Soft Stool In Puppies
As a new puppy owner it can be overwhelming to find that your puppy has soft stool . Puppies experience soft stool for a variety of reasons such as dietary issues, stress, parasites, infections, or a sudden change in their routine. While it may seem overwhelming to know what to do , you can use these tips as a way to help rule out causes of soft stool.
If your puppy has soft stool, your Vet can help with:
Fecal Exam: Your puppy's stool is consistently soft or has diarrhea, it's essential to consult a veterinarian. Your vet can help determine the cause of soft stool through a fecal exam, of fecal float test. This will help you to know if their soft stool is due to parasites, or Infection. If the fecal exam is clear, your vet may recommend a change in food.
Parasite Control: Worms are part of owning a puppy/dog. Puppies try everything with their mouth, so there are a lot of ways they can ingest, or come in contact with worms. Remember to keep you puppy on a regular worming schedule to stay ahead of parasites.
Changes in behavior: Always watch your puppies body language/ energy level, and other symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, or blood in the stool. These could indicate a more serious issue that requires immediate veterinary attention.
Other causes of soft stool:
Stress: Puppies can't tell you I'm stressed, but it can be seen in their stool. Has your puppy recently been to a new place, have you just picked your puppy up from the breeder? If you answered yes to any of these, then remember that their stool could be do to the big changes they just went through. Try to minimize stressors, and keep them calm and relaxed as they transition.
Remember to monitor your puppies:
Water Intake/ Hydration: Puppies drink quite a bit of water. Always make sure there is access to clean water, free of flavor or additives. If you know the area you are in has hard water, you can opt for a cleaner source of spring water to help their GI system.
Puppy Food : Make sure the feed is appropriate for age, size and breed. Puppies require more calories than adult dogs, that is why high quality food is important. As your puppy reaches a year old, work with your vet to determine when it is appropriate to advance to an adult dog food.
Dog Food Ingredients: Look for foods that have easily digestible ingredients, such as lean proteins and limited fillers. Try to make sure when you are looking at a bag of food for your puppy it contains at least 28% protein.
To Help Prevent Soft Stool Remember to have:
Feeding Schedule Puppies can have soft stool from simply eating too much too often. It is important to keep your puppy on a feeding schedule to not only help you when you are working with potty training with them, but to also help their stomach be able to process what they have eaten without getting overloaded.
Consistent Feeding Amount: Refer to the back of your dog food bag to determine how much food your puppy should be eating. Dog food servings are done by weight so knowing how much your puppy weighs will let you how much to feed them per day. Don't forget to divide that daily amount by the number of feedings. So if your dog is to get one cup of food per day, and you feed three times a day, give 1/3c. per every meal.
Limit Treats and Snacks: Too many treat or snacks can cause GI upset in your puppy. When a puppy has too many new foods (treats/snacks) introduced it can cause upset stomach, leading to soft stool. Make sure to limit treats, and remember you can use their kibble when teaching them basic obedience. What dogs crave is human attention and interaction, you can train an excellent puppy and not have to give them too many snacks and treats.
If your puppy is eating too fast use a slow feeder bowl to help them slow down and chew. Puppies that eat too fast can be prone to diarrhea because of how quickly they ingest the food.
Treat Soft Stool At Home You Can Give:
Plain Boiled Rice and Chicken: If your puppy has soft stool and you are trying to find something to firm up their stool, try boiling plain white rice and giving that to your puppy. You can also you boiled chicken. Chicken and Rice are good bland foods for puppies, and will help inflammation in the gut that could be causing upset stomach.
Pumpkin: A couple Tablespoons of pumpkin can help firm up stool
Plain Greek Yogurt: A couple Tablespoons of Greek Yogurt in their food helps firm stool and is a good probiotic.
Calming Chew: If you know your puppy becomes stressed in new situations, or at the vet, groomers, etc. Remember to give them a calming chew to help lessons the stress of the overall experience.
Probiotic: A good probiotic goes a long ways. Putting your dog on a good probiotic can help your puppies overall gut health, this can prevent soft stool.
Always remember, while these steps help in mild cases of soft stool, it is important to talk with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. They can provide personalized advice based on your puppy's specific needs and health condition.