Duncan has been eating Science Diet mixed with green beans and carrots since we got him a couple weeks ago. I wanted to put him on something better so I started switching him to Natural Balance Small Breed Bites Natural Premium kibble. I started three days ago and give him about 1/4 of the new to 3/4 of the old, along with some green beans. I noticed yesterday that his stool is soft and when I fed him this morning he had the dry heaves right after. The other thing that is new is I have also given him a couple bites of apple over the last couple days for a treat. Should I be worried or is this normal when switching foods? I could just put him back on his Science Diet but didn't think that food was all that good for him. He has had a lot of changes over the last couple weeks, going to a new home and living on the road and all, but he has been very active, is alert, and doesn't seem ill.
Water from different municipalities or ares of the country can reek havoc on any ones digestive system. We always give our animals bottle water when we travel. The change in food, environment, and just traveling for the first time is stressful on your animal. After a few trips, he should be OK. I would stay with the same food for awhile, all the change has his systems confused mentally and physically.
* This post was
edited 02/17/12 08:20am by eHoefler *
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I wouldn't be overly worried. I'd just continue with the current mix of the two foods for several more days, keeping watching to see if he gets any worse. If he does, then I'd switch back to the SD. Over-feeding can also cause soft stools sometimes, so that's one other thing to consider.
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Dont want to side tract the OP's question but the source of "water" kind of awoke me. Im like many, I give our girls bottled water when in the RV but all of a sudden Im wondering this....if I give tap water at home then switch to bottled water on the road, could that change alone cause issues? Now Im thinking I should bottle up tap water for trips in the RV? Or give them bottled water at home? One or more always seem to develop digestive problems depending on the length of the trip. Sorry for jumping in.......
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Changing to a new home is very stressful for a dog, and any other major change, like a change in food, can upset their tummies. This may be what happened to Duncan. Another thought: how much are you feeding him? Overfeeding can cause stomach distress. The directions on the bag usually have you overfeeding, if you're following its guidelines.
How many green beans and carrots are you feeding wirh the kibble? When I was rehabbing my MIL's cockapoo, I only put a couple of tablespoons of no salt green beans and 2-3 baby carrots in her evening feed.
Have you had him checked for parasites? They can cause stomach distress, as well. I've had a devil of a time getting rid of my boxer puppy, Brodie's, worms (he came with them from the breeder, apparently), and it's caused havoc on his digestive system. The test doesn't always come back positive, depending on the stage of the worm in the intestinal track.
One final thought: there may be something in the new food that the dog is sensitive to, causing the loose poo and vomiting. I wouldn't jump to that conclusion just yet, but if the problem persists, then I'd start thinking about this possibility.
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Another thing you might consider is adding in a probiotic. Just like humans, when things change, the flora in the gut becomes imbalanced. There are several good ones available from your vet, or you can add in a little yogurt. Plain or vanilla is usually my choice. Make sure that you only use yogurt that have live, active cultures.
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Duncan had a complete workup when we got him, was dewormed, and was given a clean bill of health so I know we started off good. I didn't think about the water, but my DH runs the water through a filter before he puts it in the tank and then there is a secondary filter under our sink that it goes through before use for drinking. Hopefully that is cleaning it enough. Good to know about too much food, I had increased it just a little because I figured he has been so much more active than he was before that he may need it. Maybe I did too much. After thinking about it we gave him a new rawhide bone to chew on the other day and perhaps he chewed on that too long. I think I will cut back on the amount of food just a little and not let him have that rawhide and see what happens. He didn't have it yesterday at all so we will see how he does.
Thank you for all the suggestions. It has been so long since I had a dog, and even longer for a puppy that I may be being a little bit of a worry wort.
Stop the green beans and carrots.
Dogs aren't equipped to eat vegetables unless processed to a state similar to that which they get in the wild by eating the partially digested stomach contents of their prey.
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If you go from higher mineral water to lower, that isn't likely to cause a problem. Going in the other direction will. Usually your tap water will be higher in minerals than bottled water, and so bottled shouldn't cause a problem. But you don't really know exactly unless you use distilled water, which is what I do. It's also what I drink.
For this guy, lots of variables. I would go back to the old food and get him stable, get on consistent water, get him wormed if he hasn't been, and then try shifting him again. You can't tell what is going on when you're changing more than one thing at a time.
A probiotic is also a very good thing for getting the system back on an even keel.