We have an 18 week old Cane Corso/Old English Bulldog mix puppy and he’s had loose stool for the last 2.5 months. We have tried multiple diets (Fromm Large Breed Grain Free Puppy, Hill’s Science Prescription Diet, Purina ProPlan HA) and now trying out Natural Balance Limited Ingredients. Tank has been tested for giardia, parasites, etc. and nothing comes up positive. He has been on Proviable off and on for a while. He’s been given antibiotics and nothing seems to calm his belly. We think it’s a chicken allergy. Since we’ve switched so many foods within the last 10 weeks we’ve had him, what do you recommend we do?
- This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Ally W.
We went thought he same same with Logan, did find out quick that grain free was not going to work for him, it was to rich. I also think lentils and peas were causing some of the problem.
I do know that when I would try a new food and the loose stools would start I would take him off the food. I wasn’t giving it enough time. We had the best luck with Purina proplan focus but I’m taking them off of it and slowly adding Annamaet Encore. I have a lot of trust in the company. I do know that overfeeding can cause issues. Have to tried adding pumpkin to the kibble? The plain not the one with spices that is used for pie. You may need to go with a home cooked diet for awhile to get his tubby to settle down. There are several excellent fb sites telling you how to do it. Have you added probiotics? natures farmacy has a good one. For now I would add probiotics, a tlb of pumpkin to each feeding and make sure you aren’t overfeeding.anonymousMember
Ask your vet if a referral to a specialist (internal medicine) is indicated, assuming that the pup has not responded to treatment so far.
Otherwise continue to work with your vet.
The first thing you need is an accurate diagnosis. More testing may be needed……
Talk to your vet.TyrionthebiscuitMember
Try the regular Fromm Large Breed. They have one with grain in it and it is much easier on some sensitive stomachs.
Have all of the foods you’ve tried included chicken? Also, are all of those foods grain inclusive ? My nieces dog came to her with very loose stools and she was on fromms, as well. I personally love fromms because it works awesome for Luna, but not every food works for everyone. She ended up going on American Journey due to budget, and I had her give her chicken and rice for 2 days and then switch her to the kibble. I also bought her the Vetriscienxe mega probiotics from chewy. They have worked great for my pup and my niece’s pup. I suggest maybe trying a chicken free, and grain free if all the foods you have been trying have chicken and grains. Do boiled chicken and white rice for a few meals, then try to transition to a new food that you feel he will do better on. Maybe even do the chicken and rice for a few days until stools are no longer loose. Now I know I’m saying stay away from kibble with chicken, but fees him chicken and rice…Luna has no problem with cooked chicken, but itches with chicken in kibble. If you’re nervous you could do ground turkey or beef instead of chicken with the rice to help firm up the stools. For my pup, pumpkin makes her have looser stools so I only use it if she’s constipated. But again, all dogs are so different. Also, having a cane corso, you definitely want to make sure you settle on a good with low calcium. I know it’s a lot to take in. Luna is currently on fromms grain free Hasen Duckenpfeffer. It’s has meat proteins as the first 3 Ingredients and is low in calcium. Her stools are absolutely incredible right now. However, it does have different proteins so you may want to try a limited ingredient food of you’re trying to narrow it down.Ally WMember
Thank you for your input. We have been feeding him chicken-based kibble; however, started mixing in a little bit of Natural Balance Puppy Food (duck and sweet potato flavor), and it seems as though it’s calming his belly down a bit. We’ve tried Fromm, Hill’s Science, Purina ProPlan but all were chicken based, which we figured was the cause of his upset stomach. I’ve also cooked for him (chicken, rice, pumpkin) and that didn’t seem to work.
I’ll see how he does on Natural Balance but my next step is an allergy test.
I really appreciate your advice and input. It’s helpful to hear from the parents of large breed dog owners about your experience.
Lets back up here for a second before we start assuming an 18 week old puppy has food allergies or a food intolerance. I see a very clear reason for why he is likely having stool issues. You brought him home at 8 weeks old and changed his food instantly and then have subsequently changed his food several more times since then.
It is ALWAYS recommended when getting a puppy to keep them on the same food the breeder had them on for 3-4 weeks. This gives your puppy time to adjust to his new home and environment without the stress of also having his food changed. Find out what they were feeding him at the kennel (NO it does not matter what food it is or if you approve of it or not) and put him back on that. Then slowly after 3-4 weeks or normal stool switch him to an appropriate large breed puppy food. Regular Purina Pro Plan large breed puppy would be my suggestion.
Anyone know how the calcium levels are Earthborn Venture Duck? Am looking for large breed calcium appropriate without chicken. Seems hard to find. 8 month old itchy German Shepherd, ear infections, rashes.
breeder had our german shepherd pup on royal canin german shepherd puppy. Any opinions? I could not find much positive about it.
I’m not familiar with earthborn calcium levels but I’ll check them out. Luna can’t do chicken either and so she does really well on fromms Hasen Duckenpfeffer. Fromm’s also has other options in their food line that do not contain chicken. All of their foods that I’ve used have has great calcium levels. Check out their website, they have all their info. Right on it. Their gold line is a little more expensive but I find it worth it. They have both grain inclusive and grain free flavors.
Thank you!Jack RMember
Hi all, ive just gotten a new dog and i was wondering whats the best brand of dog food i can give him? Thanks in advance
What kind of puppy is it?
First, congrats on your new dog !! Is it a puppy or older dog? There are many good foods out there, and some foods work better with individual dogs, than others, so sometimes yoiu have to play around to see what works best for your pup. What food is he/she already eating ? Any issues as far as irching, loose stools, etc?Laurel WMember
We got a Bernese Mountain dog puppy at the end of December. The breeder told me that she was feeding him Purina puppy chow, so I bought a bag to mix with Simply Natural from petsmart. When we picked him up, they were feeding him Ol’ Roy, which horrified me more. Anyway, we ended up not being able to go out and buy ol’ Roy. He finally has solid stool.
Anyway, I am trying to find a high quality food for him. What would you suggest?
He’s an 11 week old bernese mountain dog. He’s in good health.
You will need to find a petfood that specifically says it is designed for a large breed puppy. Purina Puppy Chow, Ol’Roy and Simply Natural are not foods that meet those requirements. If you shop at PetSmart the brands you have available that would be best are going to be Science Diet, Royal Canin, Purina Pro Plan, or Wellness.Bobby dogMember
Question, I don’t have a large breed puppy, but just wondering if the Dog Chow Large Breed Puppy recipe meets the Ca/P ratios for LBP’s?
Are you looking for grain or grain free? I have had great results with Fromm’s brand. If you go to their website you van look through their different lines, flavors, and grain oe grain inclusive foods. They have a good calcium/phos level for largwle breed puppies. Luna ended up being allergic to cjicken so I switched to one of their gold line brands and am having great success. Small, solid poops! Check it out, but I know there are other good foods out there that you can learn about from this forum. You will choose in the end which to feed, and every pup is different so some may do well on some food than others. 🙂 congrats on the new pup!!Laurel WMember
Thank you for your help! It was hard to find any information on large breed dog foods and hip dysplasia.
Since its a Purina product, I would assume it does, though I have not looked into it. Hopefully Aimee answers as its something she may have investigated.
We have a 1-year-old Presa Canario that we have had for almost six months (rescued in June). He was approximately 65 lbs when we got him ( a little underweight at the time), transitioned him from the rescue’s food (Natural Balance LID) to Purina Pro Plan Large Breed with no issuers (took the normal 3-4 weeks of slow introduction). For the next few months, he was continuing to add weight at a normal rate, getting up to 85-90 lbs by October-November. Since then he hasn’t added much weight at all. We had maxed him out at 3 cups of food 2x per day, increasing that to 3.5 cups 2x per day but haven’t seen any increase in weight. He topped out at about 97lbs in early December, and actually, when we took him for his proheart shot last week he was at 95.
Based on the purina body condition scale, he is perfectly sized hovering between a 4 and a 5. Our vet doesn’t have a ton of experience with Presa’s, and just says to keep watching his body for signs we are under or overfeeding. Knowing that giant breeds tend to continue growing until 18-20 months, should I continue upping his food intake? If so, how long should I wait to see this dietary change manifest in his body condition before increasing again or going back to the previous amount?
I appreciate any advice you can provide. I should also note that he was a little under the weather for a few days in december where he was eating slightly less than normal. Finally, he does get plenty of treats throughout the day via training (probably another 60-150 calories).
Thanks to everyone for this great thread; I know it has helped us tremendously!
Wow a Presa! Wonderful dogs. Bet he is just lovely. Yes you are correct that giant breeds like Mastiffs can grow up to 24 months of age. 4-5 out of 9 on BCS is perfect and even if he drops down to a very conditioned (well muscled) 3 it is by far better than being even a 6 on BCS. I’d always perfer to see a dog on the thinner side than even slightly overweight.
Given that you got him from a rescue situation and do not have a ped on him its going to be more challenging to determine if he is inline with standard growth and size for Presa. Normally you could use the parents as a gauge, but not knowing his parents you can not do this.
I checked out a Mastiff forum really quick and in the Presa section most peoples opinions are that you should worry less about weight and focus on Body Score, just like you’re doing. Everyone talking on the thread had dogs the same age that had different weights. You will still need to adjust his portions as he fills out, but I would focus more on Body Condition rather than actual weight. It sounds like he is growing slowly which is what you want. Also if he is highly food motivated you should use his kibble for training basic stuff rather than treats. Only use treats when you need something high value for more demanding training like recall commands. I dont know what you intend on doing with him, but Presa are very good at working and enjoy many sports like IPO (bite work). Would definitely encourage you to get him into some sports!
Also for what its worth, having a vet that does have experience with your breed or breeds like it is important.
Thanks PitLove for the quick response. He is quite the looker, that’s for sure! Here are a couple pics for anyone interseted:
We don’t have his pedigree exactly but did do a DNA test (for what that is worth) and he came back 75% presa with a little mastiff and bulldog for the remainder. Glad to hear that we appear to be on the right track.
I’m going to send you a direct message shortly regarding some of the sport/bite work you mentioned. We are really trying to keep him stimulated mentally as he gets plenty of exercise from daycare (where he is an absolute star) and us.
Thanks for the help!
Didn’t realize I couldn’t direct message you Pitlove (or at least it has evaded me so far).
Our trainer is great and has mentioned a few things we could do to get our Presa engaged (she actually mentioned an agility course, mostly because it would be hilarious to watch, for a number of other reasons as well). We are definitely interested in trying to get him trained to do more ‘work’, but I’m not sure it would be in the ‘bite work’ department (especially given our homeowners insurance is none too happy with us getting a Presa). I’m probably just not familiar enough with what is involved, but would love to hear your thoughts on what we can do to keep him challenged (fwiw, he hasn’t shown any propensity for destructive behavior so we must not be boring him completely yet!).
Matt: your boy is gorgeous! I’m partial to brindles; my longhaired whippet is a brindle!
Matt, I share Maries admiration for him! Hes lovely! I will be getting a Cane Corso in a few years, which people often mistake the Presa for 😛
So IPO (used to be called Schutzhund) actually creates a more balanced guardian breed, not a more aggressive dog. They learn to “attack” the decoy on command and they must “out” (release) on command as well. Check out some youtube videos of the field trials for IPO. Its very cool!
Presa are very protective and aloof (like all other Mastiff breeds) by nature, so training, socialization, obeidence, but also teaching him to harness that protective nature in a positive, productive way is important. Most Mastiff people do lure coursing, protection work, weight pull and tracking for their dogs. Some do agility, but I don’t see it as much. Definitely a good thing to think about getting him into though!Ample NMember
Please Tell me can i feed Natural fish oil for dogs?
Hello – I have a 5-month old Bernedoodle (Bernese x Poodle) male. Chose Fromm’s Puppy Gold because of their place on Editor’s Choice list for large breed puppies, but also because of the calcium amount – I know it’s dangerous to “force growth” with too much. However, BIG CHALLENGE. He’s developed extremely itchy skin with lots of dander, really suffering. Suspecting it may be the food (or an ingredient in the food, like grain and/or chicken), I am having a hard time finding a quality food, however, since all of the Editors’ Choice and recommended large-breed puppy foods/grain-free seem to have chicken as prime ingredient -or are too high in calcium. I REALLY NEED SOME SUGGESTIONS – thinking of going to Fromm’s Heartland (mainly meat as prime ingredients) although calcium is pretty high. Thanks in advance!
Sharyl in Sisters, OR
Depending on where you live, the change in weather could be causing the dry skin/dander, or he is not getting proper amounts of fatty acids in his diet. You can likely continue him on Fromm Gold and add a fatty acid supplement like Grizzly Salmon Oil to his food and within a month or so will see an improvement.
Unless he is an extremely poorly bred dog with parents that showed similar symptoms at such a young age and later were diagnosed as a food allergy by elimination diet, its unlikely that he has already developed a food allergy.
Do not make the same mistake I made when my boy was a puppy and switch his foods all around. It turned out he was in fact food sensitive and by changing his food so frequently, I could not keep it under control. I also had no clue what was causing the problem. Now he can not eat a grain free diet and peas, kangaroo, duck and red meat are his worst triggers.
I had a similar situation with my lab puppy. I had her on Fromms large breed puppy but she was constantly itching. I used Welactin on her food for dry coat. It helped a little but she was still itchy so I changed her to a different Fromm’s line ans LOVE it. I am now using the Hasen duckenpfeffer because it is grain free, chicken free, and first 3 ingredients are meats. I believe it was the chicken. But if you lile fromm’s, look at their other foods. This one is all stages and low calcium and phos. Still. But they have many options.Jennifer SMember
I just found this forum today and am so impressed, just what I was looking for. Thank you HDM for starting this thread and the research!
I’m getting a puppy in 4 weeks, a curly coated retriever who will get to about 80 lbs. I am trying to figure out what to feed him when he comes home. The following recipe is what the breeder has the pups on currently:
1 part Honest Kitchen freeze dried veggies
4 parts organic Menhaden fish meal
4 parts slightly cooked or raw chicken/liver/pork/turkey. (Rotating between these and what is available)
4-8 parts N&D Farmina grain free kibble from Italy. Chicken or Boar.
I’ve been trying to contact Farmina but they are not responding. Does anyone know the calcium content? The minimum is stated to be 1.3% (Phosphorus is 0.95%), but I don’t know the actual average.
If it is high, I’d like to switch the kibble over to one of those on HDMs list, but I’m unsure as to which has the most similar profile to the Farmina grain-free. Any thoughts?
Been catching up on everything that’s been discussed since back in ’12. Thank you to everyone who has contribute to the topic/discussion.
I have a question on what to feed my Lab/GSD Mix. The shelter estimated him to be 2-years old. They were feeding him Royal Canin Medium Adult so I thought to keep it as his food. That is, until I discovered the numerous questionable ingredients. I also noticed that my dog would be scratching/nibbling on his back every so often, not constantly but still a cause for concern. So I thought to attempt to combat this with some grain-free food. After much research, I settled with Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Chicken/Turkey…seeing that it’s not only affordable but contains decent ingredients.
My pup loves food so he has been chowing down WEF with no problem (for 18 days now- including a week of transition time) but I’ve noticed that he’s been shedding a lot more than usual and small clumps of hair is falling from his tail. I also discovered a 2″ long (literally a line) bald patch where his back and hip-bone connect (ruled out fleas). I’m not sure where it’s from but I have a hunch it may be caused by WEF and their lack of Omega-3 data (they won’t say how much Omega-3 is in their grain free chicken and turkey recipe, just that it is formed naturally in the ingredients)
Due to this reason, I’d like to transition my pup to another food that has at least the same amount of Omega-3 RC has (they said .48%). Should I move him back to Royal Canin or try another type of food (whether with or without grains)? I guess I just don’t exactly know which type of food to look for. When I started researching I looked for food that has Growth and All Life Stages profile. Then I looked at the numbers for protein, fat, fiber, Omega-3 %, Calcium and Phosphorus % and C:P ratio.
But now, after reading some posts on here, it seems that the Calcium and Phosphorus % is not as important as my pup is now 2 years old but the and ratio should still be between 1:1 – 2:1? Should I still be focusing on Growth / All-Life Stages food or should I broaden the search and look at Maintenance and/or Unspecified profile?
Ah, so confusing D:
I guess I just want my pup to eat food that is close (or better) to what RC offers, without the questionable ingredients. Here are the data I gathered from RC:
Crude Protein – 23%
Protein (DMB) – 25.56%
Crude Fat – 12%
Fat (DMB) – 13.33%
Fiber – 3.1%
Fiber (DMB) – 3.4%
Omega-3 – 0.48%
Calcium – 1.20%
Phosphorus – 0.80%
C:P – 1.5:1
kcal (kg/cup) – 3633 / 336
You are correct, at 2 years old your mix breed is capable of regulating his calcium uptake now and no longer requires a large breed puppy diet or for you to be concerned about the ratio of calcium and phosphorus. He can now be placed on an adult maintenance diet or all life stages formula. Most importantly now is keeping him lean (4/9 on BCS).
As far as foods go, it sounds like he was doing much better on Royal Canin, so if I were you I would put him back on that since it was already established that he was doing well. Itching his back a little bit is not an indication of allergies. Dogs get little itches just like we do, doesn’t mean we are having an allergic reaction and same is true for them. However with WEF it does sound as though, either the source of the Omega 3s is not as quality of a source as with Royal Canin or its not enough. BTW, as an aside, ingredient lists tell you nothing about the quality of a food, only what should be in it. Royal Canin has strict sourcing and has often denied shipments of corn that Kelloggs then buys from them for our cereal. So I would not worry about their ingredients being of poor quality.
Thanks for the response, pitlove.
I guess when I read the ingredients, I’m turn down by the numerous questionable things that’s in Royal Canin. I also wanted to look for another brand/flavor of food so I can rotate my pup through that. Should I look for/aim for something that is as close to what RC provides?
- This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by RollTide10.
I’m not extremely big on rotational diets. I had attempted to do that with my dogs and it was fairly disasterous, so I no longer can confidently recommend doing it. But at the end of the day it depends on the dog.
I don’t find any of the ingredients in Royal Canin questionable, but I also look at nutrition differently than many people. Individual ingredients mean nothing if they are not cohesive once put together.
Sorry to hear that the rotational diets were disastrous for your pups! D:
That is also one reason why I’m not super sure whether to try rotational diets or not, I have heard a lot of disastrous stories about ’em.
Thanks again for your advice 🙂
I have an 8 week old St.Bernard/Bernese mt/Australian Shepard mix. We got him about a week ago and started him off with hard puppy food the shelter said they used (he was only there 3days and was super skinny) he would not touch it even when moistened. Tried multiple other brands for 2days and finally decided to try wet food. He immediately ate it and now he is a eating machine. We currently are on Blue Wilderness soft canned puppy food. I have him eating 3-4 times a day and go through 1 can per day (12.5oz). The problem is after each feeding he licks the bowl clean and whines looking for more. I’m not sure how much I should be giving him and if I’m not doing any favors by restricting him to 1 can. Any suggestions??
Hi Josh S-
Unfortunetly, this puppy formula you are using is not fine tuned to suit the needs of a growing large breed puppy, so I would recommend another food.
Firstly, he should be taken to your vet and examined to make sure that if he was truly malnouished as you say, there is not an underlying condition (intestinal parasites etc) that would be causing poor appetite. I would not rely on the shelters vetting personally.
Once medicial issues have been ruled out, I would move him to Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy hard food. Haven’t known a dog to reject Pro Plan and it is highly digestable, so it will be easy on his stomach.
You could also add a little of the canned he likes to a good quality kibble, he might eat the kibble that way. ProPlan for large breed puppy is a good choice as Pitlove mentioned. My vet has told me that adding a couple of tablespoons of canned to kibble can also prevent bloat. Something about the different textures of the food. I wouldn’t think he would be getting a balanced diet feeding only the canned.
Thank you for the info!
Do you know any thing about wellness brand complete healthy puppy food or Orijen puppy? These 2 have been suggested to me by a couple of people.
It’s important to first look for a food that actually states its for a large breed puppy. While it’s true that some brands have puppy foods that meet the ca/phos requirements for LBPs most do not. Wellness is not a bad brand and they do have large breed puppy specific foods. I am not a fan of Orijen/Champion Pet Food products. They are a marketing company solely dedicated to selling you a trendy pet food at an outrageous price. I’ll pass.Margaret GMember
Hi Josh, Origen Large Breed Puppy is on the Editor’s Choice list for large breeds. So Ca/Ph levels should be good. However, it is a very expensive food and from what I have read on some other sites, many pups find this food too rich and have tummy troubles. You can try it and see how your puppy does. But there are a number of other foods out there that are less expensive and still very good. Purina ProPlan and Fromms are both good. And mixing some canned to keep him eating will help him transition.
Just switched my pup over to farmina and he loves it. Only problem is he is always wanting more and I feel like I’m not giving him enough. We’ve been splitting the amount on the back for his weight but he’s acting like it is not enough. Does anyone know the Farmina feeding guidelines for pups? They have amounts on the back but not sure if that is a total amount per day or for each feed?Deborah BMember
Hi Josh. I use the gauge of 2-3% of anticipated adult weight to determine how much to feed my Boerboel puppy and I ration it out to 3 feedings per day. I evaluate him every week to see if I need to go up from 2%. He always wants more also, but it is best not to feed them too much at once and just use the dog’s body condition to tell you if it is enough. My puppy would eat all day if he could!
I switched my two Great Danes to Farmina low grain three months ago. Leah weighs 113 and Logan 133.Both are still growing. I feed three times a day, 5 and a half cups split into three meals. This food is low carb at 32% so they’re not getting the fillers that might have them feeling fuller. If you go to the farmina website there is a link to feeding amounts. Poop is perfect, they go once in the morning and once at night. Coats are so shiny and the energy level is great. You’ve made a good choice for your pup. What does your pup weight ? many people add steamed green beans to the kibble if they are still acting hungery. I also give sardines as a treat every night along with sliced raw apple.
Thanks for the input!
My pup is a mix so no one has any idea how big his adult size is going to be. Right now he isn’t quite 12wks and weights about 20lbs (still looks pretty thin). I might have to look into mixing some greens. He absolutely loves his food and I feel like I’m not doing him any favors by giving him the recommended 50g per meal, little over a cup total for the day. I’ve been trying to find info for feeding guides but nothing really is too clear.
I don’t think one cup a day for a growing pup is enough. I would double and give him two cups a day. If the poop starts getting loose then back it off some. A puppy needs more food then an adult dog and if I’m not mistaken the guide on the Farmina site is for adult dogs. They usuually say double for puppy so two cups might still not be enough but i would start there and see how he does.
Congrats on the new pup! You definitely want to be feeding him much more than a cup a day. When I got my first pup at 9 weeks, she was getting 2 cups a day with wet added until she was spayed (lab mix). I just fostered 2 8 week old lab mix puppies and ended up adopting 1. She is 14 weeks today and gets 3 cups a day, with wet food mixed in during the am and pm meal, plus healthy treats throughout the day. Pups need more calories than adult dogs, for sure. I feed FROMMs, but am sampling Farmina to see how it sits with my girls.
@Nadine, which flavor of low grain did you use? Im going to try out the lamb and blueberry, chicken and pom, and cod and orange. I hear the kibble is large? I may do the mini to grt smaller pieces lol
I’m feeding the chicken and pom low grain. I get the medium kibble, the formula is exactly the same as the large breed kibble.Same with the mini kibble.I don’t like the large kibble. I get it directly from the company and we get three 26lb bags a month. I really like that the carb level is so low. Most that you buy has carbs at least 42% and in most cases closer to 50%
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