For the past few weeks I have noticed that sometimes (about half the time) when my dog burps it smells very much like sulfur / methane / gaseous. I only feed her this really good organic high-octane (no pun intended, but it is kind of funny now that I noticed it) dry food. She's been on this for the past year or longer. She rarely gets people food, though sometimes my boyfriend will slip her a bite of something he's eating ~ though rarely. Otherwise all is totally normal ~ loves to play, walk, sleep, and intentionally annoy me. Very normal.
Read up on raw diet (BARF or similar) for dogs. There is some controversy about it, but I had a very healthy yorkie for 15 1/2 years on raw past her first 4, and I think the benefits of giving them a diet most approximated to what their digestive systems were designed for has more benefits than risks, though you have to make sure it's varied and includes all the nutrients they need. Not easy, but typically healthier, more long lived dogs that way. My dog used to routinely throw up her designer, "healthy" kibble, got constipated, bloated, etc., and when I switched her to raw, her digestion improved, hot spots disappeared, inexplicable "allergies" went away, among other things. I felt guilty for not starting it sooner, poor thing.
There are also raw, frozen, pre-made products for dogs, though expensive. I'm adopting a rescue dog this weekend and plan to transition her to raw within a week, and since she's small, I will probably do at least 50% organic pre-made frozen raw and may even try some raw meaty bones, though I've read enough things about even raw bone fragments getting stuck in the digestive tract that I'm still unsure about feeding bones. God help me, I'm actually going to order her some raw green tripe. Ugh. Also, grains would not be natural to a dog's diet - all they would eat in the wild is whatever grasses and sprouted seeds or grains were in the prey's stomach and intestines - predigested.
Really though, think about it - how would your digestion be if all you ate was the same dry pellets from a bag day after day, with no fresh, live food? No living creature can thrive on nothing but dead food. We've really been sold a bill of goods by the dog food manufacturers - they do need balanced nutrients, but that is by far not the ideal way to get them.
Thanks Anja. This is something that I have been considering for quite some time. A friend of mine feeds her dog a mainly raw diet and he is certainly doing well with it. Again, other than the stinky burps...my dog is healthy, energetic, and doing very well. I would still like to know if the sulfur burps are something that I should be concerned about since it is a new thing and she is still on the organic kibble for the time being. Any thoughts on that?
I'm really not sure, it just sounds like poor digestion to me, and sulfur is a product of anaerobic bacteria, I think. This is gross, but my husband gets a really sulfur-y halitosis if he doesn't do regular tongue cleaning, and that's bacteria fermenting in there. Are there any grain products in her food? Rice or oats? On the occasions I fed grains to my dog (mainly in her old age because she couldn't do as much protein then), they were always long soaked and/or fermented and well cooked to break them down as much as possible, since dogs aren't built to digest grains. Could also be that there are sulfur-based veggies in her food like broccoli or cabbage. I know I don't digest those things very well.
Really, I would look into changing her diet, even if you only do it partially or gradually. Even though she seems healthy now, it won't last if she never gets fresh, raw food. She's deteriorating even though you don't see it, and it will be a lot harder if not impossible to turn her situation around when it's finally manifesting outwardly. All this stuff with dogs getting diabetes and cancer...those are human diseases and the kinds of ailments that afflict kibble-diet dogs when humans interfere with nature, and in my opinion that includes vaccines, though I know these are tough decisions because we want only the best for our pets. My yorkie was like a puppy up until she was about 13 or 14. She had some of the typical toy purebred issues - bad teeth, and eventually cataracts, but her blood work was always good until right near the end when her kidneys went, she never had tumors, diabetes, etc. In retrospect, I don't think we gave her enough variety and I suspect we were short on minerals with her, that's the danger with the home made diets I think, even more than harmful bacterial issues, because it's difficult to prepare really balanced meals on a daily basis, which is why I'm looking at pre-made this time and will probably supplement with vitamins, oils and the tripe, along with some fresh veggies or fruit for snacks, dried liver treats, etc.
Try getting a raw, pre-made dog food, I am looking into this one, but there are others, just google raw diet dogs:
I bet your dog would go nuts for it, finally getting something approximating what nature intended for her. My vet says she thinks every dog is different, and that some dogs can't tolerate raw, but I don't know if I agree. I read so many positive things about even sick dogs improving on raw diets, and I'm seriously going to try the green tripe. My husband won't like that, but it's supposed to be ridiculously healthy for them. The dog I'm adopting this weekend (can't wait!!) has had very poor nutrition all her life so far, we think about 4 years, so part of the damage is done, but I hope to build up her immune system reserves with a super healthy raw diet. She sure deserves it after what she's been through.
Thanks so much for your response. And for your frankness...grossness and all! As soon as this last bag is done...it's raw for my dog. I know once I get used to fixing it for her it will become second nature. I'm glad you finally pushed me over the edge. I've been so ready to do this. Thanks again!
Cool! You're right, it does become second nature once you get used to the routine, though you'll find yourself occasionally missing those days of just dumping something in her bowl out of a bag or a can. :) That is where the pre-made frozen raw dog food will come in handy for me this time around. Make sure you give her really fresh, high quality stuff, and just keep reading and researching because it's easy to mess it up, getting the balance right can be difficult, and you sort of have to adjust for your own dog, too, things like their age and activity level. It's a lot of work, I know, but I sort of feel like it's our responsibility since we chose them, took them home, and they depend on us for a nutritious food source. I did not do everything right with my yorkie, and my biggest regret was that I didn't give her enough variety, and enough of the stuff that grossed me out like organ meats and tripe, etc. It was weird to think about my delicate little princess eating intestines - LOL!
I am still 50/50 on the raw bone thing. I did read one article about bone bits and fragments being stuck in the digestive tract - even though they were raw and feeding raw is supposed to be OK. On the flip side you read many glowing reviews of how healthy dogs are on raw bones, with clean teeth fresh breath, plenty of calcium... I'm still conflicted and plan to talk to my vet about that next week. Domestic dogs are not exactly wolves, and yet their basic needs are still adapted to that species, but the way they've been tweaked with breeding may be what my vet is getting at when she says every dog is different. I bet your dog will love her new diet, though, and I also bet her burping problem will disappear. You can try digestive enzymes in her food, too, though with raw you may not need them.