Why do dog farts stink so bad?


What surprises me is how oblivious they sometimes are to their own farts, although mine will occasionally lift their head and sniff, as if to say, “What is that?” before they go back to sleep.

I once had the pleasure of dog-sitting for my sister and her two dogs while she was out of town. One afternoon the power went out, so of course all the usual sources of household noise went away: no electronics cooling fans, no TV, no refrigerator compressor, no AC, no nothing, just a ringing silence. All was eerily quiet … except for the sound of two dogs farting. They kept up their wrong-ended duet the whole time the power was out.


One of my miniature poodles, when he lets out a squeaker he jumps and scrambles around on the hard wood floor like he’s been given an electric shock. It’s hilarious. I wish I could get it on video.

there’s a fancy boutique pet food store about a block from my apartment that I decided to check out last month. I knew it would be overpriced but I weighed that against making a full grocery trip. Maybe there was something cheap enough, all things considered. The nice lady found the absolute cheapest they had which was still fancy and over 3 times my normal cost. But I paid anyway for her service, it was worth paying once to finally be sure that their prices were a bad option for me.

Copper loved it and instantly devoured the fancy lamb kibble, so that was cool at least. Or so I thought until she unleashed her new-and-improved farts. These were farts which could kill ten-thousand elves (outperforming her old record: a paltry band of fifty elves slain.) They were also more frequent. I could expect at least one per night on this boutique food regimen. Which, to re-iterate, I paid >3x more for. Ugh.

@maggiek, can I trouble you for a sidebar? The article mentioned

The researchers took their cue from human flatus which contains “the atmospheric gases nitrogen and oxygen plus the non-atmospheric gases carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane

[emphasis mine] and I read something else recently that said CO2 was present in the atmosphere but only in ridiculously tiny amounts. Huh? I thought we breathed out CO2, the earth’s plant life took it and made the oxygen we breathe. Is the exchange-rate of CO2 to O hugely inflated or was I taught wrong? if CO2 is a non-atmospheric gas, where do the plants get theirs?

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yes. we all do. that video’d better be on my desk come monday


We have an eleven-year-old Schnoodle with a genetic predisposition to collect cholesterol in his blood. He was prescribed a low-fat, high fiber diet (Royal Canin) to lower his cholesterol level. The side-effect as you might guess is large numbers of toots following his two small meals a day. I assumed the excess gas was from the high fiber, just as it effects most humans.

When I told his vet that that food made him gassy (this never really bothered Scooter much, it bothered my husband who sleeps with him, but now refers to Scooter’s farts as “earthy”), she suggested we switch to a product made by Science Diet. My husband says that if anything, this just made Scooter’s farts stink worse. I can add my testimony to this, as last night I was trying to go to sleep and Scooter was under the blankets tooting away. I was trying to hold the blankets down to escape some of the sleep-robbing stink, in a cold room where the heat has automatically turned down for the night and the outdoor temperature was expected to be -15. So the most comfortable place to be in our house at that hour was snuggled beneath the down comforter, but there was no dozing off with that much lingering oh-dear. It’s like we’re sleeping with a dyspeptic skunk. Eventually Scooter’s digestive tract calmed down and I got to sleep.

According to our vet those high priced prescribed foods shouldn’t be having this effect on our Schnoodle; Scooter should have long since gotten used to the higher fiber. I 'm told that dogs that eat a good quality, high protein, low fat diet without all the grain fillers in most moderately priced dog food aren’t gassy, and that they are best off eating supplemental meat raw, but this is not an option for our Schnoodle.

that certainly goes directly against my above experience, but maybe she was just reacting to the sudden change in food? when I got a big bag of the cheap, grainy stuff she was used to about a week later, I mixed the “good quality, high protein” food into it and the toxic farts went away ¯\ __(ツ) _ /¯

All of mine eat a diet of raw chicken (I buy chicken necks, which have very little fat or skin, in bulk) and ground vegetables (mostly leafy greens). The youngest dogs rarely experience gas. The very youngest one will occasionally let out a small noise, but nothing detectable in an olfactory sense. The oldest, on the other hand, sends up a toxic cloud about once or twice a week. That may be too rare to qualify as “gassy”, but I think age plays a factor as well as diet.

I’ve been cautioned against letting my dog crunch chicken bones. Are they less dangerous uncooked?

I had just bought a new large bag of the Royal Canin, when I had the conversation with the vet about our dog’s gassy-ness and the idea of switching food. So for a while I’ve been mixing the old food and new food together, preparing to make the change. Tonight I’ll try all Science Diet and see if some of the problem is resolved. If not, I’ll stick with the Royal Canin and return the Science Diet to the vet. I’m told I can do that.

Yes, there is his age to consider, and he is also on a couple of medications – Tramadol and Benazepril. The later is to lower his blood pressure a bit and take the pressure off his heart. He has a 3 out of 6 heart murmur; mitral valve disease. I’m told this is genetic and common in Schnoodle/Scnauzers. He also gets two hypoallergenic treats a day and one CET chew every other day. In all there is a lot of non-absorbable substances running along his digestive conveyor belt and effecting his microbiome. I suppose we should be grateful it isn’t any worse. Mostly we’re grateful to still have the little guy with us; we love him very much.

Supposedly the bones are safe raw and will only splinter when cooked, and I know some people who simply toss entire raw chicken necks, or turkey necks, to their dogs. But I run them through a meat grinder to make a paste. It’s easier to measure that way, and I don’t worry about the danger of bones.

It also depends on the breed. My parents have an English Bull Terrier, who is never allowed any sort of bone or bone based product because with that jaw he could and would splinter just about anything.

Because they’re not YOUR farts.


I looked after an Irish Setter for a few years, who once startled herself awake with a fart. She leaped out of her basket as if someone had just prodded her, and looked around confused, half awake and blinking.
I giggled at that for weeks.

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