My 18-month-old black Lab mix (rescued two months ago) frequently has loose stools. Not watery, just loosely formed. This doesn't seem to bother him, but I am concerned that he will need to have his anal glands cleaned out frequently (as per his vet). He tested positive for giardia and then tested negative after being treated. I chose his dog food based on the list of preferred ingredients on your website. We started with ULTRA Adult and then switched to Kirkland Chicken & Rice (it seemed less rich and was much less expensive), to no avail. I've tried a tablespoon of pumpkin, some yogurt, brown rice and boiled ground turkey. Nothing seems to make a difference. Any suggestions? He weighs about 55 pounds.
J.A., Chevy Chase, Md Oct 30, 2011
There are several reasons dogs have loose stools. First, you should have a fecal sample tested again for giardia and other internal parasites. Second, give your dog probiotic tablets or pills daily. You can get probiotics (the best are kept refrigerated) in most pharmacies. Give your dog a recommended human dose one to two hours before his regular food. This will help build a healthy population of bacteria in his digestive system, improve his digestive processes and his immune system, and help firm up his stools. Mixing 1 tablespoon of psyllium husks into his wet food each day also will firm up his stools and help improve digestion. A tea of peppermint, ginger, anise, catnip or chamomile -- all of which are soothing, beneficial herbs --also may help. During episodes of very loose stools, giving Montmorillonite clay, kaolin or pectin will help, and your veterinarian should advise. He or she also may recommend an elimination diet to test for an underlying food allergy.
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