Diarrhea in Dogs: How To Quickly Treat At Home



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How to Treat Dog Diarrhea

Two Parts:

Diarrhea is a common problem for our canine companions. Many cases of diarrhea are not serious and will resolve given the correct home care. By taking the right action you can help straightforward, uncomplicated episodes of diarrhea settle down without a trip to the vet clinic. Still, sometimes the problem is serious enough to require a trip to the vet.

Steps

Treating Your Dog’s Diarrhea Through Diet

  1. Put the dog on a 12 to 24-hour fast.The presence of food in the gut causes contractions of the bowel wall to push food along. But if the dog has diarrhea, these contractions can be over-enthusiastic and push food through too quickly in the form of diarrhea. The answer is to withhold food for 12 - 24 hours to let the over-sensitized bowel wall calm down and act normally.
  2. Provide fresh drinking water.During this period of fasting, let the dog have access to clean, fresh drinking water. Monitor the water bowl to make sure it is going down (ie he is drinking). If he is drinking well, then the risk of dehydration is drastically reduced.
  3. Ease your dog off his fast with bland food.After the fasting period, do NOT put the dog straight back onto his regular diet. Instead, offer him food that is gentle on his stomach and easy to digest.
    • An ideal bland diet avoids fatty foods and rich, red meat.
    • Offer your dog chicken — the actual meat, not than a chicken-flavored food. Don’t give your dog chicken skin, only meat.
    • Combine the chicken with boiled white rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes.
    • Avoid milk and dairy products, as many dogs have a lactose intolerance which could trigger diarrhea. This means no butter in the mashed potatoes.
    • Bland food produces a low volume (and pale) stool, so don't expect your dog's feces to look totally normal. What you are looking for is a stool that can be picked up as a sign he is on the mend.
  4. Try a prescription diet from the vet.If you know that your dog doesn’t respond well to the bland, home-prepared meal, ask your veterinarian for prescription dog food for healing stomachs. Diets such as Hills ID and Purina EN are proven to speed up the recovery time from diarrhea.
  5. Ration his portion sizes.Smaller meals give the bowel less stimulation to go into spasm. When your dog ends his fast, feed him the same amount of food in a day as his normal diet. However, divide it into four smaller portions and spread the meals throughout the day. This will prevent his diarrhea from returning.
  6. Transition your dog slowly back to a regular diet.Once your dog’s diarrhea has safely passed, you can begin easing him back into a normal diet. Don’t switch him straight back onto his normal food, as the bowel needs time to heal. Stick to the bland diet for two days to make sure the diarrhea has passed. Then take a further 2 days to transition him back onto normal food using the following method:
    • Mix ⅔ bland food with ⅓ normal diet.
    • The next day, change to ⅓ bland diet and ⅔ normal food.
    • On the third day, it's okay to put him back onto a normal diet.
  7. Administer probiotics.Probiotics are bacteria helpful to digestion that speed up recovery from diarrhea. Useful bacteria can be lost during the violent expulsions of diarrhea. It then takes time for the population to build back up again and digestion to reach full efficiency. A supplement of probiotics boosts the bacterial population. Generally, probiotics are mixed into the dog’s food once a day, for 5 days.
    • The natural bacteria in a dog’s bowel differ from those in human’s. Don’t give human probiotics to dogs.
    • A variety of canine probiotics are available without prescription from your veterinarian, pharmacist, or major pet stores.
  8. Do not give your dog medications for human diarrhea.Mild diarrhea should respond to the above steps. Giving your dog a drug that reduces bowel movement may hide a serious problem until it is too late. If the original symptoms do not settle after 2 -3 days with the methods mentioned above, chances are your dog has a problem which needs veterinary attention.

Deciding If Your Dog Needs a Vet Visit

  1. Determine if he’s eaten anything dangerous.Diarrhea is usually caused by a dog eating something he shouldn't. In most cases, he’ll get better whenever his body eliminates whatever he ate.
    • However, if you find out your dog’s consumed something toxic, like rat poison or household cleaning products, then take him to the vet immediately.
  2. Take his temperature.Simple diarrhea is rarely accompanied by a fever. If your dog’s running a fever, he’s probably suffering from an infection of some sort. To take your dog’s temperature, have a friend restrain him by sliding an arm under his stomach and pulling the dog’s hindquarters against his/her chest. The friend should place their other hand firmly under the dog’s chin. Gently restrain the dog and speak in soothing tones if it begins to wriggle. Place a muzzle on the dog if you’re worried he’ll bite during the procedure.
    • Lubricate the thermometer, then, lifting the tail up, insert it gently into the dog’s anus. On a female dog, make sure you’re not inserting it into the vulva, which is found just below the anus.
    • Do not force the thermometer in, as you can injure your dog.
    • Wait for the thermometer to beep, letting you know it’s finished taking its reading.
    • A normal temperature is 100.5 to 102.5 F.
    • Any temperature of 103.5 F or higher is considered feverish.
  3. Take note if diarrhea is combined with vomiting.Vomiting and diarrhea is a dangerous combination because the dog is losing fluid at both ends. This puts him at risk of dehydration. This is especially worrying if the dog is unable to drink and hold fluids down. In such a case, seek urgent veterinary attention.
  4. Check for dehydration.Diarrhea is basically feces that contain a large amount of fluid. If the dog passes a lot of diarrhea and doesn't replace that fluid, he will become dehydrated. Dehydration reduces the blood supply to organs such as the liver or kidneys, which can potentially cause damage.
    • To test for dehydration, lift the dog's scruff away from the shoulder blades and then let it go.
    • Fully hydrated skin pings right back into position.
    • The skin of a dehydrated dog is less elastic, and may take a couple of seconds or longer to fall back into place.
  5. Inspect the diarrhea for blood.If you find blood in the diarrhea, it may be because of inflammation or hemorrhage. While inflammation is uncomfortable, hemorrhage is potentially life-threatening. You won't be able to tell the difference at home so don't take any risks. Seek veterinary attention as soon as you see blood in your dog’s stool.
  6. Monitor your dog for weakness, lethargy, or collapse.A dog with mild diarrhea is always bright and alert. If your dog is bright eyed and bouncy, but has diarrhea, monitor him carefully for the development of the signs above. Its okay to try controlling the problem yourself.
    • However, if your dog lacks energy, is listless and unable to settle, or worse - collapses, then seek professional help.

Community Q&A

Search
  • Question
    How can I resolve diarrhea with food?

    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Dr. Elliott is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion Animal Medicine in England. She registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1987.
    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Expert Answer
    Some dogs respond well to a little extra fiber, such as pumpkin, being added to the diet. Others need a bland, highly digestible food, such as chicken breast and rice. The rule of thumb is to feed white meats, such as chicken, turkey, rabbit, and cod, as well as white carbohydrates, such as rice, pasta, or boiled potatoes (with NO added diary products.) If the diarrhea persists longer than a few days or you see blood, see a vet.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    My ten week old pup has had diarrhea for a week, and now it has turned pea green. Is it getting better or worse?

    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Dr. Elliott is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion Animal Medicine in England. She registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1987.
    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Expert Answer
    Unfortunately, pea green poop is not a sign of improvement. Whatever reason the diarrhea started, it sounds like your little guy needs to a vet to settle it down. It might be that the pup has an underlying infection or parasite problem, or that he's had diarrhea for so long that he has a bacterial imbalance in his gut. Either way, its time to get some help.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Could the antibiotics my dog is taking be responsible for his weight loss and diarrhea?

    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Dr. Elliott is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion Animal Medicine in England. She registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1987.
    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Expert Answer
    Antibiotics kill bacteria, and sometimes they kill the helpful bacteria in the gut as well as any infection. Your dog therefore might get diarrhea because antibiotics cause an imbalance in the bowel. If the dog isn't absorbing the goodness from the food because of diarrhea, this will lead to weight loss. However, if the dog was already unwell enough to be on antibiotics, your vet will want to know about the tummy upset. A course of probiotics may be necessary in order to get things back in balance.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    My dog ate chunky peanut butter, and now she has diarrhea. What should I do?

    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Dr. Elliott is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion Animal Medicine in England. She registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1987.
    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Expert Answer
    For a straightforward case of garbage gut, make she has plenty of water to drink. Starve her for 24 hours. When she starts eating again, give her bland foods until she's passed formed poop for a couple of days. Try giving white meat (chicken, rabbit, cod, coley fish) and boiled white rice or boiled potato. Alternatively, offer a prescription diet from your vet that is designed to settle upset stomachs.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    If a mother dog has diarrhea, should I prevent her puppies from breastfeeding?

    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Dr. Elliott is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion Animal Medicine in England. She registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1987.
    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Expert Answer
    If she is drinking plenty and seems otherwise strong, then let the puppies carry on feeding. If she is feverish, weak, vomiting, or passing blood, then she must see a vet. Try a bland diet for a day or so, and if she isn't improving, get her checked out.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Can I skip medication doses in order to make my dog fast?

    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Dr. Elliott is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion Animal Medicine in England. She registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1987.
    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Expert Answer
    This depends entirely on the medication. With some medications, such as non-steroidal painkillers, it's essential to stop them if the dog has an upset stomach, while, with others, such as heart meds, the dog must take them. Give the vet who prescribed the medication a call and take their advice.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How do I prepare the rice?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Bring four cups of water to a boil. Once water begins to boil, add in two cups of plain white rice and cover. Bring flame down to low and simmer for twenty minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Can I my dog brown rice instead?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No. Brown rice has too much fiber in it, which can make the diarrhea worse. White rice is best for this problem.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Is there an alternative to boiled rice that I can feed my dog to help him get over diarrhea?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Cooked pumpkin, cooked sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cooked carrots. It all depends on what your dog likes and tolerates well.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    What is the best treatment for a dog with bloody diarrhea?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Go to your vet immediately for testing of serious viral infections such as parvo or stomach ulcer.
    Thanks!
Unanswered Questions
  • How do I treat diarrhea in my dog if it is recovering from surgery and is already on medication?
  • My dog is 13 and has arthritis in her back leg. She has had diarreah for 2 days. The vets saw her the 1st day. She is not recovering. She has an as smell. We see the vet in the am. What do we do tonight?
  • Should I withhold food from my dog if she has diarrhea?
  • What if your dog refuses to eat the food?
  • Will this work for an older dog who isn't eating and will only drink water?
Ask a Question
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  • When you go to the vet, bring a fresh stool sample and have them do a fecal float and a fecal smear.
  • Some dogs do not react well to canned dog food. Consider feeding your dog a premium dry food, or a mixture of canned and dry.

Warnings

  • Mucous in diarrhea indicates an irritated bowel. Parasites, raw pork hearts and medical conditions can cause mucous in the stool.
  • Don't give your dog new foods that they have never eaten while you are still treating the diarrhea.
  • If you're switching your dog's food, do it gradually or your dog might get sick or have more diarrhea.
  • Green-tinged diarrhea in puppies may indicate coccidiosis. See your vet immediately.
  • Watery diarrhea in puppies is life threatening if not treated immediately by a veterinarian.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Ettinger. Publisher: Saunders
  2. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Ettinger. Publisher: Saunders
  3. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Ettinger. Publisher: Saunders
  4. Small Animal Internal Medicine. Nelson & Couto. Publisher: Mosby
  5. Small Animal Internal Medicine. Nelson & Couto. Publisher: Mosby
  6. Small Animal Internal Medicine. Nelson & Couto. Publisher: Mosby
  7. Small Animal Internal Medicine. Nelson & Couto. Publisher: Mosby
  8. Small Animal Internal Medicine. Nelson & Couto. Publisher: Mosby

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Expert Review By:
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

of How to Treat Dog Diarrhea was reviewed by on July 2, 2019.

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Updated:
Views: 3,175,557
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1,774 votes - 95%
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95% of people told us that this article helped them.

David Gilliam

Jun 28

"Our dog has been suffering with diarrhea for the last few days. Although she appears to be alert and her normalself, we decided to ask for advice from our local vet. The advice given was almost the same as you gave in your article. Good advice. "

Judy Whittier

Jun 6, 2019

"I really liked how simple you made the instructions. Everything was easy to understand and follow and all theinformation was very helpful. I appreciated the answer about brown rice as opposed to white rice (too much fiber with brown rice). Thanks!!"

Brenda Johnson

Feb 24

"Simple instructions on how to treat the problem of diarrhea for dogs. Very helpful with the different stages of theshape and color of the stools in picture form. Listing the dog food names to use is very helpful, too, to help with the healing."

Tracey Lewis

Sep 21, 2019

"The bit where you said a dog can have mashed pasta, because my dog had it at both ends. I gave him chicken, fish,and white boiled rice, and the next day my dog was back to his bouncy self, which I am glad about. I got a bit worried about him."

Christy Waters, M.D.

May 4, 2019

"Very clear! Told me exactly what I need to do at the start of the problem and gave step-by-step instructions forsuccessful treatment. Warned about potential problems that require a trip to the vet. Bravo, thank you!"

Mary Morris

Aug 22, 2019

"Chicken and white rice or chicken and boiled potato, the bland diet, helps. So do the four small portions for twodays and how to reintroduce their regular diet. Thank you so much for the information."

Anonymous

Jan 16, 2019

"Thanks for these tips. My rat terrier has diarrhea so I did a search to find different foods to feed him duringthis time and read about boiled potatoes or pasta. Thanks, will try this!"

Patricia Madrau

Jun 6, 2019

"So easy to understand. Learned so much about differences between humans and dogs. We sometimes think if it worksfor us, it will work for them. Thanks for this valuable information."

Laura Metheny

Jul 27, 2019

"Told me that foods my dog ate are usually not the cause of his/her diarrhea, and that mucus in stool is serious. Idid not know these things as pertaining to canines. Thank you!"

Lori Buzick

Sep 3, 2019

"I liked how straightforward it was. Basic and to the point. Most give a lot of useless information before they getto the answer. I would definitely recommend this site."

Griselda Miranda

Jun 17, 2019

"Thank you so much this article helped me a lot. I was really worried for my dog, and am going to start cooking somerice and chicken. Thank you so much."

Jean Johnson

Mar 9, 2019

"This information was good. I did end up taking our pet to the vet and he got a shot, 2 different meds and specialfood. He is now on the mend."

April Warren

Sep 11, 2019

"It helped me by giving me other options to give my sick puppy before I take him to the vet, because it's soexpensive to go to the vet."

Pamela Emmins

Jan 12, 2019

"My Daisy is 10 years old and I love her dearly. I will try whatever is suggested to help her, so thank you so muchfor your help."

Lynda Berry

Apr 11, 2019

"I was able to follow pictures. l have diminished eyesight and this was so helpful for me to follow, thank you."

Emm Zey

Jun 30, 2019

"This article was a point-by-point description in the treatment of my dog's diarrhea."

Rose Hayden

Aug 24, 2019

"Good advice on how to treat your dog at home if they're suffering with diarrhea."

Maw Nieva

May 4, 2019

"I'm glad this article was written. Eased my mind about my beloved fur baby."

AuTrish Gold

Jul 27, 2019

"Concise, easy to follow, especially when worried about a pet. Thank you."

Sue Marshall

Jun 8, 2019

"Sketches illustrating each problem was very helpful, thank you."

Elizabeth Mclellan

Jul 7, 2019

"I have read all about diarrhea in dogs. It was helpful to me."

Tracey T.

Apr 28, 2019

"My dog has diarrhea and now I know what to feed him."
Rated this article:

Matthew Wilmer

Feb 3, 2019

"Thank you so much, I did not know where to start."

Lena Boyd

Oct 15, 2019

"It helped on what food to give her, thank you."

M.






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Date: 01.12.2018, 18:45 / Views: 71532