Due to the fact that diarrhea and upset stomach are frequent and not that serious maladies for dogs, people try to help their animals by giving them some human food.
In the majority of cases, there is no need to call a vet, as these are common issues for canines. However, those who have a pet dog or would like to have one have to know that dogs are often fed with things that they should not.
When they are given some food that is not appropriate for them, their digestive system becomes sensitive, thus causing vomiting or diarrhea.
You should not be too worried as almost all dogs experience nausea and diarrhea at some point in their life.
It is important to notice whether your dog’s upset stomach or diarrhea are acute, actually, a response to something the dog ate, or chronic, or repeated, which may indicate a serious issue.
In case the diarrhea is chronic, you must contact your vet immediately.
If the problem is only temporary, you can make use of the following 12 foods that are great for alleviating an upset stomach and make your dog feel better.
- Foods to Give Your Dog When They Have Diarrhea or an Upset Stomach
- What to Do When Your Dog Has Diarrhea
- When to Call Your Veterinarian
- Signs That Your Dog Has an Upset Stomach
- What Causes Upset Stomachs and Diarrhea in Dogs?
- Signs of and Treatments for Dehydration in Dogs
Foods to Give Your Dog When They Have Diarrhea or an Upset Stomach
Have in mind the fact that the following foods should be served plain and unseasoned:
- white rice
- boiled boneless, skinless chicken breast meat
- mashed boiled potatoes
- mashed cooked carrots
- cottage cheese
- pumpkin (canned or pureed)
- mashed sweet potatoes
- boiled egg
- vet-approved probiotics
What to Do When Your Dog Has Diarrhea
Just like humans, when dogs have an upset stomach or diarrhea, you need to provide them with more care and attention.
We would like to mention a few things that you can try in case your dog has a problem to help it relieve the upset stomach and feel comfortable again.
- Call Your Vet: Those of you who would like to be on the safe side should definitely call a vet and this is certainly the best possible solution. The vet will know what is the right way to treat your dog’s diarrhea. It is true that this is a common issue for dogs, but it is important that the vet determines the cause and best treatment.
- Fasting: The American Kennel Club recommends fasting for 12-14 hours. It is necessary to provide freshwater which should relieve dehydration. It is worth mentioning that fasting is only recommended and allowed to healthy adult dogs, since one-year-old and geriatric dogs may run the risk of developing hypoglycemia/low blood sugar if they do not eat. furthermore, dogs that have a chronic illness (like diabetes) should not fast unless their vet recommends it.
- Bland Diet: When fasting is done, you can start feeding your dog a bland diet. It consists of three parts plain cooked rice and one part boiled, unseasoned boneless, and skinless chicken breast.
- Slowly Incorporate Regular Food: It is necessary to mention that you should slowly incorporate your dog’s regular food, for example, 1/4 dog food and 3/4 bland food, then 1/2 and 1/2, and so forth).
- No Physical Activity: You are suggested not to take your dog for long walks, running, chasing, jumping, or playing with other dogs when it has stomach problems. Physical activities should be avoided, being that it will slow down recovery and, what is even worse, can make your dog feel sicker.
- Watch for Dehydration: Losing body fluids through vomiting and/or diarrhea can lead to more serious problems, so it is necessary that you make sure your dog does not show signs of dehydration.
When to Call Your Veterinarian
In case you decide to call your veterinarian, be ready to answer a series of questions.
These questions are important as they help the vet determine how severe the dog’s diarrhea is.
Some of them are:
- When did it start?
- How many bowel movements has your dog had?
- What does the poop look like (especially, is there blood in it?).
- How is your dog behaving (fever? in pain? vomiting?).
- Has your dog recently eaten something toxic?
White rice is food that vets often recommend.
This is due to the fact that it is an ideal option for curing diarrhea which has been caused by dehydration.
Rice absorbs water passing through the GI tract, thus stabilizing the stool.
How to Prepare and Serve:
So as to prepare it adequately, it is important to follow the rules.
You should boil a cup of white rice in 4 cups of water for 20-30 minutes without salt or sugar added.
It should not be served warm, but at room temperature.
The rice can be served with plain boiled chicken or unseasoned ground beef.
Boiled chicken is ideal for dogs that have diarrhea, but it has to be plain (unseasoned), boneless, and skinless.
Boiled Chicken Meat
When preparing boiled chicken meat, it has to be boneless, skinless and after boiling, you must shred it into small pieces.
This food should be served to your dog the following way: spoon out three parts cooked plain rice with one part cooked chicken.
This combination is recommended only if the dog has not vomited for six hours.
Great food that can help bind your dog’s stools when they have diarrhea is pumpkin, as it can calm an upset stomach.
Pumpkin is a source of soluble fiber and water which slows down GI transit times.
Furthermore, it is easily digestible and gives instant energy to your dog.
How to Prepare:
Canned Pumpkin – you should give 1-4 tablespoons of unsalted, canned pumpkin per meal. How much you will give depends on the size of your dog.
Cooked Rice and Boiled Mashed Pumpkin – you should boil pumpkin until it becomes soft, then mash it into a purée and mix with a little bit of rice. This meal should be served at room temperature, without sugar or salt.
Having in mind the fact that dogs should only eat potatoes occasionally, as they are a good source of vitamins C, B6, potassium, magnesium, and fiber, but on the other hand, contain high amounts of sugar and starch, we do not always suggest giving your dog potatoes.
You can give your dog mashed potatoes only to recover from vomiting.
Boiled and Mashed Carrots
Carrots are a source of Vitamin A, vitamins K and C, potassium, and fiber, but you will need to cook and mash carrots before giving them to your dog.
Cooked carrots are perfect for dogs suffering from diarrhea or digestion problems.
How to Prepare:
You are required to remove the end of the carrot and wash thoroughly before cooking, then cut carrots into little pieces and cook them with rice.
Also, you can boil and mash the carrots into a purée.
Baked and Mashed Sweet Potatoes
You can also choose to prepare sweet potatoes for your dog, as it is the richest source of Vitamin A.
Plus, vitamins C, B6, B5, manganese, potassium, and fiber can be absorbed from them.
Pumpkins, carrots, and sweet potatoes have fiber which may help alleviate an upset stomach.
How to Prepare and Serve:
First, you need to cook sweet potatoes thoroughly and never serve them raw.
The preparation starts by cutting the sweet potatoes into quarters and boil for about 20 minutes.
The next step is to mash them with a potato masher.
Eggs are very nutritious as they contain huge amounts of protein and vitamins.
How to Serve:
Our strong recommendation is to never feed your dog raw eggs, being that they can contain bacteria like salmonella, thus causing food poisoning.
You should serve cooked eggs either boiled or scrambled, without added salt.
There is an option to either mash-up boiled eggs or make them scrambled and mix with white rice.
You have probably heard about probiotics – microorganisms whose job is to stop bad or undesirable bacteria from overgrowing in the gut.
If you decided to give your dog probiotics, make sure you buy those vet-approved probiotics for animals, like Fortiflora made by Purina.
Their aim will be to increase the level of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system.
The great thing is that Fortiflora comes as a powder so that it can be easily sprinkled over food and taken by your dog.
Oatmeal is also a great source of soluble fiber.
This is very significant, as it helps delay gastric emptying and helps control diarrhea.
It is typically suggested to owners of senior dogs with bowel irregularity issues, as oatmeal helps alleviate diarrhea and stomach problems.
How to Serve:
It is important to cook it thoroughly since raw or half-cooked oatmeal can be dangerous.
No sugar or flavoring should be added and it has to be served at room temperature.
It is worth mentioning that cottage cheese contains high amounts of protein and fat.
This means that you can feed your dog cottage cheese only if you know they can handle milk products.
If a dog has lactose intolerance, cottage cheese should not be given to it.
In this case as well as if served in excess, being that cottage cheese is too rich, it could worsen diarrhea.
Our suggestion is to mix it with rice for a well-balanced meal.
The reason why watermelon is suggested for dogs with diarrhea is that it is rich in fiber and water, which are great for helping relieve both diarrhea and dehydration.
Plus, watermelon is low in fat, calories, and cholesterol, while vitamins A, B6, C, and potassium can be found in it.
Watermelon contains a carotenoid antioxidant that strengthens the immune system.
You have to know that there are dogs that may not take well to watermelon, so if you notice any unusual symptoms, stop giving it watermelon.
How to Serve:
You need to remove the seeds, as they may cause intestinal blockage and worsen the problem.
Also, you must remove the rind and cut it into small pieces for easy digestion.
Some vets recommend bananas for dogs with stomach upset or diarrhea.
Also, there are those who suggest offering sliced bananas as a treat for healthy dogs.
How to Serve:
You can mash the banana and give it to your dog either alone or with rice.
The other option is to slice the banana up and serve in small pieces.
Signs That Your Dog Has an Upset Stomach
- Licks lips and/or swallows repeatedly.
- Eats grass, due to the fact that grass can soothe a dog’s upset stomach, or induce vomiting.
- Loss of appetite.
- Behavioral changes (lack of interest).
Our suggestion is to contact your veterinarian immediately once you notice:
- Fever and/or shivering.
- Mucus or blood in the stool.
- Sudden weight loss.
- Appears to be in pain.
- Lethargy or listlessness.
What Causes Upset Stomachs and Diarrhea in Dogs?
- If they ate something that is not the right food for them, or something they should not.
- A change in their diet.
- Anxiety, being that a dog’s stomach is influenced by the nervous system.
- A mild food allergy.
- Medications served on an empty stomach that was prescribed to be given with food.
These are more serious causes of stomach irritation and diarrhea which are not that common among dogs:
- Bacterial or viral infection.
- Parasites, including roundworms and tapeworms.
- Viral fever.
- Accidental ingestion of human medications.
Signs of and Treatments for Dehydration in Dogs
Some signs of dehydration include:
- Loss of appetite.
- Sunken eyes.
- Dry gums.
- Lack of skin elasticity.
To check your dog for dehydration, you can lift the skin on the back of your dog’s neck which has to slip back into normal position.
If it stays tented, your dog may be dehydrated.
Upon determining that your dog is dehydrated, you need to contact your vet who may decide to administer intravenous fluids.
Also, giving your dog unflavored Pedialyte at home may help it rehydrate.