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How to Treat Diarrhea in Dogs

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It seems like my dogs only get sick on the weekend or in the middle of the night when I am unable to get a hold of the vet. However, I have found over the years that there are a few things that I can do to take care of my dog while I'm waiting for the veterinarian's office to open.

A dog with diarrhea can be difficult to take care of, but it's extremely important to treat symptoms early. Diarrhea in dogs can be very dangerous and if left untreated can possibly lead to death.

When any of my pets get sick, I make sure to talk to my vet in order to get individualized treatment. Over the years, I have been given advice on how to take care of my pets when they are sick. Follow these tips while you're waiting to get your pooch to the vet.

Steps to Take When Your Dog Has Diarrhea

Step 1: Call your vet
If your dog has an infection of any type, it could be what's causing the diarrhea. Getting rid of the infection will be a huge step in getting rid of the diarrhea. Also, your vet will be able to offer professional advice on top of any medications that he or she may prescribe. If your vet is unavailable, leave a message so they can get a hold of you ASAP.

Step 2: Make sure your dog is comfortable
Try to keep your dog from getting stressed. If your dog is stressed out, it will only make the diarrhea worse. While your dog is sick, keep him or her in a warm quiet area in order to allow it to relax. Your goal is to keep your dog as relaxed as possible.

If there is someone in the house that makes your dog apprehensive, keep this person away from your dog. Additionally, if there is a person that makes the dog feel secure, have this person stay with your dog and petting it in order to soothe it. Speaking softly to the dog and petting it may calm it down long enough for it to get some rest.

Step 3: Make sure your dog has enough water

Keep your dog well hydrated. Make sure he or she always has bowl of clean water available.

I prescribe a relaxing staycation.
I prescribe a relaxing staycation. | Source

Should You Feed Your Dog?

As commenter, Ari Lamstein, pointed out, feeding your dog can further irritate your dog's digestive tract. His vet had him put his dog on a 24-hour no food diet. This way his dog's tummy could calm down. After this, his dog was fed boiled chicken and rice until he felt better.

If you feed your dog, you should offer up something that will be really gentle on your dog's stomach. There are some well-known foods that can help with this. You can try the boiled chicken and rice or the BRAT diet. Both the boiled chicken & rice and BRAT diets are also helpful when humans get diarrhea.

The BRAT Diet for Dogs

Bananas
Rice (with boiled Chicken or Turkey. Plain rice will work fine as well)
Apples (Pectin found in apples can curb diarrhea. Try plain applesauce.)
Toast (Don't butter it. Just plain dry toast)

Another thing to try is Pedialyte. Diarrhea can cause dehydration which means your pet will need more fluids and electrolytes. Pedialyte can really help with this. It can be found in the baby food section at the grocery store (get the unflavored kind.)

In the past, I've used chicken and rice baby food for my cat. Feeding it to her a little bit at a time got her the nutrients she needed to get better.

Take Your Dog to the Vet

I cannot stress how important it is to take your dog to the vet. The diarrhea could just be an upset tummy from a change in diet or it could be the sign of a serious underlying condition.

Regardless of what your dog is sick with, your vet can give you advice on how to best take care of your dog until he is back to his old self.

Do not stress your dog out. Remember it's better for your dog to eat a little bit and keep it down than to get stressed out and start vomiting or worsen its diarrhea.

Remember to keep your vet notified about any changes that have occurred in your dog as your vet will know the best course of action in treating diarrhea in dogs.

Comments 5 comments

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 19 months ago from Germany

Thank you very much for this very useful and informative hub. Voted this up, useful and shared in fb.


melbel profile image

melbel 4 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan Author

Oh no, Ari! I hope your dog gets better really quickly! Diarrhea in pets can be REALLY scary and stressful! I feel for you, man. Give your dog a hug for me... when he's up for hugs again. Poor baby!


Ari Lamstein profile image

Ari Lamstein 4 years ago from San Francisco, CA

Hi Melbel,

I just had to deal with this with my dog. It got worse over the course of a few days. The advice from my vet was to not feed my dog for 24 hours. The reasoning she gave was that any food would just pass thru him and further irritate his GI trac. After that I had to feed him white rice+boiled chicken for 5 days.

Thankfully he tested negative for giardia, which was my vet's biggest concern.

Ari


Thanks 4 years ago

I am going to try the rice diet


amybradley77 profile image

amybradley77 5 years ago

Hey, this is such great info. we are always trying to keep our carpets free of this very problem. Now I know, and it's so easy for me to remember too since I eat most of the BRAT diet stuff every day myself!! Thanks, I'll just let our dogs eat with me sometimes when I think certain bad influences have been feeding them the wrong stuff again. A.B.

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