Diarrhea is a common affliction of dogs and is associated with a host of problems—some are quite severe and some are not. If your adult dog has a simple case of mild diarrhea for no more than 3 to 4 days in duration, it is reasonable to try home care.
When to Take a Dog with Diarrhea to the Vet
On the other hand, call your veterinarian immediately—instead of starting a bland diet—if your dog is very old or very young, has swallowed a toxin or foreign body (for instance, a toy or bone), has preexisting health issues, or has additional symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, drooling, bloody or tarry stool, worms in the stool, pain, loss of appetite, weakness, fever, dehydration, lethargy, or weight loss.
Home Remedies for Simple Mild Diarrhea in Adult Dogs
Offer 1 to 2 teaspoons (for a small dog) or 1 to 2 tablespoons (for a large dog) of a bland diet every 2 hours during waking hours.
Bland diets are foods that are easily digested and are generally soft, cooked, low in dietary fiber, and not spicy. Mixture options include the following:
Cottage cheese and white rice – 1 cup low fat cottage cheese to 4 cups boiled rice.
Ground beef and white rice – 1 cup boiled and drained ground beef to 4 cups boiled rice.
Chicken and white rice – 1 cup boiled and shredded skinless/boneless chicken breast to 4 cups boiled rice.
Baby Food – Gerber 2nd Foods Baby Food such as chicken, turkey, or beef.
Note: Rice Chex Cereal can be substituted for white rice, and all mixtures must be stored in the refrigerator after preparation.
After 24 hours, gradually increase the amount of bland food you are feeding and decrease the number of feedings until you are feeding 2 to 3 times a day. Continue feeding the bland diet for 2 to 3 days. If everything is going well, transition back to your dog’s normal diet on day 3 or 4 by gradually mixing your pet’s regular food with the bland food, increasing the proportion of the regular food, and decreasing the proportion of the bland food over 1 to 2 days.
As long as your pet is eating and drinking well, and the stool is not becoming more watery, copious, or bloody, diarrhea should resolve with time. If diarrhea persists more than 3 to 4 days, becomes worse at any time, or any additional symptoms develop, have your pet examined as soon as possible by your veterinarian. Homemade bland diets are for short-term use, only, and are not a substitute for proper veterinary care.
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