Best foods for puppies with digestive issues

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

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Barked: Sat Jun 8, '13 8:40pm PST 
Currently, he's on EN GastroENteric Canine Formula because of food sensitivity and digestions issues he had with Blue Buffalo Wilderness puppy food. I know allergies and sensitivities are rare with BB, but I unfortunately have a puppy who is.

He had terrible gas for months and diarrhea for almost a whole month. My vet kept saying it was a bacterial infection and prescribing antibiotics (we went to the vet almost every two weeks!).

Eventually, we knew something else was up and went to a different vet. He diagnosed my pups issues as being digestive in nature. He thinks the BB was to rich for his sensitive tummy and was hard for him to break down.

Since the switch, his diarrhea has disappeared. He's been happier, more playful, his whining has stopped as well as his biting. He's also taking probiotics and eats yogurt with every meal.

I am concerned about some of the questionable ingredients in the Purina EN food (corn, animal fat, and other grains) - and was wondering if there was something more organic that's similar. I've read that Natural Balance is good ... open to suggestions.


Member Since
Barked: Sat Jun 8, '13 8:57pm PST 
None of my pets can tolerate Blue Wilderness dry or canned. It gave them all explosive diarrhea. I don't understand why since they were used to eating high-protein foods. Natural Balance is decent but it's not my top pick. With the exception of Alpha Dog the other varieties are too high in carbs. I prefer to feed my puppy Acana or Merrick's BG. There are many other good brands but I try to stick with what he likes.

Have you tried looking up this link? http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/

I use that site to guide me in choosing good food for my puppy.

Life is better- with Sheltie- love.
Barked: Sat Jun 8, '13 9:23pm PST 
What are his allergies/digestive triggers? I would not recommend any Purina food for a pup with allergies, since Purina is infamous for all the lovely grains they pack into their kibbles: trust me, skip 'em. smile

If he is sensitive to proteins, then try narrowing down what is causing it, unless you already have, which in case I'd find a single protein source food that he can handle. There are many brands out there of excellent quality who have LID versions of their brand.

I'm pretty sure Wellness has a nice line of Limited Ingredient Diets.
Natural Balance is a very decent food (my kitten gets fed their wet food), but recently I believe they've merged with the Del Monte company. If you decide to try their LID diets, just keep an eagle eye on any changes to their formulas in case this merger leads to formulation tampering (it happens, and companies won't always tell you when they change their ingredients).

But since I don't know too much about what bothers your pups tummy,
Here are my recommended LID diets:

Natural Balance

Other brands to look into:

TOTW (I believe all formulas include chicken)
Solid Gold



(Indie) CH- Herdabout- Tri N 4 I

Barked: Sun Jun 9, '13 8:55am PST 
I currently use the Venison Natural Balance LID. It has been really good.
My Indie had such bad GI issues he was having vomiting and diarrhea once a month...He was even admitted to the vet for 2 days and full bloodwork, xrays, fluids, fecals all came up normal.

I was talking to an PetValu owner and he said his older dog had the same issues. He said he tried all the food in their store and found the only one that worked was the Venison. He even tried hte rabbit when they introduced that variety...so far I have Indie on the Venison and I now have him on Coconut Oil and a probiotic and he has been perfect! Almost done a HUGE bag of it smile

Good luck!

Barked: Sun Jun 9, '13 12:24pm PST 
We're pretty sure the BB's protein content was what was upsetting him. He wasn't able to break it down effectively --- so I need something with a low protein count.

The EN (I want to switch him once he's done with the bag I bought from the vet):

Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 23% 11% NA
Dry Matter Basis 26% 12% 54%
Calorie Weighted Basis 24% 27% 50%

BB was:
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 36% 13% NA
Dry Matter Basis 40% 14% 38%
Calorie Weighted Basis 36% 31% 33%
(Indie) CH- Herdabout- Tri N 4 I

Barked: Sun Jun 9, '13 1:40pm PST 
Give the Natural Balance LID Venison a try...lower protein...my guys don't like high protein either

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein 20.0% minimum
Crude Fat 10.0% minimum
Crude Fiber 4.0% maximum
Moisture 10.0% maximum
Calcium 1.0% minimum
Phosphorus 0.8% minimum
Omega-6 Fatty Acids* 2.0% minimum
Omega-3 Fatty Acids* 0.5% minimum

Semper Vorax
Barked: Sun Jun 9, '13 10:41pm PST 
OMG. Sojos or Honest kitchen might be helpful. I love sojos, mostly because I can't find honest kitchen, but I hear lots of good things about the stuff. Sojos complete is a grain free freeze dried product. none of it is cooked which is very easy on the stomach compared to the fixed and brittle proteins of a cooked product.

2 things you might try. if he will, let him chew on fennel stalks. if he won't make a tea out of crushed fennel seeds and let the dog drink it like water . It's an amazing herb for healing the stomach and curing flatulence and diarrhea. You can probably cut the stalks like celery and put it into the food with everything else.

Be very easy on the stomach. Grains tend to be very hard to deal with. tapiocas work well if you need starch. Mix it with ground whole raw chicken or turkey or goat. the less processed you can get the better.

I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Mon Jun 10, '13 8:29am PST 
I switched Moose's food to NB Limited Ingredients Lamb and Rice after months and months of Moose having loose stools. After the first day on NB, the next day he had normal stools.

I tried everything from probiotics to pumpkin, to clay to other foods, but the Natural Balance did the job.

Barked: Mon Jun 10, '13 11:40am PST 
It's important to remember that puppies have immature digestive tracts, and proteins can leak through the gut, and this means a perfect set up for future intolerances or allergies. Your pup having "digestive issues" could simply be this, and not a full blown "intolerance". In these cases it is best to feed a diet that is limited in ingredients, easy to digest, lower fat, more moderate protein (as you have indicated) and a more easily digestible protein, like fish. I would also recommend using L glutamine, an amino acid, as this helps the digestive tract.
Have you tried a limited ingredient diet food such as Wellness, Petcurean (the Sensitivity + Shine)or Natural Balance?

Barked: Mon Jun 10, '13 2:31pm PST 
Thank you everyone! Petfoodadvisor.com had been a godsend. Its helped us compare foods --- to find something healthier that is similar to the EN food he's on from his vet. We've narrowed our choices down to try Acana, Fromm, Wellness, and Taste of the Wild.

I know Puggles can suffer from environmental and food allergies so I do want to watch him and be careful with what I feed him (just like his human daddy!).
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