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Pet Wellness

Home Remedies for Dog Diarrhea: Help Your Companion Feel Better

February 05, 2024 - 18 minute read by The Team at Dr. Harvey's

Hero Featured Image   Sick Dog (1) Hero Featured Image   Sick Dog (1)

When your companion has diarrhea, it’s hard to know if it’s an upset stomach or something worse. It’s also harder to treat, because they can’t tell you what’s causing it.

Through this detailed guide, you’ll learn a lot about your dog’s health from their bowel movements as well as various home remedies for dog diarrhea.

Remember to talk with your veterinarian about changes to your dog's diet and if diarrhea continues, as there might be other issues.

What Is Dog Diarrhea?

Dog diarrhea is a condition that develops when there is something amiss with the digestive system, causing stool to be made too quickly. It’s different from typical bowel movements because it’s much looser and more watery.

When Should I Worry If My Dog Has Diarrhea?

You should worry if your dog has consistent bouts of diarrhea for longer than 48 hours or shows other physical symptoms. These physical symptoms include:

  • Blood in the diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting

You should also worry if you think a toxin or foreign body is involved—meaning your dog ate potentially poisonous food or an indigestible item.

Finally, if you have a gut feeling something might be wrong with your dog, then you should consult your holistic veterinarian. You know your companion best!

Can a Dog Have Diarrhea and Be OK?

A dog can absolutely have diarrhea and be OK because dogs can have occasional stomach problems, just like humans. Sometimes, a dog’s digestive system gets irritated for seemingly no reason (though you’ll find potential reasons below), which can cause acute diarrhea. Acute diarrhea means it's a short-lived and recent problem.

What Is the Difference Between Diarrhea and Loose Stool in Dogs?

The difference between diarrhea and loose stool has to do with the consistency of the bowel movement. Diarrhea is watery with little-to-no solid stool, while loose stool has solids—it’s just softer than healthier (firm) poop.

How Serious Is Diarrhea in Dogs?

The seriousness of diarrhea in dogs depends on how long it lasts and what the diarrhea looks like. A day or two is no big deal and could simply point to an upset stomach.

If your dog has diarrhea longer than two days, there may be cause for concern.

This could mean it’s either a chronic condition or a sign of a bigger problem. Your companion is in an emergency situation if they’re also vomiting, refusing to drink, showing general weakness, or running a fever.

As for looking at your dog’s diarrhea, don’t worry. You don’t have to get too close. Instead, inspect it for blood or unusual objects—if you see either one, you need to go to an animal hospital and get your dog checked out.

Risk of Dehydration

Whether it’s one day or one week, make sure you keep up with your dog’s fluid intake. Unfortunately, it’s easy for your furry friend to become dehydrated due to diarrhea. It’s also important to note that puppies and older dogs may feel the impact of diarrhea more than the average dog.

Very often, when a dog starts to feel sick from diarrhea, it’s actually not the diarrhea—it's dehydration.

What If My Dog Has Diarrhea but Is Acting Fine?

If your dog has diarrhea and is acting fine, it could simply be acute diarrhea, and you don’t have to worry. This is where keeping a close eye on your canine friend comes in because a dog having diarrhea but acting normal can be a sign of:

  • A bacterial imbalance
  • A change in diet not going well
  • Food allergy or intolerance
  • Medication symptom
  • Parasites

Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea?

Your dog has diarrhea because food moves too fast through the digestive system for one reason or another. There are many causes of diarrhea, which are explained below.

What Causes Diarrhea in Dogs?

A blonde girl hugging a dog

Dogs develop diarrhea for many reasons:


It’s amazing how stress can affect a dog’s body in many ways—digestive issues included. Stress can come from changing environments, new people in the house, or even when you’re away from home for long periods.


Eating foods to which dogs are allergic or intolerant can commonly cause stomach pain and diarrhea.

If you think your companion is potentially allergic to a specific food, look for additional symptoms like:

  • Sneezing
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Gas
  • Runny eyes
  • Itchy ears
  • Constant licking and chewing on paws
  • Increased itching and scratching
  • Irritated/red skin
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Change in Diet

Dogs’ digestive systems don’t always do well with sudden changes, so sometimes switching from one type of food to another can cause diarrhea. Change your dog’s diet slowly to avoid adverse effects. Mix a little bit of the new food with the old, and add more daily.


Giardia and Coccidia are organisms that attach themselves to the intestinal wall; they’re parasites but not worms. These parasites can affect how the stool looks, but there won’t be an obvious presence in the stool like with worms. Check with your veterinarian for a stool check to rule out parasites or worms.


Different illnesses can also cause digestive upset. If you notice that your dog is suffering from a lack of appetite, fever, and fatigue, or chronic loose stools, you’ll want to take them to your holistic vet as soon as possible.

How Do I Know If My Dog’s Stool Is Abnormal?

A dog playing with a watermelon

Now that we’ve discussed causes, it’s time to talk about how to determine if your dog’s stool is abnormal or not. Learning the basics of stool appearance can teach you when your best friend needs help.

When you’re concerned that your dog is sick, look at their stool’s color, consistency, coating, and content.


How your dog’s stool looks and feels can tell you a lot about its health status. Healthy stools can be varying degrees of earth tones and firm, but not hard. Seek veterinary assistance if your dog’s poop seems black/tarry or dramatically shifts in color from your pup’s norm.

Hard stool may mean your pup is slightly constipated or dehydrated, whereas loose/runny stool indicates diarrhea.


Healthy poop shouldn't have any coating. If your dog’s stool has mucus, it could indicate inflammation due to stomach problems, such as IBD, IBS, parasites, or colitis. It could also signify food allergies or changing a diet too quickly.


Some parasites can be visible to the naked eye in stool and look similar to rice or spaghetti, oftentimes moving.


If there’s visible fur in your dog’s stool, that can mean overgrooming is occurring. Overgrooming is a coping mechanism for allergies or stress.

Foreign Objects

If you notice something that shouldn’t be in your dog’s stool, like clothing, bits of plastic from toys, or grass, objects could be stuck in the digestive tract. If you notice your dog is acting differently, then they may have an obstruction. Seek medical attention.

5 Natural Dog Diarrhea Home Remedies

If you’re wondering what you can give your dog for diarrhea, here are a few home remedies for diarrhea in dogs that can be done from the comfort of your home. Keeping your best friend relatively stress-free (easier said than done when they don’t feel well) is an essential part of their recovery. There’s nothing more comforting than being home.

1. Fasting

While it may seem cruel to not feed your fur friend for 12–24 hours, it helps with their diarrhea. Fasting allows the stomach to calm down and may help eliminate the cause.

2. Food

You can also battle diarrhea by providing the right food types. Nutritious but bland food is crucial for diarrhea recovery. It’s even better to mix it into a slurry for easier digestion.

Food that may help solve diarrhea problems are:

  • Banana
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Broths
  • Cottage cheese
  • Eggs
  • Plain yogurt
  • Pumpkin
  • Rice
  • Skinless chicken

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3. Fluids

Diarrhea can dehydrate your dog quickly, so ensuring they have water access is vital for any of the many home remedies for dog diarrhea. If your dog isn’t interested in water, try adding some chicken or beef bone broth to the water to get fluids in them.

4. Supplements

Natural dog digestive supplements can help speed up diarrhea recovery. You can use herbs like the following:

  • Fennel
  • Slippery elm
  • L-glutamine
  • Marshmallow root

Dr. Harvey’s created a digestive supplement, Runs Be Done, that uses pumpkin, slippery elm, bentonite clay, marshmallow root, fennel, apple pectin, and more for digestive assistance and long-term support.

5. Probiotics

Probiotics are an excellent addition to your dog’s diet, whether or not they’re having stomach problems. Probiotics are full of the “good” bacteria in your dog’s digestive system. When it works properly, a dog’s digestive system has good and bad bacteria working together. Digestive problems, like diarrhea, occur when too much bad bacteria exists.

The good bacteria can improve and strengthen various bodily functions like digestion and make it easier for your dog’s digestive system to heal itself.

It’s important to note that probiotics can also cause digestive problems if your dog is unable to process them properly.

Can I Give My Dog Over-the-Counter Medicine?

You can technically give your dog some over-the-counter medication, but you shouldn’t do it without consulting your holistic veterinarian first. This is because, despite treating them like our children, dogs are not meant to have the same dosage as small humans—and treating them as such could cause more harm than good.

Additionally, every dog is going to react to medication differently.

It’s also important to note that medication is just a temporary solution and won’t solve the real issue causing your dog to have diarrhea. It’s better to directly address their nutritional needs and potential stress levels than to give them medication.

When to Use At-Home Remedies for Diarrhea in Dogs

Home remedies for dog diarrhea are okay to use up to a certain point. If your dog is behaving normally and has only dealt with diarrhea for a couple of days, then it’s safe to keep them home. More intervention is needed if the diarrhea isn’t stopping after two days, your dog is vomiting and acting fatigued, or if your dog has special conditions or is more vulnerable due to age.

What Is the Fastest Way to Cure Diarrhea in Dogs?

The fastest way to cure your dog of diarrhea is to fast them for 12–24 hours while giving them lots of water. This allows your dog’s digestive system to settle and start healing. Hopefully, by doing this, you’ll notice a decrease in watery bowel movements.

Don’t think that you can just feed them like normal after fasting, though. It’s best to either do smaller meals throughout the day or use a bland diet until they have fully recovered.

Is Fasting Safe for Dogs with Diarrhea?

Yes, fasting is safe for dogs with diarrhea. Fasting means no food, but still providing plenty of fluids. It’s crucial that while fasting your dog, you still provide plenty of water. Fasting for longer than 12 hours doesn’t work as a puppy diarrhea home remedy, because it can be dangerous for young or old dogs whose bodies are no longer built for fasting that long.

However, if you’re ever unsure about fasting your dog, ask your holistic vet first.

How Does Fasting Help with Dog Diarrhea?

Fasting works as a dog diarrhea remedy by allowing your dog’s digestive system to settle and start healing. It does this by giving time for your dog’s digestive system to heal itself without having to process food.

If irritation and inflammation are the cause of your dog’s diarrhea, fasting lets the irritation and inflammation lessen, so when food is reintroduced the same thing doesn't occur.

The Best Diets for Dogs with Diarrhea

The best diet for dogs dealing with diarrhea is a whole food, easy-to-digest diet. Also known as a bland diet, this type of diet consists of easily digestible and good-for-the-stomach food, such as what’s listed above.

Don’t worry—bland doesn’t have to mean tasteless. You can make a lot of meals for your dog that they’ll want to eat. Bear in mind that your dog doesn’t have to be on this diet forever.

Why Is the Bland Diet Good for Dog Diarrhea?

The bland diet is good for dog diarrhea because it consists of food that is easy to digest. Bland food is low in fiber and fat, which requires less effort to digest and slows down stool production. Think about how you want chicken noodle soup when you don’t feel good, it’s warm and soothing—the same thing applies to the bland diet for dogs.

How Long Should I Keep My Dog On a Bland Diet?

You should keep your dog on a bland diet for 3–5 days, depending on the severity of your dog’s diarrhea. Doing this gives their digestive system enough time to heal and start working again.

If you notice your dog’s stool is getting firmer and they’re acting more like themselves, you can start transitioning away from the bland diet.

When Should I Reintroduce My Dog’s Regular Food after a Bout of Diarrhea?

You should start reintroducing your dog’s regular food after stools become firmer. The introduction process must be slow to prevent overwhelming your dog’s digestive system and creating a relapse.

You’ll want to start by adding around a quarter of your dog’s usual food with their bland meal and see how that goes. If there are no signs of digestive upset, you can make half their meal their usual food, then 75%, and so on.

What Is a Good Treat for a Dog with Diarrhea?

A good treat for a dog with diarrhea is something easy to digest and provides extra fluid. Good treats for dogs with diarrhea are:

  • Boiled eggs
  • Boiled carrots
  • Cooked potatoes (not good for dogs with diabetes)
  • Cooked sweet potatoes (not good for dogs with diabetes)
  • Plain chicken
  • Pumpkin
  • Seedless watermelon

Want to Prevent Diarrhea from Happening Again?

If you’re concerned about diarrhea becoming common for your dog, you should change their diet and improve their gut health. Many commercial dog food lines are filled with chemicals and preservatives that can upset the stomach.

Using a whole food diet, you can ensure your dog gets all the nutrients they need, including fiber—which makes the entire digestive process so much easier. In fact, one study of 31 dogs experiencing chronic diarrhea found that using therapeutic dog food with whole grains and sources of fiber improved a dog’s diarrhea problems within a day—68% were completely cured within less than two months.

We understand the idea of making completely homemade meals may be overwhelming—which is why we created dog food health mixes. You have access to a variety of meals that take minutes to prepare. Our mixes take advantage of freeze-drying and safe dehydration, so we can deliver whole food ingredients with a longer shelf life.

Use Runs Be Done to Help Stop Diarrhea

We understand pet parents want a quick and easy dog diarrhea remedy when their furry friend isn’t feeling well—so they created Runs Be Done. This powder uses all the best whole-food ingredients, herbs, and minerals to help maintain normal digestion.

It’s not just a good home remedy for dogs with diarrhea but a long-term dog digestion supplement as well. If your buddy has consistent digestive problems, add this to their regimen and see the difference.

Contact our team of nutrition experts if you have any questions about Runs Be Done or overall digestive health.


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