Pet subjects: How do I stop my dog passing foul-smelling wind?

Chocolate Labrador called Bob out side in the fresh air
Keep your dogs healthy with the right foods and wind free Credit: Chris McLoughlin/Moment RF

Dear Pete

I’ve found some animal droppings on my lawn, and I am worried that they might be from a fox, even though I’ve never seen one. I am anxious about the possible risk to my two cats. Is there a way to positively identify droppings?

HW, Bristol

Dear HW

Animal droppings are a useful way of identifying and tracking wildlife, and it’s easy to do. There’s a good guide at discoverwildlife.com, while the RSPB has a child-friendly quiz on the topic. If there are foxes passing by your garden, it’d be safer to keep your cats indoors from dusk till dawn. The risk of foxes harming healthy adult cats in full daylight is very small.

Dear Pete

My 11-year-old labrador passes foul-smelling wind. He eats a chicken and rice kibble, plus I give him courgettes and natural yogurt to try to stop the problem. What else can I try?

PM, France

Dear PM

Flatulence can be a sign of gastrointestinal ailments (such as inflammatory bowel disease) but regardless of the cause, it’s worth trying a different diet. Intestinal gas is produced when poorly digestible food results in the passage of fibre, starch and protein into the lower bowel (colon) where it’s fermented, with protein fermentation creating fouler odours. A highly digestible diet with low protein levels may help. Choose a “sensitive stomach” or “gastrointestinal” product, introducing it gradually over a few days. Avoid adding anything extra: dairy products and vegetables may be making things worse.

Rescue pet

Jon is a sweet 3-year-old crossbreed Credit: Dogs Trust UK - Ilfracombe/Dogs Trust UK - Ilfracombe

Jon is a sweet, sensitive three-year-old crossbreed who doesn’t let the fact that he is blind stop him from enjoying life. Call 01271 812709 or visitdogstrust.org.uk/our-centres/ilfracombe

Send queries to [email protected] or tweet 
@PeteTheVet. All sick animals should be taken to a vet

Pet Subjects by Peter Wedderburn is published by Aurum Press (£12.99). To order a copy  visit books.telegraph.co.uk