Dog Diarrhea Home Remedies: The BRAT Diet and More

Updated on February 21, 2020
melbel profile image

Melanie has been a pet owner for over thirty years. She has two cats and a spaniel. Follow her on Instagram @ValpoMedia

Lady relaxing in bed with her favorite chew toy.
Lady relaxing in bed with her favorite chew toy.

It seems like pets almost like to get sick on the weekend or in the middle of the night when I am unable to get a hold of the vet. This is where some know-how and an arsenal of home remedies can come in handy. 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 care for, and it's extremely important to treat symptoms early. Diarrhea in dogs can be very dangerous and, if left untreated, can lead to death.

When any of my pets get sick, I make sure to talk to my vet in order to get individualized treatment. The following are some steps to follow while you're waiting to get into 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 diarrhea. Getting rid of the infection will be a huge step in getting rid of 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 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 him in order to soothe him. Speaking softly to the dog and petting may calm him 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 a bowl of clean water available.

Should You Feed Your Dog If It Has Diarrhea?

Feeding your dog can further irritate your dog's digestive tract, which is why some vets recommend putting you dog on a 24-hour no-food diet. This way, the dog's tummy can calm down. After this, your vet may recommend feeding your dog boiled chicken and rice until they feel better.

If you do 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 and rice and BRAT diets are also helpful when humans get diarrhea.)

The BRAT diet consists of bananas, rice, plain applesauce, and dry toast.
The BRAT diet consists of bananas, rice, plain applesauce, and dry toast.

Feed Your Dog the BRAT Diet

  • Bananas
  • Rice (Try either plain rice or rice with boiled chicken or turkey.)
  • Apples (The 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. Diarrhea could result from an upset tummy from a change in diet or it could be the sign of a serious underlying condition.

Regardless of what's making your dog sick, your vet can give you advice on how to best take care of your dog so he can get back to his old self as soon as possible.

Most importantly, do your best to 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 his diarrhea.

Remember to keep your vet notified of any changes that have occurred in your dog, as your vet will know the best course of action for your pooch.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2011 Melanie


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    • profile image


      3 weeks ago

      How much of the brat diet do you make up for your young dog, do you mix it with hard food?

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      5 years ago from Germany and Philippines

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

    • melbel profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Midwest, USA

      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!

    • profile image

      Ari Lamstein 

      7 years ago

      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.


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I am going to try the rice diet

    • amybradley77 profile image


      9 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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