As a high energy breed, German Shorthaired Pointers tend to burn through food like an old steam locomotive train burns through coal.
Because of this, especially with cheaper brand kibbles, you might find your GSP having consistently loose stool (or borderline diarrhea at times).
Of course, never dismiss possible worms. Gun dogs, with their nose constantly to the ground and high, eat-it-first-don’t-tell-anybody-about-it-later, prey drive… worms should always be on your radar.
Assuming it’s not worms, this issue comes up often from the diet. There’s a double whammy, first, most kibbles use lower quality ingredients then pump their foods with nutrient additives to meet quality guidelines and requirements. This makes the food really rich.
When a dog eats the standard or below standard amount, not a lot of issues. But when your breed eats the higher range or more, the bowels often get messed up. Like if you sit down and eat 4 slices of Dominoes pizza.
4 slices isn’t a crazy amount. You didn’t eat the whole pie, but you’ll likely be paying for it a few hours after.
The second part is that the kibbles don’t use a quality fiber and not enough fiber to keep up with the density of the added nutrients.
So if you notice your dog having loose stool and don’t suspect worms, feeding more fiber will likely help, or completely clear this issue.
Most dog owners know Pumpkin is a good source of fiber. (We find real pumpkin out of your garden works a lot better than the canned stuff.)
*** Always make sure any canned human products don’t contain xylitol or birch sugar. This is highly toxic to dogs. ***
Psyllium Husk Powder
Psyllium comes from a shrub-like herb called Plantago psyllium, which grows most predominantly in India. The outer coating of the seed, or husk is a rich source of fiber.
It’s definitely good to have some Psyllium Husk powder handy.
Apples and Carrots.
One thing we love around these parts is food/herbs that can be used to help a doggo problem as well as be eaten by humans or even help human problems.
Of course we always have apples and carrots on hand and these two staples are great at helping firm up stool. And they’re a great frequent addition.
Apple seeds contain cyanide, which everyone warns you not to eat. We don’t worry so much about anyone ingesting an apple seed or two. In fact, we bet there’s some health benefit in doing just that–but that’s not this article. A lot of apple seeds, or any cyanogenic glycoside seeds for that matter definitely could make you really sick.
With carrots, we recommend chopping them up a bit. They can sit a bit heavy in a dog’s stomach in big pieces and even cause them to vomit.
You might be surprised to know Broccoli is a good source of fiber for your dog and overall good for them. One thing to keep in mind is that Broccoli can cause some gas, so you don’t want to feed in large quantities…
Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Micro-greens (shoots). Are all good sources of fiber as well as other nutrients… NOW, some dogs will look at you like you’re crazy when you put some greens in front of them… others, like our boy Blue will steal our Arugula out of the garden.
Yeah, spicey Arugula!
Kelp is a sea-green loaded with fiber and iron. We don’t have much experience feeding out real kelp. We have powdered supplement Kelp which we feed out to everyone around the farm, though in truth we should probably use it more than we do.
The dogs do enjoy some of the seaweed snacks we enjoy. Ok, ok, it’s an acquired taste… for most humans, not so much the dogs. All Kelp is a type of seaweed, but not all seaweed is a type of Kelp.
Kind of like Scotch and Whiskey for all you drinkers.
*Don’t forget to check those ingredients for sweetners.
That’s it for now. We’ll update the list if we forgot any.