Hi all, I need input. I adopted a 4-year-old, 65-lb English Pointer a few months ago. He is the second Pointer I have owned. He has always had very loose, unformed stools (like Motts applesauce or unset pudding), regardless of the food or supplements I have given him. He has a clean bill of health, and no medical reason for the loose stools that the vet has been able to find. He does have formed (still soft) stools on Hills Adult Light, which has about a 13% fiber content. The vet thinks he is fiber responsive since the high fiber food give his stool some consistency. I hate feeding him Hills; all my previous dogs have done great on 5-star foods. He is an “ears and rears” dog, and both seem to bug him when he eats the Hills. At the moment, he’s getting half Hills and half Orijen Regional Red with a couple Primal freeze-dried nuggets (lamb) and a hard-boiled egg on top. I think the Primal freeze-dried actually firms up his stool a bit. I can’t afford to feed him freeze-dried exclusively.
The freeze-dried contains ground bone, and I am wondering if that’s what is helping. It’s a very minor improvement, as I’m just topping his kibble with these nuggets, but there is a slight difference (mashed banana consistency). Any thoughts on giving him supplemental bone meal? There are human grade options on Amazon, and several reviewers mention it firming up their dog’s stool.
Any and all ideas are welcomed!! Below is a list of things we have tried, and that have failed miserably.
– Limited ingredient diets – fish-based (Merrick, Natural Balance)
– Oat bran
– Canned pumpkin
– Diggin’ Your Dog (dried pumpkin fiber powder)
– Ground flaxseed (Missing Link supplement)
– Psyllium (aka: Metamucil)
Thank you in advance!Tracy MMember
Slippery Elm Bark works great to firm up stools.
I also would add a digestive enzyme and probiotic to the food.
Mercola has a great one as well as well as NaturVet
Another option is to go completely frozen raw and see if that improves the stool.
Maybe try rabbit as a protein.Tracy MMember
Link isn’t right for NaturVet
Hopefully this one works!Kate LMember
My dog has always had loose stools. I now feed him a home prepared diet with the help of Diana Lavadure. (co-author of Nutrigenomics). My dog is fiber responsive. Psyllium does the trick for him. Pumpkin gave him diarrhea. You’ll need to go thru a canine nutritionist to figure out dosage . You can try this on you own, but I’d seek professional help. I would NOT add bonemeal to any commercially prepared dog food of any kind–frozen or canned or otherwise because they factor in the proper dosages of calcium in those foods. Adding extra would unbalance his food. Probiotics and digestive enzymes did not improve the quality of my dog’s stools. Fiber is what did it for him. I feed him one teaspoon of psyllium a day. He is 31 pounds. Tread lightly with additives of any kind.
It could be your dog has food sensitivities since you tried all those things and they didn’t work. finding the food or foods that he is reactive to can be an exhaustive process. Good luck.Allison AMember
It is an exhaustive process, for sure. There was a moment that I thought it could be the fat content of the food, but he had diarrhea with Natural Balance LID Fish and that has 10% fat. Normal-ish stool on Hills Adult light, and that has 9% fat. Obviously that 1% isn’t making that huge of a difference, so it has to be the fiber content.
We slowly titrated up to 3 TABLESPOONS of psyllium a day, which would cause major changes for a 200-lb man, and there was no improvement. All it did was give him gummy stool that he strained to get out, and it was still so mushy that his anal glands started bugging him.
Here are the Hills ingredients:
Chicken Meal, Pea Bran Meal, Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Corn, Powdered Cellulose, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Oil, Lactic Acid, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, L-Lysine, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Oat Fiber, L-Carnitine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Beta-Carotene, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavors, Dried Apples, Dried Broccoli, Dried Carrots, Dried Cranberries, Dried Peas.
I’m trying to figure out which of the fibers in there is the magic bullet. If it’s the corn and wheat that helps his stool but makes him itchy, then that stinks! Beet pulp absorbs a ton of fluid (have experience with that as a component of horse feed), but I haven’t been able to find a quantity of beet pulp for purchase that’s less than 50 lbs.
I have no issue cooking a completely home-prepared diet for him, but if he’s going to need something like kangaroo protein, then a commercially available food is going to be more economical.
I am not a fan of probiotics. A two-week trial gave him explosive diarrhea; same thing with three of my previous dogs. Personally, I have an extensive GI condition, and probiotics have been the worst thing for it. I know some people and animals have great results with them, but that hasn’t been the case in my household.Pamela SMember
my advise would be to fast him for 24 hours (you would be surprised what a 24 hour fast can do for humans and dogs alike) then give probiotics like someone else advised, like Dr. Mercola brand. Also your vet will have a high level probiotic. Then start on food.
I would also try a dog nutritionalist. Seems there is something wrong with his stomach.
Keep posting on various sites someone will probably have an answer.
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