Warning: I am not a veterinarian. All advice I give should taken with a grain of salt, as with a lot of advice you may read online. I just like to help animals, through helping their pet parents, with the 19 years of experience I have gained by working in veterinary medicine.
Ultimately, you should consult your veterinarian before trying anything yourself at home.
There could be many reasons why your dog is having diarrhea.
Sometimes is can be due to benign changes like
-changing their food
-adding a new treat or snack
-feeding them table scraps
-getting into the garbage/eating something in the yard they shouldn’t have
There could also be intestinal parasites.
If your dog has intestinal parasites, then the vet needs to test a stool sample to figure out which one, so they can prescribe the correct medication.
If these are the reasons for your dog’s diarrhea, and they don’t have any other symptoms (vomiting, lethargy, mucous and/or blood in the stools, or not eating/decreased appetite) then feeding them a bland diet and/or adding a probiotic to their food can help.
I like Progerity EZ Probiotic Powder made by Vet Classics, https://www.amazon.com/Vet-Classics-Protegrity-Powder-Supplement
But you can use anything that is not heavily flavored.
If your dog is having any of the above named symptoms I mentioned, in addition to diarrhea, then stop reading now and call a veterinary clinic asap.
NOTE: They should be on a bland diet until they are having solid stools for a solid (no pun intended) 3-5 days before you start slowly mixing their normal food back into the bland diet.
*You can also purchase a bland diet from your veterinarian. I DO NOT recommend buying a ‘bland diet’ from a pet store.
Cooked white or brown rice (not Minute or instant rice)
BOILED boneless/skinless chicken breast.
BOILED lean hamburger.
**You MUST boil the meat to get as much fat off of it as possible, otherwise it will just make the diarrhea worse and make them even more sick.
Cook the rice as per the instructions on the bag.
Cut the chicken up or break up the hamburger in small pieces and boil in water until it’s cooked through.
Drain meat. Discard water- DO NOT USE the water for anything, it has the fat in it!
Allow both rice and meat choice to cool.
Mix 4 parts rice to one part meat.
Refrigerate any left overs, after it has cooled to use for later.
If you’re able to feed multiple small meals throughout the day, do that.
Otherwise feed at your normal times.
Typically, you can use the same portion sizes as you would their normal diet.
Add water or canned low sodium chicken broth to increase their water intake, since they can get dehydrated, or to entice them to eat it.
-You do not have to add the chicken broth if you don’t want to.
Once their stools are formed for at least 3 days, you can start to add in their normal food.
If the diarrhea returns, there may be an issue with their dog food. Like a food allergy (yes, even if they’ve been eating the same food for years) or their food is too rich, a bad bag if the diarrhea started with the opening of a new bag, or their tummy just doesn’t like that food.
If it doesn’t improve or they start showing other symptoms (see above) then you need to get them to a veterinarian.
Animals can get Pancreatitis or a Gastroenteritis that can make them very sick.
If you think this is happening to your pet, typically medications or even IV fluids are needed, in severe cases, to get them better.
There could also be other things going on, but would still require a vets diagnostics and/or care if they’re acting sick.
So, if you notice your dog having these symptoms, call your veterinarian right away and get them in as soon as you can.
Always keep an eye on your pet’s urine and bowel movements so that you can spot issues early and intervene before they get really sick and require a costly hospital stay. Your vet will also ask you what the stools look like, how long they’ve been having diarrhea, if they got into/or have eaten anything they shouldn’t have, and will also ask you to bring in a fresh stool sample.
It may also help you to start a bland diet early enough, and start improving on the diarrhea, before they start to have accidents in the house or in their kennel, which no one likes to clean up.