There’s always one surefire way to tell when your dog isn’t well and that’s … diarrhea. Diarrhea can also lead to dehydration and other issues. There are reasons for diarrhea but still, you’ll want to know how to stop dog diarrhea naturally.
Here’s what you need to know about diarrhea in dogs and how to stop diarrhea at home without harmful antibiotics.
Types Of Dog Diarrhea
When it comes to diarrhea there are two broad types.
- Small intestine diarrhea
- Large intestine diarrhea
Small intestine diarrhea is more serious than the other. Here is the difference between both types
Large Intestine Dog Diarrhea
If your dog has diarrhea from the large intestine his poop will be ….
- More frequent
- More urgent
- Smaller in size
- Semi formed with mucus in it
You may even see dog diarrhea with blood or fresh blood specks on the surface. Your dog may have to poop more often and with extreme urgency … so it may mean accidents in the house. You may also see your dog straining to poop when he does go out.
Small Intestine Dog Diarrhea
Diarrhea from the small intestine is ...
- Easier for him to control
- Less frequent
- Without urgency
- Larger in size
- Watery brown diarrhea with no mucus
- Dog diarrhea with mucus
Blood is digested in the small intestine so these stools will have no obvious blood in them. This might seem like a good thing … but this type of diarrhea is actually much more serious. Nutrients are digested in the small intestine so if there’s a problem, your dog won’t get the nutrients he needs.
Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea?
There can be short-term and long-term diarrhea. Some causes of acute, short-term diarrhea are:
- Dietary changes
- Bacterial infection
- Eating garbage or foreign objects
- Too much exercise
Chronic diarrhea can be persistent or recurring for several weeks or more. Causes of chronic, long-term diarrhea include:
- Bacterial infection
- Underlying health issues such as inflammatory bowel disease
- Food sensitivities or allergies
There are natural home remedies for dog diarrhea so you can avoid antibiotics.
Avoid Antibiotics For Dog Diarrhea
Veterinarians usually prescribe antibiotics like Metronidazole, sometimes even long term. Antibiotics might stop diarrhea but they won’t fix the underlying issue … so diarrhea usually comes back.
Antibiotics can also damage your dog’s gut, where 90% of his immune system lives … and this makes your dog more susceptible to disease in the future. Antibiotics kill off bacteria in your dog’s digestive tract. And they’re indiscriminate … so they kill off bad bacteria and beneficial bacteria as well.
Beneficial bacteria are needed to:
- Make essential vitamins
- Protect your dog from disease and infection
- Form a barrier against toxins and heavy metals
- Produce digestive enzymes
- Support the brain and mood
Diarrhea is the body’s way of removing toxins and healing. When antibiotics suppress this natural response, it can cause long-term health damage.
Instead, here are gentler ways to treat dog diarrhea.
How To Stop Dog Diarrhea At Home
Acute dog diarrhea should only last a day or two. Here are some home remedies to help manage it.
1. Fast Your Dog
Most dogs will naturally fast themselves if they have an upset stomach. Let him do that so his digestive tract has time to heal. If he doesn’t fast himself, avoid feeding him for 12 to 24 hours. You can give him small amounts of water. If he vomits or has diarrhea soon after, stop and try again a few hours later.
Don’t fast these dogs:
- Puppies under 6 months old (go to Step 2).
- Very small dogs or dogs who get hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). If you do fast a small dog, offer a bit of honey every hour. If your dog begins to tremble, give it more often.
If you do fast your dog, wait for diarrhea and any accompanying vomiting to stop or slow. Then you can start to give him water or broth. Start with a few teaspoons every few hours for very small dogs. Larger dogs will need ½ to 1 cup. Once he can hold down water for 6 hours, you can start introducing broth.
Bone broth (especially homemade) is a nutritious option that will be easy for your dog to hold down. If you use store-bought, check the ingredients to be sure they’re dog-friendly and use a low sodium brand.
If you think he can manage it, skip the broth and go straight to Step 2.
2. Bland Food
Once your dog begins to feel better, start him on a bland diet. It’s easy on the digestive system and will prevent diarrhea from starting up again.
Be aware that chicken and rice is NOT the best choice as rice can contain arsenic. Soup is a better option. It’s gentler on his stomach and doesn’t have starches that can cause upset. Make your own soup so you can control what goes in it.
Healing Soup Recipe
- 3 to 4 chicken thighs
- 6 cups of water
- 1 to 2 cups chopped vegetables (carrot, celery, or cauliflower are good choices)
Place chicken and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours. Remove the skin and bones from the meat and set the meat aside. Strain the broth and return to a boil. Add chopped vegetables and boil for 20 minutes.
You can start by giving just the broth or mix it with mashed vegetables and meat. Start with a few teaspoons for very small dogs and ½ to 1 cup for large dogs.
Wait 4 to 6 hours to see if diarrhea and vomiting start up again.
3. Prebiotics And Probiotics
While your dog is on the mend, it’s a really good idea to give him prebiotics and probiotics.
Probiotics help maintain gut flora in the digestive tract and provide a source of beneficial intestinal bacteria . Prebiotics feed the probiotics to help them work better. The two should be given together. The best choice is to give pre- and probiotics made especially for dogs. If you use these, follow the dosing directions on the package.
4. Natural Remedies
The first 3 steps help to stop your dog’s diarrhea and give his body a chance to heal. But you can also help his body with these remedies. You don’t want to overdo it, so only try one or two at a time to see how they work for your dog.
Slippery elm is a herb that supports normal colon and gastrointestinal health and function. Give as follows ...
Slippery Elm Capsules
Give small dogs ¼ capsule twice daily, medium dogs ½ capsule twice daily, large dogs 1 capsule once or twice daily.
Slippery Elm Powder
Give ¼ tsp for every 10 lbs of body weight per day. Mix into food or apple sauce
Or, make the powder into a syrup ...
Slippery Elm Syrup Recipe
- Mix 1 rounded tsp slippery elm powder in 1 cup cold water
- Stir while you bring it to a boil
- Lower the heat then stir and simmer 2 to 3 minutes
- Remove from heat and add 1 tbsp of honey
- Let it cool
- Give 1 to 2 tbsp per 25 lbs body weight, four times daily
L-glutamine is an amino acid that may support a normal inflammatory response in the gut. You can give it with other supplements or alone. Buy L-glutamine at a health store and give 500 mg per 25 lbs of body weight per day
Marshmallow root may support normal colon and gastrointestinal health and function. A ready-made tincture is the easiest way to give it. Or you may find it in some digestive supplements.
Use 0.5 to 1.5 ml of marshmallow root tincture per 20 lbs of body weight 2 to 3 times daily.
If your dog needs digestive enzymes, his symptoms might include gas, bloating and diarrhea. Dogs on processed diets as well as older dogs may need digestive enzymes to assist in the digestion and absorption of essential nutrients. Buy a product made for dogs and follow the dosing on the package… but start slow and increase the dose gradually. Some dogs will get gas and bloating if you go too fast.
When To See The Vet For Dog Diarrhea
When is dog diarrhea an emergency? If you notice any of the following issues, you should call your holistic vet.
- Ongoing or frequent blood in stool
- Your dog ate something poisonous or toxic
You’ll also want to reach out if diarrhea doesn’t clear up in a few days. If your dog gets diarrhea regularly and it becomes chronic, that’s a different matter. You’ll need to work with your holistic vet to determine the cause and then work on natural solutions.
In most cases, these natural solutions will help return your dog to a normal routine of proper digestion and bowel health.