Almost all personal protection dogs occasionally suffer from diarrhea. This problem can be both messy and distressing for you and your pooch. However, the good news is that it does not have to be a major problem. The following are the simplest, most natural ways to prevent dog diarrhea at home:
Natural Cures for Dog Diarrhea
Generally speaking, vomiting and diarrhea are symptoms that a living being is cleansing itself from within from a toxin or other unwanted substance. For this reason, small amounts of mucus or blood sometimes appear in the stool if the bacteria in the intestinal tract is out of balance. However, this is not always cause for alarm.
If your protection dog seems lethargic, has large amounts of blood in the vomit or stool, or is bloated or feverish, seek the advice of a veterinarian. Additionally, if it just seems that something is not quite right, medical attention should be sought, as it is always better to err on the side of caution. Fortunately, however, personal protection dogs that simply present with classic vomiting and diarrhea can often be helped right at home.
Four Natural Treatments For Dog Diarrhea
Fasting: An Often Overlooked Initial Step
The majority of animals on earth fast on their own when dealing with a digestive disorder, and therefore it is always a wise course of action to stop offering food to your dog if he does not fast himself. If your protection dog or puppy is prone to low blood sugar or is small or underweight, give him tiny licks of Caro syrup or honey every hour if he appears weak or is trembling, or simply whenever you feel it is necessary.
After the dog has fasted, offer small sips of water, provided the diarrhea and vomiting have stopped or have slowed down substantially. For very small dogs, a few teaspoons is sufficient, while large dogs should be given one full cup. This should be done every hour, and after six hours of only giving your pooch water, small amounts of food or broth can be administered. Over the next 4-5 days, slowly increase the amount of food your dog consumes.
Preventing The Recurrence Of Dog Diarrhea With Bland Food
After you reintroduce your dog to regular meals, it is a good idea to keep him on a bland diet for a while. Soup is a great starter food to ensure that the protection dog’s transition back to normal food is a smooth one.
Other bland meals include mixing lowfat meet with white rice in a 50-50 ratio. You can add a bit of baked yam or a few tablespoons of plain yogurt as well. A mix of low fat cottage cheese and white rice is also a good choice for a bland canine diet.
The Use of Probiotics
Probiotics help the intestines to repopulate with healthy bacteria, and scientific evidence suggests that probiotics may also bolster the digestive tract’s immune system, as well as the dog’s general immune system. Additionally, probiotics enhance cellular repair and help maintain the mucosal barrier in your dog’s intestines.
If your protection dog is on antibiotics, you can give him probiotics as well. However, it is important to administer them at different times. Probiotics are also helpful during times of stress, such as boarding, weaning, traveling and agility trials.
Prebiotics–The Partner Of Probiotics
Because they are indigestible food components, prebiotics travel to the colon without any type of digestive breakdown. Once they reach the colon, they ferment and eventually are transformed into something referred to as short chain fatty acids–SCFA. Short chain fatty acids inhibit the proliferation of harmful bacteria, and energize colon cells. This allows the proper movement of the intestines, because the electrolyte and fluid balance is appropriately sustained. Prebiotics can support and enhance the healthy bacterial flora in your dog’s digestive tract.
Most animal experts suggest using probiotics and prebiotic together, as this enhances the benefits of the probiotics. It is important to understand, however, that these substances may also become a food source for harmful bacteria in the intestines. Harmful bacteria can lead to digestive disease, and therefore the use of such supplements is still somewhat controversial.
In addition to fructo-oligosaccharide, another well-known prebiotic is beet pulp, but certain dogs do not process beet pulp efficiently, which can lead to flatulence, nausea and bloating.
Additional Intestinal Supplements That Prevent Dog Diarrhea
For digestive upset, you should definitely consider an herb called slippery elm. It is available in capsule form and should be administered as follows:
• For small dogs, one quarter capsule twice a day
• For medium dogs, one half capsule twice a day
• For large dogs, one full capsule twice a day
If you choose a powdered form of slippery elm, use the formula of ¼ teaspoon of powder for every 10 pounds of body weight. The powder can be mixed into yogurt or food.
It is also possible to create a syrup from the slippery elm herb. Simply mix one cup of cold water and one teaspoon of slippery elm powder in a pan and simmer the mixture for two to three minutes, following a short full boil. After removing it from the heat, add one tablespoon of honey to the mix and allow it to cool. This formula should be given to your protection dog four times a day using the following directions:
• One to two tablespoons for dogs weighing 25 pounds or less
• Two to four tablespoons for dogs between 25 and 50 pounds
• One-quarter cup to ½ cup for dogs 50 pounds or more
Although the effectiveness and safety of any supplemental formula is a subject for debate, many pet owners find the aforementioned formula much safer and more effective than Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate, which are considered unsafe for dogs due to their salicylates content.
Another good healing formula for all types of digestive problems in dogs contains a combination of fructo-oligosaccharide powder, L-Glutamine powder, and slippery elm. Always follow the directions below when administering this formula to your pooch:
• Small dogs should be given one teaspoon twice a day
• Medium dog should be given two teaspoons twice a day
• Large dogs should be given three teaspoons twice a day.
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that offers healing properties to cells in your dog’s intestines. Should you decide to medicate your protection dog with L-Glutamine only, rather than the formula mentioned above, you should administer 500 milligrams of the powder each day for every 25 pounds of body weight.
Dogs that are not given a raw diet can likely benefit immensely from digestive enzyme supplements. This is because they are not getting such enzymes from a natural source. Many animals experience enhanced digestion and do very well on supplements of this kind. However, other dogs have bad reactions that include excessive gas and intolerable stomach bloating. For this reason, it is best to begin with a small dose and closely observe your dog’s reaction.
Digestive enzymes are part of the formula in certain animal digestive supplements, so always carefully read each label. Dogs suffering from exocrine pancreatic insufficiency need extra enzymes for their pancreas, including amylases, lipases and proteolytic enzymes. If they do not have these enzymes, they will be unable to properly digest food. These enzymes can only be acquired by prescription.
Additional Tips Concerning Dog Diarrhea
Even if you have the best protection dog, he may come down with persistent or severe digestive disease. If this happens, your veterinarian may recommend the following:
• Bloodwork to rule out endocrine, kidney or liver problems
• Fecal exams to rule out parasites
• Endoscopy to visualize the intestinal mucosa and the stomach
• Abdominal ultrasound to rule out cancer, obstructions or foreign objects
In most instances, however, the digestive problems afflicting your protection dog will be self-limiting, and with a bit of assistance from you, your pooch can quickly return to his normal self. Remember, the best protection dog is one that has a happy, healthy digestive tract.