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Dogs with occasional diarrhea.

Species: Dog
Breed: German Shepherds
Age: 5-8 years
I have two German shepherds, male and female. The female is 7 yrs, the male is 5 yrs, and both are in good health up to date on all shots and worm free. For the past year I have started making their pet food, boiled chicken and rice. I told my vet that I was going to do this and he said that was fine just to watch out and not give them too much protein.
This is how much I feed them and when, the female weighs 85lbs. and gets 2 cups of chicken and rice (about half and half) and two cups of NutroMax hard large breed dog food. The male weighs 110lbs. and gets the same amount. I feed them both once a day in the evening, I would like to do it twice a day but both dogs stay in during the day out of the heat and if I feed them in the morning before I go to work I don't think they would poo before I left.
Anyway my problem is both dogs have diarrhea and have it off and on a lot. Am I feeding them enough, is the food mixture right (should I use more chicken and less rice) I can't figure out what is upsetting their system.
Thank you for your time and I appreciate your help.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question. Making homemade diets for dogs is a controversial and you will see a different opinion amongst veterinarians sometimes.

I have found that it is often hard to balance a dog food properly. So, what this means is that sometimes we can be giving too much protein, fat, or different vitamins or minerals. However, if your dogs are getting a decent amount of commercial dog food along with the extra food we shouldn't have to be too concerned.

Are you feeding raw food or cooked chicken? You will read MANY things online about the benefits of a raw diet. However, I will tell you that I have often had to treat animals for diarrhea when they are on a raw food diet. Again, it's a controversial area.

Whenever I have a patient with off and on diarrhea the first thing that I recommend is a fecal exam to check for parasites.

Next, I will often do a course of 5 days of an antibiotic called metronidazole which often helps with diarrhea.

I will sometimes run a DNA diarrhea panel which looks for different types of bacterial infections and parasites that can be hard to find.

If you are not sure if it is the chicken that is causing the problem, try cutting it out for a month and see how the stools are.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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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.