We recommend a lot of high protein, low carb dog food. After all, dogs are meat eaters, and quality, animal based protein is what their bodies are designed to best utilized.
Most dogs who switch from a food with a more traditional protein level to a higher protein food do really well. But sometimes, for all the accolades that high protein food is getting these days, some dogs just end up getting loose stools that never really clear up. Why? Here are a few possibilities:
1. Over feeding. High protein foods pack a lot more usable nutrition into each cup of food. Look at the list below to see how much more protein there is per cup, even when the calories are roughly similar. Furthermore, the proteins in high protein foods are primarily derived from animal sources, as opposed to plant proteins. Animal based proteins are easier for your dog to utilize, (bioavaialable). So not only is there more protein, but a greater proportion of that protein is usable. That means you need to feed quite a bit less food, and overfeeding is an easy mistake to make. Don't blindly follow the manufacturers feeding guidelines on the package - many are much higher than most pets need. Try cutting back by about 1/8 to 1/4 of your dog's portion and see if that makes a difference. High protein: Orijen, Adult formula: protein 38%, fat 17%, (kcal/cup) 460. High protein: Taste of the Wild, High Prairie formula: protein 32%, 18% fat, (kcal/cup) 370.Traditional: Canidae, All Life Stages formula: protein 24%, fat 14.5% (kcal/cup) 468.Traditional: Wellness, Super5 Mix, Chicken: protein 22%, fat 12%, (kcal/cup) 407. 2. Protein sensitivity. Protein sensitivities are the most common types of allergies, and allergies can occur at any point in one's life. So just because your dog has been happily eating chicken for 6 years does not mean she didn't recently develop a chicken sensitivity. Loose stools are a very common symptom of food sensitivities. Try switching to a high protein food with different proteins, and be sure to choose treats consistent with the new food.3. Food is just too 'rich'. As mentioned above, there is a whole lot of protein, and fat, in these foods. My experience at the store is some dogs simply cannot effectively break down all that protein and fat at once, thus causing loose stools. (*Actually, I should say that cooked, moisture devoid proteins may be too hard to digest as many of these dogs do fine on a raw formula like Primal, which can have even higher protein levels, but in a much more digestible form.) If you have tried reducing portion size but the loose stools remain, consider switching to a more traditional protein level, grain free food such as Pure Vita (salmon or turkey formulas are grain free) or First Mate, or just mix some of those foods in to the high protein food. Or try raw food. It is by far my preferred feeding method.
Posts made after 2/1/2013 written by Kelly. Most older articles written by Cathy. She accepts sole responsibility for typos and bad grammarisms.