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Food Changes Can Cause Diarrhea in Dogs and Cats

After the adoption of a new cat or dog there is often a call or two that we receive from “pet-parents” with questions about soft stools, or diarrhea. The first consideration is the stress of the adoption event and moving to a new home. Both of these can often cause a temporary change in the stool.

However, any new animal has a high chance of acquiring the messy condition when well-meaning pet-parents introduce a new pet food immediately. People often want to choose the same food that they had been feeding their other pets instead of the food that was recommended without considering the stress on the new pets system.

When there is a new arrival it is important that the animal stay on the same food to prevent tummy-upset and soft stools.

With most dietary induced bowel disturbances they usually resolve themselves within a week to ten days, but there can be other issues such as parasites or tiny organisms that may require veterinary treatment. If diarrhea is left untreated an animal could become dehydrated and require veterinary care immediately.

If you have changed the diet and caused a digestive disturbance in your pet stop giving the canned food in addition to the dry until the diarrhea is under control.  Sometimes an additional diet could be purchased from your veterinarian called R/D which is made by Hills Prescription Diet.

PREVENTING DIETARY FOOD INDUCED DIARRHEA:  Keep you pet on the same diet and when introducing a new pet food do it SLOWLY – Don’t Change Food Quickly! Start By Mixing 1/8th of The “New” Food Portion With the Old Dry Food Portion Customarily Served. Take A Week To Two Weeks To Slowly Increase The Proportions Of The “New” Food.

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