Advice needed re: food for puppy

(30 Posts)
cyclingwife Tue 21-Jan-20 19:32:03

My Dpup is a labrador 11 weeks old. She has been fed the same food as her breeder put her on (Eukanuba puppy). She had diarrhoea two weeks ago which we put down to either treats or finding something dodgy to eat in garden (she's on a lead). We put her on a bland diet of cooked chicken and rice. Then after a few days all good so we went back to her dry food. But again diarrhoea returned.
She was at the vets at the weekend for her last jabs and the vet said no temperature, diarrhoea was likely to be just sensitive puppy, as she was growing well (put on 3kg in 2.5 weeks) and was healthy other than the diarrhoea. She's fine in herself, alert and vet had no worries.

As her diarrhoea means we're taking her out every hour and she's having accidents inside at night I'm not sure whether to stop her main food and change to a different food for sensitive tummies? Or maybe grain free?
There is such a range of dog food out there, I have no idea where to start, especially as changing food could make her tummy sensitive. I'd be grateful for any advice.

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sleepismysuperpower1 Tue 21-Jan-20 19:35:32

my dog had the same, we eventually switched him to grain free and the diarrhoea stopped. try to limit the treats too, you can give things like small pieces of thin ham in the place of puppy treats

Junie70 Tue 21-Jan-20 19:38:58

There is a lot of cheap fillers in Eukanuba.

The holy grail website for dog food is

I've got my 2 spaniels on Millie's Wolfheart as they both have sensitive tummies. But if you do change food, do it very gradually with a puppy.

cyclingwife Tue 21-Jan-20 19:48:08

Hi @sleepismysuperpower1, yes we have stopped bought treats and just treating with chicken or ham. She loves it! Tempted to try grain free as she's fine on rice but cooked pasta still dodgy.

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cyclingwife Tue 21-Jan-20 19:51:02

Thanks for the website @Junie70 it's so hard to work out what's reliable information and not sponsored by a dog food brand! I'll take a look at that.

We just followed what the breeder gave with Eukanuba but happy to try others but yes gradual introduction!

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Girliefriendlikespuppies Tue 21-Jan-20 19:54:11

Our puppy was the same and we introduced soft food Butchers and James well beloved kibble and he's <touch wood> been fine since!

cyclingwife Tue 21-Jan-20 19:57:29

@Girliefriendlikespuppies thanks. Great to have recommendations. Our lab seems to like most food so it will be getting the thing right for her tummy.
We found the kibble was convenient but wasn't sure about soft food.
There's just so much to think about!

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feliciabirthgiver Tue 21-Jan-20 20:20:53

We switched our sensitive lab to Nature's Harvest (trays of steamed chicken and brown rice). It's suited him brilliantly and just as easy as kibble, we get ours on repeat order from Monster Pet Supplies. I am not sure if they do a puppy version but we definitely prefer this and would never switch back to kibble. Good luck!

sleepismysuperpower1 Tue 21-Jan-20 20:36:56

we use the wrainrights (no idea if that's how you spell it) grain free stuff by the way, but are gradually switching to Lily's Kitchen Grain Free. my dog was the exact same with pasta- it upset his stomach, but rice is absolutely fine

cyclingwife Tue 21-Jan-20 20:42:41

Thanks @feliciabirthgiver. Glad to know our lab isn't the only sensitive one! They do a puppy one of Nature's Harvest so we're doing some research and need to make decision on which one to go for.
We're definitely going to try grain free for a while.

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cyclingwife Tue 21-Jan-20 20:46:19

@sleepismysuperpower1 my dog training friend recommended pasta to bulk her up after the diarrhoea but she's definitely better after rice. Luckily we bought a rice cooker at christmas and it's been well used!
I've also found some chicken breasts in the freezer and so she's be pampered with some cooked chicken and rice until we get some grain free stuff - just to choose which one! I'll add lilys kitchen to our list.
At the moment I like the sound of millies wolfheart as the ingredients are really simple, but then I worry she won't be getting enough nutrients for a growing pup!

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GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Tue 21-Jan-20 20:46:30

I'd be cautious with grain free: lack of grain has been implicated i heart problems in dogs. See here

loobylou44 Tue 21-Jan-20 20:51:52

Whatever food you decide to use, please make sure that you use a large breed puppy version until your pup is at least 6 months old. My lab is on Arden Grange sensitive but I know a lot of lab owners recommend Skinners field and trial dog food.

Veterinari Tue 21-Jan-20 20:57:43

Grain free diets are a fad and increasingly linked to heart failure in dogs

A sensitive diet with high quality protein would be better

GetawayfromthatWelshtart Tue 21-Jan-20 21:10:22

If you are going to leave worrying links at least do the OP a favour and actually copy and paste what the culprits may be rather than panic them.

Its not all "grain free", OP so don't panic, it's what some companies may be replacing grains with where these veg are the main ingredients rather than meat.

From the article from the US veterinary website its being linked to "Pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients, are what’s being linked to DCM, which leads to reduced heart pumping function and increased heart size...."

Notice the word "main ingredient" in that article? So they are high in legume/ other veg and low in protein.

The main ingredient in any good dog food should be decent protein based. Dogs have eaten "grain free" since the beginning of time smile

cyclingwife Tue 21-Jan-20 21:21:19

@getawayfromthatwelshtart thank you for that reassurance flowers . The grain free foods we have been looking at had 60 or 70% turkey or chicken which makes it protein rich in my mind.

There's something giving dpup a sensitive tum and it seems to resolve itself on chicken and rice and so i'd rather try grainfree (and good quality) to see if that helps her. I will of course check with our helpful vet friend if we decide to keep her on it for the longer term.

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Veterinari Tue 21-Jan-20 21:21:56


You seem to be confusing main ingredients with primary protein source. No grain feee diet is going to be significantly meat-based - most dogs need a diet of around 15-20% protein. Whilst protein sources may be the first ingredient in the list, pretty much any grain free diet will also contain significant amounts of grain-alternatives - namely legumes, potatoes etc. And so the risks are there

There is ZERO evidence that grain-containing diets cause any issues and increasing evidence that grain free diets are problematic. Unless you're a veterinary nutritionist and able to quantify the relative risks of specific ingredients, my general advice would be to avoid grain free diets. It's certainly not scaremongering to highlight a known risk.

cyclingwife Tue 21-Jan-20 21:32:21

@Veterinari thanks for raising this. As I said earlier I'm seeking advice from others experiences to find a solution to help with my dpup's sensitive tummy. The vet wasn't concerned based on examination but I hate seeing dpup upset by the diarrhoea and if I can help her by changing her food then I will. I like to research and get recommendations and then make up my mind based on all the information. I will also seek veterinary advice on the long term implications if we decide to continue with it.

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Veterinari Tue 21-Jan-20 21:34:42

As a comparison wolves only eat about 50% protein and domestic dog protein intake when offered free choice is around 30%.

Not sure what the rationale is for 70% protein for a pet lab. In a large breed dog I'd be wanting to limit protein intake to prevent juvenile overgrowth and nutritional hyperparathyroididm.

cyclingwife Tue 21-Jan-20 21:38:34

@Veterinari so what do you suggest I do? Continue with food that upsets her?

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Veterinari Tue 21-Jan-20 22:03:06

Or read my first post where I suggest a good quality food for sensitive digestive systems - most of the major brands produce specially digestible G-I food and your vet should be able to advise you further.

Since you've responded so pleasantly to my previous advice, and. If it's a persistent issue, I'd also check you're on a monthly worming schedule and I'd also consider faecal screening for giardia.

You're welcome

Veterinari Tue 21-Jan-20 22:05:56

But yes if it was a choice between persistent loose stools and joint disease in a growing lab, I'd take the loose stools every time. Fortunately it's not though. It is possible to resolve both. I'm just not convinced a grain free excess protein diet is the way to do it, unless you've sought specialist nutritionist or GI specialist advice.

talia66 Tue 21-Jan-20 23:26:17

Just a side note. My friends dog had persistent poo problems and it turned out to be chicken! Apparently even though it is widely used for delicate stomachs it doesn't agree with all dogs. My experience is it is trial and error with different foods - you will get there though and find one that works for your dog x agree with everybody else if you change food do it slowly x

Coffeeeeee Wed 22-Jan-20 01:27:25

Hi, our lab is 18 weeks old and we feed him Harrington's puppy complete. We have been feeding him this since we got him at 8 weeks and has been absolutely fine...the only time he's had a slight upset stomach is when we've given him treats so we no longer give them, just a raw egg now and again which he loves and mixed in with his food! smile I would definitely recommend

Girlintheframe Wed 22-Jan-20 06:12:34

Our Ddog has a problem with allergies and a sensitive tummy. He was on James Wellbeloved from the breeder which made his stools very soft and a lot of wind. We moved him onto Millie's Wolfheart when he was around 5 months old and have had no problems since. They do trial bags so you can try before you commit to a big bag. They are suitable for pups too

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