Dogs can have diarrhea for many reasons. Often, the symptoms are mild and can be successfully treated at home using the following remedies.
Diet as a Home Remedy for Diarrhea in Dogs
Regardless of the cause of your dog’s diarrhea, often a bland diet is all that is needed to set your dog on the road to recovery.
Chicken and rice is one such bland diet that is often successful in correcting diarrhea. Start with skinless chicken breast. Broil the chicken until fully cooked. Shred the chicken into small bite-size pieces and mix the chicken with an equal amount of boiled white rice. Do not add any salt, spices or sauces to the mixture.
Feed a small quantity of this chicken and rice mixture to your dog every 2-3 hours.
Hamburger and rice can also be used, substituting the hamburger for the chicken as above. However, the hamburger should be lean ground beef that has been cooked, crumbled and drained of as much fat as possible. As with the chicken, mix the hamburger with an equal amount of boiled rice and feed small quantities of the mixture every 2-3 hours.
Cottage cheese can also be offered as a bland diet for a dog with diarrhea.
Dealing with Vomiting and Diarrhea
If your dog is vomiting as well as experiencing diarrhea, do not give anything by mouth for 12-24 hours, assuming your dog is not a very young puppy. If your dog is no longer vomiting at the end of that period, try introducing small quantities of fresh water every 1-2 hours. Once your dog is able to drink and hold down the water without vomiting, move on to a bland diet as described above.
Making the Switch Back to Regular Food
Once your dog is eating normally and the bowel movements are beginning to firm up, you will be able to switch your dog back to his regular diet. The diets described here are not nutritionally complete and/or balanced and should be fed over the short term only. However, it is advisable to avoid a sudden change in diet as this may cause the diarrhea to return.
When switching foods, make the change gradually by adding a small amount of your pet’s regular diet to the bland diet you have been feeding. Gradually increase the regular diet and decrease the bland diet, taking a week or longer to make the entire change.
Probiotics as a Remedy for Diarrhea in Dogs
Probiotics are nutritional supplements that supply “good bacteria” to your dog’s intestinal tract. These products are useful in correcting diarrhea. They are widely available through your local pet store or online. Products made specifically for dogs tend to be more effective than probiotics made for people or other types of animals as the bacteria differs between species.
When to Seek Veterinary Care for Your Dog
Though many cases of diarrhea can be successfully treated at home, there are other times when the situation is more serious and your dog may require veterinary care instead of or in addition to your home remedy.
If your dog is very young or is very small, dehydration can occur quickly. In addition, young dogs are more susceptible to serious diseases such as parvovirus that can be lethal. Err on the side of caution with these dogs.
If your dog continues to vomit, is not eating, seems unusually depressed or sluggish, or if the diarrhea is explosive, bloody or watery, contact your veterinarian.
If you’ve tried treating your dog at home unsuccessfully and your dog still has diarrhea, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
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