In your daily routine with your dog, you’ve noticed that your dog’s stool starts firm early in the morning but becomes loose in the evening.
Everything else seems okay besides the bowel movements, so what’s wrong?
More likely than not, your dog is getting too much food per day.
Try changing the meal times to 12 hours apart, or the amount of food at meal times–depending on their size.
We will be sharing specific diet tips and tricks that could help. There are other possibilities of what your pup may be experiencing and immediate action steps to help correct the situation.
Common culprits for soft stool
Overfeeding during the day can lead to soft stool
As mentioned previously, what seems to yield this result most frequently is simply feeding your dog too much food in a day.
As a growing puppy, providing meals multiple times a day is excellent. But as the dog matures into adulthood, so do their eating habits and how they metastasize food.
As a dog matures, its metabolism slows down, and in turn, not being able to process as much food.
Most dog food brands have acceptable recommendations by weight class of dog on their bags, and following that should do the trick for most pets.
The stool is typical in the morning because there are enough hours at night for a dog to digest the food in a typical fashion.
More than two feeds a day for adult dogs mucks up their digestive systems.
Lack of fiber can affect the regularity
Alternatively, there can be a lack of fiber in your dog’s system. Fiber is a part of any mammal’s diet that helps with bathroom regularity.
If you think this may affect your pet, try giving them a portion of canned pumpkin at meal times.
Pumpkin, as a natural source of fiber, will help boost your dog’s lack of fiber and help its stool firm up.
There are other options than pumpkin, but an accessible ingredient.
A drastic change in diet can shock a dog’s system
Another potential reason a dog’s stool can change over the course of the day is a sudden or drastic change to its diet.
As we all know, any shock to a body doesn’t fare very well in adapting.
The same is true of giving your pet a new brand of food to supplement the previous one fully.
This rule always stands, transitioning your dog’s food will help them adapt to the new components while waning off the old bag.
If you have switched them without a transition, this can cause reactionary effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, or lack of appetite.
And if you’re in the middle of counterbalancing this, try giving them small amounts of water frequently and, after 24 hours, feed them a bland diet–boiled chicken, green beans, etc. to help settle and regulate their stomach.
Eating non-food items can disrupt digestion
If your dog is notorious for eating non-food items, this may cause irregular stools throughout the day. Depending on what the dog ate will yield different results.
It’s important to know what they may have potentially ingested, including the type of material and the size or shape factor into the following steps you should consider.
If it’s something that will actively harm your dog, and you notice any change in appearance or behavior, take them to the vet right away.
But if everything else seems normal, try a mix of their usual food and bland food to help them regulate again.
A dog’s lifestyle can affect its bowel movements
Allergies to an ingredient or new product can wreak havoc
If your dog’s bathroom activities haven’t changed and you’ve tried feeding them less food, start looking at specific lifestyle activities.
The first thing to look into is getting an allergy test for your dog.
Take a look through or recall any new introduction of foods to your pup’s diet and look for any outstanding ingredients that may be troublesome.
Make sure to look through all aspects of your dog’s items, from food to treats to grooming products.
The other option is to opt for an allergy test at your vet’s office. There’s no real way to find that answer without consulting a vet, but the tests that are most reliable are performed by doctors.
Anxiety and overexcitement are known to produce imbalances in the body
A dog that’s heightened emotional reactions has the potential to cause an affected bowel movement. a
An animal should be fine for occasional emotional responses, but chronically heightened ones should take note.
Continuous states of emotions make the body adapt to its new elevated plane, which can cause digestive issues that lead to differences in bathroom regularity.
Your vet could recommend specific medication if it’s chronic. Still, if it’s something more sporadic, they may suggest something more specific, like avoiding a triggering situation or more exercise to alleviate their energy.
Energy level vs. the amount of exercise a dog does in a day
The amount of energy a dog needs to expend depends on the breed and age of the animal.
So, if you see that your dog may need to slow down or have some extra outside time, that may take care of your dog’s stool issues.
Each dog is different, so knowing the general needs of the breed is a great place to start.
Talk with your vet if you believe this could be a cause, and they could recommend specific steps.
Take leads from your pup, too. If it seems like they need to slow down, slow down, and if they need more outside time, add small intervals of play times or walks.
A dog’s genetic makeup greatly affects energy expenditure and physical and mental health.
Toys/treats that may cause digestion issues
Toys and treats are possible offenders in your dog’s stool issues. A lot of rawhides, animal ears, and chews can disrupt a pup’s stomach and some interactive toys.
Many dogs’ intestinal tracts have been known to be irritated or even rip while ingesting toys of this sort.
And while they shouldn’t eat any of the rawhides, if they do, clean up any remaining pieces and call your vet as soon as possible.
If your dog has eaten anything like this and now experiencing fluctuating stools, this could be a leftover effect. Give your dog water, monitor, and follow your vet’s advice.
Consult with a doc if you feel its an advanced issue
Go for a general check-up to make sure
If you haven’t solved the issue with a simple swap or tip from above, but it doesn’t seem too detrimental, take your dog in for a general check-up.
At this point, a professional’s opinion in person is your best bet.
Your vet will know best, especially if you have an established relationship and has the animal’s medical history on file.
Be prepared with a stool sample; this could prove helpful in distinguishing what’s going on.
Ask for specific recommendations, if the above hasn’t worked
Talking with a vet proves helpful in determining what’s going on. You’ll also walk away with detailed action steps to try.
A doctor can provide products, foods, or prescriptions to dissolve troubles. They can give you real-time feedback if your pet is or isn’t improving.
Possible medical issue
Parasites are known to affect a dog’s digestion
Some more complex things may be at play, specifically medical issues. Your dog could have contracted a bug or, more specifically, a parasite.
A parasite can make your dog physically sick, affecting both its insides and outsides.
Some symptoms to be aware of are diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, gas/bloating, rash/itching around the genital areas, stomach pain, or lethargy.
If your dog has trouble with its stools throughout the day, but you notice a few of these other habits, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.
A pretty surefire way to note is to watch their behavior and bodily behavior.
An unbalanced microbiome
Another possibility is that your pup’s microbiome could be unbalanced. An unbalanced microbiome can affect behavior, digestive issues, immune system reactions, and more.
The microbiome is essentially an animal’s gut health. A healthy gut helps the body stay uninflamed, reducing the possibility of sickness, and harmful bacteria provide the opposite.
A way to fix your dog’s system is to introduce a prebiotic and probiotic into their diet. These biotics will help restore the good bacteria and help the stomach return to a regulated normal.
Water absorption issues
Finally, take note of how your dog is consuming water. If anything seems out of the ordinary in any regard, your dog could have trouble absorbing water or even be dehydrated.
If you believe this is the case, feed small amounts of water intermittently, but consult your veterinarian immediately.
Watching for this, or any other medical issues, can be a bit complex, so make sure to talk to a professional and keep a close eye on your dog if any of the signs progress.
Follow what your vet says and monitor the stools form throughout the day until returning to normal.
Give any trick a few days up to a week to see if it yields a change.
Use your best judgment, too–if your dog’s activity seems typical, one of these tips may work. If it’s different, talk to your vet, they may provide you with the same answer, but better safe than sorry.
Regardless of what your pup may need to resolve this issue, continuing to keep a tab on their stool is a great way to gauge their health.
You don’t have to check every time they go to the bathroom unless you see something out of the ordinary.