Need to know what to give a dog for diarrhea? If your dog has been experiencing diarrhea, then you should be aware that this could simply be the symptom of a much larger health issue. It’s important that you evaluate your dog. Have you noticed any other symptoms such as pain, lethargy, vomiting, ect? If you have, then it may be best to take your dog to the vet. They could have a very serious underlying health problem which needs to be addressed.
However, if your dog is otherwise healthy, then it’s likely that you can easily treat their issue at home. In this article we’re going to go over a few common causes of diarrhea and help you to find a suitable treatment for your troubled pup.
Does your dog have a parasite?
If you have not made any changes to your dog’s diet recently and they have had a prolonged bout of diarrhea, then it’s possible they have an internal parasite such as worms. If your dog has a tapeworm, then it will be easy enough to see the evidence in their stool. If you’ve noticed little white worms that look like rice in their droppings, then this is the case, and you’ll need to seek out a proper dewormer to get rid of these little pests. You should be able to crush the pill up in some wet food or even hide it in a piece of hot dog. Most pups will readily eat this, and within a couple of days there should be no traces of tapeworms when they go to do their business.
Keep in mind that it’s possible for your dog to get reinfested, and if you have a flea problem, then this is most likely how they acquired the tape worm in the first place. This is why it’s important to have a good flea prevention routine in place to prevent not only biting fleas but also the parasites that they can bring with them like worms. If you don’t yet have a flea prevention treatment for your dog, then Beanietoes recommends the Seresto collar. This treatment is long lasting, easy to use and it kills many different problem insects on contact, before they can bite your dog and transfer nasty diseases to them. We actually have a full write up of this product which you can read here. When purchasing a flea collar such as this, make sure to purchase the appropriate size. These items are sized and dosed based on your dog’s weight, and it’s important to buy the right one.
There are of course other types of worms which aren’t quite as easy to see. Roundworms for example won’t show up in stools, but it’s possible your dog could vomit them up. Other signs could include weight loss, or an oddly inflated looking stomach. If your dog has recently vomited up something that looks like the picture below, then they have a round worm infestation, and you should use an appropriate dewormer on them to recitfy the situation. Honestly, a dewormer will not harm your dog even if he does not have worms, and it is typically a good idea to give them one one or twice a year just in case to make sure they do not have an infestation. You can use a multi-purpose de-wormer like this one to get rid of multiple types of worms that may be the root of your dogs diarrhea problem.
Hookworms are also common in household pets, but unfortunately there will be no signs of these vermin at all. If you have noticed blood in your dog’s stool, then you should take him or her to the vet, because if they do have hookworms then it can quickly turn into a very serious health concern. Bloody stool is not normal, and your dog likely needs medical assistance. While it is possible to treat these worms at home as well using the broad spectrum treatment, it’s still a good idea to get a check up. Unlike the other worms we’ve talked about, hookworms are more dangerous, and they can actually cause serious internal damage that you can’t see. These are also one of the only common worms that pets get that can be transferred to humans purely on skin contact! You don’t want them in your home.
Does your dog have a food allergy or sensitivity?
In most cases, this will probably be the reason for your dog’s upset stomach. You should keep in mind that even if you have not made any changes to their diet, it’s possible to develop a food allergy at any time. Sometimes as dogs age they even have a harder time digesting their food, and you may need to switch them to a diet which will be more agreeable to their digestive tract.
When choosing a diet for a dog who has diarrhea, you should look for one that has limited ingredients. A limited ingredient diet is simply one that uses the least amount of items in it possible. Normally these diets stick to a single, high-quality protein source like turkey or salmon, and they are sparing on veggies and carbohydrates in most cases. This makes it much easier for you to figure out exactly what is triggering your dog’s ailment, and it will also be easier for them to digest. Here’s some problem items to look out for!
Grains or wheat
Many dogs have trouble digesting grains or wheat. If you have been feeding your dog a supermarket brand food, then this may be the issue. If you take a look at the ingredients label of popular but cheap food brands, then you’ll likely see that the first ingredient is corn. Not only is this often a source of poor digestion, but it’s also a low grade ingredient that is used as cheap filler. It gives your dog little to no nutritional benefit, and dog food manufacturers use these empty calories for cost savings.
You may even find that upon further examination that there’s almost nothing but corn in the food! While many supermarket brands will place tasty looking images of fresh meats and veggies on the front of the package, this is often far from what’s really in there. If the only protein item comes up far down the list, then you can be sure that there’s barely any of it in the actual food.
Some dogs actually have problems with certain proteins or too many protein items! If you have only been feeding your dog chicken for example, then it may be worth swapping to an easier to digest protein item like turkey or duck. Likewise, if the food they have been eating features multiple protein sources, try feeding them one that sticks to a single source. For example, if the food is duck flavor, all of the meat sources should come from ducks. Here’s what to give a dog for diarrhea if you think food may be the issue.
How to choose a food for dogs with diarrhea
If you need some help choosing a high quality and highly digestible food for your dog, then we’ve written a separate article about the best foods for dogs who are prone to diarrhea. A diet change is likely the best way to cure dog diarrhea fast if an allergy is your problem. Keep in mind that diet changes can actually take up to two weeks for your dog to adjust to. They may have a few problems before that happens, so don’t quit the new food until that time is up.
Pet parents should keep in mind that sudden diet changes can also trigger diarrhea as well. If you tend to purchase whatever food is on sale, then this could actually be causing your pup’s upset stomach! Instead, try to stick to one brand and flavor which is within your budget. If you really need to save money, then consider buying your dog a higher quality food online that’s good for digestion.
Most online retailers not only offer lower prices than brick and mortar stores, but many of them also have an “auto-ship program”, and if you sign up for this your dog’s food will not only be delivered convienently to your door as soon as your run out, but you’ll also recieve an additional 10% or more off every month for using the program. Amazon offers this deal to pet parents, and you can save up to 15% off your purchase when you sign up to auto-ship. Halo is one of our favorite brands for dogs with stomach problems, which you can get there for this deal. If you do swap out your dog’s food, remember to give them at least 2 weeks to adjust to their new diet befor egiving up on it.
Products that can settle your dog’s stomach
If your dog needs a little extra help settling his stomach, then your first stop should be the above linked article for diet changes. However, there are a few other things you can try as well that could help your pup to maintain regularity. It can be hard to know what to do if your dog has diarrhea, and the solutions will likely not be universal, but here’s a few things to try.
Add some Pumpkin to their food
The first is adding some pumpkin to his diet. Pumpkin is actually very beneficial for animals who frequently have loose stool, and if this is a problem for your dog then it’s worth a try. Just purchase a can of pure pumpkin from the grocery store and mix a bit into his or her food. Most animals actually like the taste of pumpkin believe it or not, and they will normally readily eat it if offered to them.
Give them probiotics or enzyme supplements
If your dog is older, then it’s possible that they could benefit from a supplement. Sometimes the good gut bacteria dies, and they may need help replacing it. There are many quality products on the market for this, but an excellent one is Enzyme Miracle. This is an easy way to help an older dog with failing health, and it can be quickly mixed into their food for a boost to aid digestion. If probiotics sound familiar, it’s because they are often recommended for human health as well! These are commonly found in yogurt for people who need help with their digestion.
What to give a dog for diarrhea: medications
If the other options have given you no love, then there are a few medication based options you can pursue for your dog. Don’t give your dog medicine that is intended for people. These medications were not formulated or dosed for canine bodies, and you could cause some serious complications for your dog by way of side effects, even for seemingly harmless over the counter products.
Instead, use a product that is intended to be used on dogs. Here’s what to give a dog for diarrhea when all other methods have failed. DiaGel has a great reputation for clearing up intense bouts of diarrhea in dogs, and it’s a good option for you to try. There are separately dosed product bundles based on the dog’s weight, so make sure to get the one that’s right for your dog.
This product gets rid of diarrhea in as little as one day, and it does not require re-treatments over the course of a week like other products. It’s an all natural product that is administered orally using a feeding syringe. Many pet parents use this product for temporary bouts of diarrhea that is stress related or due to changes in your dog’s diet. It’s a good product to help them to adjust to these situations or clear up occasional problems, but if your dog is having frequent diarrhea, then there’s something else clearly wrong. If this is the case, then you should pursue some of the other more permanent solutions on the list or speak to your vet about a solution that you can use in the long term.
There are many causes for diarrhea in dogs, and there’s no one size fits all solution. It’s important for pet parents to realize this and to recognize that not all solutions will be fast. While giving your pup a medication to cure their diarrhea is convienient, make sure that you’re not just covering up the underlying problem with a bandaid.