Diarrhea is a common symptom of illness in dogs and can have many different causes. Diarrhea in dogs, just like humans is the result of the body trying to rid the itself of some sort of irritation. These intestinal irritations can include, but are not limited to virus, bacteria, spoiled food and dietary changes.
Treating Dog Diarrhea
Mild cases of diarrhea in dogs can typically be treated at home with supportive therapy. More severe or questionable cases of diarrhea in dogs should always be attended to by a veterinarian.
Withholding solid food is the first and most important step in treating a dog with diarrhea. Food should be withheld for 24 to 48 hours, depending on how quickly your dog is recovering. This practice gives your dogs intestinal tract an opportunity to rest and get back to normal. A liquid diet is completely adequate in most situations when a dog has diarrhea.
It is essential that you promote fluids when your dog has diarrhea. Fluid therapy will prevent your dog from becoming dehydrated. Your dog should always have water available when it has diarrhea. Additionally, to keep sodium and potassium levels from dropping, offer broth. You can give your dog broth several times daily while you are withholding food.
When it has been at least 24 hours and if your dog is showing significant signs of improvement, you can begin to offer food slowly. When returning your dog to solid food, you should always start with a bland diet. Boil a chicken breast and chop or puree it in a food processor or blender. Mix it with cooked rice.
It should be about three parts chicken to one part rice. Continue this diet until your dog is better. You should gradually wean your dog back to their normal diet by mixing it with the bland diet. This will prevent any repeat intestinal upset from the switching of foods.
Dogs can get diarrhea from a variety of things. It is essential that you keep close watch of them for other signs of distress. If your dog is under weight, elderly, sick or you have a puppy always consult a veterinarian to make certain that treating them at home is adequate.
Watch for signs of dehydration and call your vet immediately is dehydration is suspected. Diarrhea in dogs can go from bad to worse very quickly and it is always better to be safe than sorry.