Is it the food or exercise?

I wasn’t sure where to post this to be honest. Hunter is on Royal Canin maxi puppy food which is what the breeder weaned the puppies on to. I’m not particularly a fan of Royal Canin. I think there‘s better food for less money however he’s been doing well on it so I decided I’d keep him on the puppy food and change when he moves on to adult food. The main thing I don’t like about Royal Canin is the protein. It’s described as poultry protein. A bit vague for my liking. I started a new bag a week ago and ever since his bowel movements have been looser than they had been. Hunter usually goes three times a day. 5.30am, 9.30am and then evening. Usually firm, kickable. This last week the 9.30am is definitely not kickable. Evening more kickable or sometimes depending on what’s happened in the morning he might not even go. It could be because I’m giving him more kibble in the form of treats than I had been. I’ve always used part of my dog’s food ration for treats but I have been gIrving him more than he technically should have. I don’t think this week is much different than previous weeks though. It also quite often happens, and has happened occasionally before, if he has a race round especially zoomies. I know that sort of activity can stimulate the bowels. Obviously from the waffle I’ve just written I’m not sure why this is happening or what to do. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. :nod:
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Devon, UK
These are all good observations Jennifer, so I guess it's just a case of unpicking it a bit. If his food hasn't changed, but the quantities have, could you return to the previous quantitites for a couple of weeks and see how his poos go? And related to that, is there a reason you're giving him more kibble or is it just the way it's worked out? is there anything else you might give him instead for extra treats that you know is a 'stable' food?
I think you're right on the activity front - both Kipper and Stilton will have 'excitement poos' :rofl: after e.g. going into the river, and they tend to be smaller and looser than their normal poo. I don't see this as an issue, but is a bit of a confounder if you're trying to unpick the cause of his current softer poos. the other unhelpful observation is that he might have picked up a bit of a bug that's affecting his bowels.

Maybe keep a food & poos diary for a week or two and see if that sheds light on it?


Fife, Scotland
I find Lilly's poos do vary, and the more poos in a day the looser they get. Sometimes I think she deliberately extrudes one because we are on a walk
I know OH is dreadful about giving her human food treats, but also she does scavenge a bit, and sometimes things she picks up in the woods, or even "wild puddles" can sometimes be blamed for poop consistency.
Obviously with Hunter being younger, you are going to be more strict with extras, and scavenging, but just thought I would chuck that info in.

That said, if you aren't happy with his food, consider changing it......?
I’m sorry I’m so neurotic about bowels. @HAH Hunter will be 6 months this week so he’s been on the current amount of food since he was 5 months. Technically I should be putting up the quantity this week. At the moment he gets 104g four times a day. He has 95g in his bowl and 10g in my pocket so I have 40g in my pocket as treats a day. Except I don’t I’ll end up with more because he gets through them what with rewarding his still very good recalls and getting him to drop the ridiculous amount of things he picks up outside. I assume the 9.30am poop is looser because it’s not that long since he’s been, for example if he doesn’t do his 2nd poop until early afternoon it’s much firmer, however the quantity has also increased so much so that yesterday he didn’t go again. He went from 9.30am yesterday morning to 5.30am this morning. It’s like he’s dumping it all at once. @Selina27 It’s the same food Selina just a new bag. It will be a different batch as I got it from a different place which has got me wondering is the “poultry protein” different in this batch and not suiting him or it’s like feeding a new food without gradually introducing it. @Jacqui-S Hunter is a menace for picking things up and rooting so he could’ve eaten something. I was considering changing him on to Skinners field and trial puppy and junior. Scott and Scout did well on Skinners field and trial adult. I’d kept them on the puppy food the breeder had used but they altered the adult food and it didn’t suit them. @kateincornwall recommended the Skinners and their bowels were much better. It’s just difficult to know what to do or if I need to do anything 🤔
@Selina27 I’m worried every time it happens incase it the start of him having diarrhoea. It’s neurotic I know and I know not even usually anything major I just really can’t help worrying about it. I think it’s ever since Murphy and his colitis. This is how neurotic I am and I don’t mind if you roll your eyes at me, since this has been happening I’ve gone to bed every night worrying he’s going to wake me up because he’s got an upset stomach and got up in the morning in a panic to get him out just incase he’s got an upset stomach. I know it makes no sense. What I want is for all his poos to go back to firm. :wasntme:


Devon, UK
I'm really glad you're sharing your anxieties here @Jennifer and I feel like this might be the main thing you need right now? Somwhere to vent and document your concerns in a safe space with friends.

We also use a portion of kibble as treats, and it sounds like you might be able to relatively easily up the amount you have for treats by reducing the amount in the bowl - e.g. 85g in his bowl and 20g in your pocket doubles the amount you have to play with for rewards, swaps etc. This seems really sensible for the adolescent stages where every other thing seems to be a reward or a swap!

With your diarrhea worries, I suggest writing down what you observe for a bit so you have an objective record you can look back on in a week's time. There's no value in dismissing anxieties, which are from a historically rational place, so I think you should address it head on and give yourself a solid set of evidence to work with. If that doesn't help address your concerns you can think again.
@Selina27 sorry Selina I didn’t actually think you were it was a joke it’s just I roll my eyes at myself it sounds so ridiculous when I write it down. I mean even if he does have diarrhoea so what it really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things so I don’t now why I got so anxious about it I really don‘t. I really appreciate your advice and opinion I didn’t mean to offend.

@HAH thank you for the tips. I was thinking when I increase his food by 10g at 6 Months of adding that to my pocket stash to up it to 20g but maybe I should hold off increasing his ration just increase my pocket stash as you suggest. It’s very kind of you to say I should share my anxiety. I do feel a fool to be honest. None of my family really understand. They try but I know they don’t get it and can be quite dismissive of my worry which I understand because it is ridiculous :facepalm: Thank you all. I’ll keep notes and let you know of any developments. Bet you can’t wait:wink:
You’re just a concerned mamma!! Diarrhea is worrisome when it’s continuous and I totally get being very anxious around it. Anytime I hear Hugo move in the night I worry he’s about to explode again, or when my camera goes off when I’m not home 😩 I had to leave work the other day because he exploded in his crate.

I am now doing 50/50 of old and new food. Hugo was also on Royal Canin and I’ve come down to the chicken being the issue, so far… by the end of the week I hope to be 100% on new food. anyways his stools are finally firm with more of the new food introduced! So I am quite happy with the switch in new food to that has no chicken!

I also give him smaller meals because of his ‘treat’ allowance of kibble
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@Kelsey&Axel I’m wondering about changing because of the poultry in Royal Canin too Kelsey. Murphy couldn’t eat chicken or beef once he’d developed colitis so with Scott and Scout I steered clear of both from the start. Their puppy food was lamb adult food salmon. I’m glad Hugo is improving on the new food thats really good news. :fingers:
It looks like it might have been a dodgy bag of food affecting Hunter’s bowels🤞 !!! I did all the things we’d discussed earlier in the thread but nothing helped so I rang Royal Canin nutrition helpline to ask about the feeding guide and to see if they had any suggestions. I spoke to a very nice lady. I explained what had been happening since I’d opened the bag of food. She asked for the batch number and best before date and said she’d check to see if there’d been any complaints. She then told me she’d send out a 4kg bag, to change Hunter on to it as soon as I received it and if it helped I’d to let her know and she’d send a replacement 15kg bag. That was even before she checked the batch number. It crossed my mind that similar must have happened before as they obviously had a procedure in place. A couple of hours later I received an email from her to let me know there were no other concerns or complaints about that batch so hopefully it was just an isolated incident. I got the new bag a couple of days later. I could tell the difference as soon as I opened it. It was lighter in colour but the most obvious difference was the smell. When the aroma hit me I realised, unlike the other bags I’d had, the dodgy bag hadn’t had a smell. Hunter’s reaction also suggested a difference. He was very excited when I opened the bag like cat nip to a cat and has continued to be excited whereas with hindsight with the dodgy bag he’d not been as enthusiastic as usual. After a few days of the new food I contacted Royal Canin again to let them know the 4kg bag had made a difference and they very kindly sent me a replacement. I can’t fault Royal Canin for there customer service that’s for sure although it’s a bit disconcerting that this can happen. I will be getting my food direct from them from now on. I’d subscribed to Pets at Home as they sold the food cheaper than anywhere else. I now think that’s possibly because they have old stock. The dodgy bag was 12 months older than the bag I got off Royal Canin. Now I need to decide do I keep him on Royal Canin or change :unsure: Anyway hopefully that’s the mystery solved 🤞.