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Vet help
Vet help, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2736
Experience:  12 yrs experience as a small animal veterinarian; 21 yrs exp. in the animal care field
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Is it okay to feed my dog pumpkin every day once a day

Customer Question

Is it okay to feed my dog pumpkin every day once a day?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Vet help replied 6 years ago.
I would not recommend that you give your Dobie pumpkin every day.

Excessive fiber in the diet can cause gas and bloating. Since Doberman's are already prone to a potentially fatal condition called GDV (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus in which the stomach fills with air/ bloats and twists on itself). While the exact cause of bloat and GDV are not well understood, foods that might promote excess gas in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract are not recommended.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
When we give him pumpkin his poop is totally normal. Sometimes, when we don't, his poops will get soft. Are soft poops normal at times or are they always a sign that we should change his food? We recently switched him to orijen large puppy breed (slowly, over a month long period) to try and improve his skin (he gets little pimples often).
Expert:  Vet help replied 6 years ago.
Orijen is very high in protein and soft stool, even diarrhea, is not uncommon in the first few months of starting this diet. The gastrointestinal tract needs to "learn" how to process the food and this can take some time.
I think that it's a good choice for a dog with some skin issues, so as long as the soft stool is not unbearable (accidents in the house, painful bowel movements), I'd recommend continuing the food for another couple of months before switching again.
You can give the pumpkin once or twice per week to bulk up the stools when they get soft.
I'd also recommend adding a Probiotic to his diet. Purina's Fortiflora is a good one, but there are a few other brands out there as well. In a pinch, plain yogurt with bacterial cultures is helpful. These are not always palatable to the dog, however, so the other formulations are often easier to administer.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
How much of the Fortiflora (amount and frequency) and for how long? Would you recommend doing this now or only if his poops get soft? Also, we often give him carrots or apples as snacks. Is that okay?
Expert:  Vet help replied 6 years ago.
The Fortiflora should be given daily for the next couple of weeks, though it can be continued longer, if need be. It comes in little packets which are added to the food, and it is dosed as one packet per day.

Carrots and apples are great for snacks as they are low in calories. You want to avoid things like grapes, raisins, and onions. But most other fruits and veggies are fine.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you very much! I see the fortiflora comes in 1 gram packets. Is that an appropriate dosage for his size? He's probably between 60-70 pounds right now.
Expert:  Vet help replied 6 years ago.
Yes, that's what you would use.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for all of your help!
Expert:  Vet help replied 6 years ago.
You're very welcome!