View Full Version : Sensitive Stomach Diets?

15th October 2006, 01:57 AM
I took Lucky to the vet today just to get his bordatella booster (now he's a big boy and 100% vaccinated!)

He's had some issues lately with really loose stools lately, but after 2 fecal exams, he's come up negative for parasites, so the vet is looking into diet issues. We're transitionining him from the rice and chicken baby food that he's been on lately (because regular dog food makes him runny ...) to Eukanuba Low Residue Formula - per the vet's suggestion.

I'm okay to transition him to the Eukanuba in the short term, because I think it is probably a lot more nutritionally balanced that rice and chicken, but I'd rather have him on a food that is a bit better than Eukanuba, without corn and meat byproducts.

Does anyone else have a dog or puppy with a sensative stomach? If so, I'd love to know what kibble you are using and if it is helping. I was at the NY Country Dog Fair today at Central Park (fun, but LOTS and lots of people ... we even met some Cavs!) .. I think the Fair was sponsored by Nutro. We got some samples of their sensitive stomach puppy formula - no byproducts and no corn which apparently is not good for dogs (the Eukanuba has corn).

I want to make sure I have Lucky on the best food for him. Any suggestions on what's worked for you if your dog has a sensitive tummy?

Cathy T
15th October 2006, 02:10 AM
Jake had terrible tummy problems as a puppy. I finally got him on CA Natural chicken and rice. That's what worked for us along with a spoonful of pumpkin with his dinner.

15th October 2006, 05:18 AM
I had a difficult time with Freckles this summer with runny stools-seemed like we lived at the vet's and the rest of the time spent cleaning the yard. I tried I/D, steamed hamb/rice and other various foods. Finally, I took in a 3rd stool to the vets and they sent it away and it came back coccidia. I also put him on ProPlan for sensitive stomachs (salmon, no corn). Treated for the coccidia-no more loose stools. All tummies are different and there are really
good ideas here. He also gets pumpkin twice a day. It is a total joy to be past that problem. Don't know if any of this helps.

15th October 2006, 07:37 AM
i had a similar experience as freckles mom, zack had bloody diarrhea, loose or very soft stools, negative stool cultures (three different stool cultures, the last for coccidia, clostridium and something else), lots of flagyl, a couple of other meds for diarrhea, then the vomiting started after three weeks, more meds, ID diet, and trying other diets, but the thing that cured him was de-worming treatment with medication, Dontral Plus, an overnight cure. No diet would've cured the problem. But apparently (from reading these boards) lots of pups do have diet related sensitivities. Several people recommended Natural Balance duck and potato as a low allergen diet, saying they tried lots of things with no success until they tried that one, and that worked. (I tried it, but Zack had been fed home cooked chicken and rice exclusively for three weeks so he did not appreciate being switched to any dog food after that, dry or canned. he just walked away from NB duck and potato, and everything else too).

15th October 2006, 09:54 PM
I understand about the runny stool issue too. Had it for months with Riley and all the vet tests came back negative for worms, coccidia, giardia, etc. So we tried changing him to CA Natural Chicken and Rice adult dog food (per a wonderful suggestion by one of the forum members :D ) with a little pumpkin and that worked for him!
Also, we had to keep him from eating the leaves, twigs, berries, and grass in our yard. Not an easy task, still isn't as he will eat anything, but this also seemed to contribute to his sensitive tummy problems and lead to diarrhea. If Lucky is a "hoover dog" :v*cuum: and eats everything he can find, this may too be aggravating a sensitive tummy.
Hope that helps Lani. :)

16th October 2006, 02:02 AM
I have also had luck with ProPlan for yucky puppy tummys. It was reccomended by my vet. :)

Cathy Moon
16th October 2006, 02:42 AM
California Natural lamb and rice or chicken and rice are both good for food sensitivities, because there are not many ingredients in the food.

If that doesn't help, I would try slowly changing to Innova Evo, for some reason our dogs' poop stays consistently form on Evo.

16th October 2006, 03:04 AM
Wow! Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I am going to have to look into the California Natural - sounds like it works great!

16th October 2006, 03:11 AM
I agree with Cathy try the California Natural Chicken/rice. I've heard some really good things bout it. Also Evo is good to and I can honestly say since King has been eating Innova Evo he hasn't had a loose poop. nice firm (yet smelly :lol: ) poop

Joanne M
27th November 2006, 11:57 PM
You're an angel. So what are you using now? I copied and pasted all the suggestions onto one page, which I will take with me when I shop for food. Have you visited Tia Bella's? Some one, may have been you told me about it when I was looking for puppia harnesses. There's a link there for Life's Abundance - Nature's Variety food that looked interesting. But I don't want to start trying all different things through the mail, have hefty shipping charges, unless I know Tucker will eat it. According to my vet anytime new dog food is introduced it has to be done gradually or it will upset the tummy. I definitely think Tucker has a sensitive Tummy. I have a niece with Crohns disease and she told me she think's he has Crohns. She may not be faroff if Cavaliers are prone to colitis.

Gosh, although I love this website, and cannot say how much I appreciate all the good advice I've gotten, it's also scary. I love Tucker so much, it sounds like Cavaliers are sickly dogs? Although the Vet says he's healthy and looks great and he runs around like a champion. Tucker too eats everything in the back yard. He grazes. Its the first thing he does when he goes outdoors is head for grass or some type of foliage, which I've put some effort into getting rid of (I might add). This is leading me to believe he needs something in his diet that he is not getting. I've been feeding him IAMS dry dog food, and I'm convinced this does not agree with him. Even though he's been eating it since he was a puppy. But, he's also had what I thought was a sensitive Tummy since he was a puppy. Could the right food would remedy the problem? I don't want to start giving too many antibiotics unless there's a diagnosed need, Flagyl is something my niece with Crohn's takes. I prefer to switch food before I go the medication route. By the way, a couple of times his loose stool was almost milky or mucousy? Oh my God, I cannot believe I'm typing a long message about dog poop. Two years ago I could not have imagined how important this topic would become to me!!!

Canned pumpkin, like pie filling??

28th November 2006, 12:34 AM
Also try using something OTHER than chicken as the protein source. Chicken or beef are often allergy or sensitivity culprits, as are additives, or grains. Try fish, lamb, duck -- dome other protein source in the food. And a good quality food without lots of additives.

Home cooked or raw diets also often resolve sensitive stomachs.

28th November 2006, 12:39 AM
Thanks Karlin.

For some of the others who are having the sensitive tummy issues - I wanted to clarify that the Canned pumpkin should be JUST pumpkin - not pie filling that might have spices added. If you are uncertain then it is a good idea to just check the label for ingredients to be sure.

And Joanne - I am still using the Eukanuba Prescription diet that my vet gave me (Low Residue). I don't love it because it does not have human quality ingredients, it does have corn and by-products, but except for one setback it seems to have been working. If it stops working I might change it but I can deal with it for now. If I had not been put on this and had it be working, I would have probably gone to the CA Naturals Chicken and Rice, since Lucky tends to do well on Chicken baby food and Rice, so I don't think the protein source is his issue.

28th November 2006, 12:41 AM
The pumpkin is plain canned pumpkin. Pumpkin mix has added ingredients.
Someone had mentioned putting the pumpkin in ice cube trays and freezing-terrific idea.

28th November 2006, 12:44 AM
Do you give the frozen pumpkin as a treat? Or is the purpose of the ice trays just to ration out the daily portion?

28th November 2006, 12:46 AM
the kind that's NOT pie filling, just plain canned pumpkin. lots of people say it helps. i think it made zack's stool looser. i used the ice tray because i would only give a little bit at a time and it could go bad in the can, or absorb the can material.

you're wise to not start getting into buying a lot of different foods and trying them on him. i did that with Zack and ended up with a cupboard full of premium kibble bags almost full that zack refused to eat.

i have the same experience as Aaron, on Innova Evo, zack's stool went from being softish, though usually not smearing, i could pick it up without smearing it (oh boy! the thrill of it all), to being firm and actually on the hard side and appearing dry, although it had some moisture. i don't know why but Evo has that effect on him.

and yes, i'm sitting here thinking how can i be typing these words, the details of zack's poop. but the diarrhea/colitis experiecne was so traumatic ($1100 in vet bills, fear and depression of helplessness to cure him, cleaning poo off the rug), i gained a whole different perspective on the subect, i am forever changed, it seems. It's kind of weird to know you're among people who share this interest. :lol:

you really might find this webpage informative:

28th November 2006, 01:07 AM
I'm having good luck :xfngr: with Canidae for Bentley. Prior to feeding Canidae he was eating Artemis Small Breed and was doing well on that also.

Bentley has intermittent bouts with bloody runs and very loud tummy noises. Knock on wood, since feeding both the Canidae and Artemis he hasn't had an attack in quite a while!

28th November 2006, 01:14 AM
Oddly, after intermittent runny tums with Holly, Amber has the digestion of a camel. Nothing seems to phase it- although having said that, she's only fed good stuff and I've learnt from first experience. When Holly was about five months, by dad ignored me totally and insisted on feeding her HUGE chunks of turkey. I mean, it would have been too much turkey for a person, let alone a little pup! The mess the following morning had to be seen to be believed. This time round Mum and I watch him like hawks and shout at him if he tries giving either of them something unsuitable. He seems to operate on the principle that if they like it, they can eat it! :roll:

I think fish is a great protein source. Holly's poops have been much more what I consider normal dog poo since giving her a salmon based kibble. It even smells like salmon... :lol:

Cathy T
28th November 2006, 01:46 AM
Joanne - don't be alarmed by all of the problems you read about. Remember that most of the time we post questions about problems it's because we are having a problem. The majority of Cavaliers don't have problems. I think Cavaliers just tend to have sensitive stomachs. My friend has a poodle that can eat anything (including a whole bag of gummy worms...grosss!...and never have a problem). I went the whole route with upset tummy with Jake, thought it would never end...but it did. I think he just eventually outgrew it. I had him on Purina prescription e/n (for gastrointestinal problems) for a good year. I wasn't wild about the food but at least it settled the tummy problems. Once his tummy settled I very gradually (and I mean literally very gradually, to the extent of changing fives pieces and increasing it by a couple of pieces a day over a period of about 3 weeks!!) changed him over to CA Natural chicken and rice. This food was suggested to me because it has very few ingredients. That's what finally worked for us. Both of mine also get a spoonful of pumpkin, a probiotic and an enzyme with their meals. Knock on wood...it's been ages since we've had a tummy problem.

Joanne M
28th November 2006, 02:08 AM
Lani, Sorry for hi-jacking your post and thank you for the help. Thanks Karlin, Judy and Cathy. Excellent reading in that link Judy. Cathy, my vet gave Tucker the Purina, Prescription e/n too, black can? Tucker loves it. But what about treats? Tucker likes, apples, carrots, cheerios. I may try them as treats and I'll definitely try the pumpkin. I'll call the vet see if I can get him the purina e/n, and give his tummy time to heal. I guess I'll start feeding him once a day. He's a piggy with the e/n and gobbled it up so fast, I gave him smaller portions three times a day. How much of the can did you give, whole can in a day or less? I'll just have to watch him. I may need to start off feeding him twice a day, half a cup each time and when the newness of the canned food wears off, work towards feeding him once a day as the article suggested. Any thoughts on that people? It's great not to be alone with this. My cousin has a puggle, and her father brings him a Dunkin Donuts bag with 2-3 munchkins each time he visits. IMAGINE and here I am trying so hard to only give Tucker nutritious foods and he gets the runs every other week. I also might add that if I spent this energy on giving myself proper nutrition, I wouldn't be the fat lump of lard I've become in the past few years!

28th November 2006, 02:23 AM
Joanne, no worries about hijacking the thread - I posted it a month and a half ago, but I sent you the link because I know you were asking about foods for Tucker. So no worries, the way I see it, many of us are dealing with sensitive tummies and colitis, so I think it's great that you are asking these questions and while perhaps I've been dealing with it longer than you, I'm still searching for information myself so I've really appreciated getting everyone's feedback too.

I can't believe either how fascinated I've become with firm poo and making it happen ...

Regarding treats - I try to only let Lucky have his kibble as treats. In obedience class that is what we use. I find that any time I let someone else give LUcky a treat (like the trainer in obedience class or a clerk at a pet store) he gets soft poo. It may be a coincidence, but maybe not and I figure why chance it.

And :rotfl: regarding spending this much energy on giving ourselves proper nutrition. Before I got Lucky my sister had a little mixed breed dog (still does) and when she wanted to get serious about diet and exercise she'd say her goal for the week was to treat herself as well as she treats Razz!! Food for thought for all of us. :flwr:

28th November 2006, 02:59 AM

I feed Dudley and Darby EVO I mix a bit of chicken or hamburger but lately I find their stool is not as solid. I will try some fish too, I also add pure pumpkin to their food as they won't eat it by itself frozen or soft.

I started them on Boiled Rice and Chicken yesterday, I think my hubby has been sneaking them treats again. :bang:

I get so angry when he does this as Dudley really needs to lose about 3 lbs. He has lost 4 ounces since last week but he has been getting plenty of exercise too.

EVO on it's own is great, but intially the will let some pretty wicked gas out. :yikes :yikes :yikes :yikes

Cathy T
28th November 2006, 03:36 AM
Yes, the black and green can is what we used. But we also gave him the kibble prescription e/n. I honestly don't remember how much I fed him. Luckily that has all become a bit of a fuzzy memory! :D As far as treats...nothing at all. His tummy was so sensitive that the slightest thing set him off. After he'd been on the diet for about a year I was able to start introducing new things. Now, they both can eat most anything...except milkbones! We had such a terrible time the one time Jake ate one that I've never given them again.

Lani - that's what our trainer did. She had us bring a bag of their kibble to use for training. Worked great!

I once had a man ask if he could give Jake some of his chocolate croissant!! :yikes No way!! He was so sweet and just enthralled with Jake. I explained that he had a sensitive stomach but had some treats he was able to have. Would he like to give him one? He did and we were all good. I had to remember to leave instructions at the groomers and doggie day care. No treats!!!

28th November 2006, 03:41 AM
Also try using something OTHER than chicken as the protein source. Chicken or beef are often allergy or sensitivity culprits, as are additives, or grains. Try fish, lamb, duck -- dome other protein source in the food. And a good quality food without lots of additives.

Home cooked or raw diets also often resolve sensitive stomachs.


What type of fish do you feed. ????

Can I feed canned salmon or does it have to be fresh fish. ??

28th November 2006, 04:47 AM
...EVO on it's own is great, but intially the will let some pretty wicked gas out.

zack had gas the first time i gave him pure EVO. i'd never smelled gas from him before, so i knew what it was, he was behind the chair i was sitting on. :roll: i didn't realize he was there and i smelled it and i wondered what is THAT?? and then he came trotting out from behind the chair...but he didn't show any sign of being uncomfortable. I talked to the guy at the Pet Store about it, i was asking about trying the RM (red meat) EVO, to see if that would stop the gas. The guy said i should try the NaturVet digestive enzymes, he said it really works. i already had some that i got back when i first had Zack and he had the whole colitis thing, so i started sprinkling it on the EVO every time and it totally eliminated the gas.

when i consulted with jean dodds a few weeks ago, she asked what i was feeding him and i told her Evo and she asked if he had any problem digesting it. I said no, and then mentioned the gas. She said Evo tends to be difficult for dogs with sensitive digestive tracts, she suggested mixing it 50/50 with one of the regular kinds of good quality kibble which has grains in it and a lower proportion of protein. I don't really think of Zack as having a sensitive digestive tract since he hasn't had any problems since the first month i had him and apparently it was an infection that was causing the symptoms, but i got some regular Innova kibble and have been mixing it 50/50 with the EVO for a couple of weeks, and i can make two observations: one, the stool is less firm, and two, no gas.

pick your poison? :?

Joanne M
28th November 2006, 04:58 AM

28th November 2006, 05:04 AM
Thanks Judy ... One issue I haven't posted about is Lucky's gas ... peee ewww!! :yuk: I'm not sure if it started with his prescription diet or what but we certainly have noticed it lately.

I'll have to look into those digestive enzymes as well ...

28th November 2006, 12:32 PM

I forgot to mention that I also have Prozyme I have'nt been putting any on their food of late but I find that when you feed EVO in my experience it really is just intially that mine pass gas. That is not to say they never ge any, got me thinking maybe I will add 1/4 tsp 3 times a week.
I also add Solid Gold to their food.

Mine love it when I add cooked chicken to their kibble, I would love to hear what kind of fish you all use.

I give mine Solid Gold Seameal and a Monica Segal Multimineral Complex 3 times a week.