Few things are worse than a potty-trained dog defecating indoors or rushing to do his business because of stomach upset. We’re not sure who suffers more, the dog or their owner. Managing diarrhea in dogs is no easy feat, especially when the bouts of diarrhea are urgent, which they often are. Today, we’re sharing tips to manage diarrhea in dogs. Of course, we recommend you discuss health concerns with your veterinary team, especially if your dog’s diarrhea lasts more than 24 to 48 hours.
Managing Diarrhea in Dogs: Consider Fasting Your Dog
If it’s gotten to the point where the dog has constant bouts of diarrhea and is pooping often and indoors, start by considering a fast. Fasting your dog temporarily may help him or her eliminate whatever caused the stomach upset. Fasting can also reduce gastric pain and inflammation and help them heal. Many dogs fast themselves by refusing meals when they are sick. They know that a fast can bring them relief, they’re so smart!
When fasting, remember, you’re only withholding food for approximately 24 hours. Your dog should still have access to plenty of fresh water and supervision. You don’t want to fast a dog with diarrhea and leave him home alone. If your dog is sick enough for a fast, try to stay home with him or engage your dog walker or pet sitter to come over and sit with him while you’re at work.
Managing Diarrhea in Dogs: Create a Safe Space
A dog with diarrhea can blow up your home, literally and figuratively. Your rugs, carpeting, and even walls are vulnerable to explosive or urgent diarrhea. We, therefore, recommend creating a safe space for your dog to rest in during his illness is the best bet.
When choosing a safe space, consider a bathroom or bedroom with flooring that can be easily cleaned. Purchase dog pads and lay them down for quick pick-up. Painters tape will help you keep them in place. Then, bring in a cozy dog bed or blanket that can be washed. Having washable, waterproof blankets for your dogs is a great idea because they are especially useful in these moments.
In your safe space, keep a freshly filled water bowl and consider playing calming music and diffusing calming pheromones. Whatever you do, don’t leave anything that might tempt your dog to break his fast – like garbage, snacks, etc. Some dogs rummage through trash and even eat soap so puppy-proofing the space is key before securing your pet inside.
Also, when choosing a safe space, consider where you’ll be spending time so you can choose a room that is close to your bedroom. Ideally, the space allow you to supervise your dog overnight while you’re in bed and will also allow your dog to feel your presence so they don’t feel locked up and abandoned.
Managing Diarrhea in Dogs: Try Natural Remedies
As long as your dog’s diarrhea isn’t severe, you may consider trying natural remedies at home.
Herbs like Slippery Elm are available for humans and can be sprinkled on food or into bone broth. Learn more about the soothing qualities of slippery elm here.
Speaking of bone broth, a mixture of water with bone broth may encourage your dog to hydrate, which is key to helping them recover from diarrhea.
Psyllium husk powder is another excellent choice when trying to address your dog’s diarrhea. By adding a bit of psyllium powder to your dog’s water bowl, you can help speed along their healing process because you’ll be adding bulk to his poop. Please note that it could take 72+ hours to see an improvement using psyillium husk powder alone.
Finally, canned pumpkin is great to have on-hand for doggie diarrhea. Canned pumpkin has moisture, bulks up the stool, and has nutrients your dog will benefit from during an illness. We recommend dog owners have a few cans of canned pumpkin (no spices, no sugar) in their pantry at all times.
Managing Diarrhea in Dogs: Seek Veterinary Attention
While you may not want to rush out to your veterinarian for a bout of diarrhea, we encourage you to at least call your veterinarian after 48 hours of consistent diarrhea, 24 hours of severe diarrhea. Because dogs can dehydrate quickly, especially smaller breeds, it’s important that your veterinarian be aware of the situation and be given the opportunity to get your dog in for examination or give you tips until their next appointment.
In addition, if you notice any of the following symptoms, we encourage you to please take your dog to an emergency veterinary clinic if your usual vet cannot see you. These symptoms indicate a very significant concern:
- Difficult breathing
- Severe lethargy
- Difficulty standing
- Blood in the stool
- Simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea
- Loss of consciousness
While diarrhea is a common ailment in dogs, especially those with a tendency to eat junk on walks or counter-surf, diarrhea can become serious depending on the severity and duration. When in doubt, call your vet or nearest emergency vet for advice.
Managing Diarrhea in Dogs: Hire a Dog Walker
Many times, we see dogs with sensitive bellies that suffer from chronic stomach upset and diarrhea. These dogs are ideal candidates for a dog walker because we can step in and care for them when their families are out of town or at work. Dogs with sensitive bellies do better at home and should not be taken to boarding facilities or daycares. Dogs that visit facilities may be exposed to additional bacteria, viruses, chemicals, etc. that may negatively affect their gastrointestinal health. By leaving your pet at home in the care of a professional dog walker or pet sitter, you can be sure your pet is not exposed to new pathogens and is content and at ease.
At Animal Admiration, we take pet health and wellness very seriously. If ever we notice that your dog has stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, or appears to be in pain or discomfort, we will notify you and/or your emergency contact per our policies. When your pet is sick, we can offer transport to and from your veterinarian of choice, monitor your pet with dog walking or pet sitting visits, and more.
Our team of dedicated pet care providers offers quality care pet sitting and dog walking in Katy, Fulshear, Richmond, Energy Corridor, Memorial, West Houston, and Cypress. To learn more about our team and our services, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (281) 391-1015. We look forward to caring for your pets and to taking some of the caregiver pressure off of you and your family.