Unfortunately, diarrhea occurs in 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. Keep in mind that the appearance of your dog’s bowel movements tells a lot.
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; not all table scraps, just those that are TOO rich for dogs (gravies, sauces, extra spicy) etc.
- Low grade kibble
- Diet change
- Nervousness and anxiety disorders
- Disease/Illness (eg: IBD, Colitis, Parvo & Distemper to name a few)
- Consumed Poison
- Beach diarrhea (ingesting sea water)
- 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 with no improvement 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
- First, if your feeding a good diet and you’re positive that food isn’t the problem, continue here. If your dog has seen a vet and they ruled out anything serious (obstruction, infection, parasites, etc), the best place to start is by including a good antioxidant formula to help manage oxidative issues in the bowel. This is the ideal place to start, because the antioxidants replace vital nutrients that your dog is eliminating due to the constant diarrhea. It will help repair and control inflammation caused by irritable bowel. Honestly, you will be doing your dog a big favor by keeping him or her on the supplement indefinitely. It’s also a buffer for cancer (even dogs battling cancer) and other major diseases.
- Next, evaluate your dog’s diet closely. Are you sure that you’re feeding a good food? What your dog eats can lead to chronic diarrhea that’s often caused by IBS or IBD (irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease). 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. BUT, if the problem continues and you know it’s not related to food, start your dog o
- If your dog is healthy, but his stool is a mess and nothing happened to cause the messy stool (drinking contaminated water, etc.), 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 the antioxidant formula that I mention above. I also recommend that you keep your dog on the supplement for life. Diarrhea happens because the intestinal cells are damaged. By adding important nutrients back to your dog’s diet, you protect the intestinal cells while healing. You can also add probiotics which provide a healthy flora and keep your dog’s gut intact. But, they don’t always work alone.
- 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.
- Here’s a recipe for rice water. Boil 1 cup rice to 4 cups water for 25 minutes. Drain the liquid. Allow him to drink as often as he wants. If he doesn’t respond to the rice water, try adding a little (one teaspoon) chicken baby food.
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.