Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,658 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Unfortunately, Snowball's stools have been a little bit off lately, so we're trying to figure out what's causing them. He seems to go through phases of good solid poos, pretty good poos that are a little softer towards the end, and not-great poos that are just mush at the end. So far he hasn't had any pure diarrhea, the first part of his poo is always log shaped and holds together (but in varying softnesses).

When we got him, we were pretty sure he wasn't getting enough exercise and he was also overweight. We've been exercising him 3 walks a day for a total ~1-1.5 hours. We have been feeding less kibble than the recommended amount on the bag (1 cup/day vs. 1.5c/day) because he also gets LOTS of treats (2nd kibble) throughout the day because he's our baby, and during training, redirecting his barking, etc. He's not the biggest fan of his kibble but he eats it without complaint at mealtimes. He won't eat it as a treat though (hence the 2nd kibble). Last time we were at the vet, the vet said he looked great (yay!), but I know he's lost some weight since then because his ribs are much easier to feel.

This morning I used this dog food calculator , which says Snowball should be getting ~2.2 cups of food... which is more than double what we're currently giving him. I've heard of too much food causing soft stool.... is it possible for too little food to cause soft stool? He doesn't seem to be starving. He'll gladly take treats pretty much whenever but he doesn't seem desperate for food. I was also wondering what "average activity" and "low activity" actually mean.

We're going to fast him and then feed boiled chicken and rice. I was also wondering what the best way to do this is, and how to judge how much to give him? I know its talked about a lot on this forum, but its difficult to find by searching (apparently we talk about chicken & rice a lot...). Maybe a sticky about dealing with upset stomachs/diarrhea?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
Are you measuring out the second kibble you are feeding? Maybe you are overfeeding because of that.

Try measuring out that kibble daily as well and don't use more than that in a day.

That calculator was about right for Max but some dogs eat ridiculous amounts of food. A 50 pound dog might eat 200 or 2000 calories a day and the owner feels that is the proper amount for that particular dog.

Anywho, chicken and rice. Usually a bland diet is low fat so using chicken breast is suggested. Use about 1 pound of meat to 5 ounces of raw rice for a 50% meat food. Feed about 2% of the dog's ideal body weight as a daily feed so that 1 pound of chicken and what comes out to a pound of cooked rice is about right for 1.5-2 days of food for a 50 pound dog. Remember that is just a rough estimate, your dog might need more or might need less. And you cannot use kibble as treats. Stew more white meat chicken for super good, easy to shred and non greasy treats. If you plan to continue cooking then mix in 1/2 tsp of powdered egg shell per pound of food as a calcium source. If egg agrees then put that in as well. I like to put the chicken in the pot, heat until it starts to sizzle and smell good then add the rice and double the usual amount of water. Bring to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes if the chicken is in a big chunk then turn off the stove leaving the pot on the hot burner. Check in 20 minutes to see if the rice is mushy and the chicken cooked through. Sassy preferred the food left in chunks, some dogs prefer it blended into what looks like baby food. A stick blender makes that a whole lot easier.

A person on another forum suggested using white potato, sweet potato and turnip in equal quantities instead of rice as easier on the stomach. Dogs are often sensitive to grains, perhaps try this instead. I haven't ever done it, just passing it along as a suggestion. 1 pound of chicken to 5 ounces of each veggie instead. Make sure the veggies are very well cooked and mushy, same as for the rice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,658 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Snowball's definitely NOT overeating as he is losing weight. Its pretty easy for us to judge how much he gets in a day because it all comes out of the same pouch - I'd say he gets about 1/4c-1/2 c. of the "treat" kibble per day. The container we use only holds 1c, and I fill it up every 2-3 days.

Thanks for the very helpful and detailed instructions. I know Snowball loves sweet potato, so I might try that (although he loves plain white rice too). I know there is rice as an ingredient in his meal kibble - if he were sensitive to rice would he have soft stools ALL the time, instead of only some of the time?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
Ah but overfeeding dogs doesn't always make for fat dogs! Back when it first came out I fed Max too much EVO and he just had soft poop. Gave up on it after feeding through 2 large bags. Same with trying to fatten Sassy up, feeding more just created larger stools. Both dogs didn't lose weight as far as I can remember though. When I overdid the snacks at agility trials Max would have increasingly soft and small poops throughout the day but if I measured snacks out and counted them as part of his total diet he was fine.

And has he had a fecal done lately? There are some horrible worms that are very difficult to detect and get rid of that can cause this problem.

If it is a smouldering pancreatic issue then good to feed super low fat. If this stuff does the job then experiment with adding a bit more fat to see what happens. If poop gets nasty again then you may have your answer, fat bad for your dog! Then you could look for a low fat kibble to switch to. Fat doesn't cause pancreatic issues but it is bad for a sick pancreas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,658 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Its possible that its the 2nd kibble - we rotate through trial bags of different varieties of Orijen and ACANA. The current bout of soft stool kind of correlates to when we started the most recent variety, but we also started that variety around the time I started homemaking some of his biscuits using rye flour which is in other treats he's had without problem, so its probably not a sensitivity to rye. Maybe too much fiber though?

I'd say sis poops are of average size, and he only poops 1-2 times a day (because we don't have a yard). He goes out 3-5 times a day.

Chicken and rice is starting today. We'll see how things go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,719 Posts
1) Have you had him checked for parasites? Some of them are hard to catch and hard to get rid of.

2) Have you tried a probiotic or a tablespoon of nonfat PLAIN yogurt every day? That helped Biscuit a lot.

3) You can also try adding a tablespoon of canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) to his kibble. That often helps firm things up.

4) I would pick a type of food and stick with it until things resolve themselves. Acana is a good choice. Orijen might be too rich for the time being.

5) A good alternative to chicken and rice is instant mashed potatoes and low-salt water-packed canned light tuna. Easy peasy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,658 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the suggestions. I wish I had read this sooner as fish is one of his favourite foods in the world, lol. He seems to like the chicken and rice though. We fasted him yesterday, and he's on chicken & rice currently. He did a nice firm (but small) poop this morning, hasn't really pooped since then (because of the fasting?). This whole process has been good because we're getting a good idea of how long food stays in him before coming out the other end, which will definitely be useful knowledge in the future.

He was dewormed and tested for common parasites before we adopted him (2 months ago) and he hasn't had any other symptoms of infection. The soft stool is quite transient which is why we think its something he's eating. Wouldn't parasites give him constantly bad poos? In any case, if the problem's not improving by the end of the week we'll make arrangements with the vet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Scrambled eggs are a fantastic bland source of protein. Not to mention, they are cheap. So, you should feel welcome to add that at all.

Honestly, it sounds like you are just rotating formulas too often. I woul just stick with one formula, and get a large bag, that way should you decide to switch you will have more ot mix with for new flavors.

If you want to firm him up quickly add bone meal to dinner. I use KAL Inc. Bone meal that is made for humans. I learned that trick when doing research and came across an article by Dr. Pitcairn - it really works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,719 Posts
He was dewormed and tested for common parasites before we adopted him (2 months ago) and he hasn't had any other symptoms of infection. The soft stool is quite transient which is why we think its something he's eating. Wouldn't parasites give him constantly bad poos? In any case, if the problem's not improving by the end of the week we'll make arrangements with the vet.
Parasites would not necessarily give him constant problems. I think giving it to the end of the week is a good plan.

What is his "primary" kibble?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,658 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
He currently gets Kirkland lamb and rice at all meals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,658 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
We figured out the problem. When we first got Snowball, he wouldn't so much as sniff at the cat's food, so we thought we were safe. The cat gets fed out of a treat-ball to keep him happier while we're taking the dog out for a walk (he gets locked in the spare bed room with his litterbox so that he can't run out the door). Anyway, the dog got wise and was stealing the cats food - we've since changed the cat's feeding arrangement so the dog can't get at it. Snowball is back on his regular kibble and hasn't had a bout of soft stool since last week. We're going to be more careful in the future about introducing new foods so that we can keep closer track of what he might have a sensitivity to. Thanks for your help everyone!
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top