Diarrhoea is not uncommon among dogs. There are many reasons why they get it and most of the time it is just a regular stomach upset that we all go through. It usually lasts for 2-4 days and can be a little tiresome for both you and your dog. But it is just a passing phase that you will get by with the right food and habits.
When your dog has diarrhoea, you must make sure of the following:
- Their bowels have the normal dark brown colour, if it is any other colour like yellow, green, grey or tar black, you must take them to the vet.
- It doesn’t continue for more than four days
- Their bowels don’t have red stripes or white spots
- It is not coupled with lethargy, fever, sudden weight loose, sluggish movement and vomiting
In the above cases, you must consult a vet as soon as possible. We are only eligible to treat diarrhoea at home when it is caused from eating something they aren’t supposed to, or from food allergies. It should never continue for more than 4-5 days. Each dog is different and while the remedies below work for some dogs, it may not work for others. If they are having a mild fever or not interested in food at all, don’t look for home remedies, take them to the vet!
Now with that cleared up, let’s get started.
Re-hydration During Loose Stools
Though it is important for your dog to have plenty of water, it is imperative to keep an eye on how much water they drink during loose motions. If they aren’t drinking enough water, you must encourage them to have a sip. Keep their water bowl clean and change the water twice a day. Usually a clean bowl with fresh water is enough for some dogs. If you live in the hot tropical region give them cold water. Dogs, in hot cities, love cold water. If your dog is extra picky with water, encourage them to drink water by adding a little chicken (or any other meat of your choice) broth to it. The meaty smell usually does that trick and even the most stubborn dog comes over to drink.
When they have runny stools, check for signs of dehydration. Dry nose and mouth, lethargy are some common dehydration symptoms. If you suspect they are de-hydrated, pinch the skin on their forehead or the back of their neck. It usually gets back in its original position within seconds. If you see the skin slowly receding back to its position, your dog is dehydrated. In severe cases, the skin remains in an upward arch. This is when your dog needs medical attention as soon as possible.
Diarrhoea From Scavenging
Even those dogs that eat premium quality food tend to sneak out something from the garbage or the garden that isn’t at all good for them. As a result, they get diarrhoea. It is their body’s natural mechanism that gets rid of the toxins. If this is the case, the best thing you can do is let the body do its magic. Encourage them to drink water because it will help remove toxins.
As for meals, this should be the time to give them something that is very easy on the stomach. Their body is already working so hard on removing toxins, we don’t want to exert it further with something that will make it work more. In this case you should give them a boiled known meat – unsalted and unflavoured. By ‘known meat’, we mean something that they have already eaten in the past and had no allergic reactions towards it. Since it is not a case of an allergen, we suggest offering a lean meat that is easy to digest. Preferably something they have already had before.
Diarrhoea From Food Allergies
Food allergies can occur anytime. They have no problem digesting chicken and suddenly they may develop an allergic reaction towards it. We have an entire article on food allergies among canines, and we suggest you have a look at it to know more about food allergies. If you suspect your dog’s diarrhoea is because of food allergies, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does my dog get diarrhoea any time of the year? If yes, it is more likely for your dog to have a food allergy. They get diarrhoea every time you feed them the allergy causing food.
- Are they getting diarrhoea ever since I started that new dog food? Dog biscuit? Dog treat? Chews – We often suspect the dog food and completely overlook the other things they are eating throughout the day. Dog treats, biscuits, chews and even a small piece of bread can cause a sudden allergic reaction.
Unlike diarrhoea caused by scavenging, when it comes to food allergies, you need to eliminate what they are currently eating to a completely new diet. So, if they are accustomed to a chicken-based dog food, switch to a fish based or pork based dog food. We do not recommend this method for any other instance other than food allergies. For a healthy dog, it is always important to gradually change their diet. In fact, diet rotation can reduce the chances of allergies. However, since the current food is making them so sick, you have to make an immediate change to something they have never had before.
Other Possible Causes Of Diarrhoea
We want to stress once again that we cannot take canine diarrhoea lightly. You can go for home remedies only in the two instances mentioned above. In all other cases, you must take them to the vet. Worms and fungal infection can cause diarrhoea as well. Check for their stool, if it has white spots, it is a good indication that they have worms. Make sure they are timely dewormed to prevent this from happening.
If the diarrhoea persists for more than five days the vet is the best person to help you out with it. So, be vigilant and don’t keep that appointment pending. All the best!