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Dog Food Nutrition

Best Dog Foods for Less Poop

December 1, 2019

Best Dog Foods for Less Poop

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Perhaps no one pays as much attention to poop as dog lovers, with the possible exception of new mothers.

Maybe it’s because we spend a lot of time picking up poop and looking at it; or maybe it’s because we’ve been told (quite rightly) that our dog’s droppings can tell us about his health, but dog poop is an important topic for people with dogs.

If you have a dog that seems to be producing more poop than you think is normal you’re probably going to be concerned. It could be a dietary issue. If it is food-related, we can recommend the best dog food for less poop. That should make you and your dog happier.

At a Glance: Our Picks for The Best Dog Food for Less Poop To Buy

Introduction

When we say that dog poop is a big deal, we’re not kidding. In fact both Purina and Waltham, two of the biggest pet food companies that devote quite a bit of money to pet food research, have developed their own scoring systems for rating dog feces.

The systems are based on things like quality, shape, consistency, color, and firmness. You can see the Waltham Centre’s scoring system here; and Purina’s scoring system here. You can compare your dog’s poop to these pictures and see where it rates.

Dogs are individuals so some dogs can have feces that will always be a little different – maybe a little softer than ordinary or a little firmer. If you pick up after your dog regularly, you probably know what is normal for your dog.

What you don’t want to see is straining to poop or small, hard feces which can indicate constipation.

And you don’t want to see diarrhea or blood in your dog’s stool. An adult dog can defecate anywhere from one to four or five times per day and still be quite normal as long as the stool quality is good. On occasion a dog may even have a stool that is oddly colored.

This can be from a change in diet. As long as this is temporary it’s probably nothing to worry about but if it continues you should see your veterinarian.

If your dog is producing lots of poop, even though he doesn’t have diarrhea or other digestive problems, it’s probably diet-related. Some dog foods can contain high percentages of fiber and carbohydrates that dogs can pass as waste.

Not all fiber and carbohydrates are “bad” and some are easier for dogs to digest than others but a lot depends on the formulation of these ingredients in the dog food. Cheap dog food is often a culprit because these foods tend to use more low quality filler ingredients that your dog can’t digest well – so they are passed as big piles of waste.

There are a number of things that can cause stool problems for dogs:

  • Food digestibility
  • Cheap dog food
  • Gastrointestinal bacterial population
  • Intestinal disease
  • Toxins
  • Medications
  • Botanicals (herbs), Nutraceuticals, Nutritional oils
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Food allergy or sensitivity
  • Vaccination
  • Exercise
  • Emotional stress

If you suspect that your dog is producing voluminous stools because of his diet, we can recommend the best dog food for less poop.

There are a number of foods that should be able to help your dog with this issue. Many people report almost immediate improvement in stool size and quality after changing their dog’s food.

What To Look For When Shopping For Dog Food For Less Poop

If your dog is producing huge piles of poop – not diarrhea, but poop – it might be time to change foods. Here are some things to look for when shopping for a dog food so your dog will produce less poop.

  • Avoid cheap dog foods. Nobody likes to over-pay for dog food, of course, but sometimes you get what you pay for. Cheap dog foods often include lower quality ingredients such as high amounts of fiber and carbohydrates that your dog passes as waste. Lots of waste.
  • Look for more meat protein in the diet. Meat protein produces less waste than carbs and fiber.
  • Digestibility is important. Your dog will produce less waste if he is eating a food that is more digestible. Some dog foods will note their digestibility rating which should be a high percentage such as 70-90 percent.
  • Choose a food with a moderate amount of fat. Dogs need fat in their diet for a variety of reasons but too much fat can upset their digestive system.
  • Look for foods with lower fiber. Dogs usually do well with a fiber percentage between 4-6 percent but some foods today have very high fiber percentages. Look for foods that have a lower fiber percentage.
  • Kibbles are generally preferable to canned foods for dogs producing lots of stool.
  • Consider feeding a “low residue” dog food. Low residue dog foods are made for dogs that poop a lot. They contain highly digestible ingredients, moderate fat, and low fiber. Expect these foods to be at least 85-90 percent digestible, leaving very little for your dog to produce as waste. These foods can also be a good choice for dogs with flatulence and dogs that have health problems with their colon and pancreas.

The 5 Best Dog Foods for Less Poop Reviewed

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Has moderate fat and low fiber, along with prebiotics and minerals to help dogs with digestive problems
  • Very palatable
  • Low carbohydrates
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  • Human-grade ingredients meet FDA human safety standards
  • Made in small batches in a human food kitchen
  • Minimally processed
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  • Formulated for large breed dogs such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Dobermans
  • Chicken and menahaden fish are the first proteins
  • Contains a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid for good skin and coat health
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  • Fresh chicken is the first ingredient
  • Has moderate fat, low fiber and it’s low in starch
  • Oven-baked to help preserved nutrients
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  • Deboned chicken as a good source of protein
  • Calcium, phosphorus and vitamins for strong bones and teeth
  • Contains glucosamine for joint health and mobility support
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Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula Dry Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 23.0% Min
  • Fat – 10.5% Min
  • Fiber – 2.0% Max
  • Moisture – 12.0% Max
  • Caloric Content: 3,826 kcal/kg, 399 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Has moderate fat and low fiber, along with prebiotics and minerals to help dogs with digestive problems
  • Very palatable
  • Low carbohydrates
  • Pea-free

Cons:

  • Requires a prescription from your veterinarian
  • Expensive

If your dog has a serious problem with producing large amounts of feces, you may want to talk to your vet about a prescription diet such as Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula Dry Dog Food. This food is highly digestible and has moderate fat. It also has very low fiber content along with certain minerals that could help your dog.

Available in 6-lb, 18-lb, and 32-lb bags.

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Whole Food Clusters Dry Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 26.0% Min
  • Fat – 14.5% Min
  • Fiber – 5.0% Max
  • Moisture – 12.0% Max
  • Caloric Content: 3,836 kcal/kg, 422 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Human-grade ingredients meet FDA human safety standards
  • Made in small batches in a human food kitchen
  • Minimally processed
  • No corn, wheat, or soy; grain-free, high protein, gluten-free, GMO-free, and low glycemic
  • No by-products, rendered meals, grains, artificial colors, or flavors

Cons:

  • Expensive

It’s not always easy to find dog foods that have low fiber so we were surprised to find that Honest Kitchen had a good low fiber dog food. The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Whole Food Clusters Dry Dog Food is kibble that comes in cold-pressed, slow-roasted, dehydrated form. There is minimal processing involved. This is human-grade food that is made to meet the United States Food & Drug Administration’s safety standards.

This food has moderate fat and low fiber so we think it could be a good choice for dogs that are producing a lot of stool.

Contains no corn, wheat, or soy and it’s grain-free with high protein. It’s also gluten-free, GMO-free, and low glycemic.

Available in 1-lb, 5-lb, and 20-lb bags.

Dr. Gary's Best Breed Holistic German Dry Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 25.0% Min
  • Fat – 12.0% Min
  • Fiber –4.5% Max
  • Moisture – 10.0% Max
  • Caloric Content: 456 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Formulated for large breed dogs such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Dobermans
  • Chicken and menahaden fish are the first proteins
  • Contains a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid for good skin and coat health
  • No corn, wheat, soy, or peas
  • Has quality fiber to help maintain gastrointestinal functions
  • New Zealand green-lipped sea mussels support joint health

Cons:

  • Dr. Gary’s Best Breed isn’t well-known everywhere

Some people may not be familiar with Dr. Gary’s Best Breed dog foods but they have been making quality dog foods for many years.

They make foods based on nutrition and not fads. Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic German Dry Dog Food is formulated for large and giant breeds that include German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinschers. This formula has animal protein from chicken, menhaden fish, and eggs.

New Zealand green-lipped sea mussels provide a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin for good joint and connective tissue health. This formula has moderate fat and low fiber so we think it could also be a good choice for dogs that are producing a lot of poop.

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed comes in other recipes for other breeds and dogs of other sizes.

Available in 4-lb, 15-lb, and 30-lb bags.

Lotus Wholesome Chicken Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 24.0% Min
  • Fat – 12.0% Min
  • Fiber – 3.0% Max
  • Moisture – 10.0% Max
  • Caloric Content: 3,456 kcal/kg, 388 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Fresh chicken is the first ingredient
  • Has moderate fat, low fiber and it’s low in starch
  • Oven-baked to help preserved nutrients
  • Contains antioxidants from fruits and vegetables
  • Contains optimized calcium and phosphorus
  • Includes healthy grains

Cons:

  • Pea fiber is the 9th ingredient which shouldn’t be a big concern

A favorite of The Whole Dog Journal over the years, Lotus pet food may still be unfamiliar to some dog lovers. The company has a number of very good dog foods. We found that some of their foods had moderate fat and low fiber so they could be good choices for dogs that need to produce less poop.

Lotus Wholesome Chicken Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food is an oven-baked kibble that combines real chicken, fish, brown rice and fruits and vegetables. Olive and salmon oils provide your dog with healthy omega fatty acids. This food is low in starch and less processed than many other kibbles. And, it has moderate fat and low fiber.

Available in 5-lb, 12.5-lb, and 25-lb bags.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 24.0% Min
  • Fat – 14.0% Min
  • Fiber – 5.0% Max
  • Moisture – 10.0% Max
  • Caloric Content: 3,627 kcal/kg, 378 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Deboned chicken as a good source of protein
  • Calcium, phosphorus and vitamins for strong bones and teeth
  • Contains glucosamine for joint health and mobility support
  • Chelated minerals are easier for your dog to absorb
  • No corn, wheat, soy, or chicken/poultry by-product meals
  • Moderate fat and low fiber

Cons:

  • Contains various pea ingredients

For fans of Blue Buffalo, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food contains moderate fat and low fiber. This food could be a good choice if you’re looking for a food to help your dog produce less poop. And it contains no corn, wheat, or soy.

This formula features deboned chicken as a protein source for healthy muscle development.

Available in 3-lb, 6-lb, 15-lb, 24-lb, and 30-lb bags.

Overview

If your dog is producing more poop than seems normal, you can take a sample to your veterinarian to get his or her opinion. In most cases, if you rule out health problems, dogs produce voluminous amounts of poop or “fluffy” stools because of the food they’re eating. Changing your dog’s food to one that has moderate fat and lower fiber can often solve the problem – and make both you and your dog feel better.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta Cooper is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine DN Dog News. She's the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, a Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) award winner. In addition, she is an American Kennel Club Gazette breed columnist and is the author of several books about dogs. She has been reviewing pet foods and writing about dog food for more than 10 years.
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