Home Remedies for Dog Diarrhea
Dog Diarrhea is No Fun!
If your dog has diarrhea, you may be looking for some home remedies to let it stop, but there are many important considerations to think about before getting started. For instance, why is your dog having diarrhea in the first place? If it's due to a recent dietary change, you may want to make sure you change more gradually next time. If your dog is stressed from some recent change in his life, you may want to do things to help him relax. If your dog ate something he shouldn't, consult with your vet ASAP if it's something that is potentially toxic. And consider as well that dog diarrhea may be caused by parasites, protozoans, viruses and bacteria that will require prescription medication from your vet.
So you may need to do a bit of troubleshooting before deciding if home remedies for dog diarrhea are suitable for your dog. Not all dogs are good candidates! For instance, home remedies for dog diarrhea may work for mild cases of diarrhea such as from changing foods too abruptly or your dog eating something that's not toxic but that upset his stomach because he's not used to eating it. However, home remedies will not work if your dog has diarrhea due to an underlying problems that needs addressed such as worms or protozoans such as giardia or coccidia or food intolerance.
Also, skip home remedies for diarrhea and go straight to the vet if on top of having diarrhea your dog has a fever, is lethargic and not acting right. See your vet as well if the diarhea is severe and your dog is getting dehydrated or if you see blood in the stool. Puppies can get dehydrated quite quickly and should see a vet rather than trying remedies at home and senior dogs may have diarrhea due to underlying organ problems. So please use good judgement before trying home remedies for your dog's diarrhea!
Home Remedies for Dog Diarrhea
Following are some effective home remedies for a dog's diarrhea I have learned after working at an animal hospital for some time. However, I have also learned that while mostly effective, these home remedies may not work for all dogs, and that in some instances medical attention is required to solve the problem. Here are some basic guidelines:
- Fast the dog. This will give his gastro-intestinal tract some rest and time to recover. With food out of the way, there should be less diarrhea. Usually, a 24 hour fast is necessary for adult dogs while puppies should not be fasted for more than 12 hours. Consult with your vet if you have a toy breed dog or a dog who is diabetic.
- Keep the dog hydrated. For very liquid diarrhea, were the dog has uncontrollable squirts you need to provide as much hydration as possible. You can give unflavored Pedialyte to help replace lost electrolytes or mix Gatorade 50/50 with his water. However, see your vet if the diarrhea doesn't resolve or if your dog is vomiting too. Monitor for signs of dehydration as outlined below.
- Provide Yogurt. Give some plain yogurt or cottage cheese to add some good bacteria to his bowels, you may add a dollop of this to his bland diet, which is explained in detail below.
- Bland Diet.After the fasting period, take away his normal food and replace with boiled chicken and rice or boiled hamburger and rice. If you use chicken make sure it is skinless, if you use burger make sure the fat is drained off. Make the rice the bulky part of the meal. Keep giving this diet until the stools seem better formed. Then, re-introduce gradually the regular food. This should be done slowly over a few days. For more recipes see " bland diet recipes for dogs"
- Do a hydration check. Try to lift the dog's shoulder blade or back skin in a tent. If the skin returns back promptly he is well hydrated, if it takes a few seconds or worse remains lifted it means the dog needs immediate vet attention and fluids given under the skin or intravenously.
- Check gums. Have him seen immediately if his gums turn pale, whitish, grayish or purple. Normal gums should be a healthy bubble gum pink. Try as well to press your finger on his gum. The gum should become whitish and return promptly pink. If it takes a few seconds the dog again needs to be seen ASAP.
- Pepto Magic.Ask your vet if you can try to give over the counter Pepto Bismol or Immodium. He will give you dosing instructions if he thinks it may be helpful. As with any medications there may be side effects.
- Vet appointment. Have him seen by a vet if the dog becomes lethargic, the diarrhea continues regardless of diet change or stops and then returns, other symptoms develop such as bloody stools, vomiting, loss of appetite, or fever. The dog may have parasites, gastro-enteritis, pancreatits, a foreign body ingestion (usually along with vomiting), parvo, and many other serious conditions that need prompt vet attention.
Diarrhea may be the simple result of the dog getting into your trash can and getting an upset tummy. He may have roundworms especially if he is a puppy. It may be due to a recent abrupt diet change. These are usually mild cases of diarrhea. However, if any worrisome or out of the ordinary symptoms arise along with the diarrhea, do not hesitate to have him seen by a vet promptly. Chances are that it may be just a minor issue, but as with most issues, if caught promptly it likely will not evolve into a more serious and costly issue.
Disclaimer: this article is not meant to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice.While some dogs with mild diarrhea may benefit from home remedies, not all dogs are god candidates. If your dog has diarrhea, your best option is to see your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.