It is not easy for any dog parent to see the dog unwell. It is even worse if the problem is diarrhea! What is diarrhea in dogs? It is diarrhea when the dog passes loose or watery stool, often and in large amounts than they would normally do.
It is pretty standard and usually a sign of some other disease rather than a disease itself. It could be a minor condition caused due to indigestion, eating the wrong food, etc., and may require simple treatment. Sometimes, it could be due to a serious underlying condition such as cancer and would need immediate treatment.
If your dog is suffering from this unpleasant problem, you can mostly treat it at home. You can do this by strictly controlling the diet and only feeding the right food to your dog. Dogs can easily become dehydrated if you let diarrhea or vomiting continue for long. The right food for the dog is crucial in controlling diarrhea. However, it is important to understand the difference between a minor bout of diarrhea and some serious issues causing this problem.
Signs that you need to take your dog to the vet are:
● Continuous diarrhea and vomiting
● Blood in the stool
● Diarrhea lasting for more than 2 or 3 days
● Visible signs of dehydration such as dry gums and inelastic skin
● Loss of appetite
● Pain in the abdomen. Is your dog whimpering or panting rapidly
● Is listless and weak
The best foods to feed a dog with diarrhea
Though the dog may not be interested, you need to feed your dog something. It has to be a small meal that can be easily digested. Here are a few suggestions (1):
● Lean protein: low-fat meat is gentle on the dog’s stomach and provides protein. The best meats can be the chicken breast, turkey, or lean meat. The best way to cook this would be to chop into small pieces and then boil it until cooked. Do not avoid salt, butter, or any seasoning.
● White rice: rice will provide healthy calories and carbohydrates to the dog and give him much-needed energy. Avoid serving brown rice, which can be tough for digestion. Rinse the rice well and then cook it for the required time. Make sure that it is evenly cooked and served at room temperature. You can even mix the lean meat with the rice for a meal.
● Pumpkin: canned or cooked pumpkin can be very helpful when a dog suffers from diarrhea. Ensure that the canned pumpkin is plain and not the one used for pumpkin pies. After cooking, the pumpkin will be soft, and you can spoon small amounts for the dog.
● Prescription dog food: some ready-made dog foods are specifically available for sensitive stomachs. Buy only high-quality dog food brands for the best results. Your dog’s vet will have to give a prescription for you to get the dog food. Follow the instructions on the package fully and always give a small amount to your dog first to test.
● Probiotics: just like in humans, probiotics play an important part in the dog’s gut health. Probiotics are good bacteria that help in fighting infections in the stomach and help in restoring balance in the stomach.
Other solutions for your dog’s diarrhea (2) include feeding a bland diet until after full recovery. Give smaller amounts of food and slowly increase the amounts. Once the dog’s health improves, don’t be in a hurry to start the usual diet. Instead, waiting for a few days to see how the dog feels is best.
Remember that sometimes diarrhea can be serious if left untreated. It is even more so for dogs in special stages, including:
● Senior dogs
● Dogs sick with a pre-existing condition
● Dogs taking a new medication
If your dog is in one of these categories, don’t hesitate to call your vet immediately.