How to make my dog have a solid stool?
November 23, 2009 4:25 PM   Subscribe

What type (not brand) of dog food is good for dogs with bad gas and soft stool?

I have an purebred American Bulldog puppy that is about five months old. She has been on the Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul (Large Breed) brand since I have owned her, which is about three months. This whole time her stool has had various states, ranging from diarrhea to normal. Along with this she has had very, very bad gas! The vet has checked her twice and assures nothing is wrong, she just has those two problems.

I am not sure if this is something that wears off in time since she is just a puppy or if I need to try a new food. It was suggested to me that I try a food without chicken and see where that gets us. The same feed store also informed me that Chicken Soup has been known to cause bad gas for American Bulldogs and Boston Terriers.

I am open to trying anything, even if it is a little pricier.
posted by jwfree to Pets & Animals (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My dog loves Instinct and has been poop problem free since we switched to it.
posted by bearwife at 4:37 PM on November 23, 2009

While dogs of the bully types do tend towards the flatulent end of things, it is likely that there is an ingredient (or ingredients) in the food that doesn't agree with her. I would suggest you try a grain-free food (there are all kinds on the market now) and see if that helps, since grain often causes gas in dogs. At very least, look for a food that has different meat and carb sources than the Chicken Soup food does.
posted by biscotti at 4:48 PM on November 23, 2009

I think Innova is no longer quite as popular (or easy to find, which was never terribly easy) as it used to be, but I really have had such good luck with picky stomachs on it. Innova (and a little goes a long way thanks to lack of filler - check the serving recommendations on the bag) mixed with one large spoon-blop each plain yogurt and canned pumpkin was the concoction I used to get a track-fresh greyhound out of the "stank and runs" stage of domestic living.

If you've still got food to finish off, I'd start the yogurt now. It truly does wonders for the intestinal balance. The pumpkin is just for fiber, and there are probably doggy metamucils you could use that would be easier. Apparently there is a canned pumpkin shortage this year.

Warning: the smell of dog food and yogurt and pumpkin is so, so wrong. It is somehow compelling and revolting all at once. Don't put your face straight over it.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:05 PM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

We feed our JRTs Before Grain.
posted by jeffamaphone at 5:49 PM on November 23, 2009

Like Lyn, I used yogurt for a while to control my greyhound's deadly paint-stripping gas. I would slowly switch foods every couple of weeks until you find one that just works for your dog. For mine, it meant switching the grain from rice to barley. I now use Solid Gold Mmillennia (yes, it's expensive, but not "solid gold" expensive).
posted by specialagentwebb at 5:52 PM on November 23, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the tips so far! I have a feed store very close to me that carries all this hard to find stuff so I'll use it to my advantage. I will change the meat and will change to no grains if that's no help. The yogurt just might work. It will be good to have in my back pocket.
posted by jwfree at 5:57 PM on November 23, 2009

Definitely try the yogurt. It worked like a charm on my very poopy and farty cat, so maybe it'll work on your dog.

Pics? It's a puppy! :)
posted by cgg at 6:28 PM on November 23, 2009

I've found for my dog that lamb-based foods make stinky gas. Natures Recipe is good (and PetSmart carries it). I get the chicken meal & rice or the venison type.
posted by ijoyner at 6:29 PM on November 23, 2009

You have a brachycephalic breed. They tend to swallow a lot of air. The gas isn't going to go away.
posted by asockpuppet at 6:33 PM on November 23, 2009

Response by poster: CGG: Here you go!
Riley 1
Riley 2
Riley 3
Riley 4
posted by jwfree at 6:39 PM on November 23, 2009

Response by poster: asockpuppet: That's fine by me I guess. Maybe I can just turn the stink factor down a little by switching the food. Thanks for the tip though. That is the first time I have heard that.
posted by jwfree at 6:40 PM on November 23, 2009

My cat used to have bad diarrhea. I now mix psyllium husks (aka Metamucil) into his food, and the problem is gone now. He didn't have gas though. Switching foods (dry vs wet, different brands) made no difference at all.
posted by massysett at 6:49 PM on November 23, 2009

Nom nom!

I have pugs (brachycephalic) and yeah, the gas. I feed them Science diet dry and they only get treats that I know won't produce gas (time tested on their tummys, unfortunately. If they get anything new they don't get to sleep in the bed).
posted by cestmoi15 at 6:56 PM on November 23, 2009

I also own a brachycephalic dog, and she does very well with the aforementioned Innova. It's a bit pricey, but well worth it.
posted by katie at 12:22 AM on November 24, 2009

Our pit mix had bad gas until we switched to Nutro Ultra. I would just buy small bags of different brands until you find one that doesn't cause flatulence. The first ingredient listed should be meat.
posted by Daddy-O at 7:16 AM on November 24, 2009

until you find one that doesn't cause flatulence and soft stool, I should say. BTW, that's a great looking dog.
posted by Daddy-O at 7:18 AM on November 24, 2009

Response by poster: Daddy-O: Thanks for the compliment, I'll let her know. I actually have a friend with an adult American Bulldog on Nutro Ultra, so maybe I will give that a shot next. I noticed they have very many variations of the Nutro food for puppy's. Are there any major differences, eg: Nutro Ultra vs Nutro Natural Choice?
posted by jwfree at 7:54 AM on November 24, 2009

Response by poster: I guess I need to ask a follow-up question. It seems a lot of you have tried many different brands before finding the right one. How exactly have you gone about that? I know it's recommended to go through a slow transition and mix in more and more food until it's just the new one, but this can be a long process doing it over and over.

If I need to buy 20 pound bags until I find the right one, it could be 6-8 months before I find something that works and then she'll be ready for adult food. When trying multiple foods until you find the right one, do you use a slow transition or do you go cold turkey and just switch? Cold turkey would be faster and be more cost effective if I could buy the smaller bags until I find something. If that's not recommended though then I wouldn't want to do it.
posted by jwfree at 8:19 AM on November 24, 2009

Best answer: Completely opposite to ijoyner's experience - our dogs had less gas and stank less when we switched TO a lamb-based food, as opposed to beef or chicken. So this is probably one of those times when you're going to have to go by trial and error, YD[og's]MMV, etc.

As for how to switch, of course the ideal is to switch gradually, but we live in an imperfect world. Sometimes I've switched my dogs cold turkey if I forgot to buy a new bag of food until the last one totally ran out. And sometimes I'm on top of things and buy the new bag in time to mix gradually. My dogs are still standing, still [somewhat] gassy and stinky.

Also, be aware of other things your dog might be eating - its own poop, grass, human food, crumbs, treats (dog and human). Some of the worst gas my dogs get is after eating doggie treats.

Also, SQUEE!!! Your dog is adorable! I'm sure her farts smell like roses and unicorns.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:40 AM on November 24, 2009

Oh, I forgot to mention - buy a smaller bag, or ask around to friends and neighbors for a sample of the food they use.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:41 AM on November 24, 2009

All dogs are different. Purina DCO kibble worked wonders for my adult dog. It's available only from vet's office and expensive. But worth it for the good results.

Also, to treat episodes of runny stools, Proviable paste is great stuff. It has probiotics and clay (kaopectate). I always keep it on hand. I've been told you should get it from a reliable source because it shouldn't be stored in a warm place.
posted by valannc at 9:22 AM on November 24, 2009

Response by poster: Looks like chicken was her nemesis. Switched to lamb and she is great. Hardly any noticable gas and solid stools. Thanks for all the help!
posted by jwfree at 5:38 PM on December 6, 2009

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