Dog acting different

For context, I will be phoning the vet in the morning about this and have actually been in contact with them throughout this process. Anyways.

For reference, the dog is 12 years old and is 3/4 Lab, 1/4 Plott Hound if that makes any difference. He is on a salmon-based kibble due to a sensitive stomach.

Within the past 4ish weeks, my dog has been pooping in the house at very early hours in the morning. Poop is fairly soft and he tends to strain while going, sometimes walking a bit while going. Has been a little gassier lately too, not audible ones if that makes a difference. Also drinking significantly more water than usual but appetite is the same. His weight has always been consistently good.

His behavior is also still pretty normal besides the pooping and on walks, he sniffs a lot more now. It’s really odd, like he’s very intrigued in something. Usually we use either no leash or a long retractable leash (solid voice commands and no pulling issues with the retractable) so it’s not like he’s ever been restricted from sniffing anyways on walks.

Throughout his life he has always had a sensitive stomach and will throw up the vast majority of dog treats. This goes for medication as well including painkillers and antibiotics. We’ve run blood tests multiple times and also had stool checked. When the pooping first started, I brought him to the vet and we tried a probiotic. While at least he didn’t throw it up, he did poop in the house a couple days later. I called the vet again and the vet tech on the line said to try putting plain white rice in with his food to see if that helped for a few days. He ended up throwing it up unfortunately.

I doubt this is him acting out or anything since I can’t imagine anything would have caused it, routine is typically pretty consistent. Sorry, not trying to dump an essay here but just very confused and was wondering if anyone has had anything similar.

What brand dog food? I have heard that some people using Purina Pro Plan have had issues and when they contacted Purina they were told there were new ingredients; I believe one was a change in probiotic.

Most dog food companies do change recipes from time to time - so that would be my first thought.

Second thought might be giardia, although it doesn’t really sound like it. But the history of soft stool not being identified as a parasite is not unusual in the case of giardia. It is often times an issue of exposure, which could be repeated.

I’m not sure I can say whether the sniffing behavior is connected, but if a dog is nauseated it might be seeking to self-soothe (e.g. eat grass or something) so maybe connected?

If you don’t switch foods, I might consider adding something with fiber to help firm up the stool - white rice isn’t really a lot of fiber. Can you consider rice bran or pumpkin?


What time do you feed him? You said he is getting older, perhaps he can’t hold it as long as he used to be able to hold it.

I know this doesn’t help the throwing up, (I agree with S1969 on the recipes getting changed).

Maybe he ate something while walking?

If he were my dog, I would add pumpkin, bone broth, (beef flavored since beef is a neutral protein) and adjust the time I was feeding to either earlier in the day, perhaps feed more in a earlier feeding if you split it up so there is not as much in his system when he goes to bed.

As we age, our bodies change, perhaps this is just one of those changes???

Kibble is dry, do you wet it?

There was just a big warning on foods that Dog Food Advisor announced.

Please keep us on the loop on this, I am interested in finding out how your puppers is doing.


He’s actually on Purina Pro Plan, we started using it this winter and just ended up sticking with it since it was one of the few things that didn’t upset his stomach. I’ll definitely call them today to check in case they have changed it so far though!

I have heard of trying pumpkin in the past but was worried it would cause more vomiting, in the past when we’ve added anything (supplements etc) to his food, he threw up

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We usually feed late afternoon/early evening. He does get let out pretty late and fairly early in the morning although recently he has avoided pooping at all when on walks during the day and doing it at night/early morning inside. However we didn’t have any issues last night as I brought him out at 1AM & 3AM, only peed outside both times but didn’t have any issue overnight.

Yes I honestly wasn’t sure if it was age since it came on fairly suddenly but that definitely could be it. Kibble is also fed dry currently. He did get wet kibble when he was 1-2ish yrs old. He used to eat too fast but hated the wet kibble so much that he stopped rushing it entirely even dry. Really odd but it did solve the issue of eating too fast so I honestly didn’t question it.

Will look into the bone broth, beef, & splitting up more of his meals as well as contacting Purina!

Thanks both of you! Will update the thread

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I would be interested in seeing labs, especially diabetes and thyroid.


Another thing to ask the vet about testing is his Cobalamin/Folate levels. Some dogs can lose their ability to properly absorb these nutrients and it can cause soft stools, gas, and/or occasional vomiting. It requires blood testing to confirm but sometimes it’s just a matter of giving them some B12 injections to see if there is a response.

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My dog had pretty bad dietary issues (vomiting and watery poop) the last two years of her life. Her bloodwork was all normal. The vet prescribed Science Diet I/D (a prescription dog food), which helped a lot. Also (I know this is hard) but fasting for 12 hours after a really bad er, pooping, session, then just introducing rice/broth (no fiber) can be helpful.

Obviously check with your vet, but Science Diet I/D is a prescription food. So see what he thinks.

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