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Effectively treat your dog’s diarrhea with these 5 simple remedies

Whether or not your pup suffers from chronic stomach upset, diarrhea is never a good thing; there’s never a good time for it, but unfortunately, it happens to us all every now and again — your dog included. You may notice your pup eating grass or other non-food items, but you’ll most likely notice the loose and irregular bowel movements first.

If you’ve been wondering, “What can I give my dog for diarrhea?” this one is for you. Read on for all the answers you wish you’d found earlier, from DIY remedies to helpful foods you may already have in your cabinet. Here’s how to treat canine diarrhea at home.

What home remedy can I give my dog for diarrhea?

No one wants to make an unnecessary trip to the vet’s office, especially your pup. Luckily, diarrhea on its own probably won’t need a full checkup, though you should let your vet know before taking on a few of these at-home remedies. Others, however, are as safe and simple as preparing a bland meal or two.

Foods to soothe dog diarrhea

While it may come as a surprise to learn that eating, not withholding, certain foods can help with canine diarrhea, it’s absolutely true. Not all dogs react the same to any food or remedy, though, so don’t worry too much if this doesn’t do the trick.

When your fur baby is on the road to recovery, these very same foods will be the best to add back in first. They are bland and non-irritating to her stomach, which is exactly what she needs.

White rice and unseasoned, boiled chicken is a staple in the canine recovery diet — just ask the veterinary pros with the American Kennel Club (AKC). It helps give your pet the nutrients she needs to stay healthy while avoiding any extra ingredients that may upset her stomach.

A little bone broth poured over the chicken and rice, or even served alone, will go a long way in enticing your dog to eat. If you buy your broth, watch out for added sodium and sneaky seasonings, though this is not a worry if you make bone broth from home.

A small number of cultured dairy products, like yogurt and cottage cheese, can help your pup’s gut bacteria balance itself out, thanks to probiotics. Of course, you should opt for something else if you have a lactose-intolerant pooch at home.

Someone's hand holds a pill in front of a pug

What soothes a dog’s stomach and helps with diarrhea?

Although some foods can work miracles when it comes to canine diarrhea, you may need to wait a while before letting your pup indulge. Here’s how to help soothe your dog’s stomach when she’s experiencing loose bowel movements:

Fasting and hydration for canine diarrhea

Before feeding your dog even the blandest of foods, some cases require 12 to 24 hours of fasting beforehand. The AKC recommends offering your pet small amounts of water often throughout the day, as diarrhea can be dehydrating. If you can get the go-ahead from your veterinarian, you can also give your dog a bit of Pedialyte or other unflavored electrolytes.

Stop dog diarrhea with pureed or powdered pumpkin

This fall-favorite vegetable is a fantastic natural remedy for diarrhea in some dogs, though in others it’s more effective at treating constipation. Pumpkin on its own is full of fiber, iron, and important vitamins — which keeps your pup feeling strong by increasing intestinal absorption of these nutrients.

Plain pureed pumpkin is a great option for dogs, though some canned varieties can hide sugar or spices. Always read the ingredient list! When in doubt, you can always search for a pumpkin puree or powder made especially for dogs.

Head portrait of a Golden Retriever eating pumpkin

What stops diarrhea fast?

Although many foods and nutrients can help combat canine diarrhea, some options may be more effective than others. It’s best to check in with your veterinarian before trying out any medications, even if they’re over the counter, as not all diarrhea comes from the same root cause.

Stop diarrhea with over-the-counter medications and supplements

You don’t necessarily need a vet’s prescription to stop your pet’s irregular BMs, though caution should always be exercised when using medicines or supplements for your dog. Anti-diarrhea liquids, chews, and pills can be bought at almost any pet store, though your vet may have a favorite to recommend.

In some cases, notes Dr. Jerry Klein with the American Kennel Club, you may give your pup a small dose of Pepto Bismol to relieve symptoms. Typically, 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight is an ideal dose, though even large dogs shouldn’t exceed more than a few teaspoons at a time. This medication does carry some risk of intestinal irritation and bleeding, so ask your vet before jumping in.

Probiotics for dog gut health

Probiotics are another great option for keeping your dog’s digestive system regulated, and they can be purchased easily over the counter. This good bacteria comes in a powder form — like Purina’s FortiFlora packets — or bite-sized probiotic treats for training and playtime. Your dog won’t even know she’s taking medication!

Although you have several options for treating your dog’s diarrhea at home, nothing replaces a veterinarian’s care. If the problem persists, you may need to make a visit to narrow down the root cause of your pup’s tummy troubles. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did!

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