Loose puppy stools are certainly not a fun topic to talk about, but don’t worry – we’ve all been there before! Often caused by an upset tummy, diarrhea and soft stools are a common but (often) temporary problem for pups and their owners. Thankfully, it’s a problem that can usually be fixed by a simple change of diet, whether that’s a limited ingredient recipe or a high-fiber formula. Read on to discover the best dog food for firm stools, and hopefully, you’ll find something that’s perfect for your little puppy’s tummy!
Quick Review: Top-3 Firm Stools Dog Food
Why Switch To The Best Dog Food For Loose Stools?
Puppies can suffer from loose stools for any number of reasons, but they are generally not a reason to panic. Diarrhea and runny waste are signs of digestive upset, and they indicate that your pup’s body is reacting to something that he’s eaten – with or without your knowledge! As they are symptoms of intestinal upset, they may be accompanied by flatulence, tummy pain, or vomiting.
They might be down to:
- Overeating – A particular habit of larger-breed puppies, overeating puts excessive stress on your puppy’s digestive tract and can lead to indigestion. In these cases, loose stools are the result of an upset tummy and excess gas, among other things.
- Eating too fast – This can cause similar digestive unpleasantness as overeating – tummy upsets, diarrhea, and gassiness.
- Intolerances – Loose stools are just one of many potential symptoms of a food sensitivity. Intolerances can develop at any stage in a dog’s life and trigger discomfort, pain, and runny waste. If your puppy is diagnosed with a food intolerance, a limited ingredient or hypoallergenic recipe will probably be the best dog food for firm stools.
- Allergies – Similar to, but much more serious than intolerances, allergies require immediate medical attention from a vet. A dry dog food for loose stools will only be one possible part of their recommended treatment.
- Foreign objects – Dogs can be quite sneaky about going into the trash and eating behind our backs. Unfortunately, it means they sometimes swallow things that can cause a bad digestive reaction, such as scraps, weeds, and human food which triggers diarrhea.
- Switching foods – Both puppies and adult dogs should be transitioned gradually over to new foods, over the course of a week. If they are quickly exposed to a totally new diet, their systems can feel a bit shocked and this may result in diarrhea.
If you believe your puppy is experiencing anything other than very mild, passing discomfort, it’s important to get him straight to a medical professional. Loose stools can sometimes have a more urgent underlying cause such as parasites or an illness. If your dog’s loose stool turns into diarrhea (liquid, runny stool), it’s best to visit your vet ASAP as this is likely due to a more serious cause that needs medical intervention.
When should you see a vet?
Though loose stool in your pup is not always the end of the world, there is a point where you will need to seek help from your local vet. In order to help you understand when it is time to reach out to your vet for assistance, here is a list of signs to look out for:
Contact your vet if your dog has any of the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Blood in their stool
- Liquid or watery diarrhea
- Loose stool that lasts for more than 48 hours
- Lethargy or weakness
Though it’s wonderful to be able to resolve our dog’s loose stool with a simple change of diet, it’s not always that easy. Just make sure you know when it’s time for your vet to intervene!
What’s In The Best Dog Food For Firm Stools ?
A good dog food for dietary complications and loose stools will contain plenty of good fiber. Ordinarily, dry dog food contains between 2.5% and 4.5% crude fiber, which helps to:
- Absorb hydration;
- Add bulk to your puppy’s food;
- Reduce gland swelling;
- Help him feel fuller (useful if your pup is trying to lose weight); and
- Help reduce colonic cancer.
If your vet has recommended a higher proportion of fiber in his diet – look for kibble which offers 4.5% fiber or more. Experts suggest that up to 10% high-quality, crude fiber is a healthy amount for canines with loose stool. (Interestingly, it can also be helpful with overly firm stools!)
It’s always best, however, to get your vet’s advice before switching to the best dog food for loose stools, because some kinds of tummy upset require low-fiber diets. For that reason, we’ll be recommending a range of different dry dog foods for firm stool.
Best Dry Dog Food for Loose Stools: Brands We Love
So, your puppy’s vet has suggested you start transitioning to a different dog food. But which brands make the best dog food for soft stool? And how about the best puppy food for loose stools?
We’ve got a few awesome options that you’ll love, because we’re here to save you time! The best dry dog food for loose stools is made by brands such as:
Best Puppy Food For Loose Stools
- Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food
- Uses a single animal protein – lamb – to reduce your pup’s exposure to other meat ingredients;
- Contains some insoluble fibers for bulk (brown rice);
- Includes salmon oil, which nurtures your puppy’s joints;
- Provides your little one with DHA to encourage healthy nerves and good eyesight; and
- It is all naturally preserved.
- Doesn’t contain any whole fruits or vegetables.
- Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet
- Doesn’t include wheat, dairy, eggs, or soy;
- Contains fish oil and healthy flaxseed for better fur and skin;
- Uses soft veggies like pumpkin and peas to increase its fiber content and ease digestive upsets;
- Gives puppy 26% protein for better muscle development; and
- Contains oatmeal for bulking up your puppy’s meal.
- Not designed for large-breed puppies.
- Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Gives your little puppy 32% protein for a range of essential amino acids;
- Includes L-carnitine, which is a useful dietary addition for energy release;
- Contains lots of Omega fats from natural sources such as salmon meal, canola oil, and egg;
- Uses probiotics to facilitate better digestion and target soft stools; and
- Comes in a sweet recyclable bag!
- Contains only 4% maximum crude fiber.
The Best Dog Food for Loose Stools
- Merrick Dry Dog Food with Vitamins
- Free of gluten, wheat, corn, and soy for intolerant grown-up dogs;
- Contains no potato, which is one of the more common canine food allergens;
- Uses one sole animal protein – turkey, and completely leaves out all chicken that might be causing tummy upsets;
- Gives 28% protein; and
- It’s suited for all different breeds of grown dogs.
- Some owners have complained about recipe changes, which weren’t announced.
- Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Reduced Fat
- 5% minimum crude fiber to encourage better digestion;
- Includes pea fiber, carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, kale, and more veggies for bulk and firmer stools;
- Gives 33% protein to your adult dog;
- Provides plenty of Omega acids from salmon oil; and
- Encourages healthy joints through its natural glucosamine content.
- Contains a large proportion of potato and potato-based products.
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free
- Includes peas, cranberries, blueberries, and carrots (the list goes on!) to improve digestive function through added fiber;
- These also give your dog a great source of antioxidants for better health;
- Contains 400 mg of glucosamine per kilo – a great amount for improved joint protection;
- Gives your dog 30% protein for maintenance of strong muscles; and
- Helps your dog control his calorie intake by encouraging him to feel fuller between doggy mealtimes.
- Only for grown-up pooches.
My puppy has diarrhea, but her vet is not free until tomorrow. How can I help her?
If your vet is not available in the next few hours and your puppy’s diarrhea is only mild, there are a few things you can do to care for her while you wait. First, ensure your puppy can freely access clean water. Diarrhea can lead to lots of water loss and your pup needs to stay hydrated – so try getting her to drink. You can also try watery broth to entice her, but use natural broth rather than a salty pre-packaged product. Try to get some veterinary advice on the phone regarding what electrolyte solutions you might be able to add to her water bowl.
You can also take your puppy off her regular kibble and switch to simple boiled/steamed chicken and plain rice. This is easy on her little tummy, and will keep her going until it’s time to head to the vet!
My puppy won’t stop scavenging in the trash, both at home and outdoors…please help!
Quick and clever pups will find a way to scavenge unless you take a few precautions. If your puppy is old enough, you might consider teaching him the ‘No’ command. There are plenty of books and videos which will show you how to use treats to encourage or discourage specific doggy behaviors, though you will, of course, require some patience!
You might also consider:
- Keeping him on a leash when you go for a walk together, so he doesn’t run off to the garbage;
- Understanding the warning signs that he’s about to start scavenging (straining on the leash, sniffing around the trash, poking at shopping bags or similar). Then, you can either remove your puppy from the situation or remove the temptation;
- GPS monitors, which can be used to create fences around small areas such as garbage cans; and
- Going out for walkies after your puppy is full, so he is less inclined to look around for food.
- Consider investing in a basket muzzle that your dog can wear while they are outside. This makes your dog unable to pick up stray objects, but still allows them to open their mouth and breathe regularly.
Hope this helps!
Last update on 2023-01-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API