Dog diarrhea treatment is one of the most common subjects that vets are asked about. That's because diarrhea is such a common occurrence in dogs. In an otherwise healthy dog, a sudden case of diarrhea may not be a cause for alarm but if diarrhea persists it could be a sign of a more serious underlying issue. In this case, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Otherwise, it is definitely possible to treat diarrhea at home.
Dog diarrhea treatment has a lot to do with the actual cause of diarrhea, which can vary greatly. If the problem is caused by food, then the solution is to switch to a new dog food. If your dog has ingested a poison, then you may need to have her intestines purged by a vet. If the problem is caused by an infection or parasites, then medical treatment is the way to solve the problem.
In most cases, diarrhea is merely a sign of an irritation in the digestive system. This can be caused by a number of things from stress to a viral infection, but it is most commonly due to eating something that she shouldn't. Almost all dogs periodically get into things they shouldn't, including the household garbage, candy or other human food you may leave lying around or something they find outside.
Not surprisingly, this is particularly an issue for breeds like the Australian Shepherd that tend to spend a lot of time outdoors and around other animals, where they can get into feed and even feces and end up ingesting it. While it can be distressing, dog diarrhea treatment is relatively simple and usually quite effective, so it shouldn't be a cause for alarm.
ChristianMuellner / stock.adobe.com
You may need to consult with your vet to determine the best dog diarrhea treament.
There are exceptions to that rule of course, mainly very young or old dogs and dogs with a pre-existing medical condition, all of whom can be particularly vulnerable to severe bouts of dehydration, which is often a side effect of diarrhea. If you have a puppy or a senior dog or a dog that has some other condition you should get them to the vet as soon as you notice them experiencing diarrhea.
In many cases, you can treat diarrhea without having to get the vet involved, but there are certain scenarios where treating diarrhea in dogs must be handled by a professional.
A few things that should indicate you need to call the vet immediately include:
These are also symptoms of other serious illnesses and if your dog is displaying any of these symptoms there's a good chance her problem requires veterinary treatment and delaying calling the vet is only putting her in danger.
If there is a more serious underlying condition, the vet will be able to identify it and recommend a course of dog diarrhea treatment. This is particularly important if diarrhea is connected to a parasitic infection such as hookworm or roundworm or if it is a symptom of something more serious such as intestinal disease or cancer.
In otherwise healthy dogs, the general procedure for treatment is to restrict the dog to a diet of boiled skinless boneless chicken and rice. Keep your dog on this diet until her stool returns to normal. If diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours or the dog's condition worsens, take her to the vet. While she is on this diet she should refrain from eating any other dog food and you should make sure that she has continual access to water so she can remain properly hydrated.
If your dog has been vomiting along with diarrhea you should remove all food for 12 hours and then begin the chicken and rice diet, feeding her just a small amount to begin with and then waiting for two hours. If she does not vomit you can increase the amount of food. Continue increasing gradually until the stool consistency returns to normal. Aside from this dog diarrhea treatment, you should avoid any sudden changes to her diet, giving her table scraps, or giving her bones for treats.
After 24 hours, you can start feeding her again on a natural diet—put any commercial dog food aside for now, and feed her some high-quality food. The main thing is to ensure your dog is getting plenty of fiber, which helps create solid stools. Start with small portions.
Once you've solved your dog's diarrhea problem, either through home treatment, a diet change, or medication from the vet, the next step is to try to avoid having it happen all over again.
One way to do this is to be extra careful about the kinds of chemicals your dog could get access to in your house or garage. Low-lying cleaning products have been responsible for many bouts of diarrhea (or worse).
The same goes for monitoring what your dog eats. Make sure no one in your family is feeding the dog table scraps she shouldn't be eating. Often kids like to feed dogs "human food," not realizing that a food the child finds delicious might actually be harmful to the dog.
Diarrhea in dogs is not usually a cause for panic but you should exercise caution so that your dog doesn't get any worse. If at any time you suspect a more serious problem, don't hesitate to take your furry friend to the vet. The sooner you get the appropriate dog diarrhea treatment started, the sooner you'll both feel better!
Have Dog Training Questions?
Check out these introductory dog training videos...
Get Australian Shepherd Info, Website Updates, Special Offers, and Cartoons...
You'll also receive a free copy of the ebook
My Everyday Dog Training Tools
by professional dog trainer Daniel Abdelnoor, "Doggy Dan"