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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, we have had Zoey for about 4 months now and she has had consistently soft stools every since we've had her. When we got her from the humane society she was eating Science Diet puppy and we got a small bag to take home with her. After about a week I started transitioning her to TOTW High Prairie Puppy. She was on that for almost 8 weeks, and from what I can remember her stool was ok, but not great. After that she was transitioned to Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice Puppy, ate that for about 6 weeks. She had a dry coat and soft stools. So I decided to try TOTW Pacific Stream Puppy. Well them TOTW was recalled and I was back and forth on if I should keep her on it or not because our bag was recalled and finally decided to take it back and switched her cold turkey to Nature's Variety Prairie Chicken and Brown Rice (which is what Luke was eating at the time). Her coat is nice and shiny, she seems less itchy than she has in the past, but still has the soft stools.

Sorry for the novel, but the NVP Chicken is almost gone and I'm not sure what I should do. She's been eating it for 4 weeks now and its the constant soft stools with the occasional day of diarrhea.. I love rotating foods for my dogs. Luke handles rotations really well, I can switch him cold turkey if I need to. But maybe she doesn't? Maybe I need to slow down with her? I'm at the point where I feeding minimal treats, kongs and chews just to see if it's anything related to that. I've tried feeding less of the foods and sometimes that helps a little but doesn't clear it up. Plus she's so lean and almost too skinny that I'm afraid to reduce her food too much. I started adding a spoonful of pumpkin a week ago and I thought it was helping until a nice big pile of diarrhea poo tonight! Ugh! So I'm kind of torn...keep her on the NVP Chicken and see if she adjusts to it? Or try something new again again....and what? (Luke is now eating Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch)

I was thinking about going back to a TOTW and keeping her on that for awhile, but I'm not sure where everything is at with the recalls. Not sure if I should try something GF or grain inclusive, or a specific protein, maybe go with something fish based since she hasn't had that yet. Ugh, just so many options and I'm so sick of the soft poop!! It smells horrible as well and she has nasty farts as well. Thanks for any advice!

Edited to add: I try to stay under $50 for about 30 lbs of food.
 

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I think you should consult your vet to make sure she's parasite free, and okay healthwise. They can perform some tests to figure out what she has, if there is something wrong. She could be allergic to something, or maybe there is not enough fiber in her diet? She might have irritable bowl syndrome? They will be able to help rule those out. If nothing wrong, I think you shouldn't worry. Some puppies just have soft stools until they get a little older. It's like human babies, they pretty much have slop for poop until... 1-2 years old? (Never really been around babies, but hear of the mush poop. I just assume that's the age poop becomes solid, it might be younger, lol). My puppy usually had pretty soft poops, formed but still squishy (and occasional diarrhea) until she was about 9 months old. Vet said she was good healthwise, and she never seemed to be in distress. Now that she's older, she eats Acana and has firmer poops, but still has the occasional softy/mushy almost diarrhea-like. Is your dog a nervous and anxious dog? Anxiety and stress can cause stomach distress, soft poops, and diarrhea.
 

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Here's just a thought...my guy has a beef sensitivity and he has soft poops/diarrhea when he eats food with beef as the primary protein. This went on a good part of the winter as I fed him a large bag of Nature's Variety Beef Instinct. We also learned he has a pork sensitivity. Since we moved him to a lamb based food (we feed Nature's Variety Prairie to both Lars and Ocean) his wicked poops/farts vanished.

Maybe try some different proteins with foods and see if there's something that works better than others.
 

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Wicket may be onto something: have you taken a stool sample to the vet to look for parasites?

I think I'd stay away from the grain free stuff for now. It has been my experience that foods of lesser quality often result in more solid poops. It took me quite a while to find a food of an acceptable quality, within an acceptable price, that results in small firm poops.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She was at the vet after we got her in February and had a full exam and stool sample checked. Do you think it would be worth it to check again?

She's definitely not a nervous or anxious pup. She's very confident and happy about everything!

As I was looking at everything we have tried so far I was thinking maybe need to try a fish based kibble. I pulled her off the TOTW Pacific Stream after a week because my bag was recalled. I saw that 4 Health has a fish based food now and was thinking about that. She's almost 10 months and is under 40 lbs, is it too soon to feed her something adult that is not labeled for all life stages? I saw the 4Health is adult but didn't see whether or not it's for ALS.
 

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Maybe you've been changing foods too often, which I've mistakenly done before. It's so hard to give a new food enough time. It takes around 6-8 weeks for the dog to be fully acclamated to a new food. Changing foods too often can cause stomach upset, and consequently, loose poos. You could try adding a spoonful of plain pumpkin (not pie filling) to her food - that sometimes helps firm things up. Don't give too much, or it will have the opposite effect.
 

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kadylady ,
This is going to be fairly straight forward where the dog food is concerned. Pick a good food and stick with it so your dogs system can settle down. Feed twice a day and no treats until the resolve of the loose stool. You have received good advice from the above DF members and one thing comes to mind with the loose smelly stool issue. I've had this with hound pups many times.

You did say your dog has had a recent Vet checkup and all was good , and , assuming all shots UTD...

The loose stool sounds like coccidia/giardia and this is often missed by Vets as it does not always show up in a stool sample.
To make a long story short , I would treat for both giardia and coccidia using metronidazole and sulfadimethoxine as per dog weight.


As an after thought , make sure your dog does not eat any poo...... I know this is gross , but , check and make sure...

As for the food , Earthborn is a good one and can be ordered online with coupon savings and free ship if you look around. For a cost savings , the 4Health line is sort of a generic TOTW and I am told by the good folks at TSC that they have new stock that is not under recall.

Best , oldhounddog
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oldhounddog, funny you should mention eating poop...She does. Frequently. Mostly she only eats Luke's poop but I did catch her eating her own the other night. We've been battling this for awhile now, she had stopped for a few weeks but I noticed the other night she was at it again. I clean up the yard as often as I can and watch her while she's out there but am not perfect at it and she's a vacuum, also eats sticks grass and bugs and anything else that might be tasty. Maybe I just need to be more strict about it. And get my husband on board because he's totally unhelpful in that department. I didn't even think about the poop eating causing digestive problems but it makes sense.

She's UTD on shots, gets the monthly heartworm and flea treatment. Luke had coccidia as a pup and that thought had crossed my mind. I was worried that I might be switching too often for her. I would like to try a fish formula and keep her on it for a few months and see how she does. Would like to go with 4Health or TOTW as those foods are definitely do-able budget wise, was also considering Blue Buffalo.

Georgiapeach: I have started adding the plain canned pumpkin, about half a tablesoon 2x day. Does that sound like a right amount for her? (10 mons 38#)
 

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kadylady ,

>I didn't even think about the poop eating causing digestive problems but it makes sense.<
This will cause loose stool even on a perfect dog food.................

Best thing to do is set a feed schedule where you control meal time and amount, and make sure not to over feed.

>And get my husband on board because he's totally unhelpful in that department.<
Clean up yard at poop time and you will limit access and make it much more difficult to find any poop to eat.

Feed the best kibble you can , 4Health would be a good one.IMO.
The more time/distance you can put into limiting access to poop the sooner it will start to ease up. You can do this and I know it is a pain...

>Luke had coccidia as a pup and that thought had crossed my mind.<
I have had to treat this more that once to get it to clear up in problem cases , and , make sure you treat for enough days. The meds are cheap and you can get them from vet supply and treat yourself... Vets often miss coccidia and treat for giardia bc symptoms are so similar...
You will probably want to treat both dogs as giardia and coccidia is spread from one dog to another by contact with infected feces or drinking water or through infected soil or bodily fluids. *** It is my understanding that giardia is zoonotic and thus a potential health risk to humans. Use good hand washing protocol and wash dog bowls with hot soapy water , but not in kitchen sink. ***

>I was worried that I might be switching too often for her.<
This can cause trouble with some dogs , just pick a good kibble and stick with it.

Best , oldhounddog
 

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I'd start with the parasites. If she eats other animals' poo, then she's likely picked up something, even if she was clear in Feb. Giardia sounds likely, too.
 

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You'll need to pick up the poo as soon as it hits the ground from each dog - been there, done that with a previous dog. Follow them with a bag in hand.
 

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try probiotics that are diary free in case our dog is intolerant to milk ,nature's variety is a good food just don't feed the chicken if your dog cannot tolerant the cottage cheese the other proteins don't contain it.i feed my dogs this food all proteins accept the chicken
 
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