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Thread: Changing Food = Bad Diahrea??

  1. #1
    Senior Member matthew0725's Avatar
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    Dec 2008

    Changing Food = Bad Diahrea??

    We put our puppy on Pedigree Puppy as soon as we brought her home from the breeder... She was fine for the first month and half, well, actually she was always fine... But, it got to the point after a while, that she had TERRIBLE gas EVERY DAY, ALL DAY... it wasnt a fart here a fart there, she just had plain bad gas non-stop...

    I made the mistake of switching her food to find something that didnt give her such bad gas... Well, apparently, according to my wife, the vet, and everyone that hears it, I made a HUGE error by switching her food. For the last week, she has had terrible diaahrea... Poor thing hasnt slept through the night all week, and we're up letting her out literally like 8-10 times a night... It's MISERABLE in our house right now... Now all I hear is how switching a dogs food is the WORST thing you can do, but I was trying to do her a favor and eliminate the gas problem...

    I don't doubt the diagnoses, I just dont get it... Dogs, since the beginning of time, have eaten whatever they can catch... They kill and they eat... It's not the same thing meal after meal... And most people I know give their dogs treats, table scraps (fat trimmings, etc), and whatever else they can throw in a doggy dish to get rid of... So that being the case, how is it that switching a dogs food is such a terrible thing? It just doesnt make sense to me... Throughout history, people havent been portioning out Pedigree or Purina over a dogs life, but the dogs have been fine...

    Any ideas to what we should do? I dont want to slowly introduce the old food back to her, because that food gave her such terrible gas...

    Feeling guilty for getting my dog so miserable, but clueless as to what to do...
    Nothing like Our First Noel
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  3. #2
    Senior Member PureMutt's Avatar
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    Feb 2009

    Re: Changing Food = Bad Diahrea??

    I would try to stay away from Pedigree, a useful website will tell you about all the yucky stuff that's in there, and that may be way she's sick. You can see that they have rated Pedigree one of the worst foods out there. Do some research and find a better food for your budget, you'll be surprised, you'll feed less of the better food, and in most cases, it's economically better.

  4. #3
    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Sep 2007

    Re: Changing Food = Bad Diahrea??

    It's not the new food that's giving her such bad stomach problems. It's the switch. When you switch foods, you need to go slowly and gradually, increasing the proportion of the new food and decreasing the proportion of the old one. The switching can take up to a week depending on how sensitive your dog's stomach is. In the case of my dogs, they seem to have stomachs of steel and can switch foods cold turkey overnight. In the case of some others, they require the switch to be more gradual. Unfortunately, I don't have any scientific explanations to back this up.

    The diarrhoea will go away after some time when her digestive system gets used to the new food. Till then, you can try adding some canned pumpkin (NOT pie filling) to her food to help firm up her stools.

    By the way, both Pedigree and Purina are pretty horrible brands of dog food. Have you considered looking into something better and more nutritious? Pedigree and Purina are full of fillers and preservatives that might satisfy your dog's hunger, but don't contain much of the animal protein that she really needs to thrive. Check out the Whole Dog Journal sticky in this section.
    Life is never dull with a Beagle

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  6. #4
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2007

    Re: Changing Food = Bad Diahrea??

    You do need to mix the new food with the old for several weeks, at least I did with my dogs. I think the food also matters. With my dogs when I switched to Wellness,Orijen or Evo they never had any problems. As a matter of fact on the Evo sometimes the poops were a little too hard, which is more easily fixed. You need to get a small bag of the old food and start mixing 3/4 to 1/4, then 1/2 and 1/2, then 3/4 1/4 the other way. All over a week or two. You have to watch the poops. David

  7. #5
    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Jun 2008

    Re: Changing Food = Bad Diahrea??

    Good times at your house? My dogs didn't get actual diarrhea but loose stool even though I knew about switching food slowly. My old dog's system reacts to a change of 10% of an ingredient that is 1/14 of her cooked food. Since we feed dogs exactly the same day in and day out they get really messed up when we switch foods. Dogs live in the house more often now, back when who knew if the dog had gas or diarrhea?

    If the squirts are real diarrhea [messing in the house and cannot hold it at all] then give the system a rest. No food for at least 12 hours. I used to boil white rice with twice the usual amount of water so it is really mushy with some chicken breast as a bland diet and feed a spoonful every few hours after the fast. Water it down, the more water into the dog the better. Once stool is better then mix the new kibble in a tiny bit at a time until eating only the kibble. Dr Stombeck suggests keeping the dog on the bland diet for quite a while. A week? The mucosa must heal or something. Good stuff but I am not retaining information well reading his book at bedtime. The bland diet is good but dogs get tired of eating no fat so seem to like to go back to kibble. The time the dogs got really sick the chicken and rice got them better but it wasn't until I added some pumpkin that the stool got back to normal. Then I added the bits of kibble.

    If just loose stool then go back to the old kibble. Sounds like loose stool as she is getting outside. The fast might clear things up quicker though - that is a lot of trips per night. I used to keep a canister that held a couple days of kibble in the house so it was easy to transition by putting 4 scoops old, 1 scoop new and feed the canister. Then 3 scoops old, 1 scoop new for the canister, 1/1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 and it should be fine. The stool would always get soft around 1/2 but not diarrhea.

    Look into getting a better food, Petsmart or Petco have better stuff than the grocery store. My local feed store has a terrific selection and boutique shops may surprise you and be cheaper than you thought. Costco sells an enormous dog food bag that is supposed to be okay food for not much money. Read the list of ingredients. Short lesson - NAMED meat sources. NOT poultry or meat. Chicken, beef, lamb. That includes fats, chicken fat is better than poultry or meat fat. Look at the meat and starch sources. Manufacturers 'split' the grain by listing corn, ground corn, corn grits, corn flour separately. Together the grain may add up to more than the meat but splitting puts them lower on the list. So look for more proteins listed than grains. Oh, stuff listed before the fat is all you really needed to be concerned with, below the fat isn't a major nutrient. Good stuff I am sure but not a major source of calories or protein.

  8. #6
    Senior Member 4lilmunchkins's Avatar
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    Feb 2009

    Re: Changing Food = Bad Diahrea??

    I agree, I would give her system a rest for 12 hours and then put her on chicken and rice for a few days. I'd also go to Petsmart and buy some Bene-bac and depending on her weight, give her a tube/tubes of that as well as making sure she is drinking, you might want to pick up some Gatorade at the store, and give that to her. The most dangerous thing when a dog gets diarrhea is for them to get dehydrated so if she will drink something with electrolytes in it, that will help her....

    Once diarrhea starts it can be a vicious cycle with dogs as their internal system gets inflamed and then everything that goes in them upsets it even more so it just keeps happening. Letting her system rest is the best thing you can do right now.

    After that, I'd give the chicken and rice until her stool is firm again and then once you have the kibble you want to put her back on start mixing it in with the chicken and rice very slowly until she is back on whatever food you want to feed her.

    Good luck!

    “He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.”

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Re: Changing Food = Bad Diahrea??

    It will get better. It is not bad to change food, in fact I believe it is a good idea to switch food now and then. But you must do it slowly. Take at least a week, if not two to switch the foods. If you *must* do it quickly take your dog off dog food entirely for a day or two - feeding just mushy white rice and chicken - and then start with the new food. It sort of resets their system.

    For now, try some canned pumpking to firm up the stools and take her off the food and put her on rice and chicken for a few days. Then, slowly add the food back in. Make sure she is drinking water (mix some chicken broth in if you have to) and she will be just fine.

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