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Poop question

asked 2014-12-11 14:44:01 -0500

Hi all,

I have a Boston Terrier who is 3.5 years old and I have been feeding him Limited Ingredient food since he was a puppy. His poop is solid, but very soft - almost like soft serve and I am wondering if this is a sign that he is not fully digesting it. I host a lot of dogs through Rover who have regular, hard, solid poop. Gus, my dog seems to never have his stool get firm to the point where I can pick it up and leave no residue on the grass.

Gross question, but I appreciate any input!

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Amber, I've been having a lot of luck with Ziwipeaks - http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/ziwipeak-dog-food-dehydrated/ I have been adding yogurt and pumpkin since my dog's surgery, and it's been great! Pro tip: freeze the canned pumpkin in ice cube trays - makes a can last longer :)

Kathryn K.'s profile imageKathryn K. ( 2014-12-21 20:08:08 -0500 )edit

Canned pumpkin has helped with ours. Flaked coconut and coconut water is also very healthy and helpful.

Kathy C.'s profile imageKathy C. ( 2016-01-06 15:25:20 -0500 )edit

6 Answers

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answered 2014-12-11 20:49:24 -0500

Some dogs may be sensitive to rice, I've learned (with my frenchie/bostie) and my vet recommended oatmeal in place of rice as well as a few tablespoons of yogurt for a perfect poop ;)

I always keep a can of pumpkin on hand for emergency use! It's great!

Good luck in your quest for superior stools!

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Oh, yeah, the yogurt! I went through EVERYTHING with my last dog while he was on chemo. Boiled chicken with rice and carrots, pumpkin, plain yogurt, basil, special prescription high-fat wet food (when he wasn't taking in enough calories)... his meals actually looked really good most days.

Laura R.'s profile imageLaura R. ( 2014-12-12 01:34:23 -0500 )edit
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answered 2014-12-11 15:10:42 -0500

There is actually a dog fecal scoring system in broad usage.. sorry for posting a poop picture, but we've all seen it, and a picture's worth a thousand disgusting words. image description

The 'ideal' poop is a 2 on this scale. Even by that description, there's the chance for some residue left when you pick it up, at least occasionally, so I wouldn't imagine your dog has a problem just because there's a little residue. If he's a 3-4 on the scale, he probably isn't suffering any major health issues, but you can always try an elimination diet (consult your vet to see how they suggest) - he may not be digesting one or more ingredients in his food very well. You can also try adding a little pumpkin/squash to his food (not pie filling! pure pumpkin/squash only!). Dogs love it, and the fiber helps immensely.

Hope this helps, and again, so sorry for the picture! :)

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Thank you!

Amber C.'s profile imageAmber C. ( 2014-12-11 15:40:01 -0500 )edit

Pumpkin can also soften their stools, so I wouldn't advise. Cooked rice is a great temporary measure, but you might want to try a different dog food.

Karen R.'s profile imageKaren R. ( 2014-12-11 15:52:31 -0500 )edit

Since this isn't a dog with a medical issue, it would be easy to try it out. Soluble fiber in the form of pumpkin is one of the most widely recommended remedies for loose stool. Here's the science behind it- http://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/post/49201678233/pumpkin-diarrhea-dog-cat

Laura R.'s profile imageLaura R. ( 2014-12-11 16:38:03 -0500 )edit

I'm only speaking from first-hand experience giving pumpkin to a dog. No one is disputing pumpkin's health benefits. I've given it to dogs to loosen their stools, and my neighbor has, per vet orders, to give it to her Westie daily because she has trouble going. I also bought these natural turkey and pumpkin treats lately and gave one to my dog daily for a few days and I believe we had #3 or #4, so he only gets a half one once a week or so until they're gone.

Karen R.'s profile imageKaren R. ( 2014-12-11 18:53:02 -0500 )edit

Yeah, nice thing about fiber is that it works well in both directions. Whether too hard or too loose, it promotes a healthy stool. Pumpkin is my favorite since the dogs love it so much, but it's not the only option. And of course any changes to a dog's normal diet can impact GI function until they adjust.

Laura R.'s profile imageLaura R. ( 2014-12-11 19:49:09 -0500 )edit

+1 for pumpkin. It literally was a lifesaver for my ex-stray dog. We went from 7s and 6s to 2s. Things we tried before pumpkin that didn't help: chicken & rice, probiotic pills, yoghurt...

Kwaku S.'s profile imageKwaku S. ( 2015-04-24 23:31:08 -0500 )edit
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answered 2014-12-14 22:49:29 -0500

My dog was like this and it took me three years to get him on the right food. Pumpkin did help, before I found the right food - it's high in fiber so it helps to regulate the digestive system. I tried a number of different pet foods that were limited ingredient formulas, but none of them kept him solid. One day I walked through every type of dog food at petsmart searching for a food that was both high in fiber and limited ingredient. Finally settled on blue buffalo basics - turkey (purple bag). Had the highest fiber and limited ingredients. He's been normal ever since and rarely if ever gets an upset stomache. Good luck!

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I read about people changing dog food brands which eventually solves the soft stool problem. Question : do you have a transition period even when you suspect the current dog food is causing the problem OR do you switch to a new brand without a transition period?

Ivan L.'s profile imageIvan L. ( 2017-09-12 01:17:53 -0500 )edit

Canned pumpkin has not worked, been through several cans. Gave her healthy amounts too. I had her checked for at the vet for intestinal issues and cleared. I have changed dog foods several times. Raw food works but she is 60lbs and it is not affordable. I keep looking and am frustrated.

Carol H.'s profile imageCarol H. ( 2019-01-18 23:03:01 -0500 )edit
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answered 2014-12-26 08:15:43 -0500

Try a different protein source. My Aussie had the same issue. Pumpkin just created Orange loose stools. We switched to Salmon and sweet potato. First we used natural balance, but I read it was not the best food for the buck. Now we use Taste of the wild salmon and sweet potato and she has nice firm poops. Number 3 on the scale. She used to be # 5 or 6

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Gah! Thank you so much. Everyone recommends pumpkin, but pumpkin has the same effect on my dog as it seems it does yours. We'll try Taste of the Wild.

Nunya B.'s profile imageNunya B. ( 2016-10-27 10:35:44 -0500 )edit
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answered 2014-12-11 14:49:57 -0500

You could try adding rice to his diet to see if that helps firm it up.

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answered 2014-12-21 16:16:23 -0500

We have Natural Choice dog food in our home and it's always seemed to provide a really good consistency for the dogs stools. In addition to sitting we foster as well and have nearly a hundred dogs come through our home over the past few years and it hasn't failed us once.

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