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MissAusten's avatar

How long does a new dog food cause stomach upset for the dog?

Asked by MissAusten (16072 points ) July 22nd, 2009

I can find all kinds of articles on how to switch dog food, but nothing says how long stomach upset lasts if you don’t do it properly. We are dogsitting and the owners didn’t leave us enough food. Not being a dog person myself, I didn’t think to save some of the food when we started to run low (but now that I think about it, we would have started the process soon after the dog arrived to do it properly). Anyway, it’s been four days since we started the new food, and tonight the dog had a bit of the runs. Only once, but I feel bad for her. How long will the diarrhea last, and at what point is it a vet-worthy concern? I tried several different stores before settling for something that seemed as close as possible to the food they left me. and WOW dog food is expensive! The owners will be back in two days, and even though I know we did the best we could, I am worried they’ll be upset. :(

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6 Answers

Lovey_Howell's avatar

It could last a few days actually because of the upset in the dog’s normal flora and pancreatitis. If the diarrhea lasts for 2 days I would recommend bringing the dog in. You don’t want her to get dehydrated as well.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

My dog has gone through about a week at a time when I’ve switched his foods, usually some mild diarrhea but nothing terrible.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

It depends on the dog. Just make very sure you are feeding your dog a high quality dog food (nothing you can buy at Walmart or PetSmart), and incorporate half of their previous food into their new food, and 40/60 the next 2 days, then 30/70, and so on until he adjusts. This will help him tremendously.

marinelife's avatar

@BBSDTfamily I think the user is saying they are out o the new food.

@MissAusten You don’t say what type of food it was (dry, canned?) Did you get as close as possible in terms of ingredients? That is what is critical.

If the diarrhea continues, consider giving the dog some cooked rice ⅔ with ground beef (cooked) ⅓. The rice can help with the diarrhea. Check the web for vet sites or reputable sites with home remedies for diarrhea. It also would not hurt the dog to skip a meal. That would allow its system to settle down.

It was up to the owner to provide sufficient food. Also, they should reimburse you (have the receipt) for the food you bought. I don’t think they will be too upset with you.

MissAusten's avatar

I could order the original food online, but by the time it arrives, the dog would be back home. It is a dry dog food, mixed with just a little bit of wet food. The wet food I still have plenty of—only the dry is different.

Everything seems normal today—I was careful to get a dog food as close as possible to what I’d been given by the owners, who are in Italy where they can’t be reached (otherwise, I would have called them). They actually get back sometime today, but I have a feeling they will get in too late to pick the dog up today. I’m just glad the diarrhea seemed to be a one-time thing. I can’t be annoyed with the owners, because they had another family member watch the dog for the first few days they were gone. Maybe he had the extra food and forgot to bring it? Anyway, thanks for the tips so far, and if it seems like her stomach is still upset, I’ll try the rice and beef.

marinelife's avatar

Glad to hear she is improving.

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