How to Help a Sick Dog With Diarrhea

Updated November 21, 2016

Diarrhoea frequently happens in dogs, sometimes despite your best efforts to prevent it. Diarrhoea can be a symptom of a serious illness, but often it happens due to a dietary indiscretion or parasite, such as worms. Barring any serious cause, your sick dog can be successfully treated and cared for at home. Diarrhoea is never a pleasant experience for you or your dog, but with some informed, loving care, your dog will be back to normal in no time.

Determine if the cause of your dog's diarrhoea is food related. Have you noticed your trash scattered about? Chances are your dog has been dumpster diving and has come up with some forbidden snacks. Maybe you have treated your dog to some rich foods as a treat. It is hard to avoid the begging, but necessary to do so. Fatty foods are a common cause of diarrhoea in dogs. Have you changed brands of dog food recently? Your dog's digestive system does not adjust easily to change. If you decide to change your dog food brand, do so by adding small amounts of the new food to the old for a week, gradually increasing the amounts of new food.

Check for any signs of worms. According to Pet Doc, worms, especially whip worms, can cause diarrhoea in dogs. Some worms can be seen in the dog's stool and some are so small that they can only be seen under a microscope. Scooting on the carpet or licking around the anal area can also be signs of worms in dogs. Worm infestation will need to be treated with medication, ideally prescribed by your veterinarian.

Assess your dog's medications. Has your dog started on any new medications? Some medications, either alone or in combination with others, can cause diarrhoea.

Withhold solid foods. According to Pet Care Guide, withholding all solid foods for a 24 hour period, gives the dog's intestinal system a chance to recover.

Provide an ample supply of fresh water. Keep careful watch to insure that your dog is drinking the water. Dehydration can occur rapidly with diarrhoea.

Feed your dog small amounts of canned pumpkin, mixed with boiled hamburger and cooked rice. This bland mixture is easy on the stomach and the pumpkin supplies fibre that helps to solidify the stool.

Reintroduce your dog's regular food by mixing it with the pumpkin mixture for several days. Gradually decrease the pumpkin mixture until your dog is eating only his regular food.

Try an over-the-counter medication. According to Pet Education, loperamide, a common human medication can be used in the treatment of diarrhoea. The usual dosage is 0.05 to 0.1mg. per pound of body weight, given orally every eight hours.

Launder and disinfect your dog's bedding and sleeping area continually during any bouts of diarrhoea. This keeps him comfortable and helps to prevent any reinfestation of worms.


Avoid feeding your dog from the table. Dog foods are specially formulated for a dog's digestive system. Be attune to your dog to notice the first sign of a problem Do not give your dog any bones while he is experiencing diarrhoea. They can further irritate an inflamed intestine.


Call your veterinarian immediately if there is blood in the stool, the diarrhoea persists for more than 24 hours or your dog has other symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, restlessness or fever. Keep any other pets in your household away from the dog until you are sure he is not contagious. Only use plain canned pumpkin. Never use pumpkin pie mix.

Things You'll Need

  • canned pumpkin
  • boiled hamburger
  • cooked rice
  • over-the-counter medication
  • disinfectant
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