There is so much to love about the French bulldog, from their wrinkly faces to their clown-like personalities!
Of all the qualities we find endearing, being gassy is certainly not one of them. So why do French bulldogs have such a big reputation for farting so much?
French bulldogs frequently fart due to being a flat-faced breed that swallows air when eating. Many also suffer from digestive sensitivities or eat the wrong diet that promotes gas development. A lack of exercise and other health conditions such as inflammatory bowel syndrome may also contribute to the problem.
In this article, we will dive deep into a topic that polite society may not want to discuss, but Frenchie owners everywhere are dying to know the answer to: why does my dog fart as often as a cow and how do I get it to stop?!
Most French bulldogs don’t seem to be affected by their own flatulence, but the owners certainly are - those farts can smell worse than rotting leftovers forgotten in the fridge for months. The putrid air bubbles develop and get trapped in your dog’s body for several reasons, all directly circling the breed’s genetic makeup.
The wrinkles may have stolen our hearts, but the flat face is one of the catalysts for significant farting. This is because the shorter snouts and smaller mouths promote aerophagia or the swallowing of air.
French bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed (a term that means “short-faced,” which refers to the size of the snout, or lack thereof), in the same categorization as bulldogs, mastiffs, and more.
With the face being so cutely smooshy, a lot of the facial structure had to adjust, not necessarily for the better. The shorter nose, narrower mouth, and altered throat all heavily promote mouth breathing and the excessive inhalement of air.
The more air the dog inhales, especially while eating, promotes that air to be swallowed - which causes the air bubbles to trap in the dog’s body. The air bubbles travel through and escape out as farting.
Like with people, the food you put in makes a huge difference on your body. For Frenchies, the breed is genetically predisposed to having a very sensitive digestive system; what your dog is eating can significantly impact their farting abilities.
Some commercial dog foods contain ingredients that are rich in carbohydrates. Carbs equal stinky farts, so as you can imagine, this is likely a big cause of your dog letting one rip. Human food is also full of carbohydrates, so sharing table scraps isn’t recommended either.
Offering your French bulldog fermented foods, ingredients rich in fats, dairy products, spicy foods, and spoiled foods all lead to some gnarly gas. Where some breeds can handle such edible visitors to their stomach, the Frenchie certainly cannot.
Even if the food sounds good for your dog, such as broccoli, it’s a pretty sure bet that their stomach would beg to differ.
Lack of exercise is another major cause of farting due to encouraging weight issues in the pup and preventing the healthy movement of gas.
A lazy-bones dog that you aren’t encouraged to move will pack on the pounds quickly. The internet may have determined that chunky Frenchies are cute, but that is a big fallacy - obesity is very dangerous for dogs. This is especially true for flat-faced breeds that are already prone to troubled breathing. Adding all of that extra weight can make breathing even more complicated.
Alongside all of the health implications of an overweight dog, excessive flatulence is another consequence of heavier weight. Obesity causes a massive slow down in bowel movements, which leads to slower digestive processes, which leads to more gas-forming, which leads to… you guessed it.
Not getting your dog up and about also causes gas to continue bubbling in their bodies, without much aid in letting it go. The more the gas festers in there, the worse it’ll be.
There are times where excessive farting is not just a food or exercise issue but an actual medical issue. Unfortunately, French bulldogs aren’t known as the hardiest breed in the world, so frequent vet checks tend to be in order.
Frenchies, as a breed, can suffer from various stomach-related health issues that cause a lot of farts. Such conditions include inflammatory bowel syndrome, giardia, and more.
It’s better safe than sorry to take your pup to the vet to rule out any additional causes of wild flatulence.
By understanding the breed’s predisposition for farting as a result of their DNA, there are various preventative measures you can take to both minimize and alleviate deadly farts (helping cuddle time be much more enjoyable)!
What goes in must come out, so the best place to start is with your dog’s diet! Though this isn’t a complete list, the top ingredients to avoid giving your french bulldog include:
The above foods promote gassiness, and that’s precisely what you’re trying to avoid.
For Frenchies, if you feed dry/wet dog food, look for high-quality brands rich in fiber. Fiber keeps the digestive system in good condition and can help your puppy’s stomach. As a treat, you can offer your smoosh-face love some apples, brown rice, and carrots.
If you make your dog’s food, look into the BARF diet. The BARF diet stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, and it is a diet that requires effort but can yield great results. Experts have proved that raw food diets are not only healthy for your dog but also help with gastrointestinal issues. That’s because this type of diet is easier to digest for dogs and helps them retain more of the needed nutrients.
Because the BARF diet requires you to feed your dog raw meat, make sure you understand where you are sourcing the meat and follow proper safety protocols to ensure the meat is safe for your pup to consume. It is best to consult a BARF specialist when switching to this diet.
As mentioned above, Frenchies are quite prone to swallowing air. A good way to prevent or, in the least, limit the air gulping is to start feeding your pup with slow-eating bowls. These bowls were designed to help dogs take their time while they eat, reducing choking hazards and farts all in one!
Slow feeding bowls feature ridges and other obstacles that simply do not allow your dog to inhale their food, and instead, they have to work slowly to get the food out from around all of the bumps and curves. French bulldog owners frequently recommend the Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl.
Keeping your Frenchie active and romping is another way to help with the farting problem. Moving the body promotes the movement of internal airflow, helping the farts leave the body and not fester even more inside. The more active your pup is, the more you are warding off obesity and ensuring your Frenchie is in tip-top shape.
Frenchies aren’t an athletic breed, so you don’t need to spend miles and miles a day walking with them. French bulldogs need about the same amount of exercise as an average human, once a day. It can be as simple as a walk around the block or 30 minutes of fetch at the local park!
If all else fails, or as an additional aid, you can offer your dog probiotics and anti-flatulence supplements.
Probiotics encourage good gut health, and the correlation to gas is obvious. The live cultures encourage a healthy environment in the digestive system, aiding in food breaking down well rather than sitting in there.
Certain herbs such as chamomile, fennel, and fenugreek are safe for dogs and can absorb some gas, limiting farting. Just make sure to read up on the correct dosage for your pup; you don’t want to give them too much! Anti-fart dog cookies exist on the market as well, high in fiber to help your pup.