Dog diarrhea is common, despite our best efforts to make sure that our furry friends only eat healthy food and are not exposed to any type of harmful substance. Mild diarrhea usually resolves itself within a day or two and without any treatment. But there are instances when the condition requires some form of remedy, whether at home or the clinic.
You can’t always prevent the runs in dogs, but here’s a list of the best home remedies for dogs with diarrhea that you can try to help Fido get back to normal as soon as possible.
What Causes Diarrhea in Dogs?
Compared to the human digestive system, the canine digestive system - from their strong jaws and sharp teeth to their powerful salivary enzymes and stomach acids - is much more capable of physically and chemically breaking down food, as well as other stuff that the human stomach typically cannot tolerate.
Given that there are human foods that dogs cannot tolerate or are even harmful to them, our canine companions generally have a stronger constitution when it comes to digestion. But there are still instances when their usually efficient system is thrown out of balance - leading to either diarrhea or constipation.
Below are the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs.
- Overeating or eating spoiled food or garbage
- Sudden change in diet
- Food intolerance
- Allergic reaction
- Parasitic infection
- Ingestion of a poisonous substance or plant
- Ingestion of an indigestible foreign matter
- Viral or bacterial infection
- Antibiotics and other medications
- An illness, such as colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, or cancer
How do you know if your dog has diarrhea?
The perfect dog poop has the consistency of cookie dough or Play-Doh; it’s usually chocolate brown in color, but the color of the food he eats may also affect the color of his poop; it should be shaped like a log, should hold its form, and be easy to pick up.
If the poop comes out in large volumes; is like pudding or has a watery consistency; or has mucus or blood in it, and if Fido is pooping more frequently than what is normal for him, then he is most likely suffering from diarrhea.
Best Home Remedies for Dogs with Diarrhea
Diarrhea in dogs is usually mild, can be easily treated at home, and gets resolved within a few days. Try any of the following vet-recommended home remedies to help with your canine pal’s recovery.
This is basic emergency care for diarrhea, but you have to make sure that Fido is healthy enough to endure 12 to 24 hours of fasting. Fasting will help clear out and settle his digestive system. You will have to keep your pet adequately hydrated while he’s fasting; make sure he drinks water frequently but only in small amounts. For puppies and elderly dogs, consult your vet before making them go on a fast, as this treatment may not be appropriate for their “weaker” stamina.
You can give Fido cooked white rice or just rice water - use more water than needed to cook the rice and use the creamy white soup to feed your pet, without the grains. Make it more palatable by adding a bit of broth or baby food to the rice/rice water.
Plain, canned pumpkin
Pumpkin is a common remedy for both diarrhea and constipation because of its high fiber content. Its creamy texture also makes it appealing to dogs. Alternatively, you can just boil and mash fresh pumpkin to treat your dog’s runs.
Remove the skin before boiling. You can also cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces prior to boiling and give them to your dog this way, or mash them first. Again, you can add some broth or baby food to the potatoes.
Cottage cheese, yogurt, and other fermented foods
These contain beneficial bacteria that can help your dog’s digestive recover by restoring the healthy balance of gut flora.
Egg, chicken, and other plain protein sources
Make sure to cook the egg without using butter or oil; the same goes for the chicken and you should also remove the skin. Boiling these is the best way to go.
It’s always best to choose a well-known brand if you’re buying directly from a pet store and without a vet’s recommendation. Or go to your vet for prescription dog food specially formulated to treat stomach problems.
Home Remedies for Dog Diarrhea - Final Thoughts
If your chosen method of home treatment does not work, you may simply have to try another. Keep a close eye on your dog and watch out for other symptoms that might appear and necessitate an emergency visit to the vet.
Fido’s condition should improve after 24 hours of treatment. You should see some improvement in the appearance of his poop, as well as his appetite and energy levels. You can then start increasing the amount of his recovery diet over the next two or three days, adding small quantities of his regular food. When you know for sure that his stomach can once again tolerate his regular diet, i.e., his poop is finally “perfect,” then he can fully go back to his preferred menu.
If Fido’s condition does not improve after two or three days of home treatment, and especially if he’s also experiencing other symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, fever, or dry or pale gums; if he’s a senior dog or has other health issues, such as diabetes, cancer, or Cushing’s disease; or if your gut is telling you that something is not right, then take him to the vet immediately.