Puppy on Acana passing hard stools and bottom sliding (sorry!)

Hi All

I am new to the forum and am seeking some advice I switched my 4 month old standard Dachshund onto Acana Puppy & Junior from Royal Canin around two months ago. I wasn’t happy with the ingredient content of Royal Canin.

I thought that Acana was one of the top foods on the market but since switching him he has been passing incredibly hard stools and he also does a lot of bottom sliding across the floor.

I have taken him to the vet and we have ruled out worms and blocked anal glands. The vet has put my puppy on lactulose to see if it helps but so far there has been very little change. The vet says if there is no change then I should look to changing his food.

I wanted to know if anyone else has had this sort of problem with Acana and what it could be in the food that is making him pass such hard stools? Also I am looking for advice as to what to switch to if it is the food causing the problem.

I would really value your advice thank you :slight_smile:

I’ve just checked Acana Puppy and Junior on the Dog Food Directory of this website and it certainly looks very good. I see the fibre content is above average so I don’t know why your pup is having this problem. It is not uncommon for dogs to have small, firm stools when on these better quality dog foods - many owners see this as a bonus. However, a healthy pup should not need to be taking laxatives so if you prefer to keep your dog on Acana you could perhaps consider adding some extra fibre to bulk up the stool. The product already has oats so maybe some well cooked brown rice might help. Alternatively, I agree with the vet that a change in food might be worth thinking about.

Try feeding a little more, feeding too little can cause digestive transit times to be too long and can take too much moisture from the stools

Hi Dottie & David
It is interesting about how much to feed because I am not sure if I he is eating enough he gobbles it down so fast. He weighs 6.1 kg and I am giving him 40g 3 x a day. I do think he could eat a little more. I know Acana is a good food which is why I am loathe to switch but I did wonder about trying a food like Burns which our old dog eat happily for many years but having found this site I see it is not rated as high.

Have you tried soaking the kibble? You could then put it into a slow feeder which would prevent the speed eating. Regarding Burns, some dogs (as you have found out) do perfectly well on their products. My only concern is that some of them contain an awful lot of carbohydrate and filler. However, the best thing to do is to let us know which one you are looking at and we can take a look at the formula. At the end of the day, keeping a dog in good health is what is important. If I fed Burns I would probably feel like reducing the quantity a bit and topping up with something meaty to give a bit more protein but I am not a nutritionist so that might be unnecessary.

Regarding scores, there is an explanation of how they are arrived at here. They are useful but dogs are individuals and some might do better on a product that is lower scored. It sounds as if your dog might need a product that has more fibre but as you like Acana, all that may be needed is to top it up with brown rice and/or vegetables.

try adding a little cooked butternut squash or pumpkin puree (100% pure, not spiced pie filling) this may help to regulate things, as the fibre in them absorbs some moisture, it can also be used to alleviate diarrhoea.

if you increase the food, only do so by 10% then give a few days to see the results

Hi I will try to add the butternut or pumpkin. Today I have added some grated carrot. I also slow fed by hand today at lunch so I gave him a little bit at a time. Dottie could you possibly suggest to me a really good quality food that has a some fibre in it. What is strange is that Acana does have fruit and vege and refined oats in the Pupppy & Junior so I’m not sure why he has this problem. I did give him he food with water added when he was smaller. I could try it again. I’m not sure about Burns it was good for my Lab as he was such high energy but my Dachsie likes to sleep most of the day away and I don’t know if it would be right for him I used to give her Burns Chicken & Brown rice but this was when she was older.

do you give any other treats at all? theese can have a bigger effect than people realise, anything with high bone content in particular can cause overly hard output

I’m hesitant to recommend any one particular food because there are so many. I share your puzzlement about this because the product has 4.4 on fibre and already contains pumpkin, butternut squash and other things that should promote a healthy digestive system and colon. Are you sure that your dog is constipated? The true constipated stool is one that is hard and passed in small pieces - very much like rabbit droppings. I assume he has been wormed since you brought him home? It’s two years since my youngest was a baby but IIRC worming should be done at regular intervals until they are 6 months. Of course the regime depends upon the product used.

Anyway, back to food. If you don’t have any success with your extra measures, check out the Dog Food Directory. I’ve just applied the following Filters:

Type of Food - dry complete
Food Properties - natural, hypoallergenic, clearly labelled.
Rating - moving the slider, I selected 4 to 5 because your current food is in this category.
Avoid Ingredients - all red ingredients.
You can tweak the filters yourself if there is something you don’t (or do) want. If you want to increase the choice you can reduce the star rating. These are a good indication of quality but some dogs do better on products that are a little lower in them.

It returned four pages for me and it is then a case of going through each one to see which might fit the bill. Maybe it would be useful to look for products with brown rice and oats but also a good fibre value. For instance, Barking Heads Puppy Days has brown rice, potato and oats. Fibre is average at 3.3. Beet pulp is not thought much of by some but it does provide dietary fibre so it might be worth looking at products that contain this. Information about beet pulp can be found here.

Hopefully your new regime of feeding might help your Dachshund’s problem but if not there is plenty there to look at.