Do Dogs Know When They Fart?

Dog farts and the owner holds his nose

Dog farts are perhaps one of the most unpleasant stenches you can have in your home. That eggy gas loves to stick around for…well, quite a while. 

When it happens, dogs often have a sense of wonder on their face, wondering what really just happened. Because of this, many people want to know whether dogs know when they are farting. Let’s take a look. 

Does Your Dog Know When It Farts?

Obviously, we can never say with 100% certainty whether a dog knows that they are farting. It isn’t the sort of thing that animal professionals want to spend millions of dollars on researching, which is rather understandable.

What we can say is that it probably is dependent on the dog. Some dogs are completely confused by the noxious gas that has just been emitted from their rear end, while others are very much in a state of ‘oh, that again?’.

Of course, the latter group of dogs may not feel a thing. For all they know, they have just been encircled by a hideous stench and they are just riding the ride until it disappears.

In our opinion (as we said, this hasn’t been put to scientific testing), we would argue that dogs probably do know when they fart.

Not only are they going to have to deal with the smell, but their body is going to move ever so slightly when they do it. At the very least, they will have to deal with the muscle contractions as the gas is emitted from their rear end.

Think about how you fart (yes, we know you fart). Even if you let out something incredibly silent, you would still feel the action of farting, right? 

The same is going to apply to a dog. They can still feel the action of farting. However, to them, it is very much just going to be their body at work. They do not know that the smell coming out of them is embarrassing.

Dogs do not have any concept of embarrassment. This means they don’t really need to show that they are farting. They probably know they are. However, at the end of the day, it is something that they are doing every single day.

What we will tell you, however, is that dogs will certainly be able to recognize the smell of the farts. There is a chance that they may not know that the smell has come from them, but you will often be able to see small indications in the way that the dog is behaving that show that they have managed to catch a sniff of something untoward. This leads us neatly to the next section.

Can Dogs Smell Their Own Farts?

We are hesitant to say that dogs can smell their own farts. Obviously, they can smell something when they fart. However, we cannot possibly know that the dog can associate that stench with themselves. Although, some dogs do seem to be capable of it.

What you have to remember is that dogs have an exceedingly good smell. In fact, it is believed that a dog’s sense of smell is about 1,000,000x better than that of a human.

If you can smell something, then your dog absolutely can smell it, and it is going to be much, much more powerful than what you are catching a whiff of.

Although, do bear in mind that this does not necessarily mean that the dog sees it as a disgusting smell. Dogs never really give an indication that what they are sniffing is disgusting. Instead, it is just a smell.

If you are watching your dog when they fart, they will often give an indication that they have sniffed something that is a bit different. Some dogs will get up and move out of that area as quickly as possible.

Honestly, some dogs genuinely seem as if the smell repulses them. They probably are not, but that probably won’t stop too many of us from looking at our dogs and assuming they are just wandering away in embarrassment.

In other cases, the dog will continue to lay there. As we said before, this is the dog that very much takes the ‘oh not this again’ approach. They are just so used to smell that there is no sense in them moving.

What is difficult to know is whether a dog can distinguish between its own farts and the smell of another dog. We will work under the assumption that the dog can differentiate between the scent of one dog and that of another. Dogs have far more powerful noses than we have, after all.

What does this mean? Well, you may spot that your dog wanders away when it sniffs another dog’s fart. At the very least, you may be able to spot them having a good sniff of the air around them, wondering where that unique smell is coming from. 

What Causes Dogs To Fart?

You have probably stumbled across this page wondering whether dogs know that they fart not because you want to have a deeper understanding of your dog’s psychology, but more “if I can smell this awful stench, why can’t my dog?”. So, why do dogs fart? If you have multiple dogs, why are some farting more than others? Let’s explain.

Dogs, just like humans (and pretty much most animals), fart. When bacteria break down food in the stomach, gas is created. When your dog swallows food, it will often take air in with it. This results in gas being created.

Eventually, this gas needs to come out, and it will come out in the form of a fart. Dogs will often fart less than humans, mainly because they are not eating as much food.

Some animals will fart more than others. Most of the time, this is due to the type of food they are eating. If a dog is eating food that is high in grains, or ‘cheaper’ ingredients (perhaps beans), then they fart more. This is because the food sort of composts in their stomach, which gives off more of a gas.

Some breeds of dogs are much more prone to farting than others. This is likely down to the fact that they digest the food in a slightly different way.

However, there is also a strong chance they are just consuming more air when they eat.

If your dog is a notoriously fast eater, then the chances are that they will produce far more farts, and they will often be stinkier too. This includes breeds such as:

  • Boston Terriers
  • Pugs
  • Shih Tzu

Can You Reduce The Smell of a Dog Fart?

We know that some dog farts can be immensely stinky. It is no surprise that some people want to try and reduce them as much as possible. But, what can you do? Well, there are a few things. However, nothing is guaranteed to work. At the end of the day, your dog is still going to fart, and farts will always have an odd smell about them.


Charcoal is the only thing that has been scientifically proven to reduce the scent of a dog’s fart. However, this doesn’t mean that you should feed your dog charcoal after every meal.

Charcoal could work if your dog is going through a period of intensely smelly farts due to a medical condition (check with the vet first), but not every single day. This could be dangerous for them.

Encourage Your Dog To Eat Slower

Many smelly farts are caused by dogs gulping in too much air when they eat. This means that you may want to look into ways to slow their eating down. You will find certain dog bowls on the market designed for this. They make it more difficult for your dog to gulp their food down.

Change Their Food

Cheaper food is often laden with additives and ingredients that can make your dog’s farts smell. You may want to wean them onto something a little bit better.

You should try to ensure that this is a gradual process. Dogs do have sensitive stomachs, and if you change their food too quickly, you may find that the farting situation ends up a lot worse.

Give Your Dog Less ‘Human Food’

Try to avoid giving your dog scraps of food wherever possible. Food from the table will always make your dog fart more than standard dog food. Although, it may be good to give them as a treat every so often.

Final Word 

Dogs probably know when they fart, but they are not necessarily all that bothered by it. If you aren’t a fan of your dog’s farts, then there are plenty of ways that you can attempt to reduce the stench. Changing their food will often be at the top of this list.

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