Note: This article isn't meant to substitute for veterinary care. "Runny poop" can run the gamut from healthy soft stool to dehydrating diarrhea. If you feel your dog is experiencing something very abnormal and harmful, seek veterinary care at once.
You tried to switch your dog to a more healthful diet. You chose a natural, holistic food that had good reviews from the experts. But your dog developed such soft, runny poop that you gave up on the "good" food and went back to feeding something of lesser quality like Iams or Science Diet, or something downright awful like Beneful, Pedigree, or (God forbid) Ol' Roy.
Go back!! Try the good stuff again. It will be worth it in the long run.
Here are some reasons dogs develop the "runs" when switching to a top quality, holistic food:
1. The good stuff has NO cheap fillers and binders in it. When you buy something like Pedigree, you're paying for lots of undigestible "stuff" that makes huge piles in your back yard.
2. The good stuff is considerably richer and more digestible. You know what a good prime rib dinner can do for your own system if you haven't eaten that richly for a while. That's not to say the dinner was bad; it's simply a case of your system not being accustomed to such foods.
3. You feed TOO MUCH of the good food to your dog. Because the holistic foods TASTE so much better, your dog will act like he's starving and needs more. He doesn't "need" more, he only "wants" more because it's so pleasurable to eat this food. Over-feeding a rich food will cause the runs. With the holistic foods, you MUST feed up to 25% less than you would a cheaper brand.
4. On occasion, a dog will have food sensitivity issues, causing him to react badly to even the best dog foods. Gas, diarrhea and vomiting could signal your dog's intolerance to one or several ingredients in the particular formula you're feeding. Since many dogs have wheat intolerances, you might try a lamb-and-rice formula of the same brand, or even a fish-and-potato formula. Switching to such hypoallergenic formulas often fixes the problem immediately.
If you suspect the richness of the food is difficult for your dog to handle, and you'd like to firm up his stool, try one of these:
1. Mix a small amount of Metamucil or similar powder into your dog's food, and add a splash of water. We did this for several years when feeding Flint River Ranch food to our Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs. The stool was still soft, but amazingly easy to "scoop."
2. Add some pumpkin (canned or fresh) to your dog's food. It's loaded with fiber and is easy to digest.
3. Plain yoghurt or cottage cheese mixed into the food may also act as binders.
4. Mix some lesser quality dog food in with the good stuff. It sort of defeats the purpose of feeding the chemical-free food if you''re mixing it with something chemical-laden like Iams...but it may get your dog over the hump and able to handle the good stuff at full strength.
If your dog is otherwise showing signs of vibrant health (bright eyes, energy, shiny coat), be patient with the messy poops. Things just might solidify on their own in time. Meanwhile, you know your dog is thoroughly digesting the nutrients he needs.
Save money...feed less, save gas, pay fewer vet bills. Flint River Ranch is the ONE holistic food that's delivered to your doorstep when you want it. And shipping/delivery are free! Order it here and get it in about 3 days: www.myflintriver.com