Diarrhea in Dogs

Diarrhea in dogs is not uncommon. Most dogs, at least once in their life, will have a bout of diarrhea for one reason or another. Diarrhea is a passage of loose, unformed feces. Normal feces contains no mucous, undigested food or blood. Food takes around 8 hours to pass through a dog’s small intestines. If your dog has diarrhea, normally there is a large amount of stool passed and more frequent bowel movements. These movements are often uncontrollable and smell much worse than regular feces.

The most common causes of diarrhea in dogs are intestinal parasites and dietary problems. However, there are many different things that may cause diarrhea in dogs. Although it’s not a pleasant subject, it is important to look for possible clues as to why your dog may have diarrhea, because some causes may be life-threatening.
Some other causes of dog diarrhea include:

• Viruses and parasites; very common in unvaccinated dogs and young puppies.
• Kidney diseases, cancers, gastrointestinal diseases; most serious cause of diarrhea, usually accompanied by serious symptoms such as seizures and blood. These are most common in elderly dogs.
• Stress or anxiety
• Over-excitement
• A change in food or environment
• New medications or recent vaccinations
• Consuming dead animals, rotten garbage, glass or poisons. These are also very serious causes of diarrhea, and usually cause bleeding and vomiting.
• Sugary, fattening and spoiled ‘human food’

As you can see, there are some serious causes of diarrhea, which need immediate medical attention, and some causes which can be treated with a little patience and home remedies. Some causes may be prevented altogether.

Home Remedies For Dog Diarrhea

Often times, your dog will not need medical treatment for diarrhea. As long as your dog’s diarrhea does not last longer than a few days, there are many natural treatments and remedies to help cure diarrhea faster.

The first step in curing your dog’s diarrhea is to take away his dog food. It is important to clear the stomach and intestines of food for the first 24 hours. If your dog has diarrhea, avoid giving him rawhides and treats. Your dog should have plenty of fresh water, unless vomiting is accompanied with diarrhea.

With persistent diarrhea, electrolyte beverages can be added to his bowl of water to avoid dehydration. A low-sodium broth may also be given if your dog refuses water.


If your dog’s diarrhea is triggered by stress or over-excitement, it is important to work with him and train him to control his behavior. Help him adjust to a new environment, or remove him from any stressful situation. Patience is key.

Diet and Exercise

The next step to treat your dog’s diarrhea is to give him bland meals after the 24 hour fast. These meals are easily digestible and low in fat. You can feed your dog two or three small meals a day for the first few days. Some foods to consider include cooked rice, boiled hamburger, cooked oatmeal or cottage cheese.
After 2 days of a bland diet, you can slowly re-introduce his dog food back into his diet.

Exercise can also help with treatment for dog diarrhea. As long as he is willing, try and take him for a short walk twice a day. The nervous system for maintaining normal digestion may be stimulated by a bit of exercise.

Herbs and Supplements

Herbs & supplements are great home remedies for dog diarrhea. There are some vitamins and herbs you can give to your dog to help support his digestive system:

L-Glutamine: this is an amino acid which is a source of fuel for cells lining the intestinal tract.
Slippery Elm: This is a herb. Slippery elm neutralizes stomach acids and soothes inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.
Saccharomyces boulardi: A probiotic yeast. This helps reduce the symptoms of frequent antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
Licorice: Licorice helps the healing process in the intestinal lining by increasing blood flow.
Enzymes: These are essential for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. They also have anti-inflammatory properties.

For more information about diarrhea in dogs, symptoms, causes, treatment options and more, visit

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