Contributed by Angie Lewis, President of Alaska Animal Advocates
Diarrhea is no fun, for you or your dog. For the record, diarrhea is loose, liquid bowel movements. It can also involve blood or mucus and be accompanied by dehydration, fever, vomiting or loss of appetite.
Diarrhea can be caused by something as simple as a change in diet or a more serious health related problem. Causes can include food intolerance, allergies, ingestion of poison, spoiled food or a foreign body, bacterial or viral infections, parasites or worms, colitis, kidney or liver disease, cancer and more. Even stress can create havoc on your dog’s intestinal tract. Be sure to take your dog to the vet immediately if he has eaten something toxic or has other health concerns.
Home remedies will not help with worms, giardia or coccidia. These issues will require medical care. Do not make the mistake of using a home remedy to address a more serious underlying problem. Puppies can become dehydrated quickly and a natural remedy is not adequate for a more serious illness.
If your dog has diarrhea, having him fast - removing food for approximately 24 hours - will often allow his system to settle. Puppies should not fast for more than 12 hours and consult your vet for dogs with medical conditions such as diabetes. Provide hydration for your dog with watery diarrhea by giving him unflavored Pedialyte, to replace lost electrolytes.
Offer your dog a bland diet after the fasting period - such as boiled (skinless) chicken or hamburger meat (fat drained) and rice Adding plain yogurt or cottage cheese will promote “good” bacteria in your dog’s bowels. Also, boiled or scrambled eggs without spices, are fairly easy on the system. Continue to feed this to your dog until the diarrhea has stopped. You can re-introduce your dog’s regular food on a gradual basis, continuing to monitor his stool.
Dogs who have diarrhea or are vomiting can be given Pepto-Bismol approximately every six hours. Give him one milliliter for every ten pounds of weight. Also Kaopectate, at a dose of .05-0.1 milligrams per pound, every eight hours.
Remember, not all dogs will respond to these home remedies in the same manner. If your dog has diarrhea for two or more days, take him to the vet. Know when you are in unknown territory. Your dog’s health is more important than your efforts to handle the problem yourself.