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Diet change = change in stools. Help!

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  • Diet change = change in stools. Help!

    Tucker is on week three of his diet change. I recently changed his diet of about 6 years from Hills W/D to a mix of Before Grain - Buffalo and Nature's Variety Instinct Raw.

    A little history. Tucker is a 9 year old Cocker Spaniel and I've had him since he was about 8 weeks of age. He has suffered with chronic ear infections since day 1. In the past couple years they have intensified to the point where he's on and off meds nearly every couple months.

    After this last infection, I decided enough was enough and opted to try a diet change. Reading as much as I could, I opted to go grain-free and attempt to do a raw diet, or least partially raw.

    With the W/D, we had fabulous stools. Nice and formed and not at all soft. New diet? Very loose stools. No consistency to them at all.

    Is there something I can supplement to bulk up the stools more? He's been okay with the diet change thus far (about two solid weeks on the new diet only ... I spent the better part of a week transitioning him over as he's got sensitivity issues to begin with) but I don't think I can continue to have such loose stools (Cocker Spaniel = lots hair, white "bloomers", nonetheless).

    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
    See G2's blog

  • #2
    When I switched my young dog from what he was being fed at the pound over to Chicken Soup for the Puppy Lover's Soul he developed very loose stool. I then started to research proteins and how it affects the digestion. Chicken was the down fall, it made him so loose.

    I feed a grain-free, ToTW non-chicken formula. There is a small amount of chicken fat down the list, but its not enough to effect him. Riley gets the buffalo (yellow bag) or the lamb (purple bag). I tried to feed him the duck formula and over night we were back to the loose stool. Some dogs can't handle that protein.

    And it's tough, because there is chicken in every thing, even treats. That's why I started my small bus. dog goodies, so I know what is going into the recipe.

    My friend's dog has an issue with EGGS!! on top of having issues with the chicken.

    Don't give up, bloop some canned pumpkin in his food to help firm him up while you research ingredient lists.

    ETA: before grain buffalo has chicken as the 2nd ingredient and turkey at the number 4 spot followed by chicken fat. So while Buffalo is the number 1 ingredient, there is a lot of poultry in it.

    the salmon is the same thing.


    • #3
      I love Before Grain and feed the canned to my cats. I think it's a great product.

      But it might not be the best option for a critter with allergies, for the same reason Instinct would also not be MY first choice as a raw food for anything with allergies: all of the OTHER weird ingredients. For most dogs, the small amounts of acai berry, blueberry, chicory, marigold extract, apples, carrots, butternut squash, etc, are not going to be an issue, but for one with sensitivities, that is a whole long list of things they can react to.

      Although I'm cautious now with the P&G purchase, I had a lot of luck with California Natural for my allergy dog (the chicken and rice version) and I use Nature's Menu now for my IBD/allergy kitty--if they don't list a distributor near you, I'd email or call them. There's not a single one listed in CO (last I looked, at least) but we have at least one here in Fort Collins.


      • Original Poster

        Well, Tucker may have to suck it up. Just got a 27.5lb bag of BG Buffalo... I'll try another novel protein/carb once I'm done with this bag (in about two months...).

        Does pumpkin help with bulking up the stools? or Metamucil? or something along those lines? He's not really constipated at all... but the new food lacks all the fiber he was getting before (I think).
        Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
        See G2's blog


        • #5
          The place where I buy my dog food will take it back for a full refund if it doesn't work--even open bags.

          Adding pumpkin won't hurt (unless he's allergic to pumpkin!) and the fiber might help. It's at least worth a shot.


          • #6
            yes, canned pumpkin is high in fiber. I plop a heaping tablespoon, an actual tablespoon, not a measuring spoon in Riley's AM feeding. So does broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, apples.

            You can add these things to his food. I prefer to do raw, its just easier to pop them in this dish, but you can steam them if you like. The broccoli can make dogs gassy, be fore warned

            I would not use Metamucil

            pumpkin tights up whats loose and loosens up what is tight, its a true super food.

            I would see if your retailer will take back an open bag, I would not want Tucker to suffer from loose stools for 60 days. If they dont refund, they should exchange.


            • #7
              Pumpkin can help and so can yogurt with live cultures. Also, just because a dog food seems the best on paper doesn't mean it will work for a given dog. Chico does awesome on the Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon and Gus does awesome on the Pinnacle Duck (now switching well to Taste of the Wild Duck because Pinnacle keeps raising their prices). Both good foods but if I give Chico Gus's food he gets itchy and if I give Gus Chico's food he gets loose stinky stool. So play around until you find what works for your dog, even if it is not the food that seems "best".


              • Original Poster

                Thanks everyone. I'll try some pumpkin. I would take the food back, but I no longer have the bag. (I dump into a larger storage container rather then keep everything in the bag). I'll see if the pumpkin does the trick. Otherwise I'll go back and blend with the old stuff (aka W/D) for another couple months... and then try another food.
                Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
                See G2's blog


                • #9
                  Cocker spaniels often have ear problems - for the most part its due to their conformation (heavy, thick ears with thick fur), however allergies cant be completely ruled out either.

                  Thing is, more often than not GI issues are a sign of food allergies before skin/ear issues.

                  Cant hurt to try some different foods, I'd go with something like Wellness Simple (or something with very limited ingredients) to see if it makes a difference.