The Best Dog Food for Firm Stools – Top 9 Picks in 2021

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall for Firm Stools: Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties
“These dinner patties replicate food that are typically eaten by dogs in the wild so their digestive system should be able to process it in a natural way, removing any risk for loose stools.”

Best for Sensitive Stomachs: The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Dog Food
“This grain free dog food is made from highly digestible protein and premium quality ingredients that are sourced organically. It’s a human grade dog food so you can guarantee it’s 100% safe for your pooch with sensitive stomach.”

Best Value For Money: Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food
“Diamond Naturals Adult Dog Food has added probiotics that improve the gastrointestinal health of your little one. It’s a complete diet in itself and the added supplements are an added bonus for a dog food at this price point.”

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Nothing tests the love we have for our dogs like having to clean up a messy poop!

Loose stools are not a problem if they happen once in a while. But when it becomes more frequent, something needs to be done. Watery or loose stools is an indication that there’s something going on inside of your dog. It could be something as simple as a food allergy or it can be serious like pancreatitis, or worse, Parvo.

The first step is feeding your pup one of the best dog food for firm stools. We’ve put together a list of the dog foods with the highest digestibility to help with your pup’s digestive system.

Product Name
Best for Sensitive Stomachs
Best Value For Money
Rank
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
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Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Stella's Super Beef Dinner Patties Dog Food, 25 oz. Bag
The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain Free Dog Food – Complete Meal or Dog Food Topper – Beef 10 lb (makes 40 lbs)
Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dog, Beef and Rice Formula, 40 Pound Bag (074198608331)
Pro 1
Minimally processed, raw food which retains flavor and nutrient profile
Human grade food with organically sources ingredients
Affordable (less than a dollar per pound of food) with premium quality ingredients
Pro 2
Organically sourced ingredients that's easy to digest
Contains chelated minerals to help with digestion
Good fiber level (3.5%) and superfood ingredients for extra antioxidants
Best Overall
Rank
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Stella's Super Beef Dinner Patties Dog Food, 25 oz. Bag
Pro 1
Minimally processed, raw food which retains flavor and nutrient profile
Pro 2
Organically sourced ingredients that's easy to digest
Custom Button
Best for Sensitive Stomachs
Rank
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain Free Dog Food – Complete Meal or Dog Food Topper – Beef 10 lb (makes 40 lbs)
Pro 1
Human grade food with organically sources ingredients
Pro 2
Contains chelated minerals to help with digestion
Custom Button
Best Value For Money
Rank
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dog, Beef and Rice Formula, 40 Pound Bag (074198608331)
Pro 1
Affordable (less than a dollar per pound of food) with premium quality ingredients
Pro 2
Good fiber level (3.5%) and superfood ingredients for extra antioxidants
Custom Button
Sources researched
12
Sources researched
Customer reviews
17,650
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
12
Hours spent testing
Products tested
9
Products tested

Best Dog Food For Firm Stools

Here are our top picks for the best dog food for firm stools:

  1. Best Overall for Firm Stools: Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties
  2. Best Value for Money: Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food
  3. Best for Sensitive Stomachs: The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Dog Food
  4. Best for Dogs with Hypothyroidism: American Journey Dry Dog Food
  5. Best for Small Breeds: Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food
  6. Best for Seniors: Merrick Senior Grain Free Dry Dog Food
  7. Best for Easy Digestion: Blue Buffalo Natural Dry Dog Food
  8. Best for Puppies: American Journey Active Life Dry Puppy Food
  9. Best Flavor Range: Acana Singles Dry Dog Food

1. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties

Best Overall for Firm Stools: Organically sourced ingredients that’s easy to digest

Overall Score90%
Digestibility90%
Fiber Content90%
Fat Count90%
Probiotics & Prebiotics90%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Highly digestible raw ingredients 
  • Plenty of flavor variety to choose from 
  • High in protein and with moderate fiber 
  • Minimally processed, raw food which retains flavor and nutrient profile

CONS

  • Every flavor is high in fat, so if your dog’s loose stools don’t get better that could be why

The best way to regulate the digestive health of your pooch is by feeding him a diet that’s natural for him. This means a type of food that’s really close to what they typically eat in the wild. Stella & Chewy's Raw Dinner Patties contains raw ingredients that are quite easy to digest. These patties are made from high quality protein coming from grass-fed beef. And the added fruits and vegetables are organically sourced so you can guarantee that there are no artificial ingredients that may aggravate your dog’s digestive distress.

This dog food works for most dog breeds at any life stage, but it’s more appropriate for working dogs or hunting dogs who spend a large amount of time being active and burning off that extra fat. 

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Various Recipes, High Fat Counts 

There are quite a number of available flavors in this recipe range but the protein and fat counts differ on each recipe. They’re all consistently in the higher end of the spectrum in terms of protein content, though, so it’s best to test this out for a week or so before deciding to switch completely. 

This dog food has a limited ingredient formulation, so there’s little chance of allergies or intolerances.

2. Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food

Best Value For Money: Affordable dog food with added probiotics to improve gastrointestinal function

Overall Score90%
Digestibility90%
Fiber Content90%
Fat Count85%
Probiotics & Prebiotics90%
Affordability95%

PROS

  • Affordable (less than a dollar per pound of food) with premium quality ingredients
  • Good fiber level (3.5%) and superfood ingredients for extra antioxidants
  • Added probiotics that thrive in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract
  • Contains joint supplements

CONS

  • No flavor varieties

You don’t have to spend a fortune to save your pooch from a messy tummy trouble. Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food is a highly recommended dog food for firm stools thanks to its high quality ingredients that are easy to digest.

The fruits and vegetables provide a good mix of soluble and insoluble fiber, and Diamond Naturals’ K9 Strain Probitiocs are specifically formulated to ease digestion and improve a loose stool problem.

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Nutrition for Firm Stools 

25% protein, 15% fat, plus 3.5 % fiber content are a great combination for most dogs who need food to firm up soft stool. This dog food contains certain superfood ingredients that are not only easily digestible, but also give the body a nice dose of vitamins and minerals. 

Aside from addressing your dog’s loose stool, this dry dog food also contains high levels of Omega fatty acids, joint supplements, and plenty of antioxidants to boost the immune system.

3. The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Dog Food

Best for Sensitive Stomachs: Human Grade formulation that’s extremely safe especially for dogs with food sensitivities

Overall Score85%
Digestibility95%
Fiber Content85%
Fat Count85%
Probiotics & Prebiotics75%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Human grade food with organically sources ingredients
  • Contains chelated minerals to help with digestion 
  • Various flavor options to choose from

CONS

  • No added probiotics or prebiotics

If your pup has a sensitive stomach and needs some help firming up their poop, The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Dog Food comes highly recommended. The ingredients used in this food are guaranteed to be safe and of premium quality even humans can consume it. The dehydration process preserves these ingredients and retains their flavor and nutritional value without the need for any artificial or synthetic preservative. 

It’s ideal for older pups who can’t really chew dry dog food anymore, or for dogs who have had surgery on their mouth and need a soft diet for a while.

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Variety of Recipes 

There are quite a few flavors to choose from – beef, chicken, turkey, or seafood recipes. The fat contents vary slightly across the recipe range, so it’s easy to find one that will suit your pet’s flavor preference while addressing their digestive distress. 

Each one of these recipes is grain free, but if you want something that contains healthy grains to add more fiber to your pup’s diet, they have recipes containing grains too. 

Some flavors like the beef and turkey contain DHA, and EPA, which will give your dog a nice little brain and eye boost. 

On top of all of that, it’s really easy to prepare, you just need to add water and serve!

4. American Journey Dry Dog Food

Best for Dogs with Hypothyroidism: Contains dried kelp which helps regulate thyroid function

american-journey-salmon-1
Overall Score88%
Digestibility90%
Fiber Content85%
Fat Count90%
Probiotics & Prebiotics85%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • High protein and moderate fat content
  • Contains DHA for improved brain function
  • Contains glucosamine to fortify hip and joints
  • Easily digestible ingredients that helps firm up stools

CONS

  • Slightly high in calories

American Journey Dry Dog Food contains a good amount of sweet potatoes which are a great source of easily digestible carbs, and chickpeas which are high in fiber, firming your dog’s poop up. It addresses your pooch’s digestive problem while making sure his thyroid functions properly, preventing hypothyroidism.

It has a high protein content at 32% which is a good amount to maintain your dog’s muscle mass. The fat count is 14%, which is moderate enough to help firm up stools but high enough to give dogs enough energy. 

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Suitable for All Dogs 

The beauty of this grain free dry dog food is that it’s suitable for both small and large breeds at any life stage.

It contains DHA which helps your dog’s brain to develop properly. Added joint supplements make it a good diet for dogs who are prone to joint dysplasia. 

There are also high levels of Omega fatty acids, which will give any dog a bit of a skin and coat boost.

5. Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food

Best For Small Breeds: Resolves loose stool while providing your small breed dog’s nutritional needs

Overall Score86%
Digestibility90%
Fiber Content85%
Fat Count90%
Probiotics & Prebiotics85%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Specially formulated for small breeds 
  • Good fat level for small breeds with loose stools 
  • High in Omega fatty acids for healthy skin and shiny coat
  • Contains joint supplements to support their tiny frame

CONS

  • No flavor variations

Small breeds have some specific nutritional requirements,. Choosing a food that meets the required nourishment for these little fur balls while also addressing loose stools can be quite challening. And Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food is exactly the food you’re looking for.

It is specifically formulated for small breed dogs. This dry dog food contains healthy, gluten-free grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, and barley which help immensely to bulk up your little pup’s stool.

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Small Breed Nutrition 

Wholesome ingredients in a small-bite kibble size is what makes this dry dog food ideal for small and toy breed dogs. It has a fat count of 15%, which will keep their energy up but not contribute to loose stool. 

There’s enough glucosamine and chondroitin to keep those little joints stable, and a nice addition of beta carotene, which is an antioxidant and full of vitamin A for proper eye development. 

The Omega fatty acids in this kibble are fairly high in comparison to other dog foods at his price range. These fatty acids not only give your pup’s coat a shine and keep their skin moisturized, it also ease up the digestive process. 

6. Merrick Senior Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best For Senior Dogs: Ideal fiber content to keep stools firm for an aging pooch

Overall Score87%
Digestibility90%
Fiber Content90%
Fat Count90%
Probiotics & Prebiotics80%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Lower in fat but remains high in protein 
  • Good fiber content (3.5%) for easy digestion
  • Joint supplements for aging joints 
  • Contains L-carnitine for energy regulation

CONS

  • Slightly pricey

If you have a senior dog who is experiencing loose stool problems, Merrick Senior Grain Free Dry Dog Food is highly recommended. It’s created specifically for seniors, and is made up of high-quality ingredients to help firm stools and reduce messy poop, which is an issue that is more prevalent in senior dogs. 

This dry dog food does more than just help with poop! It’s grain free and contains just about everything an older dog might need to stay healthy and strong as they age. It boosts the immune system and helps keep the body going like when your pooch was young!

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Senior-Specific Nutrition 

This is best grain free food for senior dogs who are still fairly active, with its protein count of 30% and a fat count of 12%. 

It has a fiber content of 3.5% which is right where it should be to help improve your dog’s loose stool problems. You’ll also find pretty decent levels of Omega fatty acids, which aid in digestion and keep the brain sharp and coat silky. 

Glucosamine and chondroitin give extra support for their aging hip and joints. And a nice dose of L-carnitine that helps maintain their immune system strong makes this a well-rounded dog food.

7. Blue Buffalo Natural Dry Dog Food

Best for Easy Digestion

Overall Score86%
Digestibility90%
Fiber Content85%
Fat Count90%
Probiotics & Prebiotics85%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Highly digestible ingredients 
  • Rich in antioxidants 
  • Added probiotics 
  • Low in fat and moderate in fiber

CONS

  • Pricey and requires a vet’s prescription

If you’re looking for the best dog food that will improve you dog’s loose stool problems, the Blue Buffalo Natural Dry Dog Food is one that’s highly recommended by most vets.

It is specially formulated for gastrointestinal support and it contains easily digestible proteins, carbohydrates and fats. This allows optimal nutrient absorption and makes sure that your dog gets the proper nutrition he needs.

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Designed for Gastrointestinal Support 

You won’t be able to just buy this at any pet store. You’ll need a vet’s prescription for it, but it’s among the best dog food for loose stools you can buy. 

It’s easy to digest, contains good fiber, and is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It’s also suitable for all life stages. 

Unlike many “prescription diets”, there’s no wheat, soy, or corn in this kibble. You won’t find gluten, artificial ingredients, or by-products in this dry dog food.

8. American Journey Active Life Dry Puppy Food

Best For Puppies: Supports your growing pooch’s development while fortifying his digestive system

Overall Score86%
Digestibility90%
Fiber Content85%
Fat Count85%
Probiotics & Prebiotics80%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Contains DHA and ARA for proper eyes and brain development
  • Amazing protein and fat content that’s appropriate for growing puppies 
  • Added joint supplements to strengthen his growing hip and joints
  • Good calcium/phosphorus ratio for stronger bones

CONS

  • No added probiotics and prebiotics

It’s not common for a puppy to have chronic poop problems, but it can develop at a young age especially if you’ve got a curious pooch that will chew just about anything it can get its tiny paws on. 

American Journey Active Life Formula Puppy is an extremely healthy and appropriate food for puppies as it is specifically formulated for growing pups. It’s packed full of nutrient-dense ingredients like sweet potatoes, blueberries, and kelp. Not only does it support healthy growth and development, it also contains natural fibers that help strengthen your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

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Puppy Food 

It contains everything a puppy needs, including DHA, glucosamine, and added vitamins and minerals. 

There are healthy grains included in this puppy recipe as well as a nice mix of proteins, and some superfood ingredients like cranberries, blueberries, and kelp that will give your puppy’s immune system a boost right from the start.

9. Acana Singles Dry Dog Food

Best Flavor Range: Provides your pooch a wide array of flavor choices while protecting him from digestive troubles

Overall Score84%
Digestibility90%
Fiber Content85%
Fat Count80%
Probiotics & Prebiotics85%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • 5 delicious and healthy flavors available 
  • Single source protein which avoids problem ingredients 
  • Grain free formula, ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals from premium quality fruits and vegetables

CONS

  • Fat count may be too high for some dogs

A limited ingredient diet could help reduce poop and firm up your pup’s stool by reducing the risk of food allergies. Acana Singles Dry Dog Food has a wide variety of flavors and is suitable for dogs of all life stages and breeds.

Each recipe has a single protein source so it’s easy to avoid anything that may be problematic for your sensitive dog. They’ve also removed peas from their recipes, so it only contains high-quality, high-fiber ingredients.

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Range of Recipes 

There are five different recipes in this grain free dry dog food which mean that whichever proteins your dog is sensitive to can be easily avoided. The protein and fat counts remain the same across the recipes, at 31% and 17% respectively. 

On top of that, you’ll find DHA, EPA, 5% fiber, a good calcium/phosphorus ratio, glucosamine, and lower than average but acceptable Omegas. 


What to Look for in Dog Foods for Firm Stools

1) Digestibility

Digestibility refers to the food’s ability to provide easy-to-absorb nutrients to your dog’s body. If your dog’s system has to work extra hard to eke out the nutrients in its food, it’s not worth feeding to them! 

The best dog food for firm stools should have a digestibility score of 82% or more. We’ve done the research for you, and made sure that all the dog foods we’ve chosen have a digestibility rating of 82% or above

Muscle and organ meats, fruits and vegetables, and chelated minerals are all things that increase  a food’s digestibility. Grains are considered to be of low digestibility, so we’ve tried to avoid them as far as possible, as well as corn, wheat, and soy.

2) Fiber Content

Fiber is essential for firm stools. It can help reduce diarrhea and runny poop by soaking up excess water in your dog’s system. 

Although it’s tempting to go high-fiber, it’s much more effective to stick to a dog food with moderate fiber, around 2 – 4%. 

We’ve made sure the dog foods we’ve chosen for this list contain good fiber counts and come from great sources. We’ve tried to avoid grains as much as possible, but fruits and vegetables are wonderful sources of healthy fiber.

3) Fat Count

Fat is what dogs use for energy. It’s especially essential for working dogs and hunting dogs, and pups who get plenty of exercise will need more fat than inactive or lazier dogs. 

But fat is the enemy of firm stools! Too much fat in a dog’s diet can contribute to a loose dog stool problem. It goes without saying, then, that a high-fat food is not the best dog food for a dog with loose stools! 

We’ve got a variety of fat counts in these foods, so there’s something for every type of dog. We’ve also made sure that they come from great, healthy sources.

4) Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria in your dog’s gut. They’re super helpful for keeping the digestion process smooth and easy, and although it may sound weird, they’re an essential part of having a healthy dog. 

Prebiotics are plant fibers that probiotics feed on! These strengthen the bacteria and make sure they can keep doing their job in your dog’s digestive system. 

We’ve tried to find foods that have added probiotics and prebiotics to add a little extra boost to your dog’s body and digestive process. Although these bacteria occur naturally in your dog’s body, more of them can only help!


Questions & Answers

What can cause loose stools?

Loose, runny stools or diarrhea can be caused by a number of things. Sometimes, it will be a one-time thing, but when it becomes a chronic thing is when you may want to look at changing your dog’s diet. 

Some common causes of loose stools  and diarrhea include: 

  • Something your dog ate in the garden. 
  • An allergy to their own dog food. 
  • Human food
  • Bacterial infection. 
  • Stress caused by a change of environment or routine.

When should I be worried?

The occasional runny stool or bout of diarrhea and vomiting is as normal for dogs as it is for us. Most of the time, they get past it and carry on, as healthy as they were before. 

In some cases, though, there may be cause for concern. Excessive diarrhea can lead to dehydration, weakness, and internal injury, as well as leading to anal gland problems

You should get in touch with a vet if: 

  • Your dog’s diarrhea is chronic. 
  • It’s been going on for 2 days or longer. 
  • There’s blood in your pup’s stool. 
  • Your dog seems to be in pain. 

Your dog is bloated (especially dangerous in large, deep-chested dogs).

What should I look for in the best dog food for firm stools?

The best dog food for firm stools has some specific qualities. Look for: 

  • High-quality, all-natural ingredients. 
  • Premium quality protein as the first ingredient. 
  • Fruits and vegetables. 
  • A moderate fat count (10 – 15%). 
  • Probiotics and prebiotics. 
  • A digestibility score of 82% or higher. 
  • Medium fiber (3 – 5%). 
  • Free from artificial ingredients. 
  • Free from low-quality grains like corn, wheat, soy.

How do I know if it’s the right food for my dog?

Just because a kibble may be one of the best dog food for firm stools, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the right choice for your dog. That’s why we give you ten options! 

When choosing a dog food for firm stools, you’ll need to consider the following: 

  • What protein does it contain? 
  • Does my dog react badly to any particular protein? 
  • Do I want grain-free or with grains? 
  • Does my dog need joint supplements? 
  • Does my dog need DHA and EPA? 
  • Is my pup active or not? 

Once you know the answers to these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what to look for in a dog food. 

If you’ve switched foods and you aren’t sure if it was the right choice, pay careful attention to your pup for a week or two. If the poop problem does not improve, your pooch seems to be listless or lethargic, or they are reluctant to eat their food, it may be worth finding another one. 

You’ll know it’s the right choice if their stool firms up, they seem happier, and they’re pleased to get their food at mealtimes!

What can I do to firm her stool?

Although feeding your dog the best dog food for firm stools can help reduce messy poop, there are some other things you can do to help firm her stool up. 

  • Increase their water intake. 
  • Buy them a probiotic supplement treat. 
  • Avoid feeding your pup human food. 
  • Switch to a limited ingredient diet. 
  • Feed your dog bland food like plain chicken and rice for a day or two. 
  • In extreme cases, withholding food and water for 12 to 24 hours can help (your dog may not understand why, so they’ll need extra love!).

Mike Powell

Mike is an avid dog lover and writer. He’s based in Los Angeles, CA where he grew up in a household surrounded by pets. He’s been a dog owner all his life and he uses this extensive experience of having dogs as part of his family to share valuable, practical tips to improve other people’s dog parenting experience.