View Full Version : Help! Loose Stools on home cooked diet

16th June 2007, 07:52 PM
I started Charlie on a raw diet, which he loved until he got pancreatitis from too much fat on the raw chicken necks. He lost his appetite for raw food completely so I switched him to California Naturals chicken and rice formula. I had to practically force him to eat. He would eventually come around and eat, but really didn't eat enough, based on how he was eating before. He would eat his treats with no problem, so I eventually took all treats out of his diet until he would eat his kibble.

So after a month of him practically starving, I decided to home prepare his meals. I went to the farmer's market and bought lamb organs, chicken organs, a lamb leg and chicken thighs. I boiled everything, then cut it up into small pieces (minus the bones). I juiced several veggies which I also poured into his food. I add digestive enzymes and fish oil.

Charlie LOVES his new food. He is so excited to eat...the first thing he does when he wakes up or comes home from daycare is run to his food bowl. I am SO happy that he has an appetite again.

Now the problem is his stools. They are dark and soft...the kind that makes a real mess. He has been on this for 5 days, but I must be doing something wrong. I really didn't want to add grains to his diet because of his allergies, but if I add well cooked brown rice, will this help? Maybe sweet potatoes? Or is this a different problem? Or will this clear up on its own? I hope to go back to the raw food one day, because he had the most perfect little poos :)

Charlie is 6.5 mos., just under 13 pounds and this is his portion for an entire day (I divide this into two meals a day)

6 ounces of lamb leg and/or chicken thigh meat
1 oz of chicken heart
1-2 oz of lamb and/or chicken organs
2 TBS of juiced fruits and veggies
1/4 tsp of fish oil
1/2 tsp of digestive enzymes
1/8 tsp of pro-biotic

I am going to start adding the ground egg shells for calcium today.

Can anyone help me? figure out what else I need to add or remove?

Also, Charlie was neutered 10 days ago and had his umbilical hernia repaired. He was on medicine for diarrhea for 2 days, an after effect of the procedure.

Thanks so much for your help.

16th June 2007, 08:02 PM
That sounds like a lot of protein. Are you using a book to make a balanced diet. Things have to be balanced to be absorbed. Calcium, magnesium, phosphrous to name a group. In humans it was found that you must have vitamin D to absorb calcium (now we have vit D supplemented in our milk).

16th June 2007, 10:13 PM
Also sounds like a high amount of internal organs which are rich and often fatty. Most nutritionists will suggest organs should only be 10% of the total diet (note not of the total meat portion, but total of the overall diet). vegetables are usually a much larger percentage of a cooked diet, too. I use much lower levels of protein -- for example see recipes here (second set of recipes), and maybe twice as many vegetable sources as protein, in terms of weight. Also I add something like pasta, oatmeal, rice or barley:


Adding fish oil may cause looser stools for a bit.

I'd definitely be sure you are creating a nutritionally balanced diet. Once way to get better nutritional value is to feed abut half kibble and add some of the homecooked stew over the kibble and mix well. That is often what I will feed and the dogs benefit from the balanced nutrition of the kibble.

Also any abrupt change of diet will often cause tummy upset for some dogs, especially puppies and young dogs. Once you have a good balance I am sure a homecooked option will be just as popular as raw. :)

17th June 2007, 01:14 AM
Already great advice has been given here, so the only other thing I'd add here is that it is probably a good idea to buy a couple of books on canine nutrition. With home prepared, regardless of whether it is raw or cooked, you do need to feed a large variety of foods to ensure good nutrition. One of the traps people often fall into is in trying to provide a completely balanced diet in one meal, and they keep feeding the same thing over & over again, month in & month out. The consensus seems to be to not get overly complicated about each individual meal, but provide variety over time.

17th June 2007, 10:44 AM
Sorry to hear you are still having problems - I would be really careful with fat levels for Charlie, esp as he's had pancreatitis.

It would be worth joining the K9 Kitchen Yahoo list

and also looking at Monica Segal's website


Other diet books and websites are also available :)

18th June 2007, 04:28 AM
Thanks for all the advice. I'm so frustrated by his diet.

The diet that I put Charlie on is basically from the Whole Dog Journal, minus the whole veggies and the eggs. The diet is based on a 40 lb dog, so I broke it down for my puppy to be about 5% of his body weight. Is this too much for a 6.5 month old puppy? What I read its the calories to be concerned about, not the protein. I'm confused by everything I am reading and hearing. As for the veggies, the reason I juiced them is because they can't break down the cell structures of veggies and fruit, so I thought juicing them will allow them to absorb the nutrients better. With the ground egg shell I am adding, the phosphorus to calcium ration will be correct, according to WDJ. He usually gets 1 oz of organs, and more on training days, so maybe this is a too much. I will cut out more of the organs.

I am steaming veggies as we speak, so I will add that to his food, along with the frozen juiced veggies. I also cooked up some brown rice, so I will add a bit of that too.

Thanks for the link to the recipes, I will try them out.

I have three books on the way...hopefully they will provide more insight. I want the best for Charlie, but its quite the challenge to get this right. I will continue until I get it right!

Thanks again

18th June 2007, 05:52 AM
The diet that I put Charlie on is basically from the Whole Dog Journal, minus the whole veggies and the eggs.

I read that article and it sounded really good. Personally the high protein doesn't bother me and I probably provide about the same amount of protein to my dogs, except in their case I am feeding raw. However as Charlie has a history of pancreatitis you will have to watch the fat intake and may just have to modify the diet to reduce the fat a little. Here is an article on the B-Natural web site about pancreatitis & some suggested menus http://www.b-naturals.com/Jul2004.php?PHPSESSID=31533f553321df044d160b4bc336 7dce

The diet is based on a 40 lb dog, so I broke it down for my puppy to be about 5% of his body weight. Is this too much for a 6.5 month old puppy?

For sure, if I were to feed that amount to Beau who is 6 months old, he'd become a balloon. I am only feeding him 3% of his body weight. Of course the suggested % to be feed is only a starting point and as you probably already know from reading the article, you'd weigh him weekly & adjust as necessary. Still that does seem like a lot of food and I wonder if his tummy is getting a bit overloaded.

I'm confused by everything I am reading and hearing.

Yeah, I know.... there is just so much conflicting advice out there. At some stage you have to just go with your convictions and not get too put off by what everone else it doing, and yet retain a bit of an open mind while you do it. A bit like walking a tightrope :)

Look, you sound like you have really done your reasearch and you are on the right track. :flwr:

20th June 2007, 04:06 AM
Caraline, that is a great article on feeding for dogs with/had pancreatitis. Thank you!

I have now reduced his meat to 2/3 what I was feeding, then added brown rice and steamed veggies...and guess what????? His poos are a lot better :D I'm thrilled...They are still not where I want them to be, but at least I can pick them up without leaving too much of a mess. Charlie loves the mixture of meat, rice and veggies too.

Thank you everyone for all your advice!! Although it can be discouraging figuring out the 'perfect diet', nice firm poos are worth it! lol.

20th June 2007, 05:21 AM
Woohoo way to go! :D I find with my 4 I have my base (ideal) diet which the Cavaliers get, but I do need to adjust that to take in the speical needs of my Boxers. Though Scarlett only ever had 1 pancreatic attack, it does seem to have left her a bit fat intolerant, so I have reduced her meat intake & added grain & more fruit & veg than usual. Then for Sam with his arthritis I keep him away from grain which is though to aggravate it... but in all honesty I am not sure. Well, it is the balancing act and we all just try to do the best we can.

Anyway, that is great that you have struck the right mix. :thmbsup: