Home remedies for diarrhea to help soothe your dog's stomach.
The discomfort, pain and constant need to go to the bathroom caused by diarrhea can be very distressing. So now imagine how difficult it must be for your puppy when he's suffering from a stomachache too! Unfortunately for our furry friends, they can't tell us when something is wrong, so we need to make sure we know how to help them through these difficult times.
First of all, we need to know what caused the tummy ache. There are many causes, such as stress, a change in diet, an allergy, a food indiscretion or eating the wrong food. But sometimes loose stools can be a sign of a health problem that is much more important than just diarrhea: a chronic illness, intestinal parasites or a viral/bacterial disease.
It's never fun for a dog parent to have a sick puppy in the house, especially when you have to clean up the mess he leaves behind every time he poops! It's extremely important that you know when to seek help from your veterinarian and when you can use a few simple tricks in the comfort of your own home to overcome a problem.
What causes diarrhea?
While it's important to know what to do about canine diarrhea, it's just as important to prevent it. That said, there are some foods you should watch out for to keep your pooch's stomach as healthy as possible!
1/ Dairy Products
Dogs can tolerate dairy products, but unlike humans, they are not able to break down lactose as well as we can. Small portions of cottage cheese and plain yogurt are acceptable, as they cultivate good intestinal bacteria that aid digestion, but be careful with ice cream and milk! Dairy products are OUR friends for life, but not always those of our dogs!
2/ Raw or uncleaned meats
Most veterinarians agree that you should not feed your dog raw meat because it contains dangerous bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella or listeria. If you want your pet to eat meat, be sure to cook the portions before feeding them. There's no need to get fancy, simple recipes like boiled chicken will do!
3/ Spoiled food
Just because some dogs have an affinity for spoiled food doesn't mean their stomachs can handle rotten leftovers. If your dog is constantly digging through the garbage, he is likely to develop a disease that veterinarians call "garbage gut". This disease should not be taken lightly as it can lead to many complications down the road.
Should I consult my veterinarian if I have diarrhea?
Our dogs can't talk to us, so it's up to us to know when something is wrong and to try to find the cause of the problem so that it doesn't happen again.
While loose stools are completely normal for both humans and dogs and nothing to worry about, it is imperative for pet parents to know the signs and indicators of something more serious, such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Black or bloody stools
- Abdominal pain - this may be manifested by whining, crying or excessive panting when touched or defecating
- Bloating and discomfort
Consult your veterinarian as soon as possible if your puppy has any of the above signs along with diarrhea, or if the diarrheal stool lasts longer than 48 hours.
On the other hand, if your puppy doesn't have any of these signs, but still has loose stools, take a look at the following natural remedies for dog diarrhea that may help ease his stomach!
What are the home remedies for diarrhea?
When your dog has stomach problems, the best thing you can do for him is to reduce the amount of food he eats. Sometimes, when the problem is minor, the best thing to do is to give his digestive tract time to heal and rest. We recommend that you avoid all food for 12 to 24 hours to allow your puppy's body to get rid of the causes of the problem.
While your puppy is fasting, you need to make sure he stays well hydrated. It's ideal to have water available throughout the day, but keep an eye on him and don't let him drink too much at once, as this could cause him to vomit or cause more loose stools or even prolong them!
2/ A simple diet
Since your dog's stomach upset may be due to something he ate, or even an allergy he developed from his regular diet, you need to make sure you pay close attention to his diet by offering him a very simple diet. Slowly feed small portions of boiled white meat, such as chicken, finely shredded over boiled white rice.
For grain-sensitive puppies, you can give him mashed bananas. Every few hours, feed your four-legged friend two spoonfuls of mashed banana and gradually increase the amount throughout the day.
Once the 24-hour period of bland food is over, slowly introduce his normal food, starting with 75% bland food and 25% normal food. Continue this for a day or two, then switch to a 50/50 ratio and reduce the amount each day until your puppy is back to normal and healthy.
If your dog is a picky eater, following such a diet can be a real challenge. But consider it an ideal opportunity to teach your dog not to be so picky. That way, even when he's cured, he'll be trained not to beg while you eat your own meal.
3/ Try a probiotic
Just like us humans, when our puppies suffer from diarrhea, the healthy bacteria in their stomachs are expelled along with the bad bacteria, so it's important to get them back as soon as possible.
Probiotics can be very helpful in replenishing the good bacteria in the gut after an episode of diarrhea has caused the beneficial bacteria to be expelled. Healthy digestion will result in a stronger immune system and a livelier, happier dog!
If your dog has diarrhea right now, try plain live yogurt, which should have a positive effect on his stool. You can add a spoonful or two to your puppy's meals (while he's in the 50/50 reintroduction phase) and mix it up. The natural, healthy bacteria in the yogurt will help restore your dog's stomach to good health.
Diarrhea also causes obvious dehydration. If your dog won't drink water, try giving him small doses of unflavored Pedialyte. This may replenish his fluids and electrolytes quickly.
4/ Use supplements
We can't tell you enough; acting proactively is the most effective treatment! So why not give your pup a little extra boost with a specific multivitamin to help keep him healthy?
An episode of canine diarrhea is never fun, it's no fun for you and even less fun for your dog. If you know what to look out for and when to seek medical advice, you can support your pup the right way, help him make a full recovery and say goodbye to bad surprises on your favorite rug!