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Poop is sometimes solid, sometimes soft.

Species: Dog
Breed: goolden
Age: Less than 3 mon
Hi Dr Marie,

I'm not sure if this is even an issue.

Max poops first thing in the morning. It's usually pretty solid though the quantity is impressive (I'm sure it must be about 15-18" long.

Some time midday is a smaller, solid poop.

At about 8 pm there's another pretty big poop. But this one does not have a solid exterior to it. It has a shape but if you pick it up its easy to mush.

I can remember at least one or two poops a day being this soft poop almost back to the time i got him.

My vet said he wasn't too concerned.

Should I be?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Good evening Jay!

I am not very concerned about the fact that Max has a large amount of stool, and also some soft stool.

But there are a few things that can cause this that could potentially be fixed, so I have some questions for you:

  • What kind of food does Max eat?

  • What kind of treats or table food does he get?

  • If I remember right, he had giardia before, right? When was the last time he had a fecal exam done to be sure he is cleared of giardia? the way, what do you think of my new site design? I launched it this afternoon.

Dr. Marie.

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Customer reply:

He had 2 fecal exams. One more thorough than the other. Neither was positive. The liquid stool was resolved by putting him on i/d for a week then switching to p/d which he has been on.

In terms of human food, he hasn't had any for a couple of days but if anything it's apples, maybe a little cheese. The odd Medi-treat.

I just found it weird that this morning he had a huge, solid stool then 1 minute later a soft pile.

But if you say that's normal then I'm content with that. Otherwise he's very active and weighs about 50 lbs (at 6 months)

I like the new web design. Very proffessional.

Oh, and that wayward tooth.. "appears" to be moving between the canine and incisor. Fingers crossed.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks Jay, thanks for the info and I'm glad you like the new site! I have worked hard on it...still have a few bugs to fix here and there.

Again, it is probably not a problem that Max has some loose poop. However, it would be interesting to see if he has more formed stools if he was being fed a different food.

p/d is a great food, but every animal handles foods differently. Often when a dog has a large volume of stool it means that he is not absorbing enough of the nutrients as he should. Sometimes this can be because of an allergy, or sometimes the food just doesn't agree with him.

It would be great to try something different. It's hard to say what though. As p/d is a Hill's food, I would say to try a different brand. I personally like Royal Canin or Iams. You may hear bad stuff about Iams but check out the article I wrote about Iams pet food.

If he still had loose stools after that I likely wouldn't be too worried.

Hope that helps! And I am glad to hear that the tooth is lining up!

Dr. Marie.

Customer reply:

I was also thinking too much of it is going out the wrong end. I feed him 6 cups a day. Do you think he is not getting enough nutrition from it?

As for allergy. He's not exhibited any signs of allergies so far. Not to chicken, beef, pork or tuna.

I've read that a dog should be switched to an adult formula at 6 months. Maybe I will take the opportunity to see how a new food does.

But to be honest I think he's always had one of the day's stools be soft, since 2 months old.

Customer reply:

Here's me being a programmer again. But what do you think of having the thread appear in reverse chronological order.
Just that I had to think for a moment because the "enter your reply" was right next to my original question not the most recent answer. I had to page down to recall what was said.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

That's a really good idea Jay...I was just thinking that as I had to scroll down to see your answer. I will do that!


Customer reply:

So given that hes always seemed to have 1 soft stool a day and the others fine, could it be this is just his system?

And given the large volume of stool should I hurry up and get him on another food so he doesn't lose too much nutritional value, or is it really not that big a deal?



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Ah, sorry, I didn't see you had replied twice. (Which confirms that I need to restructure the reply page!!!)

I do recommend that a dog switches to adult food at 6 months, so this is a good chance to make a change. Make sure you do the switch gradually over a period of a week or so.

And if the slightly soft stools persist I wouldn't be worried.

Customer reply:

Small question - how to you stop a dog from wolfing his food down so fast he chokes on it :)

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

There are some neat products that can help Max to not wolf down his food so fast. Check out some of the products I listed in this answer:

How to stop your dog from eating too fast.

Some of those may help!

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.