The Short Answer is:
The most common cause of loose stools is fast changes from one diet to another not grain-free dog food.
In this research you will know the answer to the query “Does Grain Free Dog Food Cause Loose Stools?“.
- What is grain-free dog food?
- How is it different from traditional dog food?
- What are the benefits of grain-free food?
- Are there any side effects of grain-free dog food?
- Is grain-free food healthier?
- What are the leading causes of loose stool in dogs?
- Does wet dog food cause loose stool?
- What foods can you feed dogs to firm up stool?
- Does grain-free food cause loose stools?
- Does Grain Free Dog Food Cause Loose Stools? (Watch Video)
The best dog food is often grain-free because it eliminates gluten and increases your dogs meat intake.
Due to their allergy to gluten dogs actually require a diet high in raw meat and other types of protein.
Is it really that good? Do gluten and grain really cause allergies in dogs? Is it possible to have loose stools after eating grain-free food?
What are your options if that is the case? In addition do grain-free foods really contain more meat than their traditional counterparts? Heres a look.
What is grain-free dog food?
Dog food traditionally includes grains such as wheat corn barley oats rye rice and soy. Non-grain dog food recipes do not include these carbohydrates.
Rover still needs carbs in his diet otherwise he would not have enough energy. This is why grain-free dog foods incorporate potato and pea flour as alternative sources of carbohydrates.
How is it different from traditional dog food?
Alternative carbohydrate sources are incorporated into grain-free dog food formulations. Among them are potatoes sweet potatoes lentils peas and quinoa. You neednot worry about gluten when you eat grain-free. Check the label before you buy anything for your pup if he or she is gluten intolerant. When choosing mass-produced dog food (like most of us) be aware that cross-contamination can occur in the factories. The food your puppy eats could contain traces of ingredients he is allergic to.
The formulations of some grain-free dog foods include a higher proportion of meat than those of traditional dog foods. Do not be deceived however. Grain-free food is not always high in meat and is of superior quality. The substitution of grains for other carbs may result in some formulations containing less meat than traditional ones.
What are the benefits of grain-free food?
A grain-free diet may be beneficial to some dogs according to Dr. Kurt Venator from Purina. As a result grain-free dog food generally contains more omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids than traditional foods.
Dogs cannot digest many of the fillers in grain-free dog food. Now that your pup is using up a greater portion of his food he is pooping less and less frequently. It is suddenly much easier to clean up after him. And then there are fewer stinky dog farts.
Grains in traditional dog food form a film over your pups teeth that causes him to have bad breath. Changing to grain-free food reduced the formation of this yucky layer and improved your pups breath. In addition you do not necessarily need to switch his diet for this – giving him the right kind of chews will also help clean his teeth.
In high-quality grain-free dog food the manufacturers probably would not use highly processed ingredients. Cheaper kibble is often made with these low-cost ingredients. All the good energy has been stripped away from these processed grains leaving your pup lethargic. Switching to a different grain may give him much more energy.
Are there any side effects of grain-free dog food?
The majority of people assume that grain-free dog food is also carb-free. But do not be fooled! There is a tendency for grain-free dog food to contain more carbs than traditional dog food. When your pup consumes more than his fair share of this stuff he will balloon quickly and suffer from all the ailments associated with overweight dogs. Watch your poochs intake if hes on a grain-free diet and make sure hes getting the recommended daily allowance.
The carbohydrates added to Rovers diet could also cause a swarm of bad bacteria in his gut. The carbs in his food may also cause him to feel tired because they come in an unexpected form and his body isnot sure what to do with them-poor pup!
In addition there are severe cases of DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy). This basically means that the heart is enlarged. Over 500 cases of DCM in dogs were investigated by the FDA from January to March 2019 of which 115 died. This is a serious condition and it needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
The majority of dogs on this diet followed a grain-free diet. However the link isnot always straightforward – feeding your dog grain-free food does not necessarily mean that he will die. These dog food formulations were found to have the strongest link in their ingredients.
According to the study peas lentils and sweet potatoes are reported more often than other ingredients in DCM cases. It depends on the breed of your dog and the brand of dog food you’re feeding it. They still do not quite know and are still unraveling the mystery that all began with a big bang! Sorry for the digression.
The pup might gain unwanted weight and he might develop an enlarged heart. There could be a connection between them all and the ingredients in his food but not necessarily.
Is grain-free food healthier?
This is a tough question and possibly contentious like asking if going vegan or trying the keto diet is healthier. There are many factors to consider. There are dogs that benefit from a grain-free diet but there are others that do not. Talk to your veterinarian if you are uncertain of the best course of action for your pup. Your dogs age size life stage and whatever health concerns you may have will be taken into account when choosing dog food. Make sure the dog food you choose is balanced and complete. As a result this food should provide your pup with all the nutrients they need without any boosters or additives.
Some people believe that the grains in their dogs food are the cause of their allergies. However this is a rare occurrence occurring in less than one percent of dogs. Most allergic reactions to dog food are caused by meat or protein sources.
It is also important to consider the benefits of grains in dog food. Nutritional elements like B vitamins iron selenium and magnesium are added to your pups diet. Carbohydrates which are a vital source of energy are also present. Fiber which aids digestion is also present.
The manufacturers usually dump any low-quality ingredients they can get cheaply into grain dog food so the makers claim grain dog food contains all sorts of garbage. That is certainly true in some instances. Unfortunately the same applies to grain-free dog food.
What are the leading causes of loose stool in dogs?
There are many causes of doggy diarrhea. Dogs eat pretty much anything which makes this situation even more complicated. The main causes of loose stools in dogs are eating garbage (literally) sudden changes in diet sensitivity to certain ingredients allergies parasites such as roundworms hookworms and whipworms and poisoning. There was also the time Rover swallowed a dozen pairs of socks. He could also have a viral infection such as parvovirus or distemper or bacterial infection such as salmonella. Loose stools may indicate illnesses such as kidney or liver disease inflammatory bowel disease or even cancer. Perhaps your pup is already ill and is having a bad reaction to his medication or perhaps he is stressed or emotional.
Your pup should be taken to the vet when he has diarrhea and home treatment does not work.
Does wet dog food cause loose stool?
Your dog might have loose stools for a while if you switch from dry to wet food too quickly. Rover would probably not suffer any bad side effects from this switch if you made it slowly. There is no doubt that wet food is tastier than kibble (well duh) but it contains a lot of water. Because of this wet food generally contains fewer nutrients. Thats not good when you’re feeding a giant St Bernard.
In addition to a sudden dietary change your dog may be allergic to wheat gluten or dairy which is in some dog foods. Your pup might benefit from wet dog food since it generally contains less wheat than kibble.
What foods can you feed dogs to firm up stool?
So your dog could have loose stools from grain wet food scavenging or basically anything he ate that he should not have. What should you do? Luckily there are a lot of things you can use to firm up his stools and they’re right in your pantry. Grandma was right about that too. These are some things you can add to Fidos regular diet to help him along:
Rice boiled in plain water
Pumpkin (can or sautéed)
Chicken skinless boiled
Boiled skinless potatoes
Eggs boiled in water
Does grain-free food cause loose stools?
A dog may have loose stools if you change his food too quickly. If you switch slowly your pup should be fine so long as he is not allergic to any of the ingredients. The carbs usually found in dog food such as wheat or corn are absent from grain-free dog food. In place of potato sweet potato or peas manufacturers use other carb sources. Moreover it may not necessarily contain more meat – there are cheaper plant-based alternatives.
A dogs loose stools are often caused by the protein source in his food not the grains or gluten. Despite the benefits of grain-free diets for some dogs it can also cause unwanted side effects such as weight gain. Portion sizes should be smaller for grain-free dog food since it is usually more nutrient-dense than traditional dog food.
Before switching up your pups diet talk to your vet about the right solution based on your pups breed size age and other medical factors.
If you want to read more about dog food tips read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.