How can I Treat Temporary Diarrhea in my Dog?
My dog had diarrhea from giving her table food.
What do you suggest if that ever
happens again? She is back to "normal" now.
Hilton Head, SC
Diarrhea is incredibly common in dogs. The majority of cases that I treat are caused by dietary indiscretion. Dietary indiscretion occurs when a dog eats something that causes gastrointestinal upset.
Some cases of dietary indiscretion are the result of table scrap feeding by people living with the dog. Many other cases are self-inflicted. Dogs that eat trash or break into a cabinet may pay for their actions with diarrhea a few hours later.
The treatment for dietary indiscretion is intestinal rest. Dietary indiscretion leads to irritated intestines. Feeding normal meals to a pet with irritated intestines may lead to more diarrhea and further irritation. This can create a nasty cycle.
So, when my pal Buster gets into the trash (this can happen even when people are diligent), he skips his next meal. This allows his intestines to rest and recover. It also makes sense--he ate tasty garbage, so he does not need more food. He is always allowed free and unrestricted access to water.
If mild diarrhea persists for more than 12 hours, the next step is to feed easily digestible food that will not promote intestinal irritation (vets refer to such foods as bland diets). Steamed white rice, lowfat cottage cheese, boiled boneless skinless chicken breast or any combination of the three fits the bill. When stools return to normal, gradually wean the dog back onto his normal diet.
The advice in this post applies only to healthy adult dogs that suffer mild diarrhea after dietary indiscretion. Puppies with diarrhea, any dog that is lethargic or looks sick, or any dog that suffers vomiting as well as diarrhea should see a vet.