Greyhound Gas and Proper Weight

By Ann E. Kenny

Webmistress’s note: Be sure to read the comments after the articles. You’ll find even more reasons for greyhound gas and solutions to them.

Is the dreaded greyhound gas a problem in your home?

Are you embarrassed to have friends come over for fear they won’t ever want to come again? If so, then it’s time for action. First, be sure that you are feeding your dog quality food. Look at the label and make sure that it doesn’t have any soybean product in it. Many dogs have difficulties with soybeans and hounds seem particularly sensitive. Second, be sure you are not giving your dog too many unhealthy treats (biscuits with lots of sugar or fatty table scraps). Not only will these treats contribute to unhealthy weight gain, they can aggravate a gas problem. Third, try adding 1 to 2 tablespoons per day of plain low or non-fat yogurt to their food. The acidophilus in the yogurt helps stabilize the bacteria in their digestive system.

If the above steps haven’t eliminated the problem, try adding an enzyme product to their food. My husband and I have had great success with a product called K-Zyme (sources listed below). The manufacturer has also been getting lots of positive feedback from hound owners regarding the product. This particular enzyme product is liver-flavored (our dogs love it), contains extra vitamins and minerals, and requires only 1 tsp. per day. Gas is no longer a problem with our three dogs and their stools are somewhat smaller because the enzyme helps them better digest their food.

Because they digest their food more effectively, weight gain can be expected. This is great if you have a dog who has a hard time keeping weight on (like Fritz). On the other hand, if your dog gains weight easily (like Ginger and Vox) you will need to reduce the amount of food you give your dog. We also give K-Zyme to all our foster dogs and find that it really helps them make the transition more quickly to regular dog food. (Our dogs get a tablespoon of yogurt per day as well.)

Another product recently came on the market which is the doggy equivalent of Beano. It’s called CurTail. We haven’t tried it, but it should also work to control gas.

What is the proper weight for a hound?

All the literature I’ve read suggests that the best weight to maintain is one where you can still see a one or two of the backbone ridges and one or two ribs. Anything heavier is simply unhealthy for the dog’s heart and its muscular-skeletal system. The dog should feel muscular, and not flabby when you give it a hug. If you feel flab on the dog’s chest and the dog’s stomach is no longer tightly tucked, then it’s time to exercise your dog more and feed it less food. Substitute vegetables such as raw carrots, blanched asparagus or green beans for a tasty no-fat treat instead of biscuits. Some dogs also love fruit such as grapes or apples and appear to tolerate them very well (no diarrhea or added gas). Ed note – grapes can be toxic so we recommend  avoiding them.)

Do not, however, place a highly active dog on diet or senior food, without first checking with your veterinarian. We tried this with Ginger, our five year old female hound, and the results were disastrous. She very quickly became lethargic, had a hard time keeping up with the rest of our dogs, and a torn muscle in her groin refused to heal. Fortunately, I had read a review of senior foods in the magazine “Good Dog” which found that their test dog declined significantly on senior food (May/June, 1996). They concluded that active dogs (and hounds are certainly more active than the vast majority of dogs) need more calories than the average diet or senior food provides. As soon as I read this article, I put Ginger back on regular dog food (we use the Nature’s Recipe brand) and within 12 hours she was significantly improved. Within two days she was back to normal and her torn muscle hasn’t been a problem since. The moral here is: just feed an overweight hound slightly less (1/2 cup or so) of his regular food and exercise him more and soon he will be a healthy weight. Finally, if you have more than one dog, be sure the dog on the diet doesn’t sneak food from the other dogs’ bowls when your back is turned!

Sources for K-Zyme, 5 lb. canister, also available in tablet form:

J-B Wholesale Pet Supplies, Inc.:1-800-526-0388

K-V Vet Supply: 1-800- 423-8211, $26.90; $30.00 minimum order, $3.00 fee added if under. They also carry Curtail, $6.99 (.55 oz. equals 75 feedings).

Omaha Vaccine Company: 1-800-367-1444, $31.85; $50.00 minimum order, $6.00 fee added if under. Their current price for CurTail is $6.95.

CG F 96

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This article and any photos or artwork contained within may not be reproduced or reprinted without express written permission from the author, artists, and/or photographers. 


5 thoughts on “Greyhound Gas and Proper Weight

  1. Kathleen, your thoughts on gluten-free dog foods, the importance of exercise, and prior poor diet is very interesting. An analogy here: I was having awful digestive problems and went gluten-free and my problems were greatly reduced. We’ve also had dogs who did better on rice in the kibble than other grains. For a time, our dogs needed to eat grain free. We fed Natural Balance Potato and Duck and there was no gas. We also fed them Ultra. It’s got barley and oats, IIRC, but the high-quality of the food produced no gas. We’re currently feeding Authority chicken-based kibble topped with a little ground beef and they are doing well(gas-free, good poops)on that too. Food choice is very important.

    Posted by greyhoundarticlesonline | September 11, 2010, 8:35 AM
  2. Some Greyhounds have been fed a cheap, harsh diet early in their life, especially if they were a washout in track racing and were not deemed valuable enough to feed well. Chronic irritation of the digestive system has worn away the villi – hairlike projections in the intestine through which nutrition is absorbed – and they end up with gas and loose stools as the food they eat can’t be easily digested, and it decomposes in the gut before being eliminated. Sighthounds are notoriously senstive to soy – a vegetable based protein that is difficult to digest compared to meat protein. Dogs are carnivores – meat eaters – and should not be fed a vegetarian diet unless prescribed by a vet specialist. I have found with my sighthounds (IWs, Greyhounds, and Whippets) that a simple homemade diet made from fresh human-grade ingredients with no artificail preservatives can often take care of loose stools and gas. Also, some dogs, like people, need a gluten-free diet. Rice does not have the nutrition of other grains, but is absorbed in the small intestine, never entering the large intestine. Irritation of the large intestine with hard-to-digest nutrients is where most gas and loose stool problems originate. Feeding a high-quality dry food mixed with a homemade dogfood, or just a nutritionally sound homemade dogfood, can often alleviate the problem.

    Secondly, good exercise helps move matter through the digestive system before it can decompose and cause gas and loose stools. Greyhounds especially need sustained exercise to help keep all of their body toned and healthy. ^..^

    Posted by Kathleen Brockway | September 10, 2010, 9:07 PM
  3. I finally found a way to get rid of the gas (or at least keep it to a bare minimum). No more grains! I use a grain free dog food and no longer do those green clouds float across the room.

    Posted by Sally | July 13, 2010, 4:48 PM
  4. I just had to comment on this article. I’ve tried everything suggested in this article to cut down/ get rid of gas in my greyhounds. The answer was finally found when I switched to a grain free dog food. I bought home some samples which they loved, so I tried it. Ta da! No more green clouds in my house.

    Posted by Sally | June 29, 2010, 7:23 PM


  1. Pingback: Dear Gurus, I wonder if anyone can advise me on a way of making my beautiful, in-offensive boy’s wind problem a little bit less, erm, offensive?! He’s on dry complete food and the occasional bit of chicken/scraps « Greyhound Gurus Online - August 23, 2010

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