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3 simple home remedies to ease doggy diarrhea

Poop is an excellent indicator of your dog's overall health. It may be gross to talk about but if your dog is having diarrhea, there may be something going on internally that is worth knowing about. No one likes having an upset tummy and it is troubling for owners to see their dog outside squatting and straining. The good news is that there are a few home remedies that you can try to help ease that doggy diarrhea!

Best home remedies for dog diarrhea

It can be worrisome for pet owners when they see their dog has an upset stomach and diarrhea. A trip to the vet can be very expensive and medication can come with some unwanted side effects, especially when the cause of the diarrhea may not be that serious. When diarrhea strikes, it is understandable that many pet owners take an at home approach prior to seeking veterinary care. See below for a few natural home remedies that are almost certain to help your pup feel better and alleviate their loose stool.

1. A bland diet that is simple and digestible

When your dog’s tummy is feeling a little turbulent, you may want to consider switching them to a bland diet for a short period. Feeding your dog simple, digestible foods can help get them feeling like they are in tip top shape again! If your dog’s stomach is easily upset by diet changes, try adding a few gently cooked ingredients to their regular meal. This will put less stress on their digestive system and help to get their excretion back to normal. See the list below for a few simple ingredients that can be used in a bland diet and help ease your dog’s diarrhea.

  • Pumpkin

Pumpkin is just one of those really great foods for good doggy digestion. It is packed with moisture, fibre, protein and vitamins. It is also highly digestible for dogs and is recommended by many vets to help soothe an upset stomach. You can either purchase 100% canned pumpkin puree from your local grocery store or roast whole pumpkin. 

Keep in mind however that pumpkin can function as both a solution for diarrhea and constipation! This means that too much pumpkin will actually act as a laxative (which is not what you want if your dog has diarrhea!). If you’re using pumpkin to treat your dog’s diarrhea, give them 1-4 tablespoons with their food for best results.

Husky chewing on butternut squash
  • White rice

White rice is easy on the tummy because it’s just so easily digestible. Due to the low fibre and lack of phytic acid (an anti-nutritional factor) in white rice, your dog’s stomach doesn’t have to work extra hard to break down this ingredient. White rice is a simple carbohydrate that provides a quick source of energy and helps to form better poops.

  • Boiled chicken breast

It might sound bland but boiled chicken is an easily digestible food that dogs love. Chicken breast is very high in protein and low in fat. As a result, it definitely helps soothe a turbulent tummy because it is not as rich as many other protein ingredients found in dog food. The low fat will help to ease gastro inflammation and eliminate diarrhea, while still providing a digestible source of protein.

  • Egg

Eggs are the perfect little package of protein and fat. Like chicken, it is an easily digested food to help ease doggy diarrhea. Feeding dogs eggs when they have diarrhea is a great way to supplement them with protein and vitamins like choline that they may have lost with the diarrhea. Eggs are also incredibly versatile! Feed them to your dog poached, boiled or scrambled. Just make sure they are cooled down before adding them to your dog's bowl.

Corgi eating rom silver bowl filled with raw food
  • Tumeric or cinnamon

Chances are if your dog has diarrhea, they are experiencing some bowel inflammation. Turmeric and cinnamon are effective anti-oxidants that can help soothe intestinal inflammation. Add a ½ tsp of turmeric or cinnamon powder to your dog's food to help ease their sore tummy.

2. Fasting

Sometimes the best cure for diarrhea is just to let your dog get everything out of their system. By restricting food and fasting your dog, it will help your dog to excrete and flush out any pathogens or forgein bodies they may have in their digestive tract, without further inflammation and irritating the bowel with more food to digest. If your dog has diarrhea, veterinarians suggest that you fast your dog for 12-24 hours to let their gastrointestinal tract rest and recover. While your dog is fasting, it is important to provide them with lots of water and make sure they’re drinking to ensure that they do not become dehydrated and keep them in good condition.

3. Probiotic

Your dog’s microbiome is made up of trillions of bacteria, fungi and other microbes that are largely located in the large intestine. The microbiome consists of microbes that are both helpful and potentially harmful. In a healthy dog, these microbes coexist peacefully. However if the balance is tipped by illness, a poor diet or antibiotics, it could leave your dog susceptible to illness and often results in loose stool and diarrhea.

Probiotics are a supplement of helpful bacteria and microbes and can be used as a nutritional tool to help aid your dog’s digestive function. Usually probiotics are cultured from yeast and other fermented foods. They are then fed as a food supplement to balance your dog’s digestive system and improve bowel irritation. As a result, they can improve and restore the gut flora. 

There is lots of scientific evidence showing that probiotics are good for your pup. One 2018 study tested the effects of probiotics on dogs with acute diarrhea. It was hypothesized that the probiotic Enterococcus faecium 4b1707 would improve the clinical outcome of acute, uncomplicated diarrhea in dogs compared to a placebo. Results of the study showed that the administration of the probiotic greatly reduced the severity of diarrhea compared to dogs given the placebo. Dogs in the probiotic group had a significantly shorter duration of diarrhea, as well as a shorter rate of resolution.

You can find over the counter probiotics at your local pet store or vet clinic. Another option to supplement your dog with probiotics is to add 1-4 tablespoons of plain yogurt to your dog’s food.

What are some causes of dog diarrhea?

There are a number of reasons why a dog may get diarrhea. One of those reasons may just be that there is no reason and they are just having a random bout of diarrhea. However, acute or chronic diarrhea may also be a sign that your dog is sick or eaten something they shouldn’t have. See below for some of the common reasons for diarrhea in dogs:

  • Eating something they shouldn’t

Dogs are notorious scavengers and sometimes they get into and eat things that they shouldn’t. This could be anything from garbage, processed human food, toxic house plants and non-food items. Their digestive system will react accordingly and try to excrete the toxic substance that they consumed.

 

Black and tan Dachshund digging through trash
  • They caught a bug

Just like us, dogs can catch a stomach bug too. Stomach pathogens come in a variety of microbial forms including bacteria, viruses, fungi and even parasites. This could be from other dogs, their environment or eating food contaminated with pathogens. As a result, their body will try to excrete these pathogens by way of loose stool. For some pathogens, the body is able to fight them off on its own with the help of a home remedy but for more resistant microbes, antibiotics or dewormer may be needed.

  • New food didn’t agree with them

Some dogs just have extremely sensitive stomachs. A rapid change in food or food that is too rich could upset their tummy and result in diarrhea. Dogs with inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn's disease are especially sensitive to changes in diet and rich, fatty foods.

  • Food allergies and stress

One of the main factors associated with diarrhea is bowel inflammation. This can be brought on by either environmental stressors, a food intolerance or an allergic reaction to certain foods. Even just one stressful event can cause a mild bout of diarrhea.

How to prevent doggy diarrhea

The best method to treat diarrhea is to prevent it altogether. There are a number of methods that you can use as an approach to keeping your dog’s GI system happy and healthy!

Keep non-doggy items secure and out of reach

Dog proof your house! If you take measures to make sure that your dog doesn’t get into things they shouldn’t, it will go a long way in keeping them healthy and reduce the chance for veterinary intervention because of poisoning or foreign body obstruction. Start by moving items like house plants, toilet paper rolls and small items out of reach of sniffing noses. If your dog is extra crafty, consider purchasing baby gates and locks for your cabinets and garbage cans. Think of your dog as a toddler with a superhero’s sense of smell. Make it impossible for them to consume anything they shouldn’t!

Avoid rich, fatty foods

As previously mentioned, some dogs just have sensitive stomachs. Consider feeding them a diet that is easily digestible and low in fat. Fat can cause bowel inflammation and irritation, resulting in doggy diarrhea. Avoid rich foods and table scraps and instead opt for healthy, fresh foods.

Keep your dog hydrated

One of the major risks of your dog having diarrhea is dehydration. If they are continuously excreting loose stool multiple times a day, your dog is losing a lot of water, electrolytes and fluids from their system. Make sure that your dog has open access to fresh water and that they are consistently drinking.

It is also important to clean out your dog’s water dish constantly - every day if possible! There are a number of pathogens that like to live and grow in your dog’s water bowl. A dirty bowl increases the risk of infection and diarrhea as a result.

Beagle drinking water outside from bowl in the sun

Avoid raw meat

Like a dirty water bowl, raw meat can harbor bacteria, parasites and other pathogens that can cause diarrhea. Rather than feeding your dog raw food, opt for fresh cooked food or kibble that has been gently cooked to kill pathogens and preserve nutrients.

Hypoallergenic food

If you are unable to identify a specific allergen or suspect that there are multiple allergens causing your dog’s diarrhea and digestive issues, there is the option to try hypoallergenic food. This type of food is specially formulated for dogs who are allergic to the common food allergens, which can include:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Fish 
  • Corn
  • Wheat (or other grains)
  • Dairy products
  • Soy

Hypoallergenic diets contain limited ingredients, are usually grain free and utilize alternative protein sources like duck, bison, hydrolyzed protein or venison. When exposed to these ingredients, an allergic dog’s immune system will not recognize the diet as a threat and is less likely to attack it and cause bowel inflammation.

Slowly transition your dog to new food

Sometimes an abrupt change in diet can cause your dog to have diarrhea, especially those dogs with sensitive stomachs. If you are thinking of switching up your dog’s food, consider transitioning them slowly. Regardless of whether or not you're feeding our freshly cooked food, our fresh kibble, or both together, it is recommended to introduce your new food over a 7-day period. See our easy transition guide below for simple steps on how to easily transition your dog to their new food!

Illustration of Kabo fresh food transition guide

Annual vet visits and routine deworming

Make sure that you schedule your dog for regular annual vet visits. Your vet can help to identify health problems that you as an owner may not always be able to see. Keeping your dog up to date on their vaccinations and dewormer will also help to reduce the chance for pathogen-related diarrhea and gastrointestinal issues.

If your dog is having diarrhea for an extended period of time or has black or bloody diarrhea, get them veterinary care ASAP,  as they may have a more serious health condition.

What should good dog poop look like?

Illustration of proper dog poop

Too hard

If you find your dog's poop is ranking between 1-2 on our chart, your pup may be a little bit constipated. This could be because they are a little dehydrated. If your dog is eating kibble, try adding a little bit of water to their food. It will help to increase their water intake during the day. 

Another reason for dry/hard stool could be that your dog could use a little extra fibre in their diet. Fibre is nature's broom and helps to sweep everything through the digestive tract. If you find your dog may need some extra fibre, try adding a scoop of flax seeds or oatmeal to their food.

Too soft

If you find your dogs poop is ranking between 5-7 on our chart, your pup’s stool may be too soft. There are a variety of reasons for soft stool. Your dog may just be having an off day and their stomach is upset. Alternatively, stress can sometimes cause poop that is too runny.

Just right

If you’re looking to see healthy dog poops (3 & 4 on the chart), consider feeding Kabo. Kabo fresh-cooked recipes have a high moisture content to help keep your pup hydrated with a balance of healthy, digestible ingredients. Additionally, Kabo also contains a healthy dose of fibre with added fruits and veggies. 

Next time you’re picking up after your doggo, take a double look at their number 2. It could tell you a lot about their health on the inside.


 Labrador pooping in the yard
 Labrador pooping in the yard

View Sources

Nixon, SL, Rose, L, Muller, AT. Efficacy of an orally administered anti-diarrheal probiotic paste (Pro-Kolin Advanced) in dogs with acute diarrhea: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded clinical study. J Vet Intern Med. 2019; 33: 1286– 1294. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.15481

Pet Lab Co. “What Home Remedy Can I Give My Dog For Diarrhea?” (2021)./ https://thepetlabco.com/blogs/dogs/5-simple-home-remedies-to-ease-doggy-diarrhea 

AKC. “A Survival Guide for Dog Diarrhea” (2021). https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/doggie-diarrhea/ 

Marks, Stanley L., and Elizabeth J. Kather. "Bacterial-associated diarrhea in the dog: a critical appraisal." Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice 33, no. 5 (2003): 1029-1060.

Rose, L., J. Rose, S. Gosling, and M. Holmes. "Efficacy of a probiotic‐prebiotic supplement on incidence of diarrhea in a dog shelter: a randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled trial." Journal of veterinary internal medicine 31, no. 2 (2017): 377-382.

Cave, Nicholas J., Stanley L. Marks, Philip H. Kass, Ann C. Melli, and Melissa A. Brophy. "Evaluation of a routine diagnostic fecal panel for dogs with diarrhea." JOURNAL-AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION 221, no. 1 (2002): 52-59.

Westermarck, Elias. "Chronic diarrhea in dogs: what do we actually know about it?." Topics in companion animal medicine 31, no. 2 (2016): 78-84.


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