One of the main reasons why dogs have been so successful as a species is their ability to digest just about anything. As omnivores dogs can eat a wide variety of foods. Not only that, but a dog will eat things that most other animals give a wide berth.
So it should hardly be a surprise that dogs sometimes get diarrhea. In fact, it’s probably a bigger surprise that they don’t get it more often.
Dog diarrhea can have any number of causes including, an upset intestinal tract, worms or parasites, anxiety, or more serious diseases. It may also just be an upset tummy, but you can never be sure, so it is best to speak to your vet.
Most of the time it will be something minor and a simple medication will clear it up. Or you could use a natural remedy that is known to work.
Here are some effective home remedies for diarrhea. (Use these for mild cases only, disease related diarrhea obviously requires veterinary treatment).
There are quite a few homeopathic medicines for treating dog diarrhea, including arsenicum album and aloe. The right medicine to use will depend on the dog’s symptoms, such as the consistency of the stool.
Herbal remedies like L-Glutamine, Slippery Elm, Catnip and Bayberry are effective in treating a number of intestinal problems including inflammation, bacterial infections and flatulence.
High Fiber Diet
Fiber rich foods are excellent for promoting good intestinal health. Not only do they soften the stool in the case of constipation, but they also clear toxins from the system, thus eliminating a common cause of diarrhea.
In the wild, dogs get most of their fiber from grasses, but feeding foods like brown rice or pasta, pumpkin and oatmeal on a regular basis is an effective way to ensure a healthy digestive system.
Probiotic foods are rich in bacterial cultures. By feeding your dog these foods you effectively introduce “good bacteria” to the body and thereby maintain balance in the digestive system.
The best way to introduce this to your dog’s diet is to buy a probiotic powder (there are a number marketed specifically for dogs). The powder is tasteless and can be mixed in with your dog’s food.
When treating a dog that has diarrhea you need to strike a balance between keeping the dog nourished and hydrated, and not causing further irritation to the digestive system.
For the first day you should withhold all food, but ensure that the dog gets plenty of water. From day two, begin to feed the dog a bland diet (boiled skinless chicken and rice is ideal). Continue with this diet until your dog’s condition returns to normal. Remember to always have fresh water available and to monitor his water intake as dogs with diarrhea are at risk of dehydration.
Although diarrhea is usually trivial it is always best to have your dog examined by a vet. Provided the vet confirms that there is no major medical problem underlying the diarrhea, the methods mentioned above will be effective in clearing it up.