Healthy, easy to pick up dog poop is an often-overlooked blessing in our daily lives. Every so often though we see runny dog poop and the worry and obsession begins. Help! My dog has diarrhea. Should we rush to the vet? It’s the weekend, how much is this going to cost? How do I make Fido feel better? Are there any home remedies for dog diarrhea?
Nothing can throw off your day quite like experiencing a bout of puppy diarrhea. But, don’t go into crazy crisis mode immediately.
If your dog has diarrhea and that’s the only symptom you’re observing, try our top 5 home remedies for dog diarrhea:
1. Try a short term fast
Dogs have a much shorter digestive tract than other mammals. By skipping the next meal, your dog’s digestive tract has the ability to rest and recover from potential irritants. Don’t worry about Fido skipping a meal or two. Intermittent fasting for adult dogs is actually beneficial (like it is for humans!). In fact, many dogs may self-restrict their eating from time to time.
If you have a puppy with diarrhea, please consult with your veterinarian if you are considering withholding food longer than 10 to 12 hours.
2. Limit GI stressors
New treats or rich, fatty foods may cause digestive upset for some dogs with a particularly sensitive stomach or without variety in their diet. Antibiotics or medications can also cause dog vomiting and diarrhea as a side effect. Though prescribed with the best intentions, new research shows the affects of metronidazole always positive. In the study, dogs’ gut microbiome and digestive systems were still recovering months after undergoing treatment.
Swapping your dog’s normal meal for a bland diet of boiled protein and plain canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix!) may help in overcoming their tummy troubles. When feeding a bland diet, aim for 99% or 96% lean ground beef or turkey. Remember not to include any skin, bones, spices, butter or oils.
Bland homemade diets should only be fed short-term, around 2 to 4 days. As your dog’s loose stool improves, her normal diet can be gradually reintroduced. It’s important that a bland diet for dogs does not become their standard meal. These meals will lack vital micronutrients and aren’t balanced for long-term vitality.
Environmental stressors such as a loud noise, a new visitor, or even different surroundings may be causing your dog’s stomach to act up (ever feel queasy before giving a big presentation?). Though it may be challenging, or even impossible, to limit environmental stressors try providing calming music (we love classical piano and Bob Marley!) or limiting space to a covered crate to calm your dog and limit reasons for runny dog poop.
3. Ensure your dog is hydrated and getting ample water
Make sure if your dog has diarrhea that you provide lots of water to avoid dog dehydration. Because the large intestines are not absorbing water like usual, dog diarrhea can cause mild or even severe dehydration. If your puppy has diarrhea, it’s even more important to encourage her to drink fresh, clean water regularly. Puppies and small dogs don’t intake as much water at once and due to their size also loose water more quickly.
Try these top tips for avoiding dehydration in dogs, especially if your dog is not a water lover.
4. Offer natural remedies to help firm stools
Plain pumpkin. Add a teaspoon or tablespoon of plain canned pumpkin puree to a bland diet boosts your dog’s fiber intake and can help to firm up runny dog poop. Dietary fiber manages liquid absorption during the digestive process, a key to firming up dog diarrhea. Be careful not to get pumpkin pie filling or mix by accident or puree with added salt – only 100% pure pumpkin.
Slippery elm bark Slippery elm bark, a lesser known natural home remedy, can be helpful in cases of dog loose stool, especially if mucus is present too. Slippery elm bark is known to fight inflammation and protectively coat the stomach. Like other natural home remedies, you can mix slippery elm bark directly into your dog’s meal or give it separately (about ½ to 1 teaspoon per 20 lbs of body weight). Since slippery elm bark helps coat the stomach, it should not be fed within 2 hours of administering medication.
Instructions: Mix the slippery elm bark powder into a bit of liquid (water, raw goat milk or kefir work well) for your dog to consume. Do not give within 2 hours of administering any medications.
5. Use the free DIG Labs Health Check app to monitor and share with your vet
By using the Digestive Health Check app you’ll have a convenient, accurate history archive for managing Fido’s diarrhea resolution (and hopefully prevention in the future!). Tracking the frequency along with detailed visuals will help both you and your veterinarian resolve this issue. Details like color, consistency, mucus presence, and more are all valuable clues.
If you observe other symptoms such as vomiting, regurgitation, abnormal gum color, abdominal pain or distention, weakness, lethargy, abnormal behavior, lack of appetite, etc. note the time and description for your veterinarian.
Though there are a wide variety of reasons for dog diarrhea, if the situation becomes a chronic issue, it’s critical to consult with your veterinarian to determine the underlying trigger. Tools, such as fecal tests, visual and endoscope inspection, blood tests, and more, will help to guide identifying the cause and determining a solution.
While it would be great to get a warning signal before your dog has diarrhea, try these tested home remedies for quick at home resolution.
If you want to limit your worries in the future, we are strong supporters of science-backed broad-spectrum probiotics to promote microbiome diversity and boost your dog’s overall immunity and digestive health. Learn more about the benefits of probiotics for dogs.
Get the DIG Labs App
Download the free DIG Labs Digestive Health Tracker to get personalized insights and recommendations for your dog based on their stool.