Liquid poop can happen to all dogs. It can be caused by many different things and distressing to both you and your dog when their stool shoots out like water.
Recently we had some rain and I took my dogs out for a walk when the weather broke. That night my dog woke up and ran outside, and her bowel movement was like soft serve. She then started to go out almost every two hours and it got softer to the point of being liquid.
Diarrhea, Small Bowel – Home Remedy
During this time your should observe your dog’s stool and look for improvement in firmness.
If their condition doesn’t get better, it’s time to get the vet involved to rule out bacteria or parasites.
I normally give myself three days before I call my conventional vet.
It’s imperative that your dog stays hydrated during this period.
While water is great, I prefer bone broth because I will also fast the dog for 24 hours to rest the stomach, and broth can be extremely soothing during this time.
- For my own dogs, I like bone broth that doesn’t have apple cider vinegar. If you don’t have any on hand you can make it at home. You can pick up bones from your grocery store and boil them in water. Once it reaches a rolling boil you can lower the heat and simmer for two hours. In this case, I’m not worried about a long cook, I’m just trying to make a quick broth that my dog will find palatable and enticing enough to drink. The goal is hydration.
How To Check If Your Dog Is Dehydrated
- Check their nose to make sure it is moist.
- Check gums to check for pinkness. How you do this is to lift up the flaps of their upper lip and press down on the gums with your finger. If your dog is hydrated, then it should turn white when you press down but then quickly turn back to pink when you lift your finger up. If it stays white from where you pressed down it is a sign that your dog is dehydrated
- Check the elasticity of the skin by picking up the skin in the back of the neck. When a dog is hydrated it snaps back into place. When they are dehydrated their skin slowly falls back to place.
If your dog is dehydrated, call your vet immediately.
Fast Your Dog For 24 Hours
It’s important to rest your adult dog’s stomach. Puppies cannot be fasted so this only applies to adult dogs.
Withhold food for a day while still feeding bone broth every few hours. They don’t need to drink a whole bowl. But they do need to drink enough so that they aren’t dehydrated.
Soothe the Stomach Lining
Slippery elm and marshmallow root are demulcent herbs to soothe the mucous membranes via the mucilage in the herbs.
Not only do they coat the stomach, they also form metabolites (butyrate), which are anti-inflammatory.
I made this video to show how easy it is to make a slippery elm slurry. While this video says to use very hot water, I’ve found that even regular tap water or drinking water works just as well.
Bonus, you can use some of your bone broth instead of water.
Note: Some links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associates or other programs I participate in). At no charge to you, as an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Feed it two to three times a day – one tablespoon for every ten pounds your dog weighs.
It’s very important to feed this separately from any medication or herbs so don’t mix this with any probiotics, herbs that you are also feeding because it blocks the absorption of those items (because the stomach lining is coated). Herbs that reduce intestinal transit time decreases the absorption of drugs.
You can buy slippery elm on Amazon. I’ve had this bag from Starwest for three to four years, it will last you a long time. Alternatively, you can find slippery elm as most of your healthier grocery stores.
Probiotic That Can Stop Watery Diarrhea
Saccharomyces boulardii has been shown to shorten frequency of stool and duration of acute diarrhea in children. To date a similar study has not been done on dogs but they have studied that it improves intestinal status in dogs.
How To Feed: One hour prior to their first three to four meals, dissolved in a spoon or two of bone broth.
You can buy it on Amazon. It’s great to have on hand as well as to travel with.
Smaller Meals The First Day After A Fast
Reintroduce food slowly and in smaller portions that first day after the fast. This way the gut doesn’t have to work so hard to digest the food.
You can opt to feed a bland diet of just turkey (or chicken) and pumpkin, or just go right back to feeding your dog their regular meal. This will depend on your dog.
Probiotic To Establish A Healthy Gut
I don’t feed Saccharomyces boulardii every day. It’s purposely fed only during a time when a dog has watery diarrhea.
After I’ve fed it and the dog’s stool has normalized I will switch to a broad-spectrum probiotic like the one from Mercola because it has Lactobacillus which can help to establish good bacteria in the gut.
After a few weeks, I will wean a dog off its probiotic as its gut should be strong enough not to need it.
Chinese Herbs To Decrease Dampness
There are herbs you can feed your dog to reduce dampness in the small intestine. This is typically done under the guidance of your TCVM Vet.
I use Dr. Thomas and his information is below.
Holistic Health Care for Pets
1707 E. 11th Ave, Spokane WA 99202
If you would like to contact him via email: DrThomasHolisticvet@yahoo.com
I use him for my own dogs, and refer clients to him when a TCVM vet isn’t available in your city.
You want to keep an eye on your dog’s stool. You also want to be prepared to bring it to the vet to eliminate parasites.
Dogs tend to experience the world through their mouths and can pick up all sorts of things during their daily outings.
Weather changes can bring soft stools due to water runoffs. For example, in San Diego, the first rains of the season bring runoff from polluted areas into our beaches, and bacteria counts are high.
You may want to avoid the beaches during the rain or at least be mindful to ensure your dog isn’t hoovering during the walk.
Soothing Leaky Gut Protocol
If this is a one-off and your dog’s digestive system is strong then I wouldn’t worry about their gut.
But if your dog is older and they have had allergies or digestive issues then it might be a good idea to administer a leaky gut fix that includes:
- Slippery elm coats the gut lining, soothe inflammation while reducing swelling.
- Marshmallow root has a high mucilage factor and it will coat the entire digestive tract.
- Licorice root replenishes the gut lining and repairs the mucosal membranes. Skip this herb for renal, hepatic, or cardiovascular disease.
During this time you may also want to add digestive enzymes to their diet. If you use a brand tailored for humans, adjust the dosage. Human supplements are designed for 150 pound humans and you can adjust it down based on your dog.
To provide relief and help stabilize your dog you can activate and massage the following pressure points: GV1, ST36, SP6, LIV 3, KID 3.
Some of the BL points are harder to find so you can do tui na on BL17, 18, 20, 21, 25, 27.
Learning acupressure is a skill any dog parent can do and you can read about it: One of my favorite books is available on Kindle.
What Caused The Liquid Poop In Your Dog?
It could be something as simple as the fact they ate something bad and it was bad enough to cause a sudden acute break of watery poops.
Always work with your vet to have the stool samples checked out.
But there are other reasons outside of bacteria:
The Three Fs
Dogs can have diarrhea because they eat too much food, too much fiber, or too much fat.
Oftentimes, it’s too much food. Small dogs are notorious for this because we dog owners give them things like bully sticks or beef jerky that is too big for the dog.
These chews are often fed in between meals and so dogs have an appetite and will eat the whole thing and then get a stomach upset in the middle of the night.
Keep chew sessions short. Start off with under five minutes and never exceed fifteen minutes.
A kidney yang deficiency often involved early morning or “daybreak diarrhea”. Oftentimes the dog also has kidney disease, a pale wet tongue, and possibly bowel incontinence.
Sometimes a dog may have painless diarrhea and low back weakness. Or chronic diarrhea with blood or pus.
Spleen and stomach deficiency
If your dog has had chronic watery diarrhea with no distinguishing color, weigh loss, low thirst and abdominal discomfort after eating, and a pale and wet tongue it may have a spleen and stomach deficiency.
If the dog also wakes up in the middle of the night it points to a potential liver imbalance. This normally also is brought on by stress, possible flank pain, a history of food allergies, and a lavender tongue.
Call Vet Immediately
If your dog is hunched over in pain, not drinking, dehydrated, and acting lethargic and something just isn’t right, then you must call your vet immediately.
Keeping The Diet Simple
In all cases, you want to keep the diet simple.
Today we have so many more options. Walk into any pet store and you’ll be offered a host of new treats, and chews, both meat and dairy, to try.
Keep those novel treats and chews as a “surprise and delight” item and keep the meals simple.
If we ate as many different things that we tend to overfeed our dogs with our tummies would be upset too.
There’s something to be said about feeding your dog what they need most of the time and a surprise and delight some of the time.
It’s stressful when your dog is pooping liquid stool.
Nothing will ever replace a skilled veterinarian’s guidance and hands-on examination.
What I offer is a simple home remedy to try the first few days but make sure you note down what happened in your dog’s health dairy and share this with your vet as well.
- Fast dog for 18 hours
- Feed bone broth through out the day to keep your dog hydrated
- Between meals, you can feed slippery elm (mixed with bone broth). EG at 4pm and then before bedtime. This will coat and sooth the gut.
- When you re-introduce food – do so slowly. You can use a probiotic and/or Chinese Herbs until the stool bulks up.
- Keep meals smaller the first day back eating
If you are curious in how improving your dog’s diet can help, then BOOK A PACKAGE HERE.
Until then, I wish you and your dog to be well!
Hannah Zulueta is a Certified Canine Nutritionist through the CASI Institute. She is also currently studying to get her Doctorate in Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Herbalism from the esteemed Pacific College of Health and Medicine.
She currently resides in San Diego with her three dogs, Maggie, Orbit and Mr. Higgins.
Role of a probiotic (Saccharomyces boulardii) in management and prevention of diarrhoea
Effect of Saccharomyces boulardii in dog with chronic enteropathies: double-blinded, placebo-controlled study