How do you firm up a dogs poo?

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A worried reader asks for advice on how to stop her young dog experiencing loose stools. Your Dog expert Vicky Payne advises.

Q: Our two-year-old dog suffers from soft stools. We’ve had him for about eight months. When we bought him, we changed him onto premium kibble as he didn’t seem to enjoy the kibble he was on. However, he experienced loose stools on both types. 

Due to bladder stones, we had to change him onto a specialist veterinary diet. While he was on the veterinary diet his stools firmed up and looked really healthy and normal. However, this diet was only temporary for the purpose of treating the bladder stones and we had to change him back onto his premium kibble afterwards. Since changing back, his stools have been very loose again. We want to avoid unnecessary diet changes, but we understand that having firm stools is important for helping the anal glands to empty properly. 

What should we look for in a kibble to help with producing firm stools?

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Louise Napthine, Berkshire.

Vicky says: It is interesting that your dog’s stools were normal while he was on the veterinary prescribed diet. You may want to ask your vet if the same company makes any maintenance diets as these may contain similar ingredients which your dog can tolerate. Some dogs respond to supplements with pre- and probiotics to support normal gut bacteria, which your vet would be able to advise on.