As a dog parent, healthy, easy to pick up dog poop is an often-overlooked blessing within our daily lives. Nothing can throw off your day quite like Fido experiencing a bout of diarrhea.
If loose stool is the only symptom you’re observing, try our top 5 home remedies for acute diarrhea:
1. Try a short term fast
Since dog’s have a relatively short digestive tract, limit your dog’s intake of food in order to give their digestive system a break. By forgoing the next meal (or two) you give your dog’s digestive tract the ability to settle and recover from potential irritants. Don’t worry about Fido skipping a meal or two – intermittent fasting is actually beneficial (similar to humans!) and many dogs may self-restrict their eating!
2. Limit GI stressors
Rich, fatty foods or new treats may cause digestive upset for some dogs who are accustomed to a less varied diet or have a particularly sensitive stomach. Swapping your dog’s normal meal for a bland diet of boiled protein and rice may help in overcoming their tummy troubles. When feeding a bland diet, feed ¾ of their meal rice and ¼ protein such as chicken or lean ground meat. Remember not to include any skin, bones, spices, and butter or oils. Homemade chicken and rice should only be fed temporarily, around 2-5 days, then their normal diet can be slowly reintroduced. It should not become the standard meal for your dog either since it will lack vital micronutrients and isn’t a balanced diet needed for long-term vitality.
Environmental stressors such as a loud noise, a new animal, or even just new surroundings may be causing your dog’s stomach to act up (ever feel queasy before giving a big presentation?). Though it may be challenging or even impossible to limit environmental stressors providing calming music (we love classical piano and Bob Marley!) or limiting space to a covered crate may help to ease the transition.
3. Ensure your dog is hydrated and getting ample water
Diarrhea can easily dehydrate your dog, especially if she’s young, so it’s important to ensure that even if you’re limiting her food intake that she has ample access to fresh, clean water. A few tips on avoiding dehydration in dogs here.
4. Offer natural remedies to help firm stools
Canned plain pumpkin. Adding a teaspoon or tablespoon of pure canned pumpkin puree to a bland diet boosts your dog’s fiber intake, and can help to manage liquid absorption during the digestive process. Be careful not to get pumpkin pie filling or mix by accident or puree with added salt – only 100% pure pumpkin.
Slippery elm bark can be helpful in soothing loose stool, especially if mucus is present as well, as it’s known to fight inflammation and protectively coat the stomach. Similar to the other natural remedies, you can mix slippery elm bark in with your dog’s meals or give separately (about 1 teaspoon per 20 lbs of body weight). Since slippery elm bark helps coat the stomach, it should not be given within 2 hours of administering medication.
By using Health Check you’ll have a convenient, accurate history archive for managing Fido’s diarrhea resolution (and hopefully prevention in the future!). Understanding frequency along with detailed visuals (color, consistency, mucus presence, and more) will help both you and your veterinarian resolve this issue.
If you observe other accompanying symptoms such as vomiting, regurgitation, abdominal pain or distention, weakness, lethargy, abnormal behavior, etc. be sure to also keep a detailed log for your veterinarian.
Though there are a wide variety of triggers for dogs with diarrhea, if the situation becomes a chronic issue it’s critical to consult with your veterinarian to determine the underlying reason that is causing this stressful symptom. Additional tools, such as fecal tests, visual and endoscope inspection, blood tests, and more, will help to guide identifying the culprit and determining a solution.
We are also strong supporters of incorporating a broad-spectrum probiotic into canine healthcare routines in order to promote microbiome diversity and contribute to overall immunity and resilience. Learn more about the benefits of probiotics for dogs.