Does wet dog food cause soft stool

Does Wet Dog Food Cause Soft Stool?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Wet food does not cause soft stools, but you may want to check the ingredients to see if there’s anything in it you don’t agree with. However, it might cause GI problems in certain dogs.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Does wet dog food cause soft stool?“.

A dogs diarrhea is one of the most common problems that pet owners report to their vets.

Does wet dog food cause soft stool

A 2010 study found that 28.6% of the dogs visiting their vet had diarrhea as their main symptom or had experienced such GI symptoms within the last month. 

In addition to dealing with the awful mess most dog owners fear diarrhea is a sign of a serious health issue while others fear it is related to their pets food with wet food being singled out as the main culprit.

Does wet food cause diarrhea? We’ll find out from the experts. 

Can wet dog food cause soft stool?

Those who feed their dogs processed food mostly buy kibble because it is more affordable easier to store and has higher nutritional value. 

The market share of wet food is much smaller so it cannot be the sole cause of diarrhea incidences in dogs.

In reality the water content of canned food is not what is causing diarrhea in dogs as opposed to kibble. 

In and of itself wet food does not cause soft stools but it might cause GI problems in certain dogs. 

Many types of canned food contain a lot of fat which can upset the tummy of dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Its a sure sign that the food you give your dog is too fattening when it leaves his stool greasy gray. If this is your dogs problem choosing low-fat wet food is the obvious solution. 

Wet food does not cause soft stools but you may want to check the ingredients to see if theres anything in it you do not agree with. 

5 main causes of diarrhea in dogs


When their pet has soft watery stools many dog owners assume he must have eaten something that he should not. In fact scavenging is one of the most common causes of diarrhea among dogs.

Theres a problem with this because you can not tell what exactly your pet found so palatable so you’re not sure how dangerous the unexpected treat might be.

If the problem persists for less than 14 days it is termed acute diarrhea. If the pet continues to have frequent watery stools for a longer period of time then it is called chronic diarrhea.


Diarrhea is a common symptom of parasitic infections whether the dog has roundworms tapeworms or other nasty bugs.

Other infections

The symptoms of viral bacterial or fungal infections can also be accompanied by diarrhea.

Changes in diet

It is quite common for your pets bowel movements to change as a result of a change in diet. Changing your pets diet suddenly can cause soft stools but so can buying another food brand that might contain ingredients your pet is intolerant or allergic to. 

Toxic exposure

You should see a veterinarian right away if none of the above applies and you suspect toxic exposure to heavy metals drugs or poison.

Other diseases

A disease such as acute pancreatitis acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome or intestinal obstruction may also cause diarrhea. 

How to introduce wet food in your dog’s diet

Donot worry about it! Generally speaking dogs have a very limited diet. They can eat basically the same thing for years and be quite content with it. It is important to gradually introduce dietary changes.

It is important to mix a few drops of canned food with his regular dry food if your dog has been on a kibble diet.

Make sure you decrease the amount of kibble as you increase the quantity of wet food. In dogs overfeeding can cause diarrhea so do not be too generous.

If you do not want to spend the next day cleaning up after Fido do not overdo it with the wet food. Wet food is generally tastier than kibble.

What to add to wet dog food in order to get a firm stool

Try one of your grandmas old recipes to cure your dogs upset stomach when he has soft stools but the situation does not seem serious enough to warrant a trip to the vet.

You can add boiled rice to your dogs wet food bowl if hes happy and he acts like himself apart from the watery stools.

Pumpkin either canned or sauteed is another great addition that never fails to produce firm stools. A mashed carrot is also a good option or you can add some boiled skinless chicken breast to the wet food.

You might also consider putting probiotics in his food so contact your veterinarian and ask what he recommends. 

Whatever you do do not overfeed your dog if he has diarrhea. 

Which is more nutritious wet or dry dog food?

Generally wet food is more expensive and of higher quality than regular kibble. A large dog however may not be able to eat wet food because it is less nutritious and impractical. 

Water content which can be as high as 84 percent is one reason why wet food is less nutritious. In addition to making your dog feel full quickly it may also prevent your pet from getting fat. 

In contrast the high water content of wet food makes it an excellent choice for dogs who have urinary tract infections or pets who do not drink enough water on their own. 

What foods are known to cause diarrhea?

The main ingredient that upsets a dogs stomach is wheat gluten and this can be found in many types of dry food especially those that are packed with less meat and many fillers to reduce the cost.

On the other hand you can find the same ingredient in many dog treats bread pasta and occasional biscuits your dog practically begs for. 

Dairy products in your dogs diet can also leave unpleasant surprises on your carpet so limit their consumption to the occasional treat. 

You should never feed your dog chocolate avocados grapes or raisins.

Keep your pet from sticking his nose in the garbage because spoiled or moldy food could give him diarrhea. 

What is the best dog food for firm stools?

Whatever food you choose for your pet keep in mind that they are both processed and might not contain all the necessary nutrients. The vast majority of products on the market contain chemicals that should not be in your dogs diet. 

It is the only way to guarantee your dogs dietary needs if you feed him raw food. Furthermore raw food eliminates your dogs bowel issues resulting in normal smaller stools. And they’re not as stinky either!

Make sure you have the correct combination of bone muscle and soft meat before you start eating raw food. Generally you should eat 70 percent raw meaty bones in your diet.

Ideally lean muscle meat should still be attached to a bone when offered to a dog on a raw diet. A ground bone can also be mixed into your dogs food. From time to time your dogs diet should also contain organs like kidneys and liver.

As meat is not the only nutrient a dog needs raw food is not only about meat. Besides raw meat you can give your dog eggs vegetables like spinach broccoli and celery as well as dairy products such as yogurt or cheese. 

There are many raw meat products available commercially for dogs but you can also have a constant supply of fresh bones and meat for your dog by contacting a butcher in your area. 

A growing puppy has different dietary needs than an older dog so plan their meals accordingly when switching to raw food.


It is not true that wet food causes soft stools in dogs but you may experience a smelly problem on the carpet if your pet suffers from sensitive tummies.

Give your dog small amounts of wet food at first to allow his digestive tract to adjust to the new food. Remember that wet food is much tastier than kibble so your pet may want to stuff himself silly. Do not give in!

Alternatively you can serve your dog a mix of dry and wet food. Keeping a schedule and offering them at different hours is better for his bowels so they can also maintain a schedule.

If your dog consistently has stomach problems with processed food it might be helpful to experiment with raw food and allow him to revert to his natural carnivore state.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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