NEW COLUMN: The Pet Scoop: The cure for the gassy lab

My lab has terrible gas. Frequently. He’s stinking us out of house and home. Are we doing something wrong with his diet, or is this normal?

Bill McQuade and his dog, Purdy.

Bill says: The most common cause of flatulence in a dog is eating way too fast and swallowing large gulps of air. Another common cause of really ripe flatulence can be diet. I believe a dog is a carnivore that has learned to scavenge, and as many of you have witnessed, will eat anything that hits the floor.

Most pets will readily eat a slice or even a loaf of bread, but they cannot live a long, healthy life on a grain-based, high-carbohydrate diet. Your pet’s digestive system is designed to eat meat-based protein. Poor quality dry kibble composed of cheap, high-carb ingredients are difficult for a dog to digest. Often, you will be able to hear your pet’s stomach gurgling while it tries to digest a diet loaded with fillers. For example, diets that are corn-based with corn gluten meal and by-product meal as the protein source are difficult to digest but cheaper than diets with quality, animal-based protein like chicken meal or beef meal. Read the ingredients list.

If your pet eats too fast, you can slow him down by putting a big rock in the center of his or her bowl, or purchase a food bowl designed to stop a dog from inhaling his food (and lots of air.)

Here’s how I feed my dog. I mix Bravo raw meat diet and a high quality meat based dry kibble with warm water. You could also use canned food in place of raw or just wet the dry kibble. Moistening the kibble to an almost soupy consistency prevents the dog from inhaling the food and also aids in digesting the kibble. Moistening the kibble also helps prevent bladder and kidney stones. Almost all the foods we carry contain digestive enzymes, probiotics and prebiotics that aid digestion.

Purdy says: Stop blaming the dog. He’s not the one that had refried beans and three beers with dinner.

If you have a question for Bill, email it to bill(at)

Bill McQuade is the owner of The Whole Pet, located at 2423 N. College Ave. in Fayetteville. The Whole Pet specializes in nutrition for cats and dogs and offers a wide variety of quality diets in raw frozen, cans and kibble. The store also offers affordable, unique and high quality pet supplies and accessories. Bill is a professional dog handler, and has worked in the pet care business since 1972.