Yep, two of the big four things we all monitor in our dogs to ensure their good health. We want to make sure they are eating and drinking well but also peeing and pooping! And they are all related…
Puppies start off getting all of their nutrition and liquid from “mom” until they transition to eating on their own. They learn to bite/chew instead of just sucking. To help with this transition, we start them all off on Puppy Mousse also called “starter”. Many breeders have nicknamed this “Puppy Crack”… they LOVE IT! So what’s the problem? This is a very rich, nutrient-dense, canned food and yep, we now have problems on the other end with loose stools! Now there are alot of reasons for loose stools, especially in puppies, why am I blaming the “Puppy Crack”? Because Deja is having problems with this rich, canned food too. She frequently “cleans up” what puppies don’t finish at meal time so yep… We have a potty problem with her also!
The first thing I did was eliminate the canned food. Puppies all have teeth now and have learned to chew so all are doing really well on the softened “maternal/puppy food” we start them off on. You may slightly soften your food when puppy first goes home but they will quickly do well on their dry food. (You might also go back and soften their food again at around four months of age when they are teething again and getting their permanent teeth. You may notice they start eating slower; softening their food with plain water may help with those sore gums?)
The second thing I’ve done is treat all the puppies with Benebac; a probiotic easily administered to puppies. You can buy Benebac from Amazon and probably any of the big box pet stores (although I do buy from Amazon and always have “on hand” when I have puppies). You can also buy from your vet if digestive problems arise later although for bigger dogs (any dog already eating well), Forti Flora from Purina (obtained from your vet) is probably the best probiotic to give your dog should you later encounter tummy/digestive issues.
The third thing and really what I want everyone to know is… the miracle of canned pumpkin! NOT pumpkin pie filling that also comes in a can but the actual, plain, pureed pumpkin that comes in a can and that you can buy at almost any grocery store. This IS the “metamucil for dogs”! It will help if a dog is constipated or if a dog has loose stools! And yes, it will turn stools a lovely orange color! We ALWAYS have several cans of pumpkin in the pantry and ALWAYS travel with canned pumpkin also (a time when dogs can get upset tummies)!
So puppies all received a good dollop (several tablespoons to go around) of canned pumpkin and already stools are firming up! YEAH! It will take a few days for the canned food to get out of their system but we are headed in the right direction.
Now, this is NOT to replace vet/medical treatment if puppy/dog suddenly has a problem without a discernable reason; if they do, a trip to the vet is always in order. But feeding plain, canned pumpkin won’t hurt them. Most dogs like the naturally sweet puree and gobble it down… Puppies included.
With the puppies, I KNOW they have not been exposed to giarrdia or coccidia; both organisms that can cause loose stools. And if stools don’t firm up with what I’ve done, I will talk to my vet to have them tested/treated. But I do want folks to know about the use of canned pumpkin.
As an aside, you definitely do not want your dog to get fat! Feeding canned pumpkin as a “filler” can also help with “dieting” to get a few of those pesky extra pounds OFF your dog. NOT the reason I fed pumpkin to the puppies but just a good thing for folks to know.
In other news… Deja now has EIGHT puppies! We now have “Moxie”; a Rooster sired puppy that joined our household yesterday. Moxie is only a few pounds bigger than the puppies and believe me, they are ganging up on her more than she is on them! She sleeps with them at night but is out with the “big dogs” during the day. Of course, she is fed separately than the puppies too. Moxie is still adjusting to being in a new household much like your puppies will be doing in a few weeks when they leave us. And thankfully, I have “help” caring for them all although adding her to the web site may take awhile yet!