Home care for dogs with diarrhoea

isolated dog

Overview

Diarrhoea is a very common problem in dogs with many possible causes. If your dog has diarrhoea (without blood or mucus) but seems well in themselves, you may want to try settling their stomach at home.

This guide is for settling diarrhoea in a dog who is otherwise well. Contact your vet if your dog seems unwell in themselves or doesn’t improve quickly.

Suggestions to settle your dog’s stomach

24 hours fasting

  • 24 hours fasting can help speed up recovery.
  • Make sure you dog has access to plenty of water at all times. Never restrict access to water.
  • WARNING: do not fast a young puppy, an old dog or a dog that seems unwell in themselves or has any other illnesses.

A bland diet

  • A bland diet can help settle the guts. Plain white rice and boiled chicken (without skin or bones) can be used in the short term.
  • Pre-made bland diets are also available from your vet.
  • Don’t give your dog anything rich or fatty – this can make diarrhoea much worse!
  • Once your dog is passing solid poo, slowly reintroduce their normal food over a few days.

Smaller meals

  • Feed your dog very small meals throughout the day. This will keep their guts moving without overwhelming them.

Plenty of water

  • Dogs who are suffering from diarrhoea might need to drink a bit more than usual to replace the extra fluid they’re losing in their poo.
  • Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water and that they are drinking regularly.
  • Speak to your vet if your dog stops drinking or is drinking much more than usual.

Rest

  • Let your dog rest and recover, avoid anything energetic until they are feeling better.
  • Speak to your vet if your dog is very lethargic.

Probiotics

  • Probiotics are friendly bacteria for the gut that can be beneficial for some dogs with diarrhoea (but not all).
  • Probiotics are thought to work by topping up the normal bacteria and binding nasty bacteria and toxins.
  • Probiotics can be bought at your vets or online.
Published: February 2019

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Written by vets and vet nurses

Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst