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Discussion Starter #1
my dog has a sensitive stomach, like so many GSDs. i'm currently feeding her professional chicken & barley. but i'm wondering about putting her on a food that is either grain-free or has a higher proportion of meat in it. i'm also wondering about topping her dry food with a little bit of wet food to increase her protein.

her stool is usually a little soft. our vet has tested it for parasites and the test has come up negative twice in a few months. she doesn't show other symptoms of stomach pain or issues on a regular basis. so the goal is to get her stool to be harder and for her food to be gentler on her stomach.

i'm looking at taste of the wild, which is grain-free, but i notice it has tomato pomace in it. i know tomatoes hurt a lot of people's stomachs. do they have the same impact on dogs?

our current food has beet pulp, which i've heard can be hard on stomachs.

is more protein really the answer, or is there an ingredient that might be setting her off?

i'm curious if others have had a GSD with similar issues. if so, did you find the perfect way to feed your dog, and what was it? (obviously i want to change her food as little as possible, as it takes her a few weeks to adjust to a new diet.)
 

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What are you currently feeding and how much of it per day?

How old is your dog?

Are there any other issues besides soft poop?

Do you feed any supplements or is it just kibble for his diet?
 

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how old is your dog? maybe the food you're feeding
her doesn't agree with her. you might have to switch
food several times before finding what works best for her.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
her current food is professional chicken and barley dry. 2 cups in the morning and 2 cups at night. no supplements, currently -- just the kibble plus treats for training (biscuits and duck strips -- i keep these pretty consistent so they don't further complicate things). and she's about 4-5 years old.

i haven't noticed any other issues besides soft stool. ivy's energy level is good. she doesn't show any signs of pain. her appetite is good. she drinks plenty of water. she generally doesn't have gas, and her stomach doesn't grumble.
 

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try a little yogurt and or some brewers yeast tabs ( my dead horse issue) I swear by probiotics. It makes all the difference in the world in my opinion.
 

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Some dogs (including mine) don't do great on chicken based foods. When you make your switch, you might try another protein source (lamb or fish). A lot of people seem to have good luck with taste of the wild. But if you want to limit ingredients for a sensitive dog, another great option is California Natural...and they have a grain free line now. Very limited ingredient list and dogs with stomach/intestinal issues tend to do very well on it.

And from what i've learned, the tomato pomace and beet pulp is basically a stool hardener that companies add.
 

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I have a question on this same topic, is grain free a good solution for sensitive stomachs? What issues can grain free food remedy?
 

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My female rescue was having trouble on Acana (which is what I was feeding my male). Frequent diarrhea/loose stools which tested negative for parasites as well. I just switched her to Natural Balance which is a limited ingredient food and she is doing so much better. I have her on the salmon/sweet potato but they have other protein formulas too. I think it is kind of trial and error and like doggiedad said, you may have to try several foods to see what works best.
good luck!
 

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I would also supplement with probiotics and digestive enzymes. A limited ingredient diet usually works, but some dogs need more that what is provided in them.
 

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Ya know if you boil up 7 eggs, and put them in the fridge, you can peel one and put it on her food morning or evening. They are cheap, have 75 calories I think, good animal protein source, and are good for the coat.

Just a thought.
 

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I switched to TOTW back in December and I can't stop raving about it. I use to giggle about people making a big deal about a certain dog food (sorry), but now I see that once you find that special mix then your dogs feel better instantly.
 

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Ditto is also on that food, and has been her whole life. Her stomach has never been the greatest, but it was nothing to worry about. However lately she has been having more and more diarrhea, so I am considering changing her food ( although I dont think it will help.)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
joshua, when you say 'a little yogurt,' how much is 'a little'? a tablespoon or two? how often do you give it to your dogs - regularly or only when their stool is soft? i'm thinking of giving this a try.

thinking of testing some of the other suggestions, too, like getting away from chicken-based foods and giving her eggs. thanks for all the helpful ideas! keep 'em coming if you've got them. this is my first time dealing with a sensitive stomach, so the collective wisdom is very helpful. i know i'll come back to this thread for more ideas as i'm trying things out with her.
 

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canned pumpkin also helps with stomach issues. A little bit, a tablespoon. Same with yogurt.
 

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If your dog already has a sensitive stomach, I'd be careful about adding in all these things. You can get the same (actually better) benefit that yogurt offers by instead adding in probiotics. NOW acidophilus is a very simple human grade probiotic that doesn't have anything extra added in. There are other good ones out there, but be careful about extra ingredients. And if your dog does have a problem with chicken, eggs might also cause issues. Usually with sensitive dogs, simple is better - simple, limited ingredient diets.
 

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Hard boiled eggs are pretty simple. But they may or may not be an issue if chicken is. It is easy to determine, really, add it for three days and see what happens. If it causes an upset, beyond that, the ingredient is a problem. I sometimes wonder whether it is the chicken itself that is the problem, or the processing of the chicken. The corn, or the quality of the corn/cornmeal. I offered the egg idea because it is high in protein, low in calories and good for skin and coats. I do not do supplements, I prefer to supplement with foods sold for human consumption, raw or prepared by me, with no additives or preservatives.
 
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