opinion because our girl actively walks two miles a day in a reserve, walking into mud puddles and the river bed, but usually comes home clean (thanks to the Orvis ‘sling’ in our Explorer) and her own need to be clean. I loved her feathering as she grew older and established a thick winter coat, but with this last trim, it only exists on her legs. If, and when, will her feathering return, and how long before a full growth? — Light as a Feather  Dear Light: Puppies have different coat textures than adults and it appears like your dog may be experiencing a shed from one coat to another. In my breed, the Norwegian Elkhound, the puppy coat is dense, fluffy and voluminous. When my last bitch shed her puppy coat just after a year old, she grew in a shorter, harsher, flat-lying coat. It was a totally different, yet correct, adult coat. Similarly, “Springers” are a double coated breed, with an outer coat of medium length, lying flat or wavy. The undercoat is softer and shorter than the outer coat. You may see a difference in the density of the coat during shedding, warmer seasons, or possible heavy handed trimming by the groomer.

Coat Protection

As for the “furnishings” or feathering you are talking about it may have been that the groomer wasn’t as close to styling her into a “show trim” which emphasizes moderate length feathering on the ears, chest, legs and belly with shorter hair on the head, front of the forelegs and below the hock joints on the front of the hind legs. Also, when hair is trimmed or cut with a clipper, it tends change the way the hair grows in or lies on the coat. Next time you visit the groomer, let her know what length you would like to see on your dog and explain to her that the extra furnishings help to keep free of scratches and cuts when she romps in the reserve and splashes in the river. Lisa Peterson, a long-time owner/breeder/handler of Norwegian Elkhounds, is the AKC Director of Club Communications. If you have a question, send it to Lisa at lxp@akc.org and she may select it to be answered here in Ask AKC.

A Candid Review of ‘Hands Off Dog Training’ by a Confirmed Skeptic

A Candid Review Of “Hands Off Dog Training” By A Confirmed Skeptic

If you’ve been searching the internet for dog training help of any sort, you’ve probably stumbled across Chet Womach’s well-marketed program, Hands Off Dog Training.

With its BIG promise to help train any new puppy as well as correct more than 19 of the most common behavior issues in older dogs, including

  • Potty training
  • Barking / whining / crying
  • Nipping
  • Growling
  • Jumping
  • Leash pulling
  • Fear and anxiety issues
  • Chasing / prey drive issues
  • Not coming when called
  • Ignoring basic commands
  • Chewing / digging
  • Separation anxiety
  • Begging
  • Possessiveness

Hands Off Dog Training definitely makes some large claims.

And I’m the first to tell you, I’m downright skeptical of any product that appears to have a slick marketing machine behind it. (Womach is clearly no slouch when it comes to marketing his products, so I was on high alert for a scam!)

However, I confess that I was also intrigued by the rave reviews, testimonials, and promises made on Womach’s sales page. So in a recent moment of weakness, I finally caved to my curiosity and shelled out the $37.77 to review it myself.

And here’s what I learned:

The first thing you need to know is that Hands Off Dog Training comes in both electronic format (delivered online) and as a hard product (delivered to your door).

Personally, I liked getting the digital edition because it meant that I could access all the videos online, within minutes of purchasing. Instant delivery is also important for those dog owners feeling desperate, at their wits end with a specific problem – it means you’re not waiting another 5-7 days to start training. You can start immediately.

Next, I really liked the training philosophy behind this entire program:

It’s truly “hands off” dog training.

So there’s no smacking your dog, jerking a leash, using choke collars, dominating, etc. And really, what dog owner feels good about hurting or scaring their dog? None I want to know!

Instead, Womach teaches you to use carefully timed markers and rewards to make your dog actually want to listen to you.

Now I know what you’re thinking: FOOD BRIBES!

And I completely agree, food bribes are a slippery slope – you don’t want to create a dog that only listens when you’re holding a chunk of cheese or liver treat.

However, while Womach does recommend some food treats, what I really liked is that his program emphasizes random rewards, jackpot rewards, and treating your dog with animated play and enthusiastic praise. Again, with the goal of creating a dog who pays close attention to you because you’ve made it worth his while.

So is the program worth $37.77?

I would say yes. With , you’re getting a comprehensive training program that covers the full spectrum of commands and issues that most dog owners will face in the lifetime of their dog. If it’s not covered in this program, it probably means you’re dealing with a more complex issue like aggression that requires the attention of a veterinarian and/or a local dog trainer.

You get just under 3 hours video training, over 8+ hours of additional guest expert strategy sessions, plus one-on-one access to a certified professional dog trainer who will trouble shoot you and your dog’s more unique behavior challenges until you see the results you’re after.

If you order the delivered packaged, here’s what it’ll look like:

And while this is clearly a lot of information, it’s broken down in such a way that you can easily find and use the training tips you need, in the moment.

Plus, I grudgingly admit, I like Womach’s off-beat style of communicating in both writing and video.

He’s personable, engaging, and funny – though sometimes unintentionally. Much more enjoyable to watch and learn from than the other 95% of professional dog trainers I’ve come across who are, frankly, too stiff and serious.

I also tested his customer service team and was pleased to get a fast response to my emailed question in less than 24 hours.

Plus, while I haven’t refunded my copy of Hands Off Dog Training, I do know from asking around that Womach is a touch fanatical about customer satisfaction and is quick to refund if you’re not completely satisfied with everything you get.

In the end my ONLY complaint is about Womach’s marketing. He’s pretty in your face.

But I can’t fault him on the training program he delivers.

So Hands Off Dog Training System gets a 9 out of 10 score from me. It’s a worthwhile investment, and if it doesn’t work for you, it’s backed by a generous 60-day money back guarantee.

Heartworms: It’s Not a Matter of if, but WHEN

Studies reveal that about 85% of all unprotected pooches tend to get heartworm infection while the remaining 15% have a natural immunity to the condition. Almost everyone is familiar with heartworm and is aware of the disease’s serious and even lethal effects. But for one reason or another, many don’t provide their dogs with the needed preventive measures against heartworms. As a matter of fact, The American Heartworm Society has recorded that an estimate of just 55% of all dogs in the US are presently on a heartworm preventative; leaving about 27 million others at risk of acquiring the disease.

It’s Not a Matter of If but WHEN

Heartworm refers to a long, thread-like parasite that is generally spread through mosquito bites. It is prevalent in dogs (and even in cats), and lives in the host’s lung arteries and in the right side of its heart. Heartworm, which can be easily transmitted and contracted, is very dangerous and should never be taken lightly. It is common in all 50 US states, and on all continents except Antarctica. Once heartworm has plagued its host, the parasite multiples and grows rapidly. Heartworm treatment often involves weeks of discomfort, and dogs left untreated eventually die.

Prevention of heartworm is very important in keeping your dog safe, especially if he tends to spent lots of his time outdoors. As a responsible pet owner, it should be your routine every year to have Fido tested for heartworm as you bring him to the vet for his annual check-up.

Most pet parents consider the side effects of taking heartworm prevention medication when opting to not protect their pets. However, keep in mind that without proper treatment, your beloved pooch can die from infestation. Some of the common side effects of heartworm preventative include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, convulsions, a weaker immune system, and a strain on Fido’s liver and the kidneys. With an inferior immune system, your pet can become more susceptible to various infections and other diseases like arthritis, skin allergies, and even some kinds of cancer.

Consult your veterinarian regarding the various heartworm medications available as well as their specific side effects. Your options include chewable tablets, pills, and topical ointments.

Take note that there are some ways of treating your pooch naturally as well. The alternative approach normally has no ill side effects and can be used solely or in conjunction with the abovementioned preventative medications. Natural medicines; however, should still be used under your vet’s approval and supervision.

If your veterinarian recommends the use of a certain preventative medicine, never overdose your pooch. It is crucial that you keep track of when Fido has been given the medication so you can avoid repeating the dosage earlier than it is supposed to be. Also, ensure that your dog is being tested on a yearly basis, and always follow your vet’s instructions in defending against heartworm with its side effects kept to a minimum as much as possible.

 

Ask the Experts: Gifting Thoughtfully For Pets (& Pet Parents!) This Holiday Season

Ask the Experts: Gifting Thoughtfully For Pets (& Pet Parents!) This Holiday Season

Our resident pet experts, Brandy and Brooke Arnold with The Dogington Post and were given a wonderful opportunity as eBay influencers to present ideas and inspiration for thoughtfully gifting to pets and pet parents this holiday season by filming a Facebook Live video for the eBay community!

Because pets are considered part of the family, as much thought and careful consideration goes into selecting the perfect gift – and getting the reaction you’re hoping for!

As with gifting for two-legged family members, there are a number of things to consider when gifting for your furry family: What is the pet’s play style? Their size? Their age?

And, when shopping for pets, it’s important to consider the pet parents’ interests, as well! Do they have a favorite sports team? Do they enjoy outdoor activities like camping or fitness? Are they a busy pet parent that could use more quality time with their four-legged family?

We addressed these questions – and some great questions from viewers – and even had a fun holiday activity to share with a couple of four-legged friends on set!

You can watch our segment in it’s entirety right here, or on !

(Please note, the sweepstakes entry period has ended and winners are currently being notified by eBay – Thanks for participating!)

All of the PAW-some ideas and inspiration for holiday gift-giving discussed can be found on eBay!

What is the Golden Retriever Breed Standard?


Ask AKC

 

Dear AKC: Can you please tell me the low and high weight of a male Golden Retriever that is 2 1/2 years old? What should his weight be? — Tipping the Scales

Dear Tipping: According to the , which publishes the (a written document which describes an ideal adult specimen) males should be 23-24 inches in height at withers and weigh between 65-75 pounds.

To be sure your dog is not overweight, there is a more hands-on approach to knowing if your dog is too fat or not. There are two ways to determine if Fido is fit. First, have someone stand your dog in a profile view, then look at him from the side, or if you are alone, stand him in front of a mirror. Then look to the dog's loin (the indented waist area just past the ribcage before the hips). Does that area seem to “tuck up” towards the rear of the dog or can you run an imaginary straight line along the bottom of your dog's belly from chest to hind end. If there is no visible “waistline” then your dog is overweight.

Take the Rib Cage Test

You can get the same view of the loin from above. Looking down over your dog's back is there a discernable indentation? A place where you can place your hands? Or does your dog look like a sausage, all bloated and round with nowhere for your hands to fit nicely behind the rib cage?

And speaking of rib cages, my favorite weight check is what I call the rib cage test. Gently place you fingers on your dog's side and run your hand from front to back along the rib cage, pressing gently. If you can feel your dog's ribs then he is in good weight, if you need to press down hard or cannot feel anything but flab between your hand and the dog's bones, its time to take you pet for some much needed exercise. Working in conjunction with your veterinarian, a sensible weight loss program for your pet with will add years to his life and reduce the risk of injury to his bones.

Highs and Lows

To determine if your dog is underweight, you would easily see his protruding ribs and feel the deep grooves between them with your hand. His hip bones become pronounced as well. But it does depend on the breed, since some sight hounds like Greyhounds, Salukis and Ibzian Hounds, are naturally on the trim side with a hint of rib cage showing.

Ask the Trainer: How Can I Stop My Dog From Jumping on People?

Dear Kevin,
I cant stop my 9 month old Baby from jumping on people when they come over. And, sometimes when she sees new people she will pee. Help me please I have MS and it kills me when she jumps up on me – she is 83 pounds of force!
-Wanda

 

Hi Wanda,

I would definitely look into getting something that helps you have a little more strength with her. I would recommend a head halter. A couple brands are Gentle Leader, and Halti. What I recommend doing is really focusing on what you want her to do and practice it a lot. I like to teach dogs to sit when someone enters the house. If we can teach her to sit and stay there then she can’t jump. I am going to attach a video at the bottom of this that will give you a visual of what I am talking about.

What I want you to practice is knocking on the door, putting her in a sit, and then opening the door. The goal is for her to sit there the entire time. (There will be no visitor for this part of the exercise.)  If at any point she gets up before you ask step back toward her and ask her to sit again. (If the door was open shut the door.) I highly recommend letting her know when she is doing the right thing. For example if you have her sit, and you go to reach for the door knob and she does not get up, tell her good girl and reward her with a piece of food. Practice this often so that you can go through the motions without her getting up. With all this practice you will be ready to add in visitors.

Put a note on your door giving the visitors a heads up as to what is going on. Tell them in the note to ignore her when they come in. This is important because giving her attention while she is excited could result in her urinating. When she calms down a bit they should be able to give her attention without her letting her bladder go.

When she is a little calmer you can invite her to meet the visitor. If she jumps on the guest, use the leash and remove her for a short period of time. (30 seconds or so). When that time is up allow her to try again. Keep repeating until you get your desired outcome. The more you practice without visitors the quicker you should start to see some results.

Here is a video of what it should look like. This can definitely be frustrating but it is fixable.

If you need help teaching her how to sit and stay check out those videos on my as well.

Just remember to practice a lot.

Thank you for the question!
Kevin Duggan CPDT-KA

Kevin is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT.org)  and is a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator through the American Kennel Club. He currently resides in Ohio with his dog, V, a six-year-old Shepherd/Lab mix, where he operates , specializing in helping build positive relationships between humans and their canine companions using clear communication, not pain and fear. For more training tips and tricks, and to meet his amazing dog, V,  follow him on Facebook by .

Do you have a tough training question of your own? to “Ask the Trainer!”

Are Your Dog’s Toys Poisoning Him?

According to a presentation by the conference, many of the plastic and rubbery toys and fetching batons that our dogs chew on and play with every day, contain dangerous chemicals that may be harmful to their health.

Plastic and rubbery dog toys like this chew bone, may contain dangerous levels of poisonous chemicals.

You’ve no doubt read the warning labels or seen children’s toys and sippy cups advertising that they are now “BPA Free.” BPA, or bisphenol A, is a chemical added to plastic and vinyl to give it elasticity. Recent studies have shown that this chemical, which had previously been widely used in plastic and vinyl products ranging from cups and dinner plates, to toys and storage bins, acts as endocrine disruptors that mimic estrogen or act as anti-androgens when leached into the human body.

These recent studies and warnings regarding chemicals used in plastic and their danger to humans caught the attention of The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, who decided to research the same chemicals and their potential danger in dog toys.

According to , Phil Smith and Kimberly Wooten of Texas Tech University co-authored the study. Phil Smith, who raises, trains, and hunts with his Labrador Retrievers, was especially concerned with the fetching batons, or “bumpers,” that are commonly, and heavily, used during training, and plastic and rubber toys that many dogs play with every day, including chew-bones that are given to dogs as a supposed safe alternative to chewing real bones and foreign objects during teething.

To test for the chemicals, the researchers created simulated dog saliva, then simulated chewing by squeezing purchased bumpers and dog toys with stainless steel salad tongs. Some bumpers and toys were also weathered outside to determine if older toys gave off more chemicals.

“We found that the aging or weathering the toys increased concentrations of BPA and phthalates,” Smith explained. “The toys had lower concentrations of phthalates than the bumpers, so that’s good news. But they also had some other chemicals that mimicked estrogen. We need to find out what those are.”

Wooten explained that BPA and phthalates can have effects on developing fetuses and can have a lifelong effect on offspring of lab animals. Studies on humans have resulted in mixed conclusions, but concern was enough to warrant the U.S. government banning the use of BPA in baby bottles this year.

Many more studies have yet to be conducted, especially regarding the safety of these rubber and plastic toys and the chemicals that are leached into our dogs’ bodies. However, Smith and Wooten’s research indicated that levels of BPA and phthalates contained within dog toys are higher than those normally found in children’s toys.

Luckily, since the discovery of the negative effects of BPA on children, some dog toy manufacturers have already started a trend of manufacturing BPA Free dog toys. Some safe bets in you’re looking to buy dog toys free of these potentially harmful chemicals are , , and 

For the safety of your pets, look for products that are “BPA Free” or made in the US from 100% natural rubber. If you know of a brand that provides these types of safe dog toys and fetching batons, please share with our readers in a comment below.

How to Travel With Your Dog Without Completely Losing Your Mind

How to Travel With Your Dog Without Completely Losing Your Mind

Whether you’re traveling by land, sea, or air, bringing your four-legged family along for the ride can be quite a handful! But, with a little preparation, some careful planning, and this handy checklist, you don’t have to completely lose your mind!

The dog-loving peeps over at created this PAW-some checklist to make traveling with dogs a lot more fun, a lot more organized, and that offers simple solutions to keep your sanity in check!

How to Stop Dog Farts

 

Silent but deadly, or maybe just deadly, dog farts are no joking matter. Serious flatulence can make life with your dog downright difficult. Not only is it embarrassing when guests are around, but a particularly gassy dog can make simple things like cuddling on the couch feel like petting a biohazard.

Before you reach for the gas mask, take a moment to do a little research about the possible causes of dog farts. You may be able to stop farts in their tracks, and in some cases, dog farts can be a sign of a serious medical condition.

 

Why Do Dogs Fart?

Dogs fart for many of the same reasons we do. A change in diet, a food that doesn’t agree with them, and gastrointestinal (GI) illness can all lead to imbalances in the microflora in your dog’s stomach and small intestines. These organisms are responsible for the excess gas and subsequent farts that are making you and your dog miserable.

 

Your Dog's Diet and Flatulence

Diet is one of the leading causes of dog farts, . Certain food groups, such as indigestible carbohydrates, lead to gas, and foods and treats that have a high meat content can create truly foul-smelling farts.

Dogs with food allergies are particularly prone to flatulence, and dog farts are actually a common symptom of . Switching to a highly digestible diet or a novel protein diet could help, but unfortunately is not a guarantee. Your best bet is to make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Sudden dietary changes can also cause flatulence. If you have recently switched your dog to a new diet without a slow transition, or added in a new food item, it is not necessarily the food that is the problem, but the change itself.

RELATED:

Dogs have an unpleasant habit of getting into things they are not supposed to, like trash, spoiled food, and manure from other animals. These dietary indiscretions can cause GI upset, which is a cause of gas, and they can also contain fermentable substrates, which also lead to gas.

Another common dietary cause of flatulence in dogs is table scraps. Table scraps pose numerous risks, from stinky, high-content meat products and GI upset, to lactose intolerance. Most veterinarians recommend limiting or eliminating table scraps from a dog’s diet. In addition to potentially causing flatulence, table scraps are a source of unnecessary calories.

 

Aerophagia in Dogs

It is widely believed that aerophagia, or increased swallowing of air, can lead to gas in dogs. Greedy eaters that wolf down their food, and brachycephalic breeds are at an increased risk of swallowing more air than normal, which can lead to gas down the line, so to speak.

 

How to Stop Dog Farts

 

GI Illness in Dogs

Stinky dog farts can also have a more serious cause. Any GI disorder that leads to malabsorption of nutrients in your dog’s intestines can lead to increased gas production and odor. Histiocytic ulcerative colitis, a disease that are predisposed to and are reported to be prone to, can cause increased dog farts, as can , which and are predisposed to.

, the , tumors, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, enteritis, and an overgrowth of small intestinal bacteria can also cause excessive flatulence in dogs. If your dog is very gassy, check to see if he is also showing other symptoms of GI illness, such as a painful abdomen, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, or any other change in behavior or activity levels.

 

Finding the Cause of Dog Farts

Dog farts are gross, but there are things that can be done about them. First, though, you need to isolate the cause. This will probably require help from your veterinarian.

Your veterinarian will first perform a physical exam to look for other signs of illness. Then, depending on her findings, she may pursue additional testing, for example diagnostic imaging, blood work, and a fecal exam to check for parasites, to rule out any serious causes.

Keep in mind that food allergies are often tricky to diagnose, so you may have to be patient while your veterinarian rules out other possible causes and puts your dog on an elimination diet.

Sometimes, fixing dog farts is as simple as cutting out table scraps; eliminating access to repulsive snacks like the cat box, road kill, or spoiled food; and keeping your dog out of the trash.

RELATED:

 

Treating Dog Farts

Treating dog farts is largely dependent on the cause. If the farts are a result of an underlying condition, then treating the condition should help resolve the farts.

A change in diet can help some dogs with their flatulence. Ask your veterinarian about highly digestible diets or about whether or not she believes your dog could have food allergies. Your dog could also benefit from diets that have a prebiotic effect. These diets promote a healthy environment for beneficial microflora, which reduces the gas.

Dogs that swallow air while eating may require some behavior modification or environmental management. Try to reduce any stresses around feeding time, especially in multi-dog houses where competitive eating could be an issue, or feed smaller, more frequent meals.

 

How to Stop Dog Farts

 

can also help with flatulence. Active dogs tend to be less gassy than sedentary dogs, so grab your dog's leash and collar and walk off some of that gas.

RELATED:

If all else fails, there are a few medications that can treat dog farts and reduce the odor. Make sure to check with your veterinarian to see what he or she recommends for your dog.

Some gas is normal. If you are concerned about your dog's farts, keep a mental tally of how often he farts and how badly it smells, so that your veterinarian can help you determine if your dog's farts are normal or a possible symptom of an underlying condition.