A proper pup poop is worth its weight in gold, but not every barker delivers solid doggy diamonds. Fortunately, some dog food can firm up soft stools and diarrhea for better-formed poops, making your mutt more comfortable and cleanup easier.
We’ll explain how food can help your four-footer make more solid stools and share the best dog food for firm stools below.
Why Do Dogs Have Loose Stools?
Just about every dog will experience loose stool at some point, with causes ranging from food intolerance to illness. Some dogs may also suffer from more chronic bathroom woes.
The most common causes of loose stools in dogs include:
- Illness: Bacterial infections or digestive disorders can trigger diarrhea or loose stools.
- Stress: Anxious doggos often experience diarrhea when stressed, particularly those with separation anxiety or kenneled canines at boarding facilities.
- Food intolerance: Unlike a food allergy that triggers an immune response, food intolerance can lead to noxious gas, diarrhea, and loose stools.
- Imbalanced intestinal flora: Gut bacteria exist in a delicate balance that can be thrown off due to illness or antibiotics, leading to digestive upset and stool issues.
- Insufficient fiber: A lack of fiber in your dog’s diet makes it difficult for solid stools to form in the digestive tract.
- Too much fiber: While fiber is generally a good thing to incorporate into your dog’s diet, excessive amounts of fiber can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea. The extra fiber moves too quickly through the digestive system, not allowing the body to solidify poop.
- Changing foods too fast: Switching your dog’s food should be done gradually to avoid stomach upset and issues with stool consistency.
Don’t try to self-treat diarrhea or loose stools at home, particularly in puppies and seniors that are extra sensitive to dehydration. A vet should see your dog to rule out underlying causes, especially if it’s a sudden, severe bout of diarrhea or chronic loose stools.
The 7 Best Dog Foods for Firm Stools
The dog food aisle is brimming with options promising to promote digestion and healthier poops, but some are better than others. Let’s explore our top picks for the best dog foods for firm stools and see what distinguishes them from the pack.
1. JustFoodForDogs Balanced Remedy
About: Veterinarians and animal nutritionists designed JustFoodForDogs Balanced Remedy to be easy to digest, aiding doggos prone to tummy troubles like loose stool — so it’s a great dog food for diarrhea. Low in fat, this limited-ingredient, turkey-based recipe is an excellent choice if you’re interested in fresh dog food but weary of your woof’s sensitive stomach.
- The recipe meets the AAFCO nutrient profile for adult maintenance
- Grain-inclusive recipe has enough fiber to keep your pup satiated between meals and bulk up stool
- A balanced blend of healthy fats promotes skin and coat health
- Made in the USA with whole ingredients gently cooked to preserve nutrients
Options: Available in 11 recipes, including Balanced Remedy, Fish & Sweet Potato, and Chicken & White Rice.
Ground Turkey Breast, Enriched Long-Grain White Rice, Sushi Rice...,
Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Fish Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, L-Methionine, Flaxseed Oil, Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Selenium Yeast, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin A Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Cholecalciferol (Source Of Vitamin D3), Thiamine Hydrochloride, Potassium Iodide
- Balanced Remedy recipe was formulated by experts for easier digestion, leading to firmer, healthier poops
- Excellent mix of recipes to choose from beyond Balanced Remedy, including variety packs for puppers who tire of eating the same food day in and day out
- Most dogs can’t get enough of the food’s taste and texture
- Pricing is steep
- Requires space in your refrigerator and freezer
2. Ollie Fresh Chicken with Carrots
About: Keep it fresh while firming your floof’s stools with Ollie Fresh Chicken with Carrots, a tongue-tempting meat mash gently cooked to food-safe temperatures and customized to your dog’s age, activity level, dietary concerns, and more. Fresh produce offers a boost of belly-supporting fiber, while the ground texture is easy for pooches young and old to enjoy.
- Carbohydrate sources include rice, peas, and potatoes
- All recipes meet the AAFCO nutrient profile for all life stages, including large-breed dogs
- Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for nose-to-tail health
- Made in the USA using human-grade ingredients
Options: Available in 5 fresh recipes, including Beef, Lamb, Pork, Chicken, and Turkey.
Chicken, Rice, Carrots, Chicken Livers, Peas, Potatoes, Spinach...,
Cranberries, Tricalcium Phosphate, Salmon Oil, Salt, Taurine, Zinc Gluconate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulphate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Potassium Iodide
- Several pet parents report improved stools after switching to Ollie
- Human-grade ingredients are as good as it gets in the dog food world
- Taste is bowl-lickin’ good to most doggo diners (great for picky pupperinos!)
- Unfortunately, such high-quality food comes with a heftier price tag
- Fresh food requires refrigeration
3. Sundays Food for Dogs
About: Sundays Food for Dogs is a dry dog food that’s air-dried instead of using the extrusion methods used to make traditional kibble, protecting its taste, texture, and some nutrients. Fiber from pumpkin and mullet aids in forming solid stool, while a protein like chicken shines bright as the primary ingredient.
- Nutrient-dense organ meat provides extra vitamins and minerals
- Fish oil offers healthy fats for skin and coat health
- Shipped right to your door for maximum convenience
- Made in the USA using human-grade ingredients
Options: Offered in Beef, Chicken, and Turkey.
Chicken, Chicken Liver, Egg, Millet, Oat, Pumpkin, Kale...,
Ground Bone, Fish Oil, Sea Salt, Flaxseed, Parsley, Turmeric, Chicory Root, Kelp, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Ginger, Blueberries, Carrots, Apples, Tomatoes, Shiitake Mushrooms, Broccoli, Oranges, Cranberries, Spinach, Beets, Tart Cherries, Strawberries
- Rare to find shelf-stable kibble made with human-grade ingredients
- Most woofers go wild for the meaty taste and treat-like texture
- Contains a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables
- More expensive than traditional kibbles
- Additional protein options would be ideal, like lamb or fish
4. Weruva Steak Frites
About: Bulk your barker’s stool and ensure he stays hydrated with the help of Weruva Steak Frites, a beefy canned wet food featuring chunks of grass-fed beef in a grain-free savory stew of pumpkin, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Organ meat rounds things out, offering deep flavor doggos love, and there’s no carrageenan – a common yet controversial ingredient in wet dog food.
- All recipes are non-GMO
- Doesn’t contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Meets the AAFCO nutrient profile for all life stages
- Made in Thailand
Options: Available in Steak Frites, Hot Dayam, Cirque de la Mer, and Marbella Paella.
Water Sufficient for Processing, Beef, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Carrot...,
Beef Lung, Beef Kidney, Potato Starch, Xanthan Gum, Sunflower Seed Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement
- Contains fibrous vegetables (rare in canned food!) that help firm up stools
- Most owners report dogs enjoy the taste
- Unique mix of recipes to choose from
- One of the more expensive canned dog foods around
- Some pet parents prefer dog food made in the USA
5. Acana Wholesome Grains
About: Acana Wholesome Grains is a limited-ingredient food that uses a natural source of fiber in pumpkin for firming up stools. It’s a good choice for pups with known dietary restrictions and is free of artificial colors, flavors, corn, soy, and wheat.
- Omega-3 fatty acids support healthy skin and coat
- Meets the AAFCO nutrient profile for all life stages
- Free of potatoes and legumes
- Made in the USA using a track-and-trace manufacturing process for food safety
Options: Available in 9 grain-inclusive recipes, including Lamb & Pumpkin, Duck & Pumpkin, and Red Meat & Grains. Grain-free recipes are also available.
Deboned Lamb, Lamb Meal, Oat Groats, Whole Sorghum, Lamb Liver...,
Whole Pumpkin, Fish Oil, Natural Lamb Flavor, Whole Oats, Ground Miscanthus Grass, Lamb Fat, Lamb Cartilage, Lamb Tripe, Salt, Taurine, Potassium Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Dried Kelp, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Freeze-Dried Lamb Liver, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Chicory, Turmeric, Citric Acid (Preservative), Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium animalis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product
- Limited-ingredient nature great for dogs with food allergies
- Available with common and novel proteins
- Grain-inclusive and grain-free recipes are available
- Pricey when compared to other kibbles
- Some picky eaters refused to give this dry option a try
6. Diamond Naturals All Life Stages
About: Diamond Naturals All Life Stages is a grain-inclusive bargain of a kibble containing belly-boosting probiotics and stool-firming fiber from sources like pumpkin, chia seed, and flaxseed. Despite the lower price point, this food’s chock full of extras like salmon oil for nourishing your pup’s skin and coat and antioxidants to support immune health.
- Real protein is always the first ingredient
- All life stages recipe supports pups young and old alike
- Fruits and vegetables offer natural sources of vitamins and minerals
- Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients
Options: All Life Stages is offered in Chicken and a fish-based Skin & Coat formula.
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley...,
White Rice, Dried Yeast, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Egg Product, Grain Sorghum, Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Salmon Oil (Source Of DHA), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Kale, Chia Seed, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Oranges, Quinoa, Dried Kelp, Coconut, Spinach, Carrots, Papaya, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Beta Carotene, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid
- Pricing is more than reasonable for quality food featuring bonuses like probiotics
- All life stages recipe ideal for growing with your pup or feeding multi-pup packs
- Kibble size suits dogs big and small
- A few four-footers needed enticing to give this kibble a try
- More protein options would be ideal
7. Blue True Solutions Blissful Belly
About: Blue True Solutions Blissful Belly was specially formulated by animal nutritionists and veterinarians with prebiotic fiber and probiotics to improve digestion and firm stools. Combining quality protein and wholesome grains with real fruits and vegetables like blueberries, it’s also a good source of antioxidants for supporting your sniffer’s immune system, particularly in the LifeSource Bits.
- Deboned chicken is the first ingredient
- Balanced mix of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health
- Doesn’t include corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, or artificial flavors
- Made in the USA using US- and internationally-sourced ingredients
Options: Available in a single chicken-based recipe.
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Potatoes...,
Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (Source Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Canola Oil (Source Of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Peas, Pea Protein, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Fructooligosaccharides, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, L-Threonine, Vitamin E Supplement, Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), L-Tryptophan, Dl-Methionine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice For Color, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), L-Lysine, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Extract, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil Of Rosemary
- Prebiotic fiber and probiotics promote healthier doggy digestion
- Single-protein recipe ideal for dogs with meat allergies
- Several pet parents report improved stool quality after switching to the food
- Pricing is on the higher side
- More protein options are needed for dogs who don’t tolerate chicken
What Characteristics Do Dog Foods for Firm Stools Have?
The best dog food for firm stools isn’t one-size-fits-all, but the products share similarities, from the ingredients chosen to fiber content. Look for these when browsing potential foods if your vet’s given the OK to switch.
The best dog foods for firmer stools:
- Feature a high (but not too high) fiber content: Again, fiber helps bulk up stools, but too much can lead to doggy diarrhea, bloating, and discomfort.
- Contain probiotics: A mix of probiotics can help restore balance to your dog’s gut flora, a biome easily disrupted by illness and some medications. Though more research is needed, multiple strains are thought by many to be more helpful than a single strain.
- Have an ingredient list free of your dog’s food intolerance triggers: You don’t want to upset your sniffer’s stomach by feeding him food that doesn’t agree with his system. Always carefully examine the entire ingredient list, as some recipes use mixed proteins despite being labeled “lamb dog food” and the like.
- Address any specific health problems your dog has: Many dog foods for sensitive stomachs are available today, along with other foods specifically designed to tackle canine health concerns, like hydrolyzed dog foods for mutts with multiple food allergies.
It’s always a good idea to run a potential food by your vet first, as he or she knows your pup’s health and needs best. What works great for one pup may not suit another, especially if your pup has specific health concerns.
Great Solution for Temporarily Firming Stools: Pumpkin to the Rescue
Your four-footer doesn’t always need an entire diet change for temporary belly woes. Sometimes, pumpkin is a quick fix that can firm up stools, so keeping a can in the pantry is a good idea with a canine in the house.
Pumpkin’s a solid source of fiber that can solidify your pup’s poops, plus it has critical vitamins and minerals that may be depleted if your dog’s dealing with diarrhea.
Just be sure you’re using plain canned pumpkin purees like Fruitables Digestive Supplement and not pumpkin pie filling, which is full of sugars, spices, and fats that can worsen your woof’s stomach issues.
Remember: less is more with pumpkin. Too much pumpkin will introduce too much fiber, making your dog’s loose poops worse.
Most of the time, a teaspoon of puree will do the trick for a small or medium-sized mutt. At the very max, offer smaller pups two teaspoons. For large breed dogs, offer up to 4 teaspoons, but always start with two to three at first to see how your pooch’s system reacts.
Best Dog Food for Firm Stools: FAQ
Battling barkin’ bathroom issues isn’t easy, so you may still have some concerns surrounding stool-firming dog food. Let’s explore the most frequently asked questions about the topic.
What foods will firm up a dog’s stool?
Dog foods featuring plenty of fiber (without being too much) from vegetables and grains can firm loose stools. It’s also important to double-check the ingredient list for any potential allergens or triggers that can upset your pup’s stomach. Often, these are proteins like chicken or beef in doggos.
What is the best dog food for solid poop?
The best food for ensuring firmer, healthier poops is one with a balanced recipe of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and vegetables, like Ollie Fresh Chicken with Carrots or Acana Wholesome Grains. Your pup’s food doesn’t need to break the bank, either. Diamond Naturals All Life Stages is a top-notch choice for healthier poops, too.
How do I stop my dog’s stool from being soft?
The best way to combat soft stools is to bring your dog to the vet for a thorough exam to determine what’s causing the issue, as it isn’t always easy to determine if illness, food intolerance, or something else is behind the problem. Treatment varies by the cause, with some doggos merely needing a temporary bland diet while others require medication or a complete food change.
If your pup needs more fiber in his diet, your vet may recommend offering occasional high-fiber dog treats or fibrous bonus ingredients to his bowl, like green beans or broccoli. Homemade pumpkin dog treats are another way to sneak more fiber into your dog’s diet in a tasty way.
What food is good for dogs with soft stools?
The best food for a dog with soft stools will vary by what’s causing the bathroom issues, but usually, you’ll want to look for a digestion-friendly food with a focused ingredient list containing a single protein, grain, and a medley of fiber-containing veggies like pumpkin and sweet potatoes.
Does pumpkin firm up dog poop?
Fiber-rich pumpkin can help solidify your dog’s poop but can also lead to diarrhea if you offer too much. Generally speaking, one to two teaspoons is best for a small to medium dog, while four teaspoons maximum is recommended for a large breed.
As always, err on the side of caution and ask your vet before using pumpkin to alleviate bathroom woes. Sometimes, illness is to blame, and no amount of fibrous vegetables can provide relief.
Has your four-footer sampled any of our picks for the best dog food for firm stools? How’d it work for him? Is there another food that offers the stool support he needs? Tell us about it in the comments. We’d love to hear.