Low-Residue Dog Food – The What, Why, When and How

Playing CIA with your dog’s poop is one of the many blessings that come with being a dog parent. As a responsible pet owner, it’s part of your duties to monitor your dog’s poop and find out about low-residue dog food.


What Is a Low-Residue Dog Food?

Low-residue dog food is designed to give the bowel a break. Typically, it contains very little fiber with some other restrictions. It’s supposed to help to reduce the volume of your dog’s poop and make it smell a lot better.


Does My Dog Need Low-Residue Dog Food?

If your dog’s stools are becoming too much or too frequent, your vet will usually recommend low-residue dog food.


However, depending on the cause of your dog’s poop problem, different diets can be recommended by your vet.

Hence, it’s important for you to understand the nature of your dog’s poop so that you can easily tell when something is off as Dr. Abby Huggins explains.

Here are the different kinds of dog poop and what they mean.


Different Dog Poops and What They Mean

Low residue dog food
So, there are some basic forms that your dog poop can take and each of them has its health significance. Here are some of them:


1. Brown Logs

This is the perfect dog poop. It’s the kind of dog poop other dog poops want to be like. Okay, that’s disgusting but you get the idea. When your dog’s poop looks like this, it shows that everything is A-okay in his gut.

Of course, it should smell badly a bit. It’s poop after all. But then it shouldn’t be so bad that you can’t bear to be around it or it makes you nauseous.


2. Large Volume, Stinky Stuff

Now, in the first place, poop is actually all the indigestible stuff in your dog’s diet that gets kicked out. So, the more of that stuff that’s in his diet, the larger the volume of poop he’ll pass.

Genetically, dogs are hardwired to eat meat. However, many pet owners tend to feed their dogs with less meat and more kibble. Problem is, most of the kibble, especially the low-quality ones, come with lots of carbs and fillers. As a result, the poop ends up being quite large and very stinky.


3. Loose, Liquid-like Poop

…Aka diarrhea. In addition to being carnivores, dogs are also scavengers by nature. This means that they also like to feed on all kinds of rubbish. Do you see why diarrhea is not far-fetched?

Thankfully, this clears up on its own, most times. Your dog just has to throw out the garbage in his system and he’ll be back to normal.

But then, diarrhea could also be a sign that something is up – could be an allergy or food intolerance, or microbial infection. If the diarrhea is lasting longer than 48 hours, call your vet.

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4. Small and Hard Poop

If the poop is tiny and strong like a rock, sometimes so strong it doesn’t come out, then your dog might be constipated.

Basically, constipation is a clog in your dog’s intestines. And this can be brought on by a number of reasons. It might be because he’s not taking in enough liquid, or that he’s taking in too much insoluble fiber and fillers (many low-quality kibbles contain such fillers).

Other things about dog poop you should look out for include the color and sliminess. If it’s not chocolate brown and it starts taking up a weird hue, call your vet.

Also, sometimes, your dog’s poop could get slimy. However, if it’s becoming an everyday thing, then something is wrong. Call your vet.

Okay, we’re pretty sure you’re glad for the education on dog poop and all. However, today, we are going to focus on when your dog’s poop is large and stinky because that’s when you’ll need to get your dog a low-residue dog food.


Low residue dog food

What are the Characteristics of a Low-Residue Dog Food?

1. High Digestibility

This means that the food should be easily broken down and absorbed by your dog’s body.

In a normal dog without any gastrointestinal issues, a 70-90% digestible food is alright. And many of the commercial dry foods we have come with that (this is a good example of great low residue dog food). However, if your dog has some GI issues, then he’s going to need something with about an 85 to 90% digestibility to help manage the situation.

However, reading the label on the food packaging will not give you this information. For this reason, only choose a brand that includes a contact number on the package. You’d need to make some calls to confirm the digestibility of the product.

Remember, what you want is an 85% digestibility at least.


2. Moderate Fat

Dog foods with high-fat content constitute a lot of problems for pups. It makes stomach emptying time a lot longer, and also increases chances of diarrhea and vomiting.


3. Low Fiber

The best low-residue dog foods must come with low fiber and fillers. Fillers are actually carbs often used to hold dog kibble together. Problem is that they digest very poorly in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

By eliminating these from your dog’s diet, you make it easier for your dog to pass poop. Plus, the volume decreases since the number of indigestible substances in his food has been reduced.

So, when in the market for any low-residue dog food, these are some of the characteristics you might want to look out for.


What Are The Best Low-Residue Dog Foods For Dogs With Digestive Issues?

  1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.
  2. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food.
  3. Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, Original Turkey and Chicken.
  4. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Stella’s Super Beef Dinner Patties Dog Food.
  5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain REcipe with Rabbit Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.


You can get them here:

i.Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

ii. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

iii. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Original Turkey & Chicken, 26-Pound Bag

iv. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Stella’s Super Beef Dinner Patties Dog Food, 25 oz. Bag(For raw food enthusiasts).

v. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe with Rabbit Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Now, a low-residue diet isn’t just great at improving digestion. It’s much more than that. There are so many other reasons low-residue dog food should form a part of your dog’s regular diet.


What Are The Benefits of Low Residue Dog Food?

  1. It improves pancreas health.
  2. It’s great for diarrhea and constipation.
  3. It improves your dog’s colon health.
  4. Gets rid of flatulence.


1. Improves Pancreas Health

You already know what your own pancreas does – breaks down food and regulates sugar. It’s the same as in your dog. It’s been found that dogs with pancreatitis usually fare significantly better when kept on a low-residue diet.

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2. Great for Diarrhea and Constipation

A low-residue dog food will give your dog’s feces better consistency even as it improves overall digestion. Also, low-residue dog food helps to make digestion more efficient. Therefore, food is broken down easily and can be passed without problems.


3. Improves Colon Health

Dogs with constant excretory problems might be showing symptoms of colitis. Colitis refers to a condition in which the colon gets inflamed. Feeding your dog a low-residue diet means that swelling in the colon decreases because the digestion process is now much improved.


4. Gets Rid of Flatulence

Poor digestion usually comes with the sad news that your dog would be releasing some really foul-smelling gases. This is often caused because the colon seems to be having a hard time clearing out waste efficiently. With a low-residue dog food, digestion is improved, so, flatulence isn’t an issue.

So, in a way, the best dog food for flatulence is a low residue dog food.

Next, we take a look at ingredients that an ideal low residue dog food contains. And yeah, these are the ingredients you should also look out for when reading those labels.


Check out these other helpful articles below:


Ingredients In Low-Residue Dog Food

Low-residue dog food contains the following ingredients:

  • Highly digestible proteins.
  • All types of animal protein such as fish, eggs, and meat.
  • Healthy oils.


What Other Foods Can Your Dog Eat On A Low-Residue Diet?

In addition to this low residue dog food, there are some other foods you can include in your dog’s diet to help with the situation. You can include veggies. Veggies such as tomatoes, carrots, and green beans are great at improving digestibility. Also, if your dog loves a treat, you can also try low-fiber fruits. They make very delicious treats and even more importantly, they digest easily. You can feed them with bananas, melon, avocado, pumpkin, or other sugarless canned fruits.


Low residue dog food



What’s Age Got to Do with It?

There’s just a small difference in the kind of low residue dog food given to dogs of different ages. Normally, as a dog increases in age, he tends to need more protein. So, if you have a senior, try to keep his protein intake at a steady 80%. Except he has a kidney problem, he would need a high-protein diet.

For the pups, a more balanced diet is required, so, you’ll need to include more veggies in their diet.

So, back to the seniors because, at this stage of their lives, they are the more finicky eaters, understandably…

When putting your older dogs on a low residue diet, it’s always better to feed them their animal protein raw. The reason for this is that if you give them something with rendered animal parts in it, it could do more harm than good.

In fact, many of the biggest brands carry a separate line of low residue foods for older dogs. These products usually come with very high protein content. Also, the manufacturers make it a point to avoid rendered protein.


How Can You Improve Your Dog’s Poop?

The best way to improve your dog’s poop so that he poops less is to feed him dry kibble mostly and also to try not to overfeed him.


Go With Dry Kibble

As long as your dog can still chew, go for dry food. It’s more concentrated and contains less water. This way, you don’t have to feed him so much to get him satisfied. In the same amount of wet food, dry food will always have more nutrition. So, with dry food, you save more money and you get less poop.

See also  Blue Buffalo Wilderness Denali Dinner With Wild Salmon, Venison & Halibut Grain-Free Canned Dog Food – Detailed Review


Don’t Overfeed

Of course, the more your dog eats, the more stool he’ll pass. Ensure that you’re feeding him just enough and never too much. The more concentrated your chosen kibble is, the less your dog will need to consume. So, also ensure you read the label when deciding on quantity.

Let’s not forget also, that obese dogs are still very much a problem — for dogs and dog owners today.


In Conclusion…

We’ve learned a lot today about dog poop and low residue dog food. Remember, you need to get familiar with your dog’s poop so you can tell early when a problem comes. If it comes.

Also, don’t forget that nothing here is supposed to replace the advice of your vet. Always ensure that you consult your vet before changing your dog’s diet.

And remember, your seniors are more prone to digestion issues than their younger counterparts. So, you might want to give them some extra TLC.

For your convenience, here are our top 5 selections for low residue dog food…

i. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

ii. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

iii. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Original Turkey & Chicken, 26-Pound Bag

iv. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Stella’s Super Beef Dinner Patties Dog Food, 25 oz. Bag(For raw food enthusiasts).

v. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe with Rabbit Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food



Low-Residue Dog Food – The What, Why, When and How (Related FAQs)

What Are The Easiest Foods For Dogs To Digest?

The easiest foods for dogs to digest include white rice, mashed sweet potatoes, boiled boneless skinless chicken breast meat, cottage cheese, canned or pureed pumpkin, mashed cooked carrots,  banana, watermelon, oatmeal, boiled egg. When serving your dog with any of such foods, it’s important to ensure that serve them plain with no additives.

You’re trying to avoid triggering your dog’s already upset stomach. Hence, stick with a plain variety.


Why Is Grain-Free Dog Food Not Good For Dogs?

Investigations show that grain-free dog food might have links to the occurrence of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. Although studies are still ongoing, experts advise that dog owners be careful with feeding their dogs grain-free dog food. Now, although grain sensitivity in dogs is quite rare, dogs with grain sensitivity would have to be fed with grain-free dog food.


Are Scrambled Eggs Good For A Dog’s Upset Stomach?

Eggs are highly nutritious foods containing many essential amino acids and fatty acids. Cooked, boiled, or scrambled, eggs make great treats and dietary supplements for dogs, and they also help to settle upset stomachs as well. When serving your dog with scrambled eggs for an upset stomach, avoid adding salt or any other ingredient while cooking. Cook and serve the scrambled eggs plain to avoid upsetting the stomach further. Also, be careful about overfeeding your dog as consuming too many eggs can lead to obesity and obesity-related health conditions in dogs.


Will Peanut Butter Settle A Dog’s Stomach?

There is no evidence that peanut butter will settle your dog’s stomach for sure. Usually, it’s best to avoid peanut butter when your dog has a stomach upset as it is high in fat and could actually worsen your dog’s condition. All the same, peanut butter makes a great treat for dogs when served in moderation. It’s also an effective pill mask if your dog does not like to take his medicine.

When feeding your dog peanut butter, ensure that the brand of peanut butter you’re serving him does not contain xylitol. Even in very little amounts, xylitol is deadly for dogs. Also, it is best to avoid brands that contain salt, added sugar or sugar substitutes and additives. In fact, if you can, you can even make your own homemade peanut butter so that you are 100% sure of what your dog is consuming.


What Does It Mean When Your Dog Throws Up Undigested Food?

If your dog throws up undigested food immediately after eating, it’s most likely that he is regurgitating and not vomiting. Regurgitating is more passive than vomiting. And because regurgitated food has not reached the stomach yet, dogs often re-ingest food that they regurgitated.

On the other hand, throwing up undigested food or partially digested food hours after eating means that there was an abnormal delay in the discharging of food from the stomach to the intestine, and there could be several reasons for this. Reasons could include blockage, disease (including stomach ulcers, diabetes, cancer), issues with motility, eating highly fatty foods, anxiety, excitement, or stress.


How Do I Know If My Dog’s Stomach Hurts?

The two most common signs that your dog’s stomach isn’t feeling great are vomiting and diarrhea. Other symptoms besides these could also include loss of appetite as well as fatigue. If you notice any of these symptoms, your dog is most likely dealing with an upset stomach.