So Your Dog Has Diarrhea? Simple Steps to take to help quickly

Dealing with a bout of diarrhea and want to know how to reset your dog? Tips and tricks below to getting your pup back on track.

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There can be many causes of loose stools for your dog; change in food, change in environment, bacteria, worms or even a stressful situation.  It’s important to assess the situation and let your dog reset with a bland diet for 1-2 days.

STEP 1 – FAST

A fast can be crucial in helping your dog’s digestive system re-set. For adult dogs I recommend a 24 hour food fast from the first bout of diarrhea.  For puppy’s over 12 weeks a 12 hour fast, no

Once we have fasted our pups (always make sure they have access to clean fresh water) we need to break the fast.  Here’s a few staples to have in your cupboard for times like these.

STEP 2 – WHAT TO FEED

  • White fish such as cod or haddock – always cooked
  • Low fat turkey mince – cooked
  • Bone broth (warm)
  • Sweet potato or canned pumpkin (nothing added) – steam the sweet potato with the skin for 8-10 minutes and mash
  • Slippery elm
  • Psyllium husk
  • Feed little and often 3 times a day – 4 for puppies.
  • Add in a small amount of slippery elm and psyllium husk with the following guidelines; ¼ teaspoon of each per 5kg of body weight per meal of each

WHAT NOT TO FEED

Stay away from rice…..”what?” I hear you say. “My vet told me to feed rice.”

So here’s why I don’t recommend rice for a sick dog, especially one with diarrhea.

Rice is high on the Glycemic index so it spikes blood sugar. When a dog is ill, for whatever reason, their cortisol levels increase which in turn spikes blood sugar. Feeding rice means a double spike. Rice also contains glycotoxins that are high oxidant compounds linked with several diseases such as kidney, liver and heart disease. These glycotoxins have been shown to reduce the life span in mice. Restriction of them has been shown to help prevention of the above diseases.

STAY CLEAR OF CHEMICALS

It’s tempting to automatically presume there is a bacterial problem or a parasitic issue with your dog when they get diarrhea. However, it’s important if we are giving our dogs antibiotics or wormers that we have found a worm burden OR a bacterial infection in their feces. A fecal sample is the easiest way to achieve this and should be done by your vet if they suspect such an issue. Giving antibiotics or wormers without cause can cause more harm than good. Antibiotics rid the gut of all bacteria, good and bad which can then in turn create an impaired gut and exacerbate the problem . Wormers can impair a gut lining whilst also causing stress to the liver and kidneys.

If you choose to vaccinate your dog and they have a bout of diarrhea push the vaccination back. Vaccinating a sick dog isn’t wise as their immune system will be compromised due to the higher levels in cortisol blocking the number of white blood cells needed to fight off infection. Same with tick and flea treatments, I hate these at the best of times but when our dogs are sick it’s important that we give their bodies chance to heal without adding in more stress causing products.

NEXT STEPS

If you have followed the above for 2-3 days and see no improvement please seek the advice of your vet. If your dog is refusing food, not drinking and vomiting or lethargic along side the diarrhea seek urgent veterinary advice. I understand that you may want to go straight to your vet to be on the safe side. Check for obstructions and do a fecal sample but avoid the key points above without tests.

Want to know more about how diet can help support or dog with Diarrhea? Book a consult today www.thecaninedietitian.co.uk

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