7 Ways to Care for Dog Diarrhea Safely at Home

I enjoy writing on topics related to animal health and welfare and providing guidance to pet owners on effective home remedies.

7 Steps to Safely Treat Canine Diarrhea at Home
7 Steps to Safely Treat Canine Diarrhea at Home Photo by Vlada Karpovich

It is not a subject that many people like to talk about. However, if you have a dog, chances are you’ve found yourself cleaning up dog diarrhea more than you’d like to think.

This article will help you understand the main causes of diarrhea in dogs, as well as how the canine digestive system differs from ours. We’ll learn how to safely treat dog diarrhea at home by offering plenty of water, a bland diet of rice and chicken, adding pumpkin powder to his diet, and knowing when to call the vet. And yes, you can even give your dog some Pepto-Bismol under the right circumstances!

diarrhea in dogs

The frequency, duration, and severity of diarrhea in dogs can differ from animal to animal. Although you may not be able to prevent it from happening entirely, being as informed about it as possible could help you reduce its frequency and duration.

Diarrhea in dogs is not a disease in itself, but rather a symptom of many different possible diseases. These range from minor bacterial or viral infections to more serious illnesses like kidney failure or cancer.

If your pet’s diarrhea is caused by a minor condition, it can usually be managed at home. Fortunately, there are several over-the-counter remedies available to treat dog diarrhea.

However, it is also important to note that if treatment is not started quickly enough to prevent severe dehydration and fluid imbalance, even diarrhea caused by a mild illness could develop into a serious condition.

Possible causes

Dogs digest food differently than humans. Knowing this is essential to understanding the causes of diarrhea in dogs. They have mouths that are ideal for crushing and gulping down food. Their salivary enzymes are essentially made to kill bacteria, so they can normally tolerate substances much better than we can.

Since canine stomach acids are about three times more potent than humans, dogs can easily process and pass undigested food. But despite their robust digestive systems, dogs sometimes develop loose stools.

A main cause of sudden diarrhea in dogs is eating garbage or other icky or irritating materials or changing their diet since their stomachs are not used to different foods. Acute diarrhea can also be triggered by stress, particularly after traveling, shipping, or experiencing other environmental changes.

In some cases, diarrhea can be a symptom of another disorder, such as allergies, a bacterial or viral infection, inflammatory problems, organ pathology, or just general malaise.

Dog eating from garbage can
Dog eating from garbage can By Stolbovsky – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

when to worry

The severity of the diarrhea can be determined by how long it has lasted and how many different symptoms are present.

If your dog develops severe bloody diarrhea and shows numerous general signs of illness, such as weakness, fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, or loss of appetite, or if the diarrhea is accompanied by dehydration, the cause may be serious.

If you are concerned about the health and well-being of your dog, do not hesitate to contact a veterinarian for professional diagnosis and treatment.

How to take care of dog diarrhea

You can learn how to treat canine diarrhea at home by following these seven steps. It is always suggested that you consult your vet before giving your dog medication or supplements of any nature.

  • Water: Your dog should drink fresh water as soon as possible to avoid dehydration.
  • Pausing or restricting meals: Home treatment may involve first depriving your dog of all food for 12 to 24 hours or simply giving him very small, frequent doses of a staple diet.
  • Prescription diet: The recommended diet is usually a vet-prescribed diet that is easy to digest and contains ingredients like prebiotic fiber to help the intestinal tract resist any cause of diarrhea.
  • homemade diet: Your vet may also suggest a bland diet that contains a mixture of overcooked rice with poached chicken. This conservative approach relies on your dog’s healing mechanisms to correct the problem and heal itself. When the stool reaches the traditional consistency, you can reintroduce your dog’s regular food by mixing it with the rice and chicken for a few days.
  • Pepto Bismol: Most dogs can safely take Pepto-Bismol, according to the American Kennel Club. After consultation with your veterinarian, only administer one or two doses if necessary. For every 10 pounds of body weight, you can give a safe dose of 1 tsp. You can give it to your dog every 6 to 8 hours, but if the diarrhea persists after two doses, stop giving the medication and contact your vet. Also, if you have never given your dog Pepto-Bismol before, confirm the dosage with your vet.
  • Pumpkin: You can safely add one to four tablespoons of pumpkin powder to your dog’s food to help treat his diarrhea. To avoid adding too much fiber to your diet, it’s a good idea to start with a small amount. You can buy pumpkin powder made specifically for dogs at your local pet store. Regular cooked pumpkin is also safe for dogs if prepared correctly. Incorporating pumpkin into your pet’s diet can be beneficial overall. It naturally contains a lot of fiber, potassium, iron and vitamins A, C and E. Do not feed canned pumpkin pie mix to a dog. The xylitol it contains is toxic to them.
  • Medical prescription: Depending on the cause, your vet may prescribe antidiarrheal, antiparasitic, or probiotic agents to administer at home. In extreme circumstances, severe diarrhea can lead to dehydration, at which point your dog may require emergency medical attention. After a day or two, if your dog is still not showing signs of improvement, your vet may need to run some additional tests.


Do not feed canned pumpkin pie mix to a dog. The xylitol it contains is toxic to them.

final thoughts

Every dog ​​is different, as is the frequency, duration, and severity of their diarrhea. Being as informed as possible about the condition can help you know how best to react when offering treatment. You can learn how to safely care for dog diarrhea at home using the seven ways outlined above.

If you are concerned about the health or well-being of your dog, do not hesitate to call a veterinarian for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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