Ugh. If you have a dog, you’ve undoubtedly had to deal with varying degrees of diarrhea. We even have a special name for it in my house: “poop carpet”. (Hey, when you have 4 dogs there has to be some humor in it!)
It’s no fun for anyone to have an upset stomach and there are some ways to help your pup rest a little more comfortably until they aren’t racing for the door to go outside.
While you may not necessarily have to bring your dog to the vet, you should call them and bring in a stool sample for your vet to look at. I like to keep a collection of poop bags around in general, but they are especially useful for collecting a sample for the vet! You want to rule out things like worms or giardia; they will also be able to detect if there is any blood which could mean something more serious is going on. They may be able to prescribe medication or suggest you make an appointment for a more in depth exam if they detected something worrisome in the diarrhea sample.
The vet will probably ask you these questions too: Has your dog gotten into anything unusual lately? Could there be a dead bird in your yard that they ate? Did you give them a new kind of bone, change foods or give them table scraps? Did they drink water from a new source (out on a walk or a hike for example, or a puddle).
Try to think of the cause of their upset stomach. This will help you determine how serious it could be. Maybe their system is just adjusting to new food, or maybe there was a parasite larvae in the puddle water.
If your vet rules out any parasites, there are home remedies you can do to settle their stomach. Kinda akin to drinking Ginger Ale when you aren’t feeling so hot.
- Cook up some white rice. I tend to use a little extra water to help them get rehydrated. The starch in the rice helps to firm up diarrhea.
- Canned pumpkin. Give your dog a scoop of pumpkin, not the sweet pie filling but pure pumpkin. (I find it in the baking aisle at my grocery store) I don’t know what it is in pumpkin, but it’s magic. Loose stool or constipation, pumpkin is magic.
- Keep their diet as bland as possible. Rice, chicken, pumpkin, their normal dry kibble. Don’t be adding any wet foods to entice them to eat. You wouldn’t want someone shoving a red velvet cake at you when you are sick would you?
- Keep them hydrated as they will be losing a lot of water through their bowels.
With 4 dogs, I keep rice and pumpkin stocked in the pantry!
Your dog should have normal poops within a day or two. If they don’t, definitely call your vet! And let me know if you need to borrow my steam cleaner!
About the Author:
Laura Capra is one of the owners of Keep Me Company Pet Sitting in Longmont, CO. She and her partner, Kim started Keep Me Company in 2011 to fill the need for specialized pet care in the her area. Fun Fact: In 1999 she attended the Special Olympics World Games as the Equestrian Coach – her athletes brought home 2 gold and 2 bronze medals!