There is nothing grosser than a whopping case of diarrhea in dogs, especially when your dog has it and he is in the house. It can also be very distressing for your dog and a sign that there is something more serious going on.
Diarrhea occurs for many reasons. It may be your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have, in other words, committed a ‘dietary indiscretion’. If you have changed his diet or his diet is incompatible with his particular needs and/or health issues, if you’ve recently moved to a new home or subjected your pup to some kind of change or stress, any one of these can also cause gastrointestinal distress. In addition, diarrhea can also indicate the presence of an underlying infection and/or parasites.
Some dogs will let you know when they need to GO OUT AND NOW. As soon as they’re outside they cut loose with a watery, loose stool. Sometimes, however, your pup won’t make it outside. Don’t punish him when this happens – he doesn’t want to go inside but diarrhea is very hard to control, especially when you at someone else’s mercy in terms of when you get to relieve yourself. When plagued with diarrhea, your dog may also strain to excrete even though he is emptied out. This happens because diarrhea disrupts normal intestinal contractions and your dog will experience the sensation that he needs to relieve himself even when there is nothing left inside.
When a dog is afflicted with the trots and is also lethargic, won’t eat, seems to have a fever and is acting odd, you need to immediately take him to the vet. These symptoms could indicate that something in addition to diarrhea is going on.
If, however, it is basic case of diarrhea and nothing more, withhold food for 12 hours but provide plenty of water. Keep in mind that diarrhea will dehydrate your pup, just as it would if you had it. After 12 hours, give your dog a diet of bland, unspiced, cooked, ground turkey mixed with 100% canned pumpkin puree (NOT the pie filling, just the pureed pumpkin). Start with a small amount to ensure that your pup will tolerate the mixture and then build up to his normal amount of food. If you can’t locate pureed pumpkin, instant mashed potatoes or a cooked sweet potato work as well. Avoid fat, which is found even in the leanest ground beef, because it exacerbates diarrhea. Although rice is commonly thought to be a binding agent you may want to avoid giving your pup rice because it is fermentable and can increase gassiness. Additionally, it can shoot right through the GI tract and come out, undigested, when your dog experiences his next bout of diarrhea. You will also want to avoid giving your dog Pepto Bismol because it contains salicylates, the active ingredient in aspirin, which can worsen your pup’s condition.
You will also want to start adding powdered probiotics to your dog’s food as well as digestive enzymes. The probiotics assist in re-populating the healthy bacteria in the intestine and reduce bad bacteria which cause inflammation and/or infections, and the digestive enzymes help break food down and process it properly through the gut.
In addition to the foregoing foods and supplements, you may want to consider giving your pup slippery elm bark because it is a natural anti-diarrheal. When taken internally, slippery elm bark can protect against stomach issues, acidity and gut inflammation and can calms diarrhea as well as treat hemorrhoids, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and help expel tapeworms. Give one-half teaspoon of slippery elm bark for every 10 pounds of body weight. Mix it in with bland food and feed it to your dog twice daily.