At some point of your dog’s life they will have diarrhea. It’s not usually something to worry about and rush to the vet right away because it can easily be treated at home.
COMMON CAUSES FOR DIARRHEA
The most common reason for a stomach upset is dietary indiscretion. Or when they EAT TOO MUCH. Specifically, it’s when they:
- Eat too much food
- Eat too much fat
- Eat too much fiber
Another reason but not as common includes stress-induced diarrhea such as when you take a long road trip or move homes or when your dog experiences something new that stresses them out.
EASY HOME REMEDY IN FOUR STEPS:
Simple tummy upsets can be treated at home, you can apply this quick and easy four-step home remedy:
- Fast from food for 12 hours
- Introduce a bland low fat diet
- Heal the gut with slippery elm
- Re-balance the gut with probiotics
NORMALLY YOUR DOG WILL RECOVER IN 3 DAYS
Just like humans, dogs can have a stomach upset for a wide range of reasons. You can treat the symptoms at home and most dogs will recover in under three days.
Call your vet if your pup doesn’t get better in three days.
Simple Tummy Upset Symptoms Can Be Diverse.
- Straining to go poop
- Watery poop – loose and lacks shape and leaves residue when you pick it up
- Soft poop like soft serve ice cream
- Frequent poop
- Mucus in poop: It’s not technically a color … but mucus is a detoxification response. Your dog’s digestive system is trying to get rid of something. It’s usually an acute issue and will resolve on its own.
Treat At Home: for no more than three days
But Other Symptoms Can Be Concerning:
- Watery, mucousy diarrhea
- Explosive diarrhea that may eventually become bloody
- Bloody diarrhea
- Poop with white specks (might be worms)
- Lethargy and weakness
- Abdominal discomfort and tenderness
- Repeated vomiting
- Weight loss
- Little or no appetite
In these cases Call Your Vet Immediately
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR DOG’S STOMACH ACHE AND DIARRHEA AT HOME IN FOUR STEPS
Step 1: Fast Your Dog From Food (but not from water)
An adult dog can fast for 12 hours and a puppy can fast for 6 hours.
Fasting gives your dog’s GI tract time to rest, repair, and restore itself.
Don’t let your dog have free access to water. Too much water might make them throw up. You can give limited fluids as follows:
- One cup water in their bowl in the morning and one cup in the evening.
- Chamomile tea (one cup in the morning and one in the evening). Chamomile calms and helps to relax the muscles in the stomach and bowel. It can be used to help gas, vomiting, indigestion and irritable bowl syndrome as well as to ease cramping.
- Ginger water – you can make a mild ginger water to help your dog’s nausea. Give a few tablespoons after a few hours of fasting.
- Bone broth – you can make your own bone broth or buy unsalted bone broth from the store. You can use broth designed for dogs or the unsalted version from your grocery store.
STEP 2: INTRODUCE A BLAND DIET
Your dog can start to eat again after a 12-hour food fast.
Start off by giving them a bland low-fat diet.
I recommend lean-cooked ground turkey with pumpkin added in.
Use a pure pumpkin as opposed to pumpkin pie filling.
You don’t need much pumpkin – just one tablespoon for every 15 pounds of weight.
I would avoid rice because it is high in starch and can ferment in the GI tract and feed unhealthy bacteria.
Other food items you can also give are bananas, oatmeal, and low-fat greek yogurt.
One thing to note – is that dogs that are yeasty beasts don’t do well on a lot of fiber so adding pumpkin, bananas, oatmeal or yogurt will aggravate them further.
An option will be to continue the diet (if you feel confident to do that) but go right into step 3 which is to heal the stomach.
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STEP 3: HEAL THE STOMACH
Give your dog slippery elm with their food.
Slippery elm comes in several forms: tinctures, capsules, or powders.
You can find slippery elm at your local health stores like Sprouts or Whole Foods. You can also buy the powder from Amazon.
How to make:
Boil one cup of water and add one tablespoon of slippery elm. It will turn into a gelatinous mixture within seconds. Add one tablespoon of the mixed slippery elm into your dog’s food for every 15 pounds of weight.
A backup would be “Perfect Form” made by Honest Kitchen which is stocked in most smaller pet stores. Their product contains slippery elm too.
You will see the effects of slippery elm within 24 hours and your dog’s stool should start to firm up between 24 hours and 36 hours.
Slippery Elm reduces GI inflammation and acts like a nonirritating fiber to bulk up the stool, absorb water and slow stool down as it goes through the GI tract.
If your dog is raw fed or eats a home-cooked meal you can also give them some bone to firm up their poop. I recommend smaller bone pieces like duck neck or feet or chicken necks or feet.
STEP 4: RE-BALANCE THE GUT
After your dog’s poop has gone back to normal you can work to re-balance their bug through some important supplements.
Probiotic powder helps replenish the good flora and fauna back into the gut. It also will help build and restore your dog’s gut lining.
I like to alternate between three different brands:
Prebiotics on the other hand will help feed the probiotics and make them more effective.
Digestive Enzymes: Dogs with irritated or inflamed digestive tracts have difficulty breaking down the food for the nutrients, and digestive enzymes can help with this process and offer better nutrition in the small intestine.
I currently use In Clover’s FRESH DIGEST as a daily digestive enzyme.
Another product for dogs that suffer from stomach problems more frequently would be Berte’s Digestion Blend . It has Bromelien , an enzyme that comes from pineapple.
It also has l-glutamine an amino acid that has shown promising results in the last few years to provide healing in the digestive system. Studies have shown it helps to repair intestinal tissue at the cellular level and it is a precursor to glutathione, an antioxidant. L-glutamine is also an aid to help restore muscle atrophy.
Berte’s also has also ginger and N-Acetyl Glucosamine (NAG, which helps restore permeability to the digestive tract lining).
Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria that aren’t found in yogurt.
It’s been shown to help with gastritis, pancreatitis, abdominal peptic issues, skin psoriasis, rheumatism, and joint disease as well as gouty arthritis, weakening of bones, anemia, and leaky gut.
How much to feed:
- Small dogs – 1 tbsp
- Medium dogs – 2 tbsp
- Large dogs – 3 tbsp
You can buy Goat Kefir at Trader Joes. I like to pour it into an ice cube tray and then freeze it and take out a serving size to add to each bowl.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT YOUR DOG FROM HAVING A RELAPSE
Rotate Food and Add Variety
Ideally you want your dog to have a strong and healthy GI Tract. They should be able to handle new food just like you can.
Fresh food feeders (raw and home-cooked) like to rotate what they feed their dogs every day or every few days.
This strengthens your dog’s GI tract so that they can handle new food easily.
Introduce Food Slowly
That said you still want to make sure you introduce all-new food slowly.
Remember your dog’s stomach will react when it’s had:
- Too much food
- Too much fat
- Too much fiber
So you want to introduce any new food, treat or chew in small portions over a period of several days. Watch their stool because it will tell you (if it’s soft) that you’re going too fast.
WHAT IF THEIR DIARRHEA DOESN’T GO AWAY
If your dog’s stool is still soft in three days it’s time to call your vet.
Sometimes their diarrhea was caused by a viral and/or bacterial infection
Sometimes it’s Giardia or even worse Parvo.
Sometimes they ate a foreign object like a toy, or glove, or sock.
If your dog has other symptoms like loss of energy, lethargy, bloody stool or fever you want to call your vet immediately.
Your vet will do bloodwork and evaluate the stool. (2 tests – checks for parasite antigens and/or eggs and the other bacterial or viral agents that cause diarrhea).
Your vet will administer the appropriate treatment plan if your dog has something more than a simple stomach ache.
Every dog owner will at some point in their dog’s life have their dog experience a stomach upset and diarrhea.
The most common reason for this is that the dog ate too much food, too much fat or too much fiber.
Treating your dog is easily done in four steps: Fast your dog, feed a bland diet, heal their stomach and then rebalance their gut.
The quickest home remedy is to use slippery elm. I prefer the powder that you can mix with water. You will often see results in under three days.
Call your vet if diarrhea persists or returns after three days or immediately if other symptoms like blood, fever, frequent vomiting and lethargy also accompany the loose stool.
This article was written originally written for maggielovesorbit.com