How to treat diarrhea in dogs at home? If your dog is experiencing mild diarrhea caused by the introduction of a new food, ingestion of table scraps, sudden food changes, or dietary indiscretions, you may be able to treat it at home with various easy and safe natural remedies.
Using herbs and making small yet important changes in your dog’s diet are a few ways to mitigate and eventually stop his GI discomfort.
1. Canned Pumpkin Puree
What can you give a dog for diarrhea? Canned pumpkin puree is one of the healthiest natural home remedies you can give to a dog with diarrhea. Here are some reasons why:
- Support Digestion: Pumpkin is rich in fiber, which facilitates your dog’s digestion by enhancing liquid absorption in the colon and slowing down gastric emptying.
- Provides Energy: Pumpkin can regulate your dog’s stool and provide instant energy, which is important during the course of disease.
- Serves as Prebiotic: Pumpkin serves as a wonderful prebiotic, promoting the proper growth of healthy gut bacteria.
- Nutrient Profile: Pumpkin is packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as beneficial nutrients like iron and potassium, which improve your dog’s overall health.
- Boost Immunity: Pumpkin can boost your dog’s immunity and support their digestive health, making it a great addition to their diet when dealing with diarrhea.
How to prepare:
- As much as possible, use canned pumpkin puree as a home remedy for dogs with diarrhea instead of fresh pumpkins. The latter provides higher levels of fiber and nutrients.
- Avoid products that contain sugars, spices, and preservatives. These added ingredients will cause the harmful bacteria in the stomach to thrive, exacerbating his diarrhea. So, stick to plain, canned pumpkin puree to remedy diarrhea in dogs.
- If canned pumpkin puree is unavailable in your area, get a fresh pumpkin. Discard its rind and seeds, then slice its flesh into small cubes. Boil them for 20-25 minutes until soft. Allow to cool before incorporating the pumpkin into the dog food.
Recommended Serving Amount:
The general rule to follow for this home remedy is to feed your dog 1 teaspoon of canned or cooked pumpkin per 10 pounds of body weight per day.
Alternatively, if you have pumpkin powder, add 1-4 tablespoons of it to his dog food. We advise starting with the smallest recommended dosage to avoid putting too much fiber in his meals. You can gradually increase the amount once his diarrhea abates. If you’re unsure about the amount of pumpkin to give your dog to improve their stool, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian for guidance.
- Do not confuse canned pumpkin puree with pumpkin pie filling. This human food is commonly made up of ingredients harmful to dogs, such as nutmeg, cloves, allspice it to your furry pal may result in poisoning.
- While canned pumpkin puree is a helpful home remedy for treating dog diarrhea, it’s important to follow the recommended serving amount. Ingesting too much fiber can actually worsen diarrhea and cause GI distress, preventing the absorption of beneficial nutrients from your dog’s diet. However, in most cases, the digestive upset is temporary and will resolve on its own once you stop giving the pumpkin supplement.
2. Marshmallow Root (Althea officinalis)
Marshmallow root has been used in traditional human medicine for thousands of years because of its healing qualities. If your dog has diarrhea, he can also benefit from this natural herbal remedy.
Marshmallow root is believed to alleviate illnesses caused by inflamed or irritated mucous membranes. Mucous membranes are found in certain areas of the body, including the digestive system.
To relieve dog diarrhea, this natural remedy creates a protective coating on the affected mucous membranes in the stomach. The lubrication produces a soothing effect that eases gastric inflammation.
How to prepare:
- Use a food processor or a coffee grinder to finely grind a dried marshmallow root into powder. Heat a cup of water and place 1-2 teaspoons of the powder in the cup.
- Allow the liquid to steep for five minutes. Then let it cool completely before serving.
Here is a simple guideline that will help you determine the ideal dosage amount according to your dog’s weight:
- 1-20 pound dogs: 1/4 cup of marshmallow root tea
- 21-50 pound dogs: 1/4-1/2 cup of marshmallow root tea
- 51-100 pound dogs: 1/2-1 cup of marshmallow root tea
Administer it at least 3 times a day. Offer this home remedy to your dog with diarrhea in between meals. It allows the marshmallow root to properly lubricate his digestive tract.
If you are using marshmallow root powder, the daily dosage is 85mg of powder per kg of weight.
- The effects of marshmallow root on pregnant and lactating dogs have not been extensively studied. Thus, using this dog diarrhea home remedy on them is discouraged.
- Marshmallow root can lower blood sugar levels. If a diabetic dog has diarrhea, check with the vet before administering this medicinal herb to him.
- The mucilage of marshmallow roots may hinder the absorption of certain drugs. If your dog with diarrhea is under medication, give him this herbal remedy several hours after taking the medicine.
- The marshmallow root’s lubricating ability can cause mild discomfort in dogs. Providing enough water to your dog will help manage this side effect.
3. Rice water
Dogs lose extensive amounts of water in their bodies when experiencing diarrhea. Keeping them well-hydrated is a priority. While regular water will do the trick, rice water provides more benefits.
Aside from providing hydration, it reduces flatulence and bloating caused by diarrhea. This home remedy also supports the proper binding of fecal matter, which helps dogs with diarrhea produce firmer stools.
How to prepare:
- In a medium-sized pot, boil 1 cup of white rice in 4 cups of water for 25 minutes or more. Do not add other ingredients. Once the water has a creamy white color, turn off the heat.
- Strain the liquid into a cup. Ensure the rice water has completely cooled down before offering this natural home remedy to your dog with diarrhea. Mix in 1-3 teaspoons of sodium-free plain chicken broth if he does not like to drink it.
- Store the remaining rice water in your fridge for up to two days. Warm it up and allow it to cool to room temperature before using.
Recommended Serving Amount:
Provide unlimited amounts of rice water to your dog. However, make sure he has access to regular water too.
This home remedy is more effective when given to dogs with diarrhea when fasting. It helps their stomachs rest and settle down.
- Avoid using instant rice because it contains lower concentrations of nutrients. So, make sure to buy high-quality white rice.
- Do not use brown rice as a white rice substitute. It houses excessive quantities of fiber, which can aggravate the irregular bowel movements of dogs with diarrhea.
4. Bland Diet
What to do if your dog has diarrhea and vomiting? If your dog has diarrhea and vomiting, fasting is often advised to lighten the workload of his digestive system. The duration can last up to 12-24 hours. However, 24-hour fasting is not recommended for young pooches. Severely sick canines should not undergo fasting.
Withholding water from your dog is not necessary, as he needs hydration. Offer a few teaspoons to your dog. Do not let him drink excessively, as it can increase vomiting.
Once diarrhea and vomiting symptoms have subsided, you might need to make a few changes in your furry pal’s diet. Feeding him regular meals can irritate his intestinal lining.
If you’re wondering what to feed a dog with diarrhea, consider a bland diet. This type of diet is low in fat, making it gentle on the stomach. The ingredients used are highly digestible and contain soluble fiber, which soothes the stomach and intestines, giving your dog’s digestive system time to recover.
How to prepare:
- 1 pound lean ground turkey or chicken.
- 1/2 cup cooked white rice
- 1/4-1/2 cup plain canned pumpkin puree
- In a medium pot, add 1 1/2 cups of water for every 1/2 cup of cooked rice.
- Bring the water to a boil. Once done, turn down the heat and allow the rice to simmer until all the water is absorbed. This will take around 15-20 minutes.
- In a separate pot, boil 1 cup of water. Add in the meat and let it boil for 15-20 minutes.
- Strain the white rice and animal protein to remove all water and fats.
- Mix both ingredients in a large bowl. Ideally, the ratio of the rice should be higher than the protein. It can be 50:50, 65:35, or 75:25.
- Wait for the bland food home remedy to cool down before feeding it to your dog with diarrhea. It must be served plain and unseasoned.
Recommended Serving Amount:
Introducing bland food to your dog
Start by offering your dog a small amount of bland food to avoid stressing his stomach. A single tablespoon will do.
If he does not vomit after 2 hours, increase the amount to 1/2-1 cup of food every 2-4 hours. Divide his meals into 3-4 small portions throughout the day for easier digestibility.
Transitioning back to regular dog food
Continue feeding your dog with diarrhea a bland diet home remedy for 2-3 days. Once his diarrhea and vomiting are resolved, gradually begin swapping his current meals with his usual dog food.
A bland diet does not provide sufficient nutrients to canines. Long-term consumption of this home remedy can lead to severe nutrient deficiency in dogs with diarrhea.
Mix 75% of his bland food and 25% of his regular food. Increase the amount of his regular food in small increments each day. The transition will take about 5-7 days to complete fully.
A bland food diet only serves as a temporary dog diarrhea treatment at home. So feeding it to your dog for more than 5 days is not advised.
If your dog has to be on a home-cooked diet for the long term. It is important to consult a veterinarian or put your dog on a diet that is suggested by a Certified Veterinary Nutritionist to ensure he gets all the necessary nutrition for his life stage and health condition.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Diarrhea
Why does my dog have diarrhea?
Diarrhea in dogs is a common symptom of many canine health issues. This means there can be several causes of this digestive issue. Some of the common causes are:
- Dietary indiscretions like eating garbage, spoiled food, or table scraps
- Ingestion of foreign objects
- Sudden dietary changes
- Food allergies
- Viral infections, such as parvovirus and coronavirus
- Bacterial infections (Salmonella, E. coli, Clostridium)
- Parasitic infections (Coccidia, Giardia, roundworms, whipworms)
- Systemic health diseases (liver disease, kidney disease, pancreatitis, endocrine diseases)
- Immune-mediated Disease – Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Eosinophilic Enteritis
Mild cases of diarrhea do not require veterinary attention. The use of home remedies can resolve them. However, contact your veterinarian if your dog’s diarrhea persists for more than 24 hours, or if they exhibit any other symptoms, such as vomiting, blood in the stool, or dehydration.
How long does dog diarrhea last?
Mild forms of diarrhea in dogs typically last for a day or two before cleaning up. The problem can sometimes persist for a few weeks to several months.
Recurrence of the condition could mean your pet has a severe underlying illness. Getting a proper diagnosis from the vet will not only help treat diarrhea but also resolve its root cause.
Should I exercise my dog when he has diarrhea?
Exercising your dog when he has diarrhea is not a good idea. Wearing him out does little to improve his weakened state. Instead, exercise can have the opposite effect and lead him to become more lethargic.
Remember that some potential causes of dog diarrhea are highly transmittable. Therefore, taking your sick pooch outdoors for exercise increases the risk of spreading contagious canine diseases.
When should I be worried about my dog’s diarrhea?
You should start worrying about your dog’s diarrhea once it becomes severe. Some red flags to look out for are:
- Presence of blood in the stool
- Passing only small amounts of watery diarrhea
- Increased frequency of defecation and vomiting
- Abnormal weight loss
- Symptoms of dehydration, such as a dry nose or sunken eyes
- Pre-existing, life-threatening, or chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, Addison’s disease, neoplasia, chronic diarrhea, or other serious medical problems
If your dog is very young or very old or if the diarrhea is accompanied by blood, vomiting, or other serious symptoms, such as anorexia, weakness, abdominal pain, pale membranes, or fever, it’s important to seek veterinary attention right away. Any delays can be life-threatening to your pet.
Natural remedies can be a simple and cost-effective way to treat various health issues in dogs, including diarrhea. If your dog is experiencing diarrhea but is otherwise healthy, consider withholding their food for 10 to 12 hours before starting a bland diet. Begin by offering small but frequent meals that are well-tolerated by the GI system and incorporate natural remedies such as canned pumpkin puree.
For more articles on natural remedies, supplements, and homemade treats, check out our diet and recipes section.