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My Best Friend Wants Me to Dog-Sit Her Stinky Pug

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Dear Reverend,

My best friend, Katy, and her pug, Roscoe, are inseparable. Which is fine, and Roscoe is adorable, but there's just one problem: The little guy farts a lot and is reeeealllly stinky. Like, you-want-to-pass-out stinky. And Katy doesn't even seem to notice! When she and Roscoe come over, I discreetly crack a window, even in the winter. So, my dilemma is this: Katy asked me to dog-sit Roscoe while she's away on a business trip. I gotta be honest: I don't want the poor pup on my premises for a whole week! What should I do?

Doggone It

(female, 36)

Dear Doggone It,

That's a stinky situation in more ways than one. 

I consulted my vet, Dr. Gary Sturgis, and he confirmed my inkling that foul-smelling dog farts can be more than meets the nose. Excessive flatulence can be caused by an improper diet — possibly consuming too much fat or food that's just not quite right for the animal. Do you know if Katy gives Roscoe people food? A tiny taste once in a while isn't the end of the world, but too much is a no-no.

Smelly farts can also be a sign of something more serious, such as intestinal parasites. Katy should talk to Roscoe's doctor about what he's eating and get him a fecal exam to rule out anything like roundworms or hookworms.

I'm sure Katy doesn't notice because she's with Roscoe all the time and has become accustomed to the odor. As we all know, it's often hardest to recognize a problem when it's right under your nose.

Sensitive subjects are hard to broach, even with the people we're closest to, but it's in everyone's best interest if you just suck it up and clear the air. If you really can't stomach the smell and don't want to dog-sit, be honest with your friend about why. If you approach the topic out of concern for the pup, I'm sure your friend will appreciate it and take action. Hopefully Roscoe will wind up being a healthier, happier, less stinky dog.

Good luck and God bless,

The Reverend

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