My 2 rescue dogs are apparently so conditioned to poor quality dog food that they have problems digesting good quality foods. My dogs are 8 and 9 years old and I’ve had them 3-4 years. They were eating Beneful for a couple of years with no problems but I wanted to switch them to a better quality food.
At the time I was looking to replace Beneful, before I found petfoodadvisor, I was under the impression that Iams was a good food and my dogs did well on it. Stumbling upon dogfoodadvisor I learned that is not so. (Ideally, I want a budget-friendly better quality dog food and have consulted the list on this site.) I then switched them to Taste of the Wild but their stools became soft and/or runny. I do know to gradually switch foods by combining small portions of the new food with the current food, gradually increasing the new food over time. So then I switched them to Blue Wilderness and got the same result. Finally I switched them to Diamond Naturals (this was 3 years after their last recall event and they had made efforts in revamping their processing procedures). There is not a problem with the consistency of their stools on Diamond but the frequency and the associated gas is problematic. Instead of pooping 1 or 2 times a day they both poop multiple times, as many as 5 or 6 times a day. And they have very foul smelling gas. Lately I have been researching dog foods that produce less stool and compiled a list of ingredients to avoid for a more digestible food, thus resulting in less waste. However, when looking back at the previously fed lower quality foods’ (that did not produce a lot of waste or gas and were tolerated well) ingredients I found that a lot of these “bad” ingredients were present. I have tried to pinpoint an ingredient that is in the “better” food that is not in the “less good” food that could be the cause but have not found any. My problem is how am I to feed my dogs a better quality dog food and get the results I’m looking for without having to try all of them? This dilemma makes me want to go back to the “not-so-good” dog foods and just not worry about it. How would you handle it?
Maybe try a limited ingredient food? My dog that has allergies/food sensitivities does well on Nutrisca salmon and chickpea, my old guy with a history of bladder stones does well on Wysong senior (soaked in water overnight).
I also cook up a little lean meat (chicken or beef) and add some to the kibble, add water to the kibble even if you soak it first.
Another thought, how often are you feeding them? See “General Guidelines” in the link I provided, you may find some helpful tips.
I feed them twice a day. Contrary to the recommendation of vitalanimal, my 50 lb. dog could tolerate one feeding per day, but my 25 lb. dog who is extremely food obsessed would not. And due to her food obsession I have to watch her weight very carefully as she tends to gain. She is so hungry all the time that she will scavenge the floors for anything edible often eating bits of paper or anything else. I have even caught her eating her own feces. I have trouble keeping her satiated between meals although a daily bully stick does help somewhat. I suspect I need to put her on a low calorie diet of her own. But the larger dog is the one with the more serious gastric issues So my 2 digestive issues are 1) large dog tends to poop 5 times a day with occassional soft and/or runny stools, and 2) small dog tends to poop 5 times a day, firm to hard stools, and frequent foul gas.
I am now looking into the limited ingredient foods but so far it looks like their ingredient lists are still very long. What I’m mainly looking for is foods with higher digestibility, good enzymes, fewer filler ingredients and by-products, lower in carbs, higher protein content, probiotics, natural preservatives, a digestibility figure of 80% or better. And a good fat-to-protein ratio…which, by the way, I don’t know what that is. What exactly is a good one, and a bad one? DFA tells us the fat-to-protein ratio but doesn’t tell us whether it is good or not.
I might rethink the bully stick, for a dog that has a sensitive stomach….you do know what body part it comes from, right? Greasy, fatty and treated with who knows what. Just saying.
I would give no treats to a dog that was having frequent bowel movements. A healthy dog usually has one or 2 bms a day, in my experience.
I give my senior dog 4 small meals per day, he’s bored and has a little dementia going on, sometimes he goes to the fridg and barks at it? If I ignore him he goes back to his dog bed and naps till the next meal time.
Oh, and my old guy will eat his feces if I am not watching. I have to follow him around when we are out on bathroom breaks and scoop it up right away and discard it, some dogs are like that. He did this even when he was young. Pica.
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