This is a long story, but I’ll try to be concise: we adopted our 7mo old lab mix puppy 1 month ago. Before that, he was fostered by my brother, so we know his history. He has had very soft stools for a long time (I’d say slightly more firm than emoji poop), that vary from slightly softer/harder, but never truly hard, and he was pooping about 5 times/day. There tend not to be any pieces of unprocessed food in them. All of this was on Instinct Large Breed Puppy food, provided by the rescue.
With help from the rescue, we put him on several different dewormers, several probiotics, and finally an antibiotic (metro), but nothing helped the poop. The vet took a fecal sample and found no problems. About 3 weeks ago, he actually started having diarrhea, so I put him on a bland diet (pumpkin, rice, chicken) and it got BAD: became explosive diarrhea. I completely limited his diet (no treats, no peanut butter for pills, nothing else) and it was still bad, even when it was chicken and rice (no pumpkin). After about 4 bad days like this, I decided to try a different bland diet – just chicken and potatoes, and once or twice, egg + potato. This firmed things right up (conclusion = he may be intolerant to rice, but does great with chicken and potato). Within a day, his poop was actually formed and semi firm. He stayed on this diet for about 4 days. Then I decided to try to transition him to dry kibble – Nature’s Domain Puppy (I decide to try this one because it doesn’t have rice). I’ve done this transition veeeery slowly (we are on Day 5 now) and his poop is gradually getting worse again.
The rescue has suggested that while he is not intolerant to chicken (as proven by the chicken and potato bland diet success), he may be intolerant to whatever preservatives are used in chicken kibble. They suggested trying Nature’s Domain Salmon and Sweet Potato. This will be my next attempt, but I’m feeling a bit hopeless. And while I’m hoping this is the answer, I wonder if something else could be going on? The vet has not been helpful, so I’m hoping folks here can provide some suggestions of what to do! And I do want to note that cost and affordability are a definite consideration, so I’d rather not go to expensive limited ingredient foods unless absolutely necessary.
Also, he has not had gas, vomiting, itchyness, lethargy or any other symptoms as far as I can tell – just the soft stool. One more thing to note – diarrhea has somewhat coincided with when he was given topical Revolution, but I’m not sure there is causation there.
Please go to Tractor Supply Co & get a bag of “4Health”Sensitive stomach it is Potato & Egg, the fiber is low 3%max then when he is doing really well for 4-6 months slowly introduce the “4health”Sensitive Skin formula, it has Potato & Hydrolyze Salmon the Salmon protein is hydrolyzed so it’s been broken down & it is easier to digest but the fiber is 4.5%max just see how he goes make sure you SLOWLY introduce any new kibbles if he was doing well on a formula take 10-14 days when introducing any new kibbles & if poos look like they are going soft stop introducing the new kibble back off a bit then try again if poos are sloppy again then take food back for refund if you still have 1/2 a bag or more left, just say he would not eat it, I have found when I start explaining my dog has IBD he’s got diarrhea after eating this food the shop person starts saying “Did you slowly introduce the new food” blar blar blar then they can turn around & say its only money back guaranteed on palability so I just say he’s not eating the kibble now…
alot of dogs with IBD, EPI, Intestinal Stressss do not do well on higher fiber diets so when you add pumkin they get bad diarrhea, stay around 4% max & under for fiber & not too high with protein % stay under 27%-protein & fat stay around 15%-fat & under…
My IBD boy can not eat boiled rice its irritates his bowel & causes diarrhea, but he can eat eat kibbles that have rice ground rice in them, my vet said the boiled rice corners can irritate the bowel..
keep a diary so you can look back if needed….
another really good kibble I use for my IBD boy is “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb, the fiber is low under 4%, stick with limited ingredient formula’s that have Potato & sweet potatoes watch out for Chick Peas/Garbanzo Beans & Lentils as they can cause intestinal stress & are harder to digest, so best not to try a kibble that has Chickpeas & Lentils for now maybe in a year or 2 & make sure the Chickpeas, Garbanzo beans, Lentils are further down the ingredient list…
Rotate between a few different kibbles, once he has been doing really well on the same kibble for over 6months, then slowly rotate a new kibble with around the same amount fiber %, protein %, fat% as the kibble he’s doing well on & around the same Kcals per cup, I stay under 370Kcals per cup, around 340Kcals per cup, the higher the Kcals the more dense the kibble is & harder to digest.
Good Luck keep me posted how he goes if you do try one of the 4Health formula’s or Taste Of The Wild Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb formula, alot of dogs with IBD do really well on these 2 brands…
Unfortunately I don’t have any great words of wisdom or advice but know where you are coming from….. we rescued a 14 month old with not a very positive start – and every time she went out she pooped, almost like she was making herself go and diarrhea. We thought we needed to feed the best food possible and went with some of the higher priced foods but it didn’t stop. Someone here mention getting NutriSource as it was easily digestible, she has done amazing. This won’t help you as I think their entire line has rice in it BUT.. I’m telling you this because this is a great place to get information and it helped me ALOT! Good Luck!
Zignature is a good food.
Pro Plan Focus Sensitve Skin & Stomach Salmon is worth lookiing into, and a bit more reasonable.
I have noted positive results by avoiding all potato.
PS: Nutrisource and Nutrisca (Tuffy) are good, in my experience, however, there have been recent changes within the company.
Thanks to everyone who’s responded.
Susan, thanks for the in depth recommendations, really appreciate you taking the time to talk through all this.
Can you please explain to me why 4Health is the recommended way to go here? Is it because of the low fiber or what specifically makes it the best alternative? I ask more than anything because their sensitive stomach food is not cheap, and unfortunately there is no Tractor Supply store near me, so I wouldn’t be able to return it if it doesn’t sit well with him. I’m definitely willing to try, but I wonder if there are any other foods I could get locally that may be cheaper? Or is 4Health the only one that would fit my needs?
So interesting also with what you say about the rice being ok in the kibble but not just boiled…that’s good to know!
Lastly, it sounds like you are suggesting that my dog may have IBD. Do you think it’s worth going to the vet to confirm this and get a clear diagnosis, or should I just try to follow your guidelines and find a food that works for him?
Kathy, thanks for the encouragement!
Anon101 Unfortunately, as you probably saw from my post, it seems like my dog does really well with potatoes, but not with rice, so I think the Pro Plan is not an option.
Okay, well then.
I suggest that you find a vet that you trust and can work closely with.
PS: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/disclaimer-and-disclosure/ excerpt below
Please be advised that we not veterinarians. For this reason, this website was never meant to be used as a substitute for sound professional advice.
Because the health of your dog can be directly affected by what you read here, you should always consult with a licensed veterinary professional before taking any specific action.
Thanks, Anon101. It’s just tough because he’s already been seen by vets, and they haven’t had anything useful to say. Maybe we just haven’t found the right one….
Ask for a referral to a Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist. It is just like our care nowadays, if your Primary Care Physician has not been helpful within a few months…..
You are going to get all kinds of differing opinions and misinformation on the internet.
Homeopathic views differ greatly from traditional medicine.
I have found that rice is actually hard to digest for dogs with tummy upset however several years ago I started using baby food rice cereal instead it is predigested so I think it is easier for dogs to handle i do that with pumpkin and usually salmon as the add in for protein and probiotic if needed
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by amy r.
Sorry I just saw your email, I’ve been very busy today it’s Thursday, it’s Kill Day at the pound, I help with the sick pound dogs & try & get them out of pounds under duty of care & get them into foster care, people dump their dogs at pounds when they are sick & dying…
Why I recommended “4Health” Sensitive Stomach is cause it is egg & potato & you wrote your dog did really well on cooked Egg & Potato & Chicken, also alot of dogs with intestinal problems do really well on the 4Health sensitive stomach formula cause it’s low in fiber 3%, low in protein & it’s a very easy to digest formula, I just looked up Nature’s Domain Puppy & it has Garbanzo beans (Chickpeas) & Lentils, please stay away from any kibbles that have Chickpeas, Garbanzo Beans or Lentils, dogs that have intestinal problems do not do well on Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) or Lentils they are high in fiber & very hard to digest alot of these grain free foods are using Chickpeas now cause it’s easy to buy cheap bags of chickpeas & lentils & it’s more expensive to buy sweet potatoes so we are seeing chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) Lentils in all these grain free foods now….
Try the Nature Domain Turkey & Sweet Potato formula first if you can get it, Kirkland Natures Domain is made by same pet food company that makes Salmon & Sweet Potato is the same as the Taste Of The Wild Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon formula, I forgot about Kirkland Signature Nature Domain formula’s, my boy did really firm poos on TOTW Pacific Stream Smoked salmon but he kept vomiting the Pacific Stream salmon back up & re eating the kibbles alarm bells went off & I changed him to the TOTW Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb instead. I stay away from any fish kibbles now they seem to have more contaminates & toxins in them, your better off sticking with Turkey & Chicken meats for now till he’s better for a good 6 months & let his bowel healed.
Just make sure you read ingredient lists..
He probably has food sensitivities & has been feed kibbles that have ingredients that are irritating his bowel & causing sloppy poo’s then diarrhea, check for blood when this is happening, he’ll need to be put on Metronidazole agian, food sensitivities can take anywhere from 1 day to 6 weeks for a dog to start reacting with sloppy poos/diarrhea, gas/wind pain & farts, he’s reacting to an ingredient he’s eating in a kibble..
You will work it out it would be good if you can put him back on the Metroniadzole for 14-21 days & feed him the cooked Chicken, Potato & egg again so his bowel can rest & heal or feed the Natures Domain Turkey & Sweet Potatoes kibble just make sure you read the ingredient list on the kibble bag first before you buy it & make sure there’s no garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) or Lentils in the ingredients & he’ll probably do well.
keep me up dated what has happened..
I agree with Susan about trying the Nature Domain Turkey and Sweet Potato. In my experience with food issues over the past few years, your boy is sensitive to something in the Instinct kibble, whether it was too much protein, fat, fiber or grains, but not the chicken. My other girl (not my allergy girl) had soft poos as a puppy like you are describing until I put her on grain free. I have noticed even on grain free she needs a lower fiber food (4% or under) or she starts going more frequently and it gets softer. We also have to stay away from chickpeas–green peas are fine.
Your comment about the diarrhea coinciding with the Revolution is an important point-trust your instinct. Even though it is a topical, it still gets absorbed into the bloodstream (and the gut). You may want to try using just a plain heartworm preventative like Heartguard without any additives for worms and parasites. If possible, try a plain flea product, like Advantage, without anything for ticks. (I found that I only need to use it every other month to control fleas during the warm months.) This all depends on your environment what you can limit, but I would look at options other than Revolution until you get your boy’s gut healed. The ingredients in Revolution could be part of the cause of the sensitivities, or a side effect since the gut is not healthy.
Quick update before I respond to specific posts: As of yesterday morning, I stopped the Nature’s Balance Puppy Chicken and Pea, and started mixing 1 cup of a new food into his chicken and potatoes two times a day. It’s the Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish. So far his poop is staying nice and solid, so fingers crossed! The only reason I tried this food instead of what folks recommended is that I had a small bag of it sitting in the garage, so I figured it’s worth a shot before I buy other foods. However, I could not sustain giving him this food long term, it’s SO expensive! It also seems to comply with most of Susan’s recommendations – no garbanzos, lentils, etc., fairly low fiber and fat, etc.
Your info is so helpful, thanks so much. As you suggested, I will try the Nature Domain Turkey & Sweet Potato next, I think.
Please forgive me but I have a few more questions:
-you mention the 6 month mark, so does that mean that sometimes those sensitivities go away and in the future I may be able to feed him foods that he can’t currently have?
-I thought the metro was an antibiotic for bacterial infections, right? So why do you think it would help to put him back on that if it’s just a sensitivity? And should I do it regardless, or should I only do it if his poop goes back to really soft once I start incorporating the turkey kibble?
Thanks again for the help and thanks for all you do at the pound!!
Thanks for chiming in as well! I hear you on the Instinct kibble, but if that was it, then I wonder why his poop would’ve gotten worse on a bland chicken and rice diet, and why when I started incorporating Nature’s Domain Puppy, it would’ve gotten worse?
Thanks for the tips on the flea stuff. Do you think Sentinel (Oral) would be better since it addresses fleas and heartworm? Or maybe do pet armour for fleas and an oral heartworm preventative?
Thanks again for everyone’s help!
the 6 month mark is time to let his bowel heal & get healthy again from having diarrhea & a irritated bowel from having food intolerance, the Metronidazole helps heal the bowel, Metronidazole is an antibiotic & an anti inflammatory excellent when the stomach & bowel is inflammed. Once you find a kibble you want to feed just feed that for 4-6months, my vet recommends 9-12 months, that was after Patch had diarrhea blood…. I dont think his food intolerance/sensitivities will go away, Patches haven’t, I ended up doing an Elimination food diet to work out what Patch can eat, he has a few food sensititivies…
Hopefully your boy will get better now you, just read labels what is in treat biscuits as well & use the dry kibble as treats for training…
Oh there’s 1 thing the Natural balance Fish & Sweet Potato he’s eating at the moment has NO peas or probiotics, so when you try Kirklands Nature Domain Turkey & Sweet Potato formula, his poos may go a bit soft then maybe they won’t, just introduce over new kibble over 10 days he might be OK with peas my boy is & there’s probiotics in Natures Domain to keep their gut healthy, if his poos start going a bit soft just add less new kibble & more of the old kibble & stay on that amount of new kibble a few days longer & add more of his old kibble…..
With your boy’s gut already irritated and inflamed from something in the Instinct, the rice irritated it more. Neither one of my girls can tolerate rice in kibble or when it is double cooked in water and time. As Susan mentioned before, once his gut gets healed he may or may not be able to tolerate rice. When it comes to food issues, it really is a matter of experimenting to see what they can tolerate.
My girls actually do good with the LID Natural Balance foods because of the low fiber, but I knew you did not want the expense so the Nature’s Domain looks like a good option. (If I had a Costco close to me, it is a food I would try). My girl with just the grain intolerance actually eats half Wellness Simple Turkey and half NB Duck and Potato–the fiber in Wellness is a little too high so I cut it with NB.
As far as the Sentinel, I used it all the time 10 years ago with my previous girls and then it was discontinued. When they brought it back 4 years ago, I decided to try it again instead of Heartguard, but after the first dose, their fur became very dull and dry (they are both black cockers). Our vet mentioned how bad their coats looked and wanted to know what I had changed and it turned out to be due to the Sentinel. I found this out when I took them off of it for the winter, and the shine returned to their coats. I did try giving another dose a few months later, and the same thing happened so it obviously did not agree with either one. I know there are a lot of people who use it without any problems at all. My best advise is if you want to try it just watch for reactions like you have done with the Revolution. After what I have been through with these girls with food problems, I limit as much exposure to heartworm and flea products as possible–I do not use any more than what is necessary. I keep my yard sprayed with Wondercide so they are not exposed to a lot of fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. You just need to use your judgement as to what is necessary in your environment. When you are dealing with a food issue, it is easier when you do not have other sources that may be contributing factors.
Keep us updated if you get a chance.
I am so grateful to everyone for taking the time to respond.
We are on day 3 of incorporating the LID sweet potato and fish into the potatoes and chicken and his poop looks amazing! Any suggestions on how long to keep him on this before trying to switch to nature’s domain turkey and sweet potato?
One other question: he is SO hungry all the time. Originally he was not a major eater, but I think because he loves the home cooked food so much, he wants to eat tons of it. I’m also a bit concerned because he hasn’t gained any weight in 4 weeks and he should still be growing at this age. I don’t know how to figure out how much food to give him. If I gave him all he wanted, I’m sure he’d eat and eat until he threw up. Any suggestions would be great.
I would feed the Natural Balance Fish & Potato for 4-6 months to let his Gi tract settle & heal or start him on the the brand that is cheaper, the Kirklands Natures Domain Turkey Sweet Potato formula this way you have some of the Natural Balance Fish & Potato formula to introduce with the kibble & just feed that kibble for 4-6months then once he seems stable rotate between a few different brands with a different protein source… & make sure they do not have Chickpeas & Lentils..
He’s probably growing it’s called “growth spurt” it happens between 8-12months old, google Growth Spurts in dogs….
You could give him a meaty raw bone, no cooked bones, this way he chewing & keeping busy & he’s eating something & you could feed him 3 smaller meals a day instead of just 2 larger kibble meals a day, that will keep him feeling fuller.
I follow “Rodney Habib” on his face Book page watch his videos, his vidoe’s are quick & to teh point & really good, he recommends blueberries, apple, healthy whole foods added as a topped to kibble fed dogs I give the toppers as a treat instead, if your dog likes cooked food instead then feed him cooked meals & try & feed less kibble he’ll be healthier….
The only problem I have with fish kibble they are higher in toxins & contamintes.
Have a look at *********** Project 2nd test study on kibbles, wet foods & treats, alot of the expensive brands some of their formula’s came back very high in Toxins & Acrylamides & BPA & BPS… Kirkland had a few formula’s, so did TOTW & I think Nature Balance had a few brands high in toxins, you’ll have to look thru & see which formula’s only got 1-2 stars
here’s the link below click on it, read thru then scroll back up & look to your left & click on “Dry Dog Foods” you’ll see all the 5 star foods then go to pages 11 thru to 16 is teh start to all the bad 1 star brands & the formula’s that tested very high in toxins. Just stay away from these formula’s if you can…..
The last 2 Summers I’ve been rotatating Patches kibbles to a fish kibble cause he has skin allergies in Spring & Summmer months & fish formula’s are higher in Omega 3, my vet & I couldn’t work out why poor Patch was doing really well thru the Winter months then after I started feeding him new fish formula’s that didnt have any ingredients he is sensitive too “Wellness” Complete Health, White Fish & Sweet Potato, he got sloppy poos & was unwell, so I put him back on his TOTW Roasted Lamb formula he was good again then I introduuced & tried “Earthborn Holistic” Ocean Fusion after 1-2 months later he became ill again, same with “Holistic Select” Salmon it took 3 months he became sick & wouldnt touch his food if ever your dog wont eat a kibble dont make him, take the food back, I keep all my recipts, then I tried the TOTW Pacific Stream Salmon formula which is the Kirkland Nutures Domain Salmon & Sweet Potato formula, he kept vomiting up the TOTW Salmon, then last April *** released their first ever pet food testing & I was shocked there were 3 of the foods I feed Patch in the top 10 worse pet kibbles all these formula’s tested very high in toxins, now *** has just relesed their 2nd test 1 week ago join & get their emails click on link below also on your left click on “Brand Report Cards”
Some people say *** is this & that, all they want is money, yes they need donation to test pet & baby foods that’s how we get it for free.
My dog & other people dogs have been very sick after eating these 4 & 5 star brands that DFA gives & they have tested very high in toxins, when you go & look at these brands up in the DFA “Reviews” section, read all people’s post, my dog is sick, my dog died, my dog has diarrhea, I know some dogs may have health problems but there’s some foods like TOTW’s High Prairie formula where a heap of dogs became very sick all of a sudden after eating the TOTW High Prairie & Pacific Stream formula’s these formula’s both tested very high in toxins in *** 2nd testing…
I’d rather be safe then sorry & when you have a dog with a sensitive stomach & bowel these’s are the dogs that become very sick first, Purina rated good with some of their formula’s but some of Purina’s formula’s didnt rate good at all, like Purina’s Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach formula it rated 3rd worse formula with the higest amount of Toxins.. there’s more information on different pet foods on *********** Project F/B page…
Im staying away from fish pet foods, I buy human tin salmon in spring water give that as a small meal with sweet potato for Patch
Susan may have better information as to how long to wait before trying the Nature’s Domain, but here are my thoughts. The LID food is formulated for adult dogs whereas Nature’s Domain is formulated for All Life Stages and also claims to be appropriate for growing large breeds. I think the sooner you can transition to Nature’s Domain the better. Since you are already feeding a salmon based food that appears to be working, the transition may go smoother going to the Nature’s Domain Salmon first before trying the Turkey. You said you are in day 3 but what is the home cooked to kibble ratio?
It does not surprise me that he has not gained weight in the past month, since food has not been staying in his system long enough to absorb all the nutrients. If you do not know how many calories a day is suggested, you might ask the rescue. Other option would be to look at the bag of Natures Domain (or get on the website) and see how many cups of food are recommended for his age and weight, and convert to calories. Then figure up how many calories you are actually feeding with the home cooking and the LID kibble added in. If you need help with this, just let me know how much and what type of chicken, potatoes and kibble you are feeding and his weight. I feed my allergy girl a mixture of THK base mix, home cooked protein and a few kibbles and I have spreadsheets setup to keep track of the calories.
Thanks again to everyone for all the info! I hear both of you on the reasons to choose the Salmon food (continuation of the current protein) or the Turkey food (the fish one might have more toxins). I’ll have to weigh the good and the bad and make some decisiosn. A few quick responses:
-Susan, on the bones – I have some raw beef bones that I gave him about 1.5 months ago. It sort of coincided with his belly issues, so I have some hesitation whether raw bones could have contributed. What are your thoughts? Do you think it’s ok to give raw bones to a 7mo old puppy with some tummy issues? Or should I wait until we’re totally in the clear? And in regards to Rodney Habib, I’ll check him out. As to the healthy treats/toppers, shall I wait to give him those until his tummy is more sorted? I wonder if raw carrots or things like that may do more harm than good at this point.
-CockalierMom, thanks for the recommendation of calculating calories. I took some time to do that yesterday, and seems like I’ve been feeding him exactly the right amount, maybe even a bit on the high side. Given all that, he still seems super hungry. Should I give him more food? He does get quite a bit of exercise. We are on day 5 of the LID food, and he is getting 2.5 cups of that per day, as well as 1.5lbs potato, and .5lbs chicken (more info below). Great point about the LID not being All Life Stages, I hadn’t considered that.
We are on day 5 of the LID food, and he is getting 2.5 cups of that per day, as well as 1.5lbs potato, and .5lbs chicken (more info below). Maybe this week, I’ll start incorporating some of the Nature’s Domain into it and seeing if his poop continues to be ok. One thing to me that seems strange about his poop is that in the morning and early afternoon, he has great solid poop. Towards the end of the day, the poop gets much softer (though never to the point that I’d call diarrhea). I’m not totally sure what to attribute this to. Maybe he processes food more quickly during the day and it doesn’t get fully processed by the time he poops it out? Also, (sorry if this is TMI) when his poop starts coming out, it’s quite solid, but towards the end of the poo, it is much more soft. Also, he is pooping very frequently still, about 5-6 times per day. It’s not like he urgently needs to go, but we take him on lots of walks, and he always takes advantage of being outside to poop.
On a different note, we’ve run into another problem. Before, his food used to be out all day, but now that it’s perishable because I’m cooking it, he gets specific feeding times and amounts. He’s become a bit possessive of his food, which he’s never been before :-/ He allows us to touch and move his bowl without a problem, but he starts growling if we pet him while he’s eating, especially if we touch his paws or tummy. I am trying to combat this by doing some handfeeding so he understands the food comes from us, as well as holding his bowl while he eats and stroking him, even if he growls. I have zero fears about him actually biting, but I welcome more feedback on whether I’m addressing this correctly, and what else I should be doing to combat this behavior. He doesn’t do this with anything else…not bones, not his favorite toys, etc.
I am responding, only because I am concerned about your dog.
Please take my advice and find a vet that you trust and can work with.
Best of luck.
In the meantime: NO BONES
NO FREE FEEDING, DO NOT LEAVE FOOD DOWN AFTER 10 MINUTES, PICK UP THE FOOD AND STORE IN THE FRIDG, OFFER AT THE NEXT MEALTIME
YOUR PUP IS FOOD AGGRESSIVE
DO NOT GET IN HIS FACE WHEN HE IS EATING. STAY AT LEAST 5 FEET AWAY FROM HIM WHILE HE IS EATING AND DO NOT TOUCH HIM!
PS: If I am right, and the dog bites you. Let’s say you go to Urgent Care or wherever for treatment.
The doctor that sees you is obligated by law to contact your local animal control officer.
You have an aggressive breed, so they may not cut you a break.
I have been to Urgent Care for dog bites, I know what I am talking about. It’s not worth the aggravation. Ask your vet for a referral to a dog trainer, if it is within your means.
Food aggression is a personality trait, if you are aware of it and take the proper precautions, it’s manageable.
Thanks, anon. I appreciate your concern, though I feel a bit differently about the situation than you do.
Well, I hope what I have said helps someone else. Aggression is the #1 reason dogs end up in the pound.
Yes, thank you for your input.
If he is still not gaining weight, I would increase his food even though you said calories are there.
The soft poo at the end and frequency could be due do not enough gut bacteria especially since the food he is eating does not contain probiotics. I occasionally have that issue with my grain intolerant girl. I used to give the girls pet probiotics, but I have found that kefir seems to populate the gut faster and better than everything I have tried in the past. Also, when you consider the price of pet probiotics, kefir is a lot cheaper. I use Lifeway Plain Kefir that I buy at my regular grocery store.
I would personally try a few more days to get the poo less frequent and more consistent firmness before starting the Nature’s Domain. (Since he is a large breed I do think the transition needs to be done fairly soon to meet his growing needs.) If you want to try kefir, start with 1 tablespoon once a day and see what happens, and if necessary twice a day. I give 30 or 40 minutes before a meal–if he gets runny during the transition, mix the kefir with his food or give to him right before he eats.
When you used to leave his food out, did you try to touch or pet him while he was eating?
Yes Patch was the same when I first rescued him & he was put on a vet diet for his IBD his first 2 poo’s were nice & firm then his 3 & 4th poos would get softer & softer, vet said some dogs digest & poo food out 10-12 hours after eating, so I started to add 1 spoon boiled orange pumkin with his 7am breakfast meal so I could tell what poo was what meal & yes he was pooing out his 7am breakfast meal at 5pm, 10 hours later, then over 3 year period of rotating & trying different kibbles & introducing different foods, elimination diets etc I strengthen his gut & it became more healthy…..
“Canidae” & “TOTW” Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb kibbles made his poos the firmest & he always poos at the same time on our walks, but if he eats something or I start introducing a new kibble that doesn’t agree with him then 10-12 hours later he’s up 11pm or 1am 2am doing a very sloppy poo or diarrhea.. That’s when I worked out he can NOT eat Lentils or Chickpeas especially when they are 2nd, 3rd 4th ingredient he was up 11pm stressing out wanting to go out but didnt poo then he’d come back inside go back to bed, then 1 hour later woke me up again stressing out really bad the Lentils & Chickpeas must cause very bad wind pain then bad diarrhea…. I tried Artemis Osopure new Turkey & Garbanzo beans formula the fiber was 5.5% & had Garbanzo beans & Lentils never again all I introduce under 1/4 of a cup & the 2nd night he was up with bad pain & diarrhea, the online pet store gave me a refund & said give the food to someone you know so I gave it to my vet to try on her dog…
I would start introducing Kirklands Natures Domain Turkey & Sweet Potato & he might stop doing 5 poo’s a day, maybe the Natural Balance has too much fiber?? more fiber, more poo’s, can you get the orange sweet potatoes? you could boil 1/2 Sweet potato & 1/2 white potato & cause the Sweet potato is orange you might see this in his poo, his poo will be more orange in colour then the other poo’s then you can work out how long he’s taking to digest & past that meal, even if you buy a bag of frozen or tin corn kernals & add about 1 spoon of corn kernals to only his 1st morning meal & then you’ll see the undigested corn in his poo & you’ll know oh there’s breakfast & add how many hours its taking him to digest a meal…the corn might firm his poo’s or like Patch corn makes his poos very soft, some of the wet canned vet diets he has eaten had corn in them & I’d see the corn & sloppy poo’s.
Another reason Patch didn’t gain weight & stayed very lean was walks, we were doing 4 big walks a day, so he’d poo, now I’ve worked out what food makes him poo more or less we just do 10-15min walks only 2 walks a day or some days 3 walks 3 poo’s a day, he does his 7.30 & 5pm walk & poo’s everyday & if I feed him TOTW for all his 4 meals he does 3 firm poos a day but when I only feed 2 of his larger meals TOTW & feed the other smaller meals Hills Sensitive Skin kibble or cooked meal or wet tin foods Patch just does 2 poos a day, so different kibbles cooked etc does make them poo less or more….
RE: Dog Food aggression….. We have a rescue that growls when you touch her head while eating but we can put our hand in her food and she’ll eat around it, if she has a treat we can actually take it out of her mouth so although probably the wrong method we feed her, let her eat and if she had anything left in her bowl (rare) we put it up until the next feeding.
Thanks again for all the thoughts. CockalierMom – the kefir is a good idea. I’ve been giving him probiotics too, but I don’t know if they’re helping. I don’t know if the poo will ever get less frequent because he’s never pooped less than 5 times/day as far as I know. On the bright side, his poop has been consistently firm yesterday and today, so I’m crossing my fingers.
To answer Cockalier Mom’s question: “When you used to leave his food out, did you try to touch or pet him while he was eating?” Yup, we did and he was totally fine. But now that food is not constantly available, I think he’s a bit more possessive of it.
Susan – great tips, I’ll try the corn suggestion. The one thing that’s not clear to me – once I know how long it takes him to digest, what will that tell me? So if it’s 5 hours or 10 hours, what does that actually mean in terms of what I should do for him? What’s normal? Also, I hear you on lentils and chickpeas. What about peas and pea protein…is that usually just as problematic?
Kathy B – that’s exactly how he is now! We can take the tastiest bone out of his mouth, his favorite toy, take away his bowl, put our hands in his food and he doesn’t care. But if we touch him, especially the front paws, while he is eating, he growls a bit.
Since his poo is now getting consistently firm, that means good bacteria is starting to populate his gut but it will take a little longer for the bacteria to become more established–when that happens you will probably only see 2 or 3 poos a day. I started using kefir after I told one of the vets that I did not think the probiotics I was using were helping and he suggested adding either goats milk or kefir. In my case, instinct was correct and the probiotics were just aiding in digestion and not getting established in her gut. It made a huge difference when I started giving kefir 40 minutes before she eats.
Since he wasn’t like this before I think the “possessive” behavior may be coming from the fact that he is hungry. He knows the food comes from you and your hands, but when you touch him while he is eating, he may not perceive that touch as coming from you-his eyes and brain are focused on the food dish-not his surroundings. Rather than touching him, try giving him a command, such as sit and then immediately release him to go back to eating.
Re: Food Aggression http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/how-i-treat-food-related-aggression-dogs excerpt below. Hope this helps someone.
Another common suggestion is to sit with a hand in the pup’s bowl as it eats, thus getting it habituated to the close presence of people during meal times. Once again, a dog with a nervous temperament or a high food drive may consider this action too threatening and become sensitized (more reactive) instead of habituated (less reactive) to the situation.
Some clients may appreciate that these situations are analogous to dining out with an overeager waiter who hovers around the table and attempts to remove your plate when you take a brief respite from eating. If the waiter does this with each course, you may become tense every time the waiter approaches your table, even if it is only to refill your water or breadbasket. In fact, you may alter your body posture to guard your plate, especially the dessert! While it is unlikely that most people would lash out at the waiter, it is not improbable for the diner to complain to the maitre d’ or leave a minimal tip. The dog’s communication tools are limited and less inhibited by social etiquette, so aggression may be the equivalent response from the dog toward the owner who is threatening its meal.
Cockalier mom – I will try the kefir! As to telling him to sit while he is eating, that’s a no go 🙂 He’s too excited about his food! On the other hand, if I pick up the bowl and tell him to sit, then he will.
Anon101 – appreciate your input. We do put our hands in his bowl while he eats, and he really couldn’t care less, as long as we don’t try to touch his paws.
Unrelated question: I cannot for the life of me figure out how to edit my profile image. Any tips?
Scroll down the bottom you’ll see “Contact Us” click on it, then all these links come up, it’s the first link… yes Photo please of your pup, is his name Atlas? 🙂
Thanks! Yup, his name is Atlas. That Gravatar thing seems too complicated for right now, so I’ll just share a link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Q50jedeAOcFPGKcp2
He’s beautiful & has real shiney black coat, when he’s fully grown he’ll start to fill out more….
Not sure if you saw my question a few posts above in regards to what knowing the digestion time will actually tell me? Basically, if I know how long he’s taking to digest food, how will that influence what I do for him?
Atlas is a handsome boy!
The vet will know does your dog need foods that will slow down his transit time or does the dog need more foods with insoluble fiber that bulk up the poo & take out the water & slow down the digestion transit, vegetables, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoili, kale, beets, corn & the skin of peas have more insoluble fiber then soluble fiber….then there’s dietery fiber found on chickpeas, (Garbanzo Beans) Lentils, lima beans, pinto beans are very high in dietary fiber… it gets a bit confussing, here’s a link below might explain better..
Patch & I’m pretty sure Atlas doesn’t do too well on too many soluble fiber foods like rice, oats, barley, rye, bananas or dietary fibers foods like chickpeas, lentils, Patch can have a few soluble fiber foods in a kibble but then he needs foods that have insoluble fiber aswell in the kibble like potatoes & sweet potatoes, they have more insouble fiber then soluble fiber…
InkedMarie, thanks for the compliment!
Thanks, Susan. I guess I need to find a better vet. The one I just took him to last week just said “well, I guess you have to keep doing trial and error with different foods.” It didn’t sound like she knew the first thing about fibers or any of that.
As of yesterday, I’m putting a bit of the Nature’s Domain Turkey and Sweet Potato in Atlas’ food. His poo this morning was softer, but I’m crossing my fingers that it’s not related to the new food. Yesterday I put a quarter cup of the new food in his food in the morning and another quarter cup at night. This morning I gave him half a cup of the new food mixed in with the old. Does that seem like a gradual enough transition or am I pushing it too fast? And if his poo does get softer, should I just assume the food doesn’t work for him and take him off it, or should I keep him on it (without increasing the proportion) to see if his belly gets used to it?
“well, I guess you have to keep doing trial and error with different foods.”
Exactly! Blanket statements regarding diet and veterinary care don’t work. Every dog is different.
PS: I didn’t want to say anything but check the link you provided, there is something there I am not sure you wanted out there, if you know what I mean. I would have sent you a PM but I don’t see that option.
I did ask a moderator to check with you? But it doesn’t appear that happened.
The softer poo is related to the new food, but not necessarily that it will not work-it is too soon to know at this point. He had just become consistently firm with the food he is eating and think back how many days he was on the LID before that happened–his belly has been through a lot in the past month. I would go less and slower–such as a quarter cup to one meal for 2 days, and if he is ok then add quarter cup to 2 meals a day for 2 days, then do another quarter cup increase to one of the meals and so on. Have you added any kefir yet?
On another note, thanks for posting the picture-he has a soft spot in my heart now. My cocker that is grain intolerant has almost the same markings black with a chest that is almost all white and 3 paws that are white. If you decide to try Sentinel, please let me know if it turns his coat dull.
CockalierMom – thanks, I’ll try what you said and go slower (and will keep folks updated here as well!). I haven’t tried the kefir yet, but will purchase some this weekend. Do you know how much kefir I should give? And if you are giving kefir before mealtime, how are you administering it? I would’ve thought to mix it with the food…
PS I’ve decided to forego the sentinel for now.
slow & steady in the beginning with Patch, I used the new kibble as treats for 2 days then on the 3rd day I only added under 1/4 of a cup for 3 days to 1 cup old kibble then if poos looked good then I started to add 1/4 of a cup, I gave 1/4 cup with each meal for 3 days, the I added 1 heaped 1/4 of a cup for 2 days & just kept look at his poos making sure poos were good, then I stay on 1/2 new kibble & 1/2 old kibble for 1 week before I introduce any more of the new kibble… 3-4 years ago 1 year after I rescued Patch he was having skin problems from the vet diet kibble he was eating for his IBD his poos were firm but it wasnt grain free & he must of been sensitive to an ingredient causing itchy yeasty smelly paws & skin so I tried a vet diet Eukanuba FP Fish & Potato, all I added was under 1/4 of a cup for 2 days to his other kibble then 2nd night Patch was up all thru the night with really BAD diarrhea every 2 hours the vet & I thought he cant eat potatoes & for 2 yrs I couldn’t try any kibbles that had Potato, then one day I was at a pet shop & the lady at the pet shop said why can’t he eat potato, I’ve never heard a dog getting diarrhea from potatoes, I’m a breeder I breed Border Collies & show them, I had a dog with IBD & potato firmed up his poo’s, she was a very pushing lady lol then I told her what had happened & she said it could have been the fish or a supplement in the Eukanuba FP kibble you dont really know, she said start adding a little cooked boiled potato with Patches meal cause he might be able to eat potato & he was fine, so I went back to the pet shop & tried the TOTW & Patch did really good firm poos the first time in 2 yrs his poos stayed firm & didnt go soft some days, like they were doing on teh vet diet the vet wanted him on & now after seeing *********** Testing I think it could have been the fish, it was probably high in toxins or something else was wrong with the Eukanuba FP kibble, I have never seen Patch that bad since he had pooed blood all night & vet said stop all food for for 24-36hrs & let his stomach bowel rest, then he was put on another vet diet with Metronidazole for 21 days that made his skin itch & smell.. Sometimes some vets don’t have a clue & just put the dog on vet diets & meds (steriods) I didnt have a clue & thought they’re a vet they’d know more then me about diarrhea, now finally Patch has 2 really good vets one the lady vet is more a holistic vet & the other vet he specializes in the stomach/bowel & does Endoscopes biopsies & few other things..
My vet told be it’s OK if their poos are softer some days as long as they don’t stay sloppy/diarrhea… If Patch is eating the same brand kibble & I’m not introducing a new kibble & he’s was doing well on his old kibble then all of a sudden his poos startéd to go sloppy I wait 2 days & see if poos go good again & if on 3rd day Patches poos still look sloppy smelly awful I put him back on the Metronidazole tablets for 14-21 days, something has put his good bacteria out of wack & he has more bad bacteria then good bacteria….
My girls are 20 lbs, and the vet told me I could add a tablespoon a day but a teaspoon is all that was needed for the transition. (I found out too much kefir will firm the poo too much.) Since Atlas is bigger and eats more food, I would start with a tablespoon once a day and see how it goes for a couple of days. If after a couple of days his poo is still soft or starts out firm and gets softer during the day, I would give a tablespoon twice a day. My girls love the kefir, and I just put it in their bowl and they lick it up immediately and then stand there licking an empty bowl for another minute. It is fine to mix the kefir with the food, especially during the transition, but long term for getting bacteria better established in the gut it works better 30 to 40 minutes before the meal.
Wanted to share an update: we are now on day 5 of the Nature’s Domain transition. I am up to 2/3 cup twice a day + approx .5 cup that I feed as treats (in addition to 1.5 cups of the LID food and chicken and potatoes). His poo is definitely much softer. It’s still “formed,” but now coming out more like narrow “sausages” rather than bigger rounder “balls.” He is also still going about 5 times a day. How do I determine if this is ok and part of the transition or if he has a sensitivity to something in the food?
I started adding Kefir, but I’m reconsidering this. Considering the poo is softer, it’s hard to know if it’s the new food or maybe he is sensitive to dairy? Maybe I should only alter one thing at a time so I can pinpoint the issue.
I’d give up the kefir, but then I abstain from all dairy products (myself and pets) cow milk is for calves, goat milk is for kids, etc.
Of course the homeopathic crowd will have differing opinions.
Less is more. Keep it simple. And I stand by my previous recommendation, no potato.
Zignature is the best kibble I have ever found.
I was wondering how Atlas was going, I’ve never tried Kefir before I drink “Yakult” probiotic drink & give Patch about 1/4 of the Yakult drink that only about 4 tablespoon in a bowl, if I remember, the Kefir will help make Atlas digestive tract healthy & make his immune more stronger it just takes time 1-2 weeks to work….
I think you’ve answered your own question lol maybe stop giving the Kefir for now, then once you have introduced the new Natures Domain Turkey kibble then start giving some Kefir again, do you have the Yakult probiotic small drinks in America? they’re in the dairy section at supermarket you get 5 small pink drinks? or another really good dog probiotic is Purina Fortifloria powder, they tested about 10 dog probiotics products that are being sold on the market & out of the 10 dog probiotics only 3 dog probiotics came back with live cultures the rest were a waste of money, the Purina Forti Floria was one of the good probiotics with live cultures….Patch was put on Protexin Soluble yellow label probiotic when I first got him but I dont think you have Protexin in America, it’s expensive around $60 for 1-2 months & has to be kept in the fridge that’s how you know a good probiotic they need to be stored in the fridge…Probiotics make Patch feel sick when he takes them, it’s called the “Die Off Period” it can take about 1-2 weeks to feel good & feel the probiotic working, probiotics do firm up Patches poo’s but he starts doing his mouth licking & swollowing sometimes so he only gets some of my Yakult some days if I remember, if it didn’t make him feel sick he’d be waiting for me to give him some but he doesnt with my Yakults, no more so I gave up given him probiotics….Patch has 2 vets for his IBD his regular vet Sue, she is all for taking probiotics & then there’s Simon his other vet that does his Endoscope & biopsies he prefers PRE-biotics, chicory root, beet pulp, garlic are Prebiotics, I think Nature’s Domain kibble has Chicory root in the ingredients. I know TOTW has dried Chicory Root….
Patches vet said as long as the poo is coming out formed then it’s OK to be a bit soft… give it time it can take anywhere from 1 day up to 1 month when introducing a new kibble for the dog to get use to the new food & his poos to firm up, if you do see poos looking really sloppy like a cow patties on the ground then stop adding more of the new kibble slow right down & go back to adding what he was eating when poos were good….
How you’ll know something is wrong & new food isn’t going well & he’s sensitive to an ingredient, you’ll get woken up by Atlas 12am, 3am or 5am & Atlas will be really stressed wanting to go outside urgently, that’s how you’ll know something is wrong but so far everything sounds good.
I’m just wondering if you stopped the cooked chicken & cooked potatoes for now will he po less? & just feed & slowly introduce the Kirkland Natures Domain Turkey & Potato kibble with the Natural Balance kibble & see if poos firm up…..
I always hear Patches vet in my head saying, Susan remember only try 1 new thing at a time & add it slowly, then when poos are nice & firm then you can start adding another new thing otherwise we won’t know what is causing the sloppy poos or diarhea….
Thanks for all the input! I don’t think we Yakult here, or at least I have never seen it. Atlas did take foritflora for several weeks, but I don’t think it helped. Do you remember what the other probiotics were that they found to be effective?
As to him getting up and needing to go urgently in the night, that has only ever happened with rice (when I gave him the chicken/rice bland diet). Otherwise, even with the other foods it was never that severe. It was quite runny, maybe sort of like frozen yogurt consistency, but he didn’t have crazy urges at random times. So do you think that means he didn’t have a sensitivity?
He is still getting some chicken and potatoes, though not much. I’d say now 2/5 of his meal is chicken and potato, 2/5 is the LID salmon kibble, 1/5 is the new Nature’s Domain food. Today he pooped SEVEN times. In the morning it was quite hard and good, later in the day it got much softer, though never runny.
Ugh…finding it hard to feel optimistic, but if it can take up to a month for his tummy to adjust, I’m going to need to stay positive!
Thanks for all the help!
Ugh, I’m feeling defeated this morning.
We are on day 8 of mixing in the Nature’s Domain Turkey and SP, and his poop this morning was very runny. Not quite diarrhea, but pretty close. Today I gave him .75 cups of that food mixed in with the LID food and potatoes/chicken.
I’m back to wondering the same thing as before: how do I know if he has a sensitivity to something in the food vs. this just being a symptom of his body adjusting. Basically, do I still with it, and maybe give him slightly less of the Nature’s Domain (he seemed to be relatively ok at .5 cups twice/day) or am I just wasting time and energy and making him miserable by continuing to force a food that he can’t tolerate? Advice appreciated, as before!
Thanks all and please send positive vibes. I’m getting so disheartened!
Find a new vet if your current vet has not been helpful, or, copied from my previous post:
” Ask for a referral to a Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist. It is just like our care nowadays, if your Primary Care Physician has not been helpful within a few months…..
You are going to get all kinds of differing opinions and misinformation on the internet.
Homeopathic views differ greatly from traditional medicine.”
The first thing you need is an accurate diagnosis, not advice from anonymous strangers on the internet.
If your dog is sick you are wasting time here listening to amateurs, myself included.
Anon101, believe me that I am doing that too. However, the more information I can get the better. I read your post the first time, I expressed gratitude, but at this point the vet alone is not cutting it, and sometimes learning from the experience of other dog owners is just as helpful.
I don’t agree, the dog owners you speak of have not examined your dog, plus you have already tried their recommendations with poor results.
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