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Our almost 5 month-year-old puppy is always hungry. I realize this may be normal puppy behavior but his constant hunger has increased recently. We feed him Fromm Large Breed Puppy food on a strict schedule three times per day - 7AM, 11AM, and 4PM. We feed him the amount the bag suggests which is 3 1/4 cups per day. Sometimes we increase slightly if he has a very active day. We provide treats during the day when we're training (inside the house and on walks). Nonetheless, he begs for food between meals. I swear if we put a bag of food in front of him it still wouldn't be enough. Also, he eats a lot of grass and dirt in the yard and on walks. Our vet says this is all normal, but it doesn't sit right with us. Any suggestions?

The second issue is diarrhea. I posted about this issue a while back. We tried switching from Life's Abundance to Zingnature. We did so gradually mixed with a bland diet. That didn't go well so we started over and switched to Fromm LBP. His stools we're okay and he loved the food so we stuck with it. He still has diarrhea issues. About half his daily stool is formed, but the rest is soft, sometimes very soft (usually in the afternoon). We tried removing treats one day and it sort of helped but he still got soft stool once per day. We added treats back in because he was enrolled in puppy school and we couldn't go without treats during training. I ordered Proviable DC which arrived today. We'll start it tomorrow. I hope this helps. Would love advice if I am missing anything. I'll add that we had a stool sample done a while back and it came back fine.

Here are the treats we use for training:

- Cloud Star Chewy Tricky Trainers Liver
- Trader Joe's Beef Liver Begging Treats
- Trader Joe's Joes Chicken & Sweet Potato Flavored Dog Treats
- Vet One Neat Treats
- Occasional pieces of hotdog for high reward training
- NF Greek yogurt

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I know many folks on this site are not pro raw for their dogs.  I only suggest that raw feeding may be something you can look into.  Lots of sites on the internet, some real strict and some pretty simple and laid back.  I switched to raw after many issues with ear infections, diarrhea, and begging.  Feeding raw does not have to be difficult.  There is a raw group on this forum, but not very active.  I am only promoting raw simply because I have had great success.  I did not know anything about feeding raw until my sister in law's dog was put on raw because he was so sickly...a vet recommended raw...which many vets will not support.  I feed my girls their raw portions frozen so there isn't a lot of mess.  They are very healthy.  Good luck with your new baby.  I would also be aware of all the ingredients in the treats...I started my furkid that way too and had problems.  I then took boiled chicken with me for treats which worked much better.

Thank you, Joani! I've thought about the raw diet but not sure it's right for our families lifestyle. I will certainly investigate and give it more thought. 

I felt the same Josh. didn't think I could handle raw...I found feeding raw extremely intimidating at first, so I took small steps.  Now my two girls are on full raw.  If you ever need any help in regards to raw you can PM me. or ask in the RAW group..glad to answer any questions.

If you do decide to feed a raw diet to a young puppy, I would stay with a commercial raw product that contains all of the nutrients that a growing puppy needs, and none of the bactera that can be especially dangerous for an immature immune system. Since puppies need as many as twice the calories per lb of body weight as adult dogs, I think you will find the cost exorbitant, though.

The hunger part is normal, I can vouch for that. I have a 4 month old puppy who is always starving, and also eats grass, leaves, weeds, dirt, everything he can get hold of. I know for a fact that he getting enough calories from his daily meals. I do prevent him from eating anything while on walks, and try to supervise as much as possible in the yard. 
However, my pup has never had loose stool or diarrhea. 
The Proviable should help a lot. A good probiotic really helps with proper stool formation. 
At 5 months, you should be fine switching him to two feedings a day instead of three. That may help with the stool. 
I'd cut down the variety of treats he gets. Why so many kinds? I'd choose just two, one higher value, and stick with those. The Vet One treats contain some really terrible ingredients, including by-products and chemical preservatives, and I'd eliminate those for sure.

Hi Karen, thanks as always. Day 1 of Proviable, fingers crossed! 

We thought of adjusting to two meals per day as well to see if that helps. We're thinking of keeping breakfast at 7 AM but moving dinner to 5 PM instead of 4 PM. He goes to bed at 10 PM and it always feels like a long time in between his last meal and bed. That's when a lot of begging happens. What do you think?

In regards to the treats, it took us a while to figure out what treats he liked so we stuck with these ones. We'll eliminate the Neat Treats and keep to the Cloud Star and TJ's beef liver. We usually give him kibble for low reward.

We want to start reintroducing the frozen NF Greek Yogurt again since he loved it, especially with the heat we're having. Is he too young for mashed frozen bananas? Would that make diarrhea worse? 

He's not too young for bananas, and they should not make the diarrhea worse.  Just use them sparingly.

And the yogurt contains probiotics, which can only help. :) 

Great! Thank you. Another question I had was regarding chicken stock. We make our own but it has onions in it (we also use the skins when making the broth). Is this okay to give in small quantities (ice cube size) or should we make separate batches without onion? Don't want to give anything that will harm him or make diarrhea worse. 

Onions are extremely toxic to dogs! They cause a fatal blood disorder called Heinz Body anemia, also known as hemolytic anemia. You must never give your dog anything that contains onions in any quantity. 
The fat content can also be problematic for dogs, and can cause pancreatitis. So if you must give a dog broth, don't use the skin, don;t use onions, and skim all fat before serving. 

Update: Today was day 3 of the Proviable DC and he still has very soft stool after lunch and after dinner. The morning stool is well formed. Does it take time for it to work in their systems? We cut back his treats to only the Cloud Star Chewy Tricky Trainers Liver and the Trader Joe's Beef Liver Begging Treats, and we only treat during walking/leash training 2-3 times per day. At this point, I'm thinking we need to stop the treats altogether (use kibble, though not ideal for high reward) - or maybe it's stress related? At a loss of what to do.

Liver does cause loose stool in some dogs, and the tricky trainers contain flour and other ingredients that may be making matters worse. Try Pure Bites plain chicken or turkey treats, they are the best for sensitive stomachs.

Probiotics help to promote a strong colony of good gut flora, which is necessary for proper stool formation, and it can take some time to develop a good strong colony. 

I do think it might help if you switched him to 2 feedings a day, too. 

We will try the Purebites. I also know Cloudstar makes grain free chewy treats as well. Do you think we should switch to a grain free kibble? We just switched him to Fromm LBP Gold which is not grain free. He likes it and his stools are not always soft with it, he has good stool in the morning after breakfast. We plan to start feeding him two meals/day next week when we get back from the holiday weekend. 

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