When your dog has a soft stool or mild diarrhea, firming up his stool eases digestive discomfort while reducing poop deposits. Changing what you feed him may ease his tummy and your canine clean-up tasks.
Feed Less to Firm Up Stool
Feeding less relieves strain on your dog’s digestive system. When your dog is stressed due to intense exercise, different food, noise or other factors, his body reacts with digestive upset and loose stools. Remove your dog’s food for 12 to 24 hours. Feed half his ration the next day. You should see results by the third day. Overeating causes loose stool or frequent soft deposits. Feel your dog’s body, running your hands along his sides from shoulders to hips. If you cannot feel his ribs, or if you already know he is overweight, cut back on his food. Measure out his daily food ration, then feed half that amount. Reduce treats or count them as part of his meal ration.
Feed Foods That Firm Up Stool
Feed your dog canned pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling, as a healthy treat. Pumpkin contains dietary fiber to sooth the digestive tract, absorb moisture and firm the stool. Add a small quantity to your dog’s regular meal, usually 1 to 2 teaspoons for a small dog and 1 to 2 tablespoons for a large dog. Or add a spoonful of low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt to your dog’s regular food. High in calcium, these foods can firm your dog’s stool. If your dog is sensitive to dairy products, substitute rice cooked in chicken broth.
Feed Bland Foods to Firm Up Stool
Your dog sometimes needs a kibble vacation. Soothe his intestinal tract with a chicken and rice meal. Boil short- or medium-grain white or brown rice until it is tender and sticky. Mix the rice with an equal portion of skinless, boneless stewed or canned chicken. Balanced in protein and carbohydrates, this simple meal digests easily and usually yields a brown, firm stool. You can substitute skinless, boneless turkey for the chicken. Make a soup of cooked chicken, rice and chicken broth. Freeze individual portions and thaw as needed for tummy upsets or regular meals.
Change Dog Food to Firm Up Stool
Try a different dog food. Show your vet an ingredient label from your current kibble or canned food. She may suggest a kibble or canned food without corn or grains; these often add bulk that softens stool. Limited ingredient foods, such as fish and sweet potato, benefit many dogs with chronic stool problems. When the current food is too rich for your dog, select a product with less fat for better canine health and firmer stools. Sometimes a change from wet food to dry kibble is enough to firm up loose stool. Every day with your dog is precious. Cutting the time he spends with an aching tummy and you with the poop bags means more time for a belly rub.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Phyllis Benson is a professional writer and creative artist. Her 25-year background includes work as an editor, syndicated reporter and feature writer for publications including "Journal Plus," "McClatchy Newspapers" and "Sacramento Union." Benson earned her Bachelor of Science degree at California Polytechnic University.