Hello and advice needed

Hello everyone,

I’m currently scratching my head at one of our dogs. We have a Cavapoo who has just turned 1 and a 7 month old standard poodle - it’s the Cavapoo who we’re having problems with.

When we had her we chose Barking Heads as a decent food and moved her onto it (her breeder had been feeding her on a mixture of “whatever Tesco had on offer”) We noticed that she was not eating that much and was very picky with it so after trying everything to get her to eat (hot water to soften it, only leaving it down for 5 mins etc) over the course of a couple of months we came to the conclusion that she simply did not like it!

We decided to put her on Applaws - and that was when our problems really started because although she wolfed it down it really loosened her poos. I contacted Applaws for advice and to make sure we weren’t over feeding her and they advised to leave her on it for a month as her body needed to get used to the rich food. so we did and it didn’t really improve. She did stop trying to eat my rose bushes however but we had the other dog and she would eat his poo (he’s on Applaws large puppy food).

I mentioned it to the vet and he said to test if it was food related then a simple test would be to put her on chicken and rice for a few days. If it stopped then we needed to work out what was in the food causing it - if it didn’t then they would need to run tests.

Oh I use advocate every months on both dogs so unlikely to be worms.

The chicken and rice worked so now I needed to figure out what her trigger was (at this point our 4 year old could not play on the lawn as it would be unsafe for him :frowning: ) I sat with both foods ingredients and the only difference I could see at the time was that Applaws contained white potato which the BH’s didn’t so thought that could be the problem.

I had discovered Millies and really liked what I was seeing in regards to their foods plus the price so I contacted them for advice on which recipes to try. We tried a potato free one and it did not really help so they suggested poultry could be a problem so we tried a different one and that didn’t help. Can I clarify that each time we changed the food over the course of a week and we left her on it for several weeks.

We ended up trying several of their recipes and were getting no where. I emailed them again (they are so helpful) and a different lady picked it up and pointed out about the protein levels as Applaws and the Millies ones we had been trying all had at least 30% and she may not stomach it esp since she is a small dog. So we tried one more Millies recipe which had 28% protein in it which drastically improved her poos but we were still getting loose ones.

I then decided to put her back on BH’s as we didn’t have this problem then and so over Christmas we moved her back onto the puppy food - interestingly she eats it fine now - maybe due to having another dog in the house IDK. Her Poo’s are the best they have been but we are still getting runny ones roughly once a day.

I really want to figure out why we are still getting these runny poos and I think there are a possible number of factors as she does eat the other dogs poo still - as I said he is on the Applaws large puppy food which that could cause it not just because she is eating poo but could it be the fact he is on Applaws that causes a problem. We do try and follow him around and clean up before she can get it but it’s not always possible as we not only do we have a young child but if it’s dark (he’s a black dog) and he goes down the garden I can’t always see what he’s doing LOL

The other thing that may or may not be related is the roses because now she is back on BH’s she has gone back to trying to eat them - and I mean the branches as there’s no flowers at the moment which as I said when she was on the Applaws and Millies she did not really touch them. Someone has suggested is this a vitamin thing - could it be. Some of her runny poos do clearly have plant matter in them.

I’m sure you can all see I am really confused as to what to do with this dog. Yes I know I need to take her to the vets but I wanted to see if anyone here can solve the mystery or if it turns out only something a vet can solve at least give me a good idea so I can prevent needless (and possibly expensive) tests being done. Please note that she has never been unwell through all of this - she is full of energy. Oh and now she has turned one we have moved her onto the adult BH’s (no change)

What do you guys think and how can I solve this because it’s not fair on her or us :frowning:

Hello and welcome to the forum. My first thought is that everything points to the higher protein, high meat content foods being too rich for her. It may not necessarily be that any of the ingredients disagree with her. Sometimes soft stools can be due to an overfeed but you adjusted the amount and still had problems so that isn’t the issue. My dog can pretty much eat anything but she also got loose stools on a dry food with a similar high meat content.
It could be plant matter that is causing the one runny stool. my dog loves to nibble on the new long grass which occasionally results in a softer stool. I discourage her from nibbling on any plants however as many are toxic to dogs see this thread I also think that eating the poo could well be a factor.

Are you feeding any treats on top of the meals? I also used to find that my dog would have a small amount of runny stool when she was having a piece of denture stick in the morning. This stopped when I stopped giving them to her.

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We stopped feeding her treats when it started and only use kibble out of her measured daily amount - I really do wish that was the problem lol

I wonder if she is getting extra protein from the other dogs poo - is this possible. I would be happy to change his food but will need to finish the stock of it we have (saw a fantastic deal and brought a 6 months supply!!)

With the plants we have checked that we don’t have any toxic ones but it’s really only the roses she goes for

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The fact that the stools are mostly okay, suggests that the problem isn’t the food.

Is there any way you could make sure he is supervised when out. I only let my dog on a paved bit of garden at night. If she goes elsewhere, I put the lead on.

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We do try but she got a mouthful earlier as I was dealing with the little one and did not get there quick enough. Yet yesterday I know we got them all lol

Do you think it would be worth changing him onto the BHs as well - my husband has just asked if the richness of the Applaws is coming out in his poo making it more attractive to her. He’s just pointed out that she does not eat her own poo - what do you think?

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Hello and welcome to the forum. I think your priority should be to prevent the coprophagia. In my experience, once they have started to eat poo they are unlikely to stop. As you can’t supervise in the garden the only thing that will help is to get her used to a basket muzzle. That will stop her eating poo and plant material.

If you feel that high protein food doesn’t suit her then maybe look for something in the fat 12% to 14%, protein 25% to 30% ranges. If you use the Dog Food Directory to source a product, select the no red ingredients box. You can also select for grain free but this will then rule out those products containing brown rice, which can be useful for digestive issues as it is a good source of fibre. It might also be useful to choose a single source of protein and one that you know she can tolerate.

A good type of pre/probiotic such as YuDigest might also be helpful. There is a thread here which contains information and links that might be of use to you.

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It certainly seems that the BH’s lower protein does suit her. Applaws puppy food has a huge 38% and most of the Millies ones are 28%+. It’s a shame because when we were looking at the Millies I realised that once he was able to move off puppy food we could have them on the same food which would have been good - oh well.

We have decided to change him to BH’s once we have finished the stock of Applaws we have to see if that makes his poo less attractive to her and in the mean time we’ll try and train her out of it and be as vigilante as possible.

I will let you know how we get on - I will mention it to the vet again and see if he agrees. He didn’t seem to concerned before as she is a healthy dog but I will check.

Any other ideas/advice them please let me know :slight_smile: