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Filed in Cats, Dogs, Health

It's a nice quiet evening at home. Bogart and Bacall mix it up on the tube, your cat Whiskers is on your lap, while your dog Rex is stretched out at your feet. As you reach for the popcorn on the coffee table your eyes suddenly dart back and forth, your nose twitches and your lips curl. "Rex," you say with an understanding, but slightly disapproving tone as you cover your mouth and nose. Rex just looks up at you and blinks, then puts his head back down. Meanwhile Whiskers just flicks his tail and closes his eyes, pretending to be above it all.

If you have pets, chances are they've shared more than just their love for you. That's right, we're talking about flatulence. Both cats and dogs get it. But where are they getting it from?

Your pets could be getting gas from a few different sources, such as a change in diet, from excessive nerves or stress, from aging, or from that table scrap you kindly gave him. The good news is, besides opening the windows or leaving the room, you can do something about it.

Play Detective

If your pet is suddenly letting loose an unpleasant vapor barrage, play detective and find the culprit. Have you added a new pet to the household? Or have you recently moved? If so, chances are she's stressed out about it. Try to calm her down by speaking to her in a reassuring voice. Spend some quality time with her separately, away from the new animal. Accompany her around her new surroundings. After awhile, the culprit odor should dissipate.

Time for Play

Exercise, exercise, come on everybody, get some exercise. If flatulence is a problem, give your pet plenty of time to play-it-out. Toss a toy around or take them for a few walks. Exercise is a terrific gas reducer.

Scrap the Scraps

If you think you're being a good owner by giving out table scraps to your pet, think again. Morsels of human food might please your pet for the moment (and you for giving them) but most scraps are too rich for your animal's digestive system. Not only will scraps give him bad gas, but it will also upset his natural diet and give him more of a chance to beg. If you want to give your pet a human treat, try a healthy treat, such as cat-size vegetables (although, these could cause gas, too).

Ditch the Diet

If you've recently switched your pet's diet, it may be the cause of the sudden, nasty aroma that is permeating your household. If your Vet hasn't recommended the change, then you might want to switch back to your old brand. Check with your Vet if you have any questions about what diet is healthy for your pet.

Certain pet foods that are meat-based may also be the cause of your pet's flatulence. Try a pet food that is cereal or grain based rather than meat-based. This doesn't mean that your pet can't have food with meat in it. It just means that cereal should be its main source. Check your food label if you're not sure.

After finding and apprehending the culprit that is causing these gassy outbursts, you can go back and enjoy Bogart and Bacall in peace.

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