Can switching dog food cause bowel problems?

I switched Mambo's food recently--went from store brand to Natural Balance. But he is always [passing gas], and his poop is soft. Should I be...


How Does Diet Affect Your Dog?

I switched Mambo’s food recently–went from store brand to
Natural Balance. But he is always [passing gas], and his poop is soft. Should I be worried?

St Petersburg, FL

What you are describing is quite common in both cats and dogs. Many animals, and plenty of humans too, develop gastrointestinal distress in response to sudden diet changes. Symptoms can range from flatulence and loose bowels up to rare cases of protracted vomiting and diarrhea.

In many instances, the symptoms are unrelated to the quality of the foods involved. The mere act of switching diets is the most likely cause of your dog’s problems.

The key to avoiding such issues is to switch diets gradually. If you transition your pet’s diet slowly over several days, his body will be more likely to adjust to the new balance of nutrients without developing gastrointestinal distress.

Although Natural Balance is a good diet, there also is a small chance that it simply does not agree with Mambo. Different individuals have unique tolerances for each diet out there.

Either way, I recommend that you make a transition (gradually, of course) to a new diet. A “sensitive stomach” formulation may be most appropriate in your case.

If problems persist on the new diet, you should consider seeing your vet to explore other possible causes of the symptoms.

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