Unfortunately, diarrhea can happen to dogs for a lot of different reasons.
So, I’ve tried to list some of the most common reasons and treatment options for you.
Each of these can cause a dog to have a bout of short term diarrhea.
However, if the underlying problem (such as food or disease) isn’t identified and corrected, your dog will most likely continue with routine problems such as unformed, messy stool or diarrhea.
If loose bowels are caused by something more serious such as disease, then the episodes are often more frequent, on and off, and last for longer periods of time.
So, it’s important that you pay attention to your dog’s stool on a daily basis.
Possible Causes For Diarrhea in Dogs
- Getting into the garbage and eating trash
- Drinking standing water from puddles, ponds, streams, etc.
- Over eating
- Feeding table scraps TOO rich for dogs (gravies, sauces, etc.)
- Low grade kibble
- Diet change
- Nervousness and anxiety disorders
- Disease/Illness (eg: IBD, Colitis, Parvo & Distemper to name a few)
- Consumed Poison
- Toad licking (there are 2 very toxic toads within the U.S. – Colorado River toad found in the South West & Marine toads found in Texas and Florida)
IF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY – SEE A VET!
- If your dog has had diarrhea for more than two days.
- If there is blood in your dog’s stool.
- If your dog is lethargic or has labored breathing.
- If your dog has diarrhea and it’s accompanied by vomiting.
- Ingested poison.
- Weight loss.
- Frequent episodes of watery diarrhea.
10 Best Ways To Treat Diarrhea in Dogs
- The best thing that you can do to treat dog diarrhea, especially dogs with chronic diarrhea that’s often caused by IBS or IBD (irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease) is to evaluate what your dog eats everyday. Trust me, it’s cheaper to feed your dog correctly than it is to try and correct an ongoing problem that is often related to your dog’s food intake.
- If your dog is healthy, but his stool is a mess, then it’s most likely related to poor diet. If you’re not willing to improve the food that your dog eats, then I recommend including both digestive enzymes and ESPECIALLY probiotics on a regular basis. Don’t stop! Digestive enzymes help by absorbing whatever vital nutrients are in the food. Diarrhea happens because the intestinal cells are damaged. By adding enzymes to your dog’s diet, you protect the intestinal cells while healing. Probiotics provide a healthy flora and keep your dog’s gut intact. Again, if you feed your dog right, then eventually, both of these supplements can be avoided. But, if you’re going to continue to feed a questionable diet, then you should definitely consider adding both on a regular basis, but it’s cheaper to just feed a good food.
- With hold food for 12 to 24 hours is the first thing Vet’s usually recommend. However, be careful with puppies and smaller dogs who run the risk of hypoglycemia. 12 hrs. might work better for these guys.
- Jasmine rice is very sticky once cooked and works best with boiled chicken or boiled ground beef after the 12-24 hr. period and continue this bland diet for 2 days.
- Avoid giving dogs with diarrhea pumpkin and instead give 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseed per cup of food.
- If and only if your dog isn’t showing signs of any serious illness, restrict his water intake and give him small drinks at a time for 24 hours. It’s important that you don’t allow your dog to become dehydrated. Give ice cubes if your dog will eat them.
- You can administer Pedialyte or Gatorade by mixing 50/50 with his water to help with hydration. This helps to replace lost electrolytes.
- Pepto Bismol or Kaopectate (both of these products contain salicylates – see warning below): The dosage for dogs is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds of body weight. No more than 2 tablespoons 3 times daily, or one table per 15 pounds of body weight up to 3 times a day. This should only be used for temporary relief and not on a regular basis. I prefer Pepto Bismol over Kaopectate. Warning: NEVER use any product that contains salicylates if you’re giving your dog aspirin or any type of NSAID such as Rimadyl, Metacam, Deramaxx, Etogesic, etc. without talking to your dog’s vet first. NEVER GIVE CATS PEPTO BISMOL.
- The Honest Kitchen Form is an ALL NATURAL EFFECTIVE supplement that I’ve heard others say works well for dogs who experience frequent bouts of dog diarrhea although I’ve never personally used it for my own dogs. It’s natural and could be a great product to have on hand.
- The MOST IMPORTANT tip of all if your dog continues to have soft, messy stool is to feed a better food. You have got to avoid supermarket foods and others such as Ol Roy, Purina, etc. If kibble is a must, look to foods such as Fromms, accompanied by Wellness Ninety Five Percent as a nice topper, especially when added to a good food such as Carna4, Acana or Fromms. Your dog will be happy and it will show in his or her stool.
- Feed 3 small meals daily vs free feeding.
You can find additional help in the comments below. If you have any home remedies for treating doggy diarrhea that you can share, please add your own comment below.