Originally Posted by chicagomichauds
I have a 3 month lab/mix puppy who we adopted 3 weeks ago. He was eating Science Diet plus had diarrhea due to a bacterial infection (so his poops were loose). Then we started to switch him to Innova large breed puppy, but at the same time he got an upper respiratory infection and his poops were randomly loose to firm, with loose more at the end.
We are done with the antibiotics (chloramphenical) as of yesterday. His poops are still loose. He is not the most thrilled with his food (we transitioned him to Innova over about 10 days), and leaves some both at breakfast and dinner (maybe 1/4 cup). We are feeding him according to the instructions on the bag (3 3/8 cups total per day, twice a day).
My questions are: should I stick with the Innova and wait it out, expecting the poops to improve and his appetite to get better? Do I take this as a sign that maybe this is not the food for him and I should try something similar, such as Holistic Select? Is it maybe the antibiotics that affected his stomach? He does the occasional chewing on his legs, but nothing dramatic that stands out.
We had a lab before who snarfed all of his food down, so this selective eating has me puzzled.
Vet mentioned the food might be a little too rich for him but did not seem overly concerned. She said we should consider switching him if the poops don't improve.
I am so confused
First, I have to say, it's great that you switched your pup from Science Diet to a good-quality food!
As far as talking to your vet about the food, I personally wouldn't do that. I would go to the vet about anything that has to do with my dogs health, except food. Vets sell foods like Science Diet, that right there shows how little they know about dog nutrition. Vets take a class on nutrition that is normally taught by a dog food company, so they learn what that company wants them to learn.
Anyway, I'm sure you know this, but just to show you, just in case, here are the first 5 ingredients in a Science Diet food, and then the first 5 ingredients in what you have your pup on now. You can see a huge difference in the ingredients...
Science Diet Puppy Large Breed:
Puppy Large Breed - Dry
Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Liver Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp
Innova Large Breed Puppy:
Pet Products - Healthy Dog Food, Natural Cat Food, Gourmet Dog Biscuits â€“ Innova Holistic Pet Food
Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Meal, Barley, Brown Rice
Things you do not want to see in a dog food would be any type of non-specific meats or any type of non-specific meat meals, lots of grains, any type of by-product, animal digest, nasty fillers like corn (which dogs can't even digest), wheat, soy, artificial colors and/or flavors, etc.
Anyway, so yeah, it's great that your pup is on a good-quality food!
Just because it's good doesn't mean he will like it though. There are a few things you could do. 1 - Leave him on this food and just see if he gets use to it and starts to like it. 2 - Buy some Innova canned dog food, mix just a little of that, and a tiny bit of warm water in his Innova dry food and see if that helps. 3 - Switch him to a different good-quality food. Here are a couple of my FAVORITE dog foods!..
Canidae Grain Free All Life Stages (You can feed this to dogs of any age, puppy to adult, so you won't have to change his food as he grows. They have this same formula in canned food so you can buy a few cans to mix in with the dry food if needed):
CANIDAE® All Natural Holistic Dog Food - Grain Free All Life Stages dry formula
Chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb, potatoes, peas
Wellness Core Original (Also comes in canned so you can buy the same formula in cans to mix with the dry if needed):
Wellness® COREÂ® Original Recipe
Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes
Both of those are great foods, and they are grain free! So, if your pup is getting the soft stool from any food allergies, these foods could help with that!
Another thing you can do to help his stomach is buy some plain yogurt.. I like to get the Stonyfield Farm Organic Yogurt, French Vanilla flavor.. And mix some in with his food. Not too much, I normally just put a couple small spoon fulls and stir it around until all the food is lightly coated in yogurt. Another thing that I have been buying more recently instead of using the yogurt is.. Fresh Digest® - For Complete Digestive Health in Dogs and Cats
I LOVE this stuff! It is GREAT and I would recommend you try that or the yogurt for sure! Those things really can help!
I use the Fresh Digest every single day, but I will still give the pups some yogurt every now and then as a healthy treat! They LOVE the yogurt!
Now, all that said, as far as the amount of food you're feeding your pup.. What the bag says to feed is not exact. Every dog is different, so I just use the feeding chart on the bag as a starting point. In general, a good way to tell how your dogs weight is, is by his ribs. You should not be able to see his ribs, but when you pet him you should be able to feel them if you try. If you can see his ribs really well, he's under-weight. If you pet him and can't feel his ribs at all, he's at least a little over-weight. With a growing pup, this is more difficult though because obviously, you will need to keep an eye on him and up his amount of food whenever he needs it. I would suggest you start out feeding him what the bag says, then watch him. If he's looking a little over-weight, lower his food a bit, and if he's looking a little over-weight, up his food a bit. Once he is done growing, you'll be able to find a good amount for him and basically just keep him on that amount all the time (unless he is more active/less active during certain times of the year, or something like that, then his amount of food would need to be adjusted some I'm sure).
Oh, also, there are a few things you can do to help him to eat his food. This may sound mean, but it really isn't. I do this and it really works. I have to first say, no dog will starve themselves.. They just won't. They may try to for a while, just to try and get something better, like people food, but that will only last so long before they will learn to eat their food. I feed my dogs at the same time every morning and at the same time every afternoon, and I also have set amounts that I feed them at each meal. I will fix the food, put it down and let them eat. They are always done within a couple minutes, but whether they were to eat all the food or not, the bowls would get picked up after 30 minutes, tops. I'd suggest you get your dogs food all fixed up, then put it down for him to eat. Just ignore him and let him eat, but watch the time. After 30 minutes, even if there's still food in the bowl, take the bowl up. Then, next meal, do the same thing. If he doesn't finish his food each time, he will start to learn that he has to eat all he wants in those 30 minutes during each meal. This will teach him to eat the correct amount of food at the right times, and he will be healthier and happier because of it!
Okay, that's all I've got! lol!.. I do want to say though, I don't think you should worry too much. As long as the vet says he's okay, and as long as he is eating something, I would just try to give him some time. If he gets worse, like if he gets more sick, I would suggest getting him to the vet asap. But if his only real problems are soft stool and not finishing all his food, I wouldn't worry too much right now. Just keep a close eye on him until things get better. This could very well just be from the meds he was on, or it could be food allergies, it could be he is still adjusting to the new food, or it could just be that he is picky (our Brooklyn was the most picky dog on the planet! lol! That was just him though). Hopefully he will get better soon regardless. I really hope this helps, or you at least find something that does! Good luck!