What we feed our dogs can make or break their digestive system. Just like people, dogs can suffer horribly from food allergies and intolerance, leading to cramping, gas, diarrhea, and other chronic health problems. Sometimes even the “best” quality dogs foods aren’t good enough to curb stomach problems – as we recently found out.
***WARNING*** There is a lot of poop talk in this blog post.
THE DIRT ON CHRONIC DIARRHEA
Guinness, who is now 17 months old, has suffered with chronic diarrhea since coming home from the breeder at 8 weeks old. What was thought to be an intestinal bug when she was born (and was treated with antibiotics), turned out to be a 16 month battle with chronic diarrhea. If you’ve ever had an experience with a dog and diarrhea, I’m sure you will agree, it’s not fun. Not fun for the dog, and definitely not fun for the person who has to clean up the diarrhea (especially on cream-coloured carpeting!), or regularly wash a dog’s behind. Multiply that experience by over 500 times (no exaggeration), and you’ll understand what it’s like to deal with chronic diarrhea in a dog.
Chronic diarrhea, as we discovered, can take many forms. Chronic diarrhea is characterized by frequent, loose bowel movements. Contrary to popular belief (or at least my belief) poop does not need to be runny to be considered diarrhea. Soft poop that is formed, but that you can barely pick up off your lawn, is also diarrhea.
You know. The type of poop that looks normal, but squishes into the grass as soon as you try to pick it up, and leaves you reaching for the garden hose. Yes, that.
As nasty as it is for humans to deal with chronic diarrhea in dogs, it’s nasty for the dogs suffering from this problem. It was horrible to watch Guinness have a bowel movement. Not because of the “ick factor”, but because she was always looking like she was straining to go, even though things were “loose”. A typical bowel movement for her took a couple of minutes as she hopped her way around the yard on three legs, leaving dribs and drabs everywhere. That’s something else we learned about chronic diarrhea. It can cause straining in dogs – something I thought was only caused by constipation.
I will spare you (most of) the gory details but, after numerous attempts at changing types of foods and food brands, all of which are considered high quality dog foods, and eliminating all of her favourite treats, we finally admitted defeat and off I went with Guinness to the vet.
DOCTOR DOCTOR…GIVE ME THE NEWS
Truth be told, despite all our efforts to change foods and figure out the cause of Guinness’ chronic diarrhea, we had almost resigned ourselves to the fact that Guinness was likely going to live her life with bowels that did not function normally. After all, despite her difficulties, she was a happy, active, and otherwise healthy dog, with a good appetite.
Part of our research into chronic diarrhea, however, indicated that we should be more concerned with this problem than just the hassle of dealing with Guinness’ loose bowel movements. There could be a bigger underlying problem like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (yes, dogs suffer from that too), or parasites. Even if the cause is not as serious as one of these conditions, chronic diarrhea can cause long-term health problems in dogs.
Thankfully, an examination and blood tests by the vet turned up no obvious problems. The vet felt it was likely that Guinness suffered from “a sensitive gastrointestinal tract” and recommended we try her on a diet of special kibble, sprinkled with a powdered probiotic. I was willing to try Guinness on anything at this point. Guinness spent the next 3 weeks eating this special “sensitive GI” diet – to no avail.
LET’S TALK POOP ABOUT DOG FOOD
During week four of Guinness’ special diet, I had a conversation with my sister-in-law that would be a game-changer. After listening to me lamenting about Guinness’ chronic diarrhea, my sister-in-law asked me if I had tried Guinness on Green Beef Tripe. I had no idea what she was talking about. She told me that my niece had dealt with chronic diarrhea with her dog before finding out about Green Beef Tripe. Once my niece introduced this tripe into her dog’s diet, the diarrhea disappeared.
So what exactly is Tripe? According to Dogs Naturally Magazine, Tripe is “the stomach of a ruminating (grazing) animal including cows, buffalo and sheep. The unique stomachs of ruminants have four chambers which systematically break down grasses with a slew of digestive enzymes, gastric juices and amino acids. ‘Green tripe’, is the stomach that comes right out of the animal, dripping with wonderful, beneficial juices.”
Yes, it stinks. Yes, it looks disgusting. But I was willing to try anything at that point.
PetKind’s Tripett Original Formula Green Beef Tripe is the variety that my sister-in-law recommended. So off I went to the pet store. I cautiously bought just one can. That evening I fed Guinness a full bowl of wet Green Beef Tripe.
SOLID POOP HAPPY DANCE
I have no idea what my neighbours may have thought of me the next morning…and frankly, I don’t care.
The Tripett Original Formula Green Beef Tripe worked! It really worked!
For the first time in her 17 months of life, Guinness had a normal, firm, formed poop!
I was literally doing a happy dance in my pyjamas, on my lawn, around the poop, at 6:30 in the morning! I have never been so happy to see a pile of dog poop in my life!
The feeling of relief that washed over me was immeasurable. It was still too early to declare a full victory though. After all, Guinness had only eaten one meal of the Green Beef Tripe. But, after seeing such a huge change in Guinness’ poop in one day, we were certain we were on the right path.
4 PAWS UP FOR PETKIND ~ A PROUD CANADIAN COMPANY
PetKind is a Canadian company (YAY!) based in White Rock, British Columbia. Tripe is the essential ingredient in almost all of PetKind quality products. Why? Maybe that is because green tripe has so many health benefits for dogs, including better intestinal health, cleaner teeth/fresher breath, and a stronger immune system. Tripe can be beneficial for all dogs, but especially for dogs like Guinness who have a sensitive GI tract.
PetKind has a wide variety of products to suit your dog’s needs. You can find PetKind products at a pet shop near you. I purchase our PetKind products at Global Pet Food stores in Ottawa.
A FUTURE FULL OF TRIPE
3 weeks have passed since my happy dance on that Saturday morning. I am beyond thrilled to note that Guinness is still churning out perfect poops thanks to PetKind’s Original Formula Green Beef Tripe! Guinness’ sister, Bella, who is a very fussy eater, has also been switched to this PetKind pet food, and she loves it.
Both dogs are now being fed a combination of the Tripett Original Green Beef Tripe and the Tripe Dry Green Beef Tripe Formula kibble. The kibble has some of the extra nutrients that dogs require, so for a good balanced diet, the dogs get both.
For those of you with dogs fighting chronic diarrhea, if you’ve been to the vet, been through all the tests, and your dog has no known internal problems, Tripett Original Formula Green Beef Tripe, and other PetKind products. may be just what your dog’s stomach needs for better intestinal health!
Of course, I’m not a licensed veterinarian. If your dog is experiencing chronic diarrhea, please be sure to check with your vet to rule out any serious health problems before trying this food.
PetKind has been around for less than 2 years, and many veterinarians may not have heard of this brand of dog food before – Guinness’ vet had not. Her vet took a good look at the ingredient label on both the canned tripe and the bagged dry tripe formula, and was satisfied with the nutritional value of this food.
PetKind has a Tripe Dry Loyalty Program. Sign up to get 25% off your first purchase of Tripe Dry, plus exclusive offers. Plus, if you purchase your PetKind Tripe Dry at a Global Pet Foods store, you can do like I did and sign up for the Global Pet Foods Free Food Program to earn a free bag of PetKind Tripe Dry after purchasing the required number of bags.
I think Guinness would make a darned good Canine Ambassador for PetKind products, don’t you?
Has your dog suffered from chronic diarrhea? Were you able to find a way to stop it and get your dog on the road to good intestinal health? We would love to hear your story!
Disclosure: Upon trying Petkind’s Green Beef Tripe for the first time, and discovering how well it worked for Guinness, I wrote to PetKind to let them know of our success with their product. Matt from PetKind generously provided Guinness with a supply of PetKind Dry Tripe to help keep her on the road to good intestinal health.