Diarrhea Cures: At-Home Remedies When Dogs Get "The Runs"

A dog with diarrhea is not fun for the human, nor the pet. These are things you can do yourself to help your dog's diet. 

A dog with soft stool is one of the most common reasons behind a visit to the vet. While diarrhea can be severe if untreated, most cases of dog diarrhea are preventable and curable. However, it's essential to monitor your dog's diarrhea and take steps to correct the issue since your dog can become dehydrated. You can prevent some upset stomachs with the benefits of raw dog food diets, but if you're just trying to deal with bad bowels in the moment, fortunately there are home remedies for dogs with diarrhea.

If your dog is a puppy or has diarrhea along with additional symptoms, like lethargy, loss of appetite, or vomiting, get your dog to the vet right away. If your dog's diarrhea is intermittent, mild, or arises after you've fed him a new food or treat, you should still contact your vet but can probably treat your dog's digestive ailments with these home remedies.

5 Ways To Fight Doggy Diarrhea

1. Bland Diet 

brown dog eating bland diet

Your dog might be reacting to the dog food you are feeding him. For example, it may be too high in protein or not agreeable to your dog's digestive system, and sudden dietary changes can also cause stomach upset. Puppies need high protein puppy food, but it older dogs might find it too much to handle.

Take away your dog's regular food for a day and feed him a bland diet such as boiled white rice, boiled chicken or turkey, scrambled egg, cottage cheese, or potato skins.

You can also give your dog Gatorade or Pedialyte to drink to help replenish electrolytes. Just make sure to read the label carefully! Xylitol poisoning is common and deadly to dogs, and can be found in more than just candy canes.

2. Flax/Chia Seeds

chia seeds in pile with spoon

Chia and flax seeds absorb an exorbitant amount of water, nearly 10-12 times their weight! When they absorb the water, they get slimy and expand. While in the dog's stomach, the seeds coat the lining and help ease inflammation in the digestive tract.

Sprinkle a small amount of the seeds over your dog's food, raw or boiled.

3. Plain Yogurt

small dog eating home remedies for dogs with diarrhea

Another home remedy that your likely have in your refrigerator is plain yogurt. Give your pup a spoonful of yogurt or cottage cheese. It is bland and easy to eat, and it also contains probiotics and good bacteria that can help your dog's gut begin to recover from diarrhea. This works well for humans in distress too!

4. Probiotic Supplement

probiotic supplement on black background

Do dogs need probiotics? Not necessarily, but they can certainly help an upset tummy! When a doggy gets diarrhea, it passes the healthy floras and good bacteria from your dog's gastrointestinal tract. Your dog needs all that good flora to help with its immune system.

Adding a probiotic supplement to the dog's meals will help replenish their floras in the intestines.

5. Antidiarrheal

pink home remedies for dogs with diarrhea on white background poured

Over-the-counter antidiarrheals can also be used for your pup if they are having a bout of diarrhea. As a dog owner, you may be hesitant to give your doggo a human medication, but Pepto Bismol, Imodium, and Pepcid are safe to use for your dog with the runs.  In addition, giving them a dose of an antidiarrheal can give rice water and other remedies a chance to take hold. However, be careful not to give your pup too much as it can have an adverse effect on your dog's stool and can lead to constipation.

Understanding Causes of Diarrhea

There are many causes of diarrhea in dogs. Your dog could have eaten something he shouldn't have, he could have some sort of bacterial infection in his bowels, or diarrhea could be something more internally serious. Food allergies or food intolerances can also cause diarrhea in dogs.

Senior dogs can also get diarrhea more easily, so it is something you should look out for as your pup gets older.

Another cause of loose stools in dogs is a parasite. Roundworms, whipworms, and other bugs can end up in their fecal matter, especially if they have had a dietary indiscretion like eating a vermin.

When You Need Veterinary Care For Dog Diarrhea

If diarrhea persists for more than a few days, if your dog has a fever, is vomiting, has abdominal pain, or if you start to see bloody diarrhea, it is time to visit the vet. Home remedies for dogs with diarrhea can only do so much if there's a deeper problem. Your dog may need medical attention since chronic diarrhea in dogs can mean something more serious like cancer, giardia, parvovirus, coccidia, or inflammatory bowel disease. Your pup could also be having problems with its pancreas.

Your vet will likely want to do some blood work and check for mucous in your dog's poop. They may also want to pump some anti-inflammatory drugs into your pup along with some fluids via an IV.

What do you do when your dog has loose stool? Tell us on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page!

This article was originally published on October 23, 2019. 

READ MORE: Fight Seasonal Dog Allergies With These Natural Remedies