17 Aug

When Dogs Get Diarrhea: How to Deal with the Doo

resting puppy sticking tongue out


As a dog owner, Diarrhea is one of those symptoms that you are likely to deal with eventually but it also one that can be easily remedied without necessarily requiring a visit to the vet.

Diarrhea results when something goes awry with the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and is easy to identify. It could simply be your dog’s body reacting to an ingestion of bad food or  food-borne pathogens. In this case, the diarrhea helps to quickly get rid of these unwanted materials before they become absorbed and pose more danger. Mild diarrhea will wear off after a while and with a little home care and adjustment of your dog’s diet.

When It Isn’t Just Diarrhea

Ordinarily, a bout of diarrhea shouldn’t give you any reason to worry except if…

  • The disorder persists for more than 48 hours.
  • It is accompanied by vomiting. In this case, your dog loses a lot of water rapidly and could become dehydrated.
  • You observe that the stool is black and has traces of blood in it.
  • Your dog groans or pants rapidly, looks bloated or tries to avoid being touched in the abdominal area. All these are indicative of abdominal pain.
  • Your dog loses appetite.
  • Your dog becomes lethargic or slow.

In any of these situations, you should see your vet promptly.

puppy at rest

How To Treat Your Dog’s Diarrhea

Fast your dog from food: Diarrhea causes your dog’s bowel to become too sensitive and contract faster so that food is pushed through quicker than it should. Making her stay off food for about 12 to 24 hours gives the bowel time to rest and recover from the effect of the pathogens.

During this fast, you can give her white rice-water. This is the creamy liquid you get by boiling 1 cup white rice in 4 cups water for about 20-30 minutes (or half this measure to prevent wastage). After sieving off the rice and allowing the liquid cool, you can serve it to your dog as often as he or she accepts it. You can add a little extra flavoring such as a teaspoon of chicken baby food to make the liquid tastier.

Also, ensure that your dog drinks a lot of water during the fast to prevent dehydration.

Use Probiotics: Your dog’s bowel contains microorganisms which aid digestion and these could become depleted as a result of the diarrhea. Probiotics are live bacterial cultures similar to these and administering them on your dog would help to quickly replenish any shortage of these bacteria and speed up recovery. Probiotics can be added to the rice-water solution once daily during the fast and continued for 5 days. Please note that probiotic supplements for dogs are available over the counter and are different from that of humans or cats.

Ease your dog off the fast gradually: Don’t resume your dog’s regular diet immediately after the fast. Start him or her out first with some bland, non-fatty easy-to-digest food such as chicken without the skin or a combination of chicken with boiled white rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes.

You can also mix equal portions of cooked ground turkey and pumpkin or sweet potato and feed this to your dog 2 or 3 times a day until the stool becomes normal again.

Don’t serve your dog food containing milk and dairy products.

At this point, your dog’s stool should be scanty and pale which is an indication that she is getting better.

If your dog doesn’t like the bland food you can try out prescription diets such as Purina EN and Hills ID which could help in speeding up recovery.

Feed smaller rations: Divide up your dog’s meal into smaller rations and feed him or her several times during the day.

Return your dog back to his or her normal diet when the diarrhea has ceased.

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