Estimated Read Time: 5 minutes
Summary: In this blog, we learn all about how to firm up dog stool! We’ll discover whether you need to add certain foods to their diet, what’s the best method for firming up dog poop and what to give them. Read on to find out more about how to firm up dog stool here…
If your dog’s stool isn’t full-blown diarrhoea, but leaning on the loose side (and thus leaving a bit of a mess on their fur or becoming an issue to pick up) there are a few things that could be causing this to happen… And, of course, there are some ways to help!
As with all bodily waste, it has to go in to come out. So, it’s time to check in with their diet and eating routine.
If you’re wondering why your dog has loose stool, then consider how much you’re feeding your dog. The number one reason a dog’s stool is too soft is that they’re being fed too much. One way to know if this is the case is by knowing if your dog is overweight. Check your dog’s weight and ensure what they’re eating is suitable and relative to their size/breed.
An easy way to check to see if your dog’s overweight is by feeling their ribs and spine. When stroking their stomach or back, you should be able to slightly feel their bones. If their bones are buried under the fat, it’s likely that they’re overweight. (If you feel the bones protruding through too prominently, they could be underweight).
Use our Petlab Bodyweight Assessor as a guide:
You may be able to notice that your dog is overweight just by looking at them, but there are signs to help you decide if they really need to be shifting some pounds. Different breeds are safe to carry varying amounts of body fat, so if you are unsure of the ideal weight for your pup, ask your vet for a weigh-in.
Reduce the number of treats/chews your dog is receiving, including dental sticks and table scraps, until your dog’s poop is firmer. Make sure everyone in the household and your guests know this is happening too!
In addition, try reducing the regularity your dog is fed. If you’re feeding your adult dog three times a day, reduce this to two, because eating induces the gastrocolic reflex which makes them go to the toilet soon after eating and if this is too regular, sometimes results in loose stools. Puppies need more regular feeding, but make sure you’re adequately spacing out their meals if they have very soft stools. If you’re unsure how often is enough with your puppy, ask your vet.
Usually, dogs need around 6 hours to fully digest their last meal, but this can be longer in some dogs. Try to make sure this is the case, and if it already is, you can try extending the gap between meals to 7-8 hours.
Petlab Co. Pro Tip: What To Give To Dogs To Firm Up Stool?
If you’ve adequately spaced their meals out, and reduced the amount they’re being fed via treats and scraps but your dog’s stool is still soft you may be wondering what to give to dogs to firm up stool?
Try adding a tablespoon or so (depending on how big your dog is) of cooked carrot, butternut squash or sweet potato to their bowl. This can be a big help in firming up your dog’s poop. Always used cooked vegetables to help with water absorption.
If you’ve got a very eager nosed dog, who likes to sniff and taste things on their adventures outside, it may be time to keep a closer eye on them. Some pups love to try out other animal’s poop, human leftovers dropped on pavement or even dead animals! This won’t be making their tummy happy, and will likely result in loose stools or other stomach upsets.
If you’re stuck on why your dog has loose stool, and you don’t think it’s food-related, ask yourself if your pup is a particularly excitable dog or a dog that gets easily stressed? Both of these emotions can trigger their body to produce loose stools. If you think this could be the case, find the trigger and begin to avoid those situations. If that’s impossible, consult with your vet on helping them calm down.
Some dogs love to exercise and can play fetch with you in the yard for hours. However, just because they can doesn’t mean they should. Over exercising can trigger their bowel to release before it’s ready to. So, if your sporty doggo is experiencing loose stools, they may need their pet parent to responsibly stop play when they’ve had enough.
Check out our handy guide on how much daily exercise certain dog breeds actually need:
If none of the above has worked or sounds right, it’s time to consult with the vet about their soft poo, particularly if it’s started seemingly out of nowhere. Your dog may have intestinal worms, and your vet will want to rule this out.