By Leslie Lindsay
I love my basset. I love everything about her: the droopy ears that feel like satin, the stubby little legs, that flabby part of her neck that hangs down, her larger-than-average paws, I even love her extra-wide girth. But there is one thing about Sally that I don’t love: her flatulence.
Now, I never once dreamed that Sally would have a gas problem. Sure, I knew all about the breed’s tendancy to be stubborn, to wander, to eat everything in sight. I knew all about the back problems they could develop due to their extra long, extra low profile. I knew all about cleaning the inside of their ears regularly. I felt I was prepared to own a basset. But nothing prepares the basset owner for the flatulence that comes from their tail-end. Nothing.
I have heard that farting in dogs is quite common in older breeds–any breed. It has to do with the sphincter muscle loosening up in older age. And since Sally is 10, I can totally get that. And since being a basset owner, I have learned the hard truth that they are prone to gas (I guess that is something dog instruction manuals fail to mention).
So, what’s a basset mom to do?!
- Feed her well. Give her “the best dog food you can afford” without any grain products, least of all corn–which tends to be the worst “filler” you can give an animal. Who knew?!
- Don’t give into the temptation to feed her table scraps or “people food.” I know, I know…it’s hard. That sad face, those whines…I’ve given in and been sorry.
- Walk her often. Okay…we could do better. But she does get an early morning walk daily with her “dad.”
- Feed her snacks and products with fennel, pumpkin, and papaya. For some reason, these foods are great for flatulence.
- In addition, you may consider mixing canned pumpkin with her food. (she happens to love this!! Get the pumpkin sold specifically for dogs at dog food stores).
- And when she does toot, blow your own horn: “Toot alert!!” and stay clear, open a window, turn on a fan…because it will remind you of being on the Appalaician Trail with skunks-a-sprayin’!
And that is what is in my brain today, Thursday February 2nd 2012.