It’s a common question: “My dog has diarrhea … is there a home remedy that actually works?“
Yes, there is!
The first step is to narrow down the cause.
Pay close attention to your dog and the diarrhea itself. The questions to answer are:
- Did the diarrhea come on suddenly in an otherwise healthy dog?
- Is this an ongoing problem?
- Is there blood in the diarrhea?
- What’s your dog’s overall state?
- Any other symptoms?
If this is an ongoing issue, you’ll want to work with a holistic or homeopathic vet. She can help you find the underlying cause of the diarrhea.
And if there’s more than a little blood in the diarrhea, it’s a good idea to check in with your holistic vet.
If the diarrhea is sudden and your dog is acting and eating like normal, you can safely treat it at home. We asked homeopathic vet Dr Dee Blanco to help you out.
But first, let’s delve into the possible causes of acute diarrhea …
4 Common Causes Of Dog Diarrhea
If you want to stop diarrhea, you first have to stop the root cause of it.
Here are some common causes of diarrhea …
Despite the discomfort it may cause, diarrhea can actually be the body’s way of dealing with illness. The bowels can eject harmful bacteria and toxins before they cause harm.
2. Change of Diet
A sudden change in diet can also trigger a bout of diarrhea. Perhaps you tried a novel protein or decided to go from kibble to raw overnight.
3. Dumpster Diving
Your dog just ate some old meat out of the trash can, or some other garbage food matter. This can certainly lead to a case of the runs.
Emotional stress can often cause diarrhea. Is your dog around another pet that makes him anxious? Did he suffer the loss of a loved one? Did his home life change drastically? These can all play a role in digestive upset.
Once you fix the cause of the diarrhea, the next step is to stop it.
My Dog Has Diarrhea … What Do I Do?
There are several home remedies for dog diarrhea you can try.
If you’re comfortable with homeopathy we’ll start there. Then we’ll talk about some foods and herbs that can help with dog diarrhea …
Read the remedy descriptions and choose the one that’s the closest match for your dog’s symptoms. Follow the dosing guidelines and be ready to switch to a different remedy if the first one doesn’t stop the problem after 3 or 4 doses.
Arsenicum album: Dr Blanco recommends Arsenicum for a dumpster diving dog who ate something bad. He could be straining with diarrhea … and the stool may be exceptionally foul-smelling. In Arsenicum cases, the diarrhea may come on after midnight. The dog might take small sips of water rather than drinking all at once. Arsenicum may also be good for some cases of stress-induced diarrhea.
Phosphorus: Use this remedy for dogs with stinky, bloody diarrhea, according to Blanco. Instead of straining, the diarrhea will pour out. The dog may also be thirsty and be vomiting. Phosphorus may fit when there’s a change in diet and the diarrhea continues for longer than a couple of bowel movements.
Mercurius vivus and Mercurius solubilis: These interchangeable remedies may be needed when a dog is intensely straining and has foul-smelling stools with mucus and possibly blood, according to Blanco.
China: If your dog needs this remedy he may seem exhausted. The diarrhea will pour out (like a Phosphorus dog), but his energy level will be extremely low. The dog might have blood in his stool and he might seek warmth but crave cold water. China may be especially helpful when another remedy has stopped the diarrhea, but the dog is still exhausted.
Nux vomica: Choose this remedy for the dog who’s been overwhelmed in some way. It could be from overeating, exhaustion from a trip or perhaps he’s had some other kind of overindulgence. The dog will most likely have abdominal cramping, seek warmth and curl up rather than lying flat out when resting.
Sulphur: A dog needing this remedy will seek cool floors and weather … because he runs hot. His diarrhea will often get him out of bed in the early morning, around 5 am or so. The diarrhea will be foul-smelling.
Dosing Guidelines For Homeopathic Remedies
Choose the best remedy for your dog … then use a 200C potency if you have it. If not, 30C will work fine.
Use wet dosing for the best results.
- Place 1 to 3 pellets into a glass.
- Add up to 1/2 cup spring or filtered water (never use unfiltered tap water.
- Stir vigorously for about 30 seconds.
- You can keep the glass on your counter. Don’t refrigerate it.
- Stir again before every dose.
One dose is a few drops in your dog’s mouth. An easy way to do this is to pull your dog’s lower lip out near the corner of his mouth, and use a teaspoon, dropper or syringe to place a few drops onto his gums.
Dr Blanco recommends giving several doses to start.
- If you’re using 200C, give a dose every 30 minutes for 2 to 3 doses
- With a 30C potency you can dose every 5 to 15 minutes for 4 doses.
Then wait to see the response. You should see signs your dog’s feeling better. He might seem peppier; he might relax and take a nap, or even start asking for food. That means the remedy is working! But if the diarrhea returns, it’s time for one more dose.
If you’ve give 3 or 4 doses of one remedy without improvement, it’s time to switch to a different remedy. Pick the next best one and follow the same dosing schedule.
Other Helpful Measures
If your dog isn’t underweight, fast him for 24 to 48 hours. Let him have water, or you can give some broth made from vegetable scraps or bone. Don’t fast a puppy.
3. Yams and Basmati Rice
Once the symptoms have settled down, Dr Blanco recommends giving some cooked pumpkin, sweet potato or yams with basmati rice. Cook everything thoroughly so it’s nice and mushy. Bone broth is another gentle and nutritious food you can give your dog.
To balance the bacteria in your dog’s gut, feed plain unsweetened kefir as a food source of probiotics. You can give kefir once your dog is eating solids again.
5. Slippery Elm
Slippery Elm powder is very soothing and is a powerful digestive aid for a dog with diarrhea. You can buy capsules or powder at any health food store. Making a slurry by mixing some powder (you can empty out the capsules if you bought those) with filtered or spring water and giving your dog 1 to 5 CCs 2 or 3 times daily as a stomach soother.
6. Bach Flower Remedies
Emotional stress can sometimes bring on diarrhea. Bach flower remedies may help your dog resolve any emotional issues that might have caused the digestive upset. They are gentle and non-toxic. You can add a few drops to the water bowl or place them directly in his mouth several times a day.
7. Marshmallow Root
This is a very useful herb that soothes the mucous membrane in the digestive tract … so it’s a great choice for diarrhea. Give it in tincture (liquid) form and give your dog 0.5-1.5 ml per 20 lbs, 2-3 times per day. You can also buy a ready-made product with marshmallow in it (we recommend and use Gut Soothe).[BONUS: Try this quick soup recipe to cure diarrhea fast.]
With these simple steps, your dog should be back to solid poops and his regular activities in no time!