Today I’m going to talk about some home remedies for curing your dog’s diarrhea. You probably already have some of these things in your kitchen, and I’m going to tell you about a few products I keep on hand to help my dogs get over any digestive upset.
First of all, it is important to understand that diarrhea is not an illness but rather it is a symptom. As Dr. Marty Goldstein says in his book The Nature of Healing Animals, “The intestines recognize that some very unwanted toxins are passing through them, and react by hurrying them out as quickly as possible, while the wastes are still soft or liquid.”1
Diarrhea can have many causes. It can be caused by the a virus, bacteria, the ingestion of spoiled food, food sensitivities, parasites, internal organ malfunction, to name a few. Addressing the cause is essential for long-term treatment.
My goal, however, is to give you some foolproof steps for dealing with the diarrhea with the understanding that you will do some detective work (possibly with your veterinarian) to figure out what caused/is causing the GI upset in the first place.
Step 1: Fast your dog
- Generally, it is recommended that you put your dog on a 12-24 hour liquid fast.
- This is done to stop the gastrocolic reflex. When this reflex is initiated as the stomach fills, the colon will empty 2…. As quickly as possible (this my friends is diarrhea).
Step 2: Supplement the Digestive System
During Liquid Fast:
You can try one or all of these options during your pet’s liquid fast.
- Chamomile Tea
- This is one that most people will already have in their kitchen.
- Is anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic, and can be very helpful for relieving GI upset 3.
- Give 2 tsp for dogs under 50lbs. 2 TBSP for dogs over 50 lbs.
- Slippery Elm
- Made up of the inner bark of the Slippery Elm tree this powder contains “ mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. It coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines. It also contains antioxidants that help relieve inflammatory bowel conditions” 4.
- Give ¼ tsp per 10 lbs of body weight. Mix with water and syringe into your pet’s mouth or mix with bone broth.
- Bone Broth
- Bone broth helps keep your pet hydrated and it contains sodium, potassium, important minerals, and amino acids.
- It is also full of glycine “which aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid” 5.
- You can make your own or buy a pre-made broth. Just be sure to source from organic, pasture-raised animals.
After Liquid Fast:
Once the 12-24 hours of your liquid fast are over you can slowly start to add solid foods back into your pet’s diet.
- Instead of rice, I recommend pet guardians give their dog pumpkin with some bland meat, usually ground fat-free turkey or cod.
- Why pumpkin over rice?
- Canned pumpkin provides 7g of fiber per cup as opposed to cooked white rice which provides only 1.2g of fiber per cup6.
- Pumpkin is full of soluble fiber which will soak up excess water in the GI tract and help to firm up the stool, and slow GI transit times.
- Bland Meat
- Cooked ground turkey is preferable to beef because it has a much lower fat content. High fat content can lead to further GI distress which is the last thing you want during your pet’s recovery
- If your pet is allergic to turkey, you can feed cod (though it does have a higher fat content)
- Note: This is not a balanced diet, and it should only be fed temporarily.
- Once you have started your pet back onto solids increasing the number of beneficial bacteria in their gut and boosting their immune system with quality probiotics is a good step to take.
- Studies have shown that probiotics are helpful for preventing acute onset diarrhea as well7.
- Goldstein, Marty. The Nature of Healing Animals. p 197.
- Lauralee, Sherwood (2009). Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems (7th ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 635. ISBN 978-0-495-39184-5.