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Hi, I hope someone with experience can help me out. I have a 6 year old black Labrador bitch who I rehomed from an ex neighbour last July. She is a very happy, fit, greedy Lab but she has a very sensitive stomach. She is really bad for scavenging and eats anything and everything that she can get her paws on and this often results in her having very loose stools. I am working on this but it is an uphill battle.

I have noticed that she has lost weight over the past few months, not dramatically but I think she could do with putting some on. My problem is that if I feed her more than she usually gets she has diarrhea, always. This happens whenever I give her more than she usually gets and it becomes counter productive and distressing for her. She has not gone off her food and will never turn anything down!

Does anyone have any tips as to how I can increase her weight without resulting in an upset stomach?

She has not been spayed and is not in season, she is fed on dried harringtons turkey and rice (a mug and a half at 7am and again at 5pm). If she has any scraps or anything else she is very likely to have diarrhea.

Thanks
 

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It's very difficult to answer this question. Yes, feeding more than a dog's stomach will comfortably hold will normally result in loose stools/diarrhoea. And yes, they are natural scavengers!! The problem of her not being able to take different things is quite common, sadly not helped by the pet food manufacturers putting out the story that dogs need to be fed the same thing or they will get gippy tummies. It becomes a self fulfilling prophesy, and it's in the food manufacturers interest to promote this because it gives them a captive market. This is one reason I feed my dogs anything and everything right from pups. Dogs in the wild are opportunist feeders, they eat what they can find when they find it. There is no way they can find exactly the same thing every day, yet we are led to believe the domesticated dog needs the same thing every day! Trouble is, if people do feed the same thing every day then the stomach gets use to processing the same thing every day and rejects different foods. I personally have my staple diet I feed, but my dogs also get a little of what I have, be it spag bol, Chinese sweet and sour chicken or sausage and mash, it all goes in their food bowel and all goes down the same way. And I've never had a dog with a sensitive stomach in way over 60 years in dogs.

But none of the above helps you, because you have what you have, rather than what you would like to have. Do you know what the ex-neighbour was feeding her on? That's the obvious first try. Apart from that it's experimentation, trying different foods, foods comprising of different things. Grain often seems to cause problems, although by rights should not. Carbohydrates are actually a better source of food, needing less for the same value! Protein, rather than putting on weight actually feeds the activity level, and the more active the dog the more it burns off weight! This is the reason why the composition of food is so important. Too much of one gives you the fat couch potato, too much of the other gives you the hyper greyhound!
 

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Personally I'd want to check out the weight loss with the vet. There could be all sorts of medical reasons for both that and the loose stools, ranging from parasites/worms right through to inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.
I'm probably over cautious but have a lab with IBD so have been dealing with similar issues for many years.
 

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It's very difficult to answer this question. Yes, feeding more than a dog's stomach will comfortably hold will normally result in loose stools/diarrhoea. And yes, they are natural scavengers!! The problem of her not being able to take different things is quite common, sadly not helped by the pet food manufacturers putting out the story that dogs need to be fed the same thing or they will get gippy tummies. It becomes a self fulfilling prophesy, and it's in the food manufacturers interest to promote this because it gives them a captive market. This is one reason I feed my dogs anything and everything right from pups. Dogs in the wild are opportunist feeders, they eat what they can find when they find it. There is no way they can find exactly the same thing every day, yet we are led to believe the domesticated dog needs the same thing every day! Trouble is, if people do feed the same thing every day then the stomach gets use to processing the same thing every day and rejects different foods. I personally have my staple diet I feed, but my dogs also get a little of what I have, be it spag bol, Chinese sweet and sour chicken or sausage and mash, it all goes in their food bowel and all goes down the same way. And I've never had a dog with a sensitive stomach in way over 60 years in dogs.

But none of the above helps you, because you have what you have, rather than what you would like to have. Do you know what the ex-neighbour was feeding her on? That's the obvious first try. Apart from that it's experimentation, trying different foods, foods comprising of different things. Grain often seems to cause problems, although by rights should not. Carbohydrates are actually a better source of food, needing less for the same value! Protein, rather than putting on weight actually feeds the activity level, and the more active the dog the more it burns off weight! This is the reason why the composition of food is so important. Too much of one gives you the fat couch potato, too much of the other gives you the hyper greyhound!
Thanks for your response, that's really helpful. I am feeding her the same food she has always been fed but I have upped her exercise so I think she has lost weight because I never upped her food at the same rate. Trying to up her food slightly though isn't working well for exactly the reasons you have suggested. I have had other dogs with iron stomachs who ate anything! Thanks again.
 

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Personally I'd want to check out the weight loss with the vet. There could be all sorts of medical reasons for both that and the loose stools, ranging from parasites/worms right through to inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.
I'm probably over cautious but have a lab with IBD so have been dealing with similar issues for many years.
Thanks for your comment, she is seeing the vets on Monday so I will bring it up with them but I am fairly comfortable that the reason for her weight loss is the increased exercise over time without increasing her food. I think she may have IBS but without being careful with her food I am not sure how I can tackle that. I want the best for her but I don't really want to be using a prescription diet. She only appears to have an upset stomach when she eats more than normal or if she eats something different.
 

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Hello Edinburgh Lab,Our black Lab has irritable bowel disease.She has had it since she was 8 months old,She too was very loose and looked like a greyhound not a lab.She had an ultrasound at specialist Vets who diagnosed this.She also is a scavenger,eats everything.Which makes her loose,We have tried everything with her to stop eating everything on walks.A Behavourist .But because of her condition,she can't help herself.Hope you get on alright at the Vets,and get it sorted.Good luck.
 

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Thanks to everybody for their comments. I have been looking further and several people recommend Chappies dog food for sensitive stomachs. I understand it is not the greatest nutritionally but that it is OK. I think I will try my dog on this but I wondered if anyone had any guidance on whether or not dried food is better or worse than tinned food? She is currently on dried Harrignton's (and has been forever i think) and so I thought easing over to dried Chappies may be less of a shock to her system. However is tinned food viewed as better than dried? Thanks.
 

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Chappie is a very good food for sensitive stomachs. Personally I believe the tins are easier digested and myself would go with that option.
 

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I was around and using it before dried food was invented. 😢 Actually that's not strictly true, I have an advert for Sprats dried complete dog food in a 1920's Crufts catalogue, but we never saw dried foods in the shops when I started in the mid 1950's and my mother did not use it with her dogs in the 1930's
 

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Dogs eat dirty food for a variety of reasons, some eat quite a few but others eat a lot. If your dog only occasionally eats dirty food, it probably has nothing to worry about. Maybe the dog is trying to eat some food buried underneath, and the dirty stuff is just on its way! However, if your dog eats dirty food regularly, this could be a sign of a problem. You will need to watch closely for when dogs eat dirty food and try to find out why. From there you can gradually solve the problem effectively.

Follow dogs when they are outside. Lead the dog with a leash, and keep an eye out for it when in the yard. Scold the dog when you see it begins to eat dirty. Try to distract or divert the dog's attention, and praise if the dog leaves the trash.
If your dog only eats in a certain area of the yard, you can use an irritant such as chili, chili sauce, or a bitter melon spray (available at a pet store).
 

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Hi, I hope someone with experience can help me out. I have a 6 year old black Labrador bitch who I rehomed from an ex neighbour last July. She is a very happy, fit, greedy Lab but she has a very sensitive stomach. She is really bad for scavenging and eats anything and everything that she can get her paws on and this often results in her having very loose stools. I am working on this but it is an uphill battle.

I have noticed that she has lost weight over the past few months, not dramatically but I think she could do with putting some on. My problem is that if I feed her more than she usually gets she has diarrhea, always. This happens whenever I give her more than she usually gets and it becomes counter productive and distressing for her. She has not gone off her food and will never turn anything down!

Does anyone have any tips as to how I can increase her weight without resulting in an upset stomach?

She has not been spayed and is not in season, she is fed on dried harringtons turkey and rice (a mug and a half at 7am and again at 5pm). If she has any scraps or anything else she is very likely to have diarrhea.

Thanks
You should visit a vet to discuss this. Not every dog can handle every type of dog food. About increasing your dog's weight, this is a serious matter. So you should consult with someone professional.
 
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