Question from Scott: "I love the article. Rocco sounds like a great dog. We have a six-month-old Frenchie named Ruger. Super dog. Due for neutering Thursday. You're right about the stubborn streak and ability to not want to walk. Holy cow! Ruger does the same thing! The real issue we have or see is this - on many occasions, Ruger has trouble, that is, it appears he has trouble pooping. It can take him 1-2 minutes. We're not sure if his diet lacks fiber or what. Any thoughts?"
My answer: "I remember the early days of doing my research on dog food and Frenchies. One of the biggest issues with Frenchies is they fart. A lot. But I also read you can limit the farting if you pick foods without grain.
I picked lots of brands and after trial and error, I finally chose Fromm's Salmon Tunalini:
I tried beef, chicken, duck, deer, and they all could constipate him or cause diarrhea. It wasn't until I switched to fish that seemed to be the trick. He poops regularly. His weight has been fantastic over 7 years - I get compliments from the Vet all the time that he is at a healthy weight and not overweight.
My recommendation is just try new dog foods. See if you can get samples, or small 5 pound bags. When switching dog food, remember that you have to s-l-o-w-l-y replace the new food with the old food. Mix in 1/4 cup with the old food, increasing with 1/4 cup increments each day. I give Rocco 3/4 cup of food for breakfast and dinner (1.5 cups per day). So day 1 would be 1/4 new food and 1/2 old food. Then next day is 1/2 new food, and 1/4 old food. By day 3 your dog is on the new food only.
Then you need to monitor the poop. Is it runny? Is it firm? How quickly does your dog poop on the new food?
Rocco needs a bit of a "walk". Also has a habit of doing what I call "The double poop". He will poop once. It looks like a normal poo. But if you walk him about 5-10 more minutes, he has a second one locked and loaded to poop out. If I know he's going to be alone for a while, I will make sure he has at least a good 10 minutes for a walk.
It's funny, I hate picking up other people's dog poop, but Rocco's poop doesn't bother me at all. He's like my son. I know his smells and his pooping habits. I know before he poops that he needs to poop. I know the alarmed look of "Hey, I need to poop" versus "Hey, i'm hungry" or "Hey, I need to snuggle". The above picture is "What did I do wrong now?" look.
You will learn over time with your dog.
I would give the new food about 5 days before switching to something else. Maybe sooner if there seems to be a diarrhea issue or really bad gas.
Also, remember when your dog is young that if they have any accidents while doing this not to scold them. Just scoop them up, go outside first for a 10 minute walk, then come back inside and clean up.
I use white vinegar with warm water for any clean ups. Once dry, throw baking soda over it for 2-3 hours (to keep the dog away, cover it with something like a bucket), then vacuum it up later.
Good luck and let me know how it goes!"