If your dog has diarrhea and smelly at the same time, we outline the potential causes of dog diarrhea and smelly gas, as well as what to do and when to seek help.
Here’s why dog diarrhea and smelly gas occurs
Dog diarrhea and smelly gas commonly occur together and are caused by many conditions including gastrointestinal conditions, diet, intestinal parasites, ingestion of toxins, bacterial or viral infection, stress, allergies, medication, and dietary indiscretion.
In most cases, passing gas is harmless. However, the cause of diarrhea and smelly gas needs to be determined because it could be a result of a serious underlying health problem.
Dog diarrhea and smelly gas
Gas in dogs is the presence of air or gas in the stomach or intestines of a dog which is then expelled from the anus. It is a normal bodily function, as dogs and other animals produce gas as a by-product of digestion of food.
However, excessive gas or flatulence can be a sign of an underlying problem that can be caused by a variety of factors such as diet or intestinal issues.
Additionally, if a dog is experiencing diarrhea and is not able to properly digest their food, this can also lead to the production of smelly gas or gas with a bad smell.
Diarrhea in dogs refers to the passing of loose, watery stools, several times a day. Diarrhea is a symptom of different diseases or conditions.
The severity of diarrhea can be severe or mild depending on the underlying cause.
Occasional episodes of diarrhea in dogs is common and normal, however, frequent diarrhea as well as other concerning symptoms can be a sign of a serious underlying problem.
When the intestinal tract is not working properly, it can lead to the buildup of gas and an overgrowth of bacteria, which can produce an unpleasant odor.
Other symptoms that may accompany diarrhea and smelly gas in dogs include:
- Loss of appetite
- Dry heaving or retching
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss if it is chronic diarrhea
- Fever or hypothermia
Is it normal for dogs to have diarrhea and smelly gas?
It is normal for dogs to experience occasional episodes of diarrhea and gas, however, if diarrhea and smelly gas become chronic or are accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, or abdominal pain, it may indicate an underlying health problem.
Some dogs have a more sensitive bad gastrointestinal system and may be more prone to stomach upset and diarrhea. In these cases, it’s important to pay attention to their diet and environment and make adjustments as needed.
Causes of Dog Diarrhea And smelly gas
A change in diet, eating spoiled or unfamiliar food, or consuming table scraps can all cause an upset stomach and diarrhea, and smelly gas in dogs.
It is therefore important to feed your dog a balanced and nutritious diet and to make any diet changes gradually. Also, make sure to keep their food fresh and stored properly to avoid spoilage.
Parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and giardia can cause diarrhea and smelly gas in dogs. These parasites can infect a dog’s intestinal tract and cause inflammation, which can lead to diarrhea and gas including other symptoms.
Bad gastrointestinal infections can be contracted through contact with infected feces, or through contaminated food or water.
Bacterial or viral infections
Dogs can become infected by bacteria or viruses such as salmonella or parvovirus, which cause inflammation in the intestinal tract which leads to diarrhea and smelly gas.
Ingestion of toxins
Poisoning can cause dog diarrhea and smelly gas. Depending on the type and amount of toxin ingested, a dog can experience a range of bad gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and gas.
Some common toxins that can cause bad gastrointestinal symptoms in dogs include household products such as cleaning products, insecticides, and certain types of plants, food poisoning from eating spoiled or contaminated food, and accidental ingestion of human medications.
Health conditions can result in diarrhea and smelly gas as symptoms. Certain bad gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency can cause diarrhea and smelly gas in dogs.
These conditions can cause chronic inflammation in the intestinal tract, which leads to diarrhea and smelly gas as symptoms.
Certain types of cancer such as lymphoma or stomach cancer can also cause diarrhea and gas in dogs.
Food or environmental allergies can cause diarrhea and smelly gas in dogs. Allergies can cause inflammation in the intestinal tract and lead to diarrhea and smelly gas.
Common food allergens include beef, dairy, wheat, and chicken. Environmental allergens include pollen, mold, and dust.
Dogs can develop diarrhea and smelly gas due to stress caused by different triggers such as separation anxiety, and changes in their environment or routine.
Stress can cause changes in a dog’s gut bacteria, which can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea. Examples of stressors include moving to a new home, adding a new pet to the household, or changes in the owner’s schedule.
Medication side effects
Some medications such as antibiotics can cause diarrhea and smelly gas in dogs as a side effect.
Common medications that can cause bad gastrointestinal symptoms in dogs include antibiotics, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and chemotherapy drugs.
What To Do
When your dog has diarrhea and smelly gas with no blood in the stool, the first action is to monitor them at home.
Withhold feeding them for 24 hours to allow their stomach to rest. However, make sure they have access to plenty of clean water to avoid dehydration.
Feed them a bland diet after this fasting period, which consists of boiled chicken and rice. This will help their digestive system to recover and reduce smelly gas and diarrhea.
However, if diarrhea and smelly gas persist and worsen, seek medical attention within 8 -12 hours after the onset of diarrhea.
When to see a veterinarian for dog diarrhea and smelly gas
Consult your veterinarian if your dog’s diarrhea and smelly gas persist or worsen, or if they are accompanied by other symptoms such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Blood in the stool
- Pain, discomfort, or distress
Your veterinarian will be able to properly diagnose the cause of your dog’s diarrhea and gas and provide the appropriate treatment.
Key Takeaway: Dog diarrhea and smelly gas
Dog diarrhea and smelly gas can be caused by a variety of factors and underlying health issues.
While occasional episodes of diarrhea and smelly gas are common, it is important to seek veterinary attention if symptoms persist or are accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, dehydration, blood in the stool, weakness, or signs of pain, discomfort, or distress.