Published: November 1, 2023  

Last updated: February 6, 2024  

We’ve all been there – your dog is suffering from an upset digestive system, i.e. diarrhea or soft stools, and you’re not quite sure what to do. You don’t want to rush to the vet’s office if you don’t have to and prefer to give your dog something natural, a home remedy. 

Dog diarrhea can be a common issue, and while it’s essential to consult your veterinarian for severe or persistent cases, there are several home remedies you can try to provide some relief and comfort to your dog. Let’s explore some safe and natural home remedies for your dog with diarrhea.

brown and white dog pooping in snow, looking at the camera.

If your dog has diarrhea and/or vomiting for more than a few days, call your vet. If your dog is normally healthy, then you can treat their diarrhea at home with a few home remedies, such as:

What to give a dog with diarrhea

If your dog has had diarrhea for more than a few days or has any signs of bloody stools, then talk with your vet right away and ask for their recommendations on what to give a dog for diarrhea.

Most cases of diarrhea are not an emergency and can be treated at home with these natural remedies. Here are 10 proven ways to help your dog with diarrhea or loose stools: 

1. Lots of Liquid

Make sure your dog is drinking a lot of water. Just like people diarrhea can quickly make your dog dehydrated. If your dog isn’t interested in drinking water, you can encourage him by adding some chicken or beef broth to their water. 

2. Fasting

When your dog experiences diarrhea, it’s a good idea to give their digestive system a break. You can start by fasting your dog for 12 to 24 hours, allowing their stomach to settle and their digestive system to recover. During this fasting period, ensure they have access to clean water to prevent dehydration. Once the fasting period is over, you can reintroduce a bland diet.

3. Bland Food

Feeding your dog chicken and white rice is an outdated theory. Dr. Katie with The Natural Pet Doctor (my favorite holistic vet) says the best food for your dog with diarrhea is something bland like white fish, turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and bone broth.

Feed your dog small amounts at a time to make sure they can keep the food down. If so, then slowly feed them more and more until they are feeling better.

4. Pure Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a super food, a great source of fiber and other vitamins and nutrients, and can help improve your dog’s digestive system quickly. Use only plain pumpkin, no pumpkin pie filling.

TIP: When we open a can of pumpkin, we take about half of it and freeze it into ice cube trays. This way you will always have pumpkin handy, they make great everyday treats too!

Native Pet’s organic air-dried pumpkin is great to have in your pantry all year long. Just add water and it turns into a delicious pumpkin puree. We use it to make dog treats and the dogs love them!

Read why pumpkin is a super food for your dog and can be good for diarrhea or constipation!

5. Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help restore balance in your dog’s gut. You can find probiotic supplements designed for dogs at your local pet store or online. 

I have tried all the top probiotic brands, searching to find the best one… but they all claim to be the best. A friend recommended Daily Dog by FullBucket. And wow! It has given us the best results in terms of overall health in all three of our dogs. I can see their coats getting shiner, more consistent stool, and more energy in our 9-year-old lab. 

I love Daily Dog by FullBucket so much, that I reached out to them and they gave me a coupon code just for you! Use coupon code RescueDogs101 for a 20% discount.

Adding a probiotic supplement to your dog’s daily food can help keep their gut health in check every day.

6. Plain Yogurt

Alternatively to a probiotic, you can add plain, unsweetened yogurt to your dog’s food to introduce good bacteria. Probiotics can promote healthy digestion and reduce the duration of diarrhea.

7. Slippery Elm

Slippery elm is an herbal remedy that can soothe the digestive tract and alleviate diarrhea in dogs. You can find slippery elm supplements online or at some health food stores or pet stores. Follow the recommended dosage for your dog’s size, or consult your veterinarian for guidance.

Dr. Katie recommends trying Slippery Elm and Marshmallow Root. She recommends giving your dog “slippery elm in capsule form or mixing the powder with water to create a paste. Start with 1/4 tbsp mixed in 1/4 cup broth or water and give 2-3 times a day to help soothe the inflamed digestive tract.”

8. Coptis Herbal Remedy

Dr. Katie also recommends Coptis Herbal Remedy, a herbal remedy from Chinese medicine. “You can give your pet one tea pill per 10 pounds of body weight for 5-10 days at most, depending on the severity of their symptoms. This is a very cooling remedy meant only to be used short term.”

9. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea can have soothing effects on a dog’s upset stomach. Brew a weak chamomile tea, let it cool, and offer a small amount to your dog. Make sure it’s free of caffeine or any added ingredients. Chamomile tea can help reduce inflammation and calm your dog’s digestive system. 

10. Supplements

As more and more dog owners become conscious of the potential downsides of antibiotics and prescription medications, they’re looking into natural herbal supplements. Here are a couple that I recommend checking out:

beagle Dog Under white Blanket.

Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea?

Diarrhea in dogs can have various causes, and it’s important to determine the underlying reason to provide appropriate treatment. Some common reasons for a dog to have diarrhea include:

  1. Dietary changes: A sudden change in your dog’s diet, such as switching to a new brand of dog food or feeding them human food, can upset their digestive system and lead to diarrhea.
  2. Food intolerance or allergies: Dogs can be sensitive to certain ingredients in their food or even sudden changes in diet. If your dog has a food allergy or intolerance, consuming the problematic ingredient can result in diarrhea.
  3. Infections: Bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections, such as parvovirus, giardia, or worms, can cause diarrhea in dogs. These infections are often accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
  4. Stress or anxiety: Dogs can experience diarrhea as a response to stress or anxiety. This could be triggered by changes in their environment, routine, or social interactions.
  5. Dietary indiscretion: Dogs are known for eating things they shouldn’t, like garbage, spoiled food, or foreign objects. Ingesting something inappropriate can lead to gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea.
  6. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): IBD is a chronic condition in which a dog’s immune system attacks its own digestive tract, leading to chronic diarrhea and other digestive issues.
  7. Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas can result in diarrhea, along with symptoms like vomiting, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.
  8. Medication side effects: Some medications can cause gastrointestinal side effects, including diarrhea. If your dog is on any new medications, consult your vet about potential side effects.
  9. Poisoning: Ingesting toxic substances can lead to diarrhea, as well as other serious symptoms. If you suspect your dog has ingested something toxic, contact a veterinarian immediately.
  10. Chronic conditions: Certain chronic conditions like colitis, kidney disease, or liver disease can result in persistent diarrhea.
  11. Allergic reactions: Dogs can have allergic reactions to various environmental factors, such as pollen, certain plants, or insect bites. Allergic reactions may include diarrhea, along with other symptoms like itching and skin problems.

If your dog has diarrhea, it’s important to monitor their condition and consult with a veterinarian. Your vet can perform a physical examination, conduct tests if necessary, and provide guidance on the most appropriate treatment or dietary changes to address the underlying cause of the diarrhea. 

Dehydration is a concern with diarrhea, so make sure your dog has access to clean water, and in severe cases, your vet may recommend intravenous fluids to address dehydration.

As long as your dog is normally healthy, does not have any other illnesses, and is not a young puppy or a senior dog, then it’s pretty safe to say you can attempt to treat his diarrhea at home for a couple of days before rushing to the vet.

IMPORTANT: If you notice blood in your dog’s diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, or any other signs of being in pain, call your vet right away. If your puppy is younger than 9 months old, call your vet right away.

If you’ve just adopted your puppy or dog, allow him a few days and even a few weeks to fully adjust to his new home. Read the 3-3-3 Rules of Bring Your New Dog Home to fully understand the stages a new dog goes through. It’s not uncommon for a dog to show signs of stress, one, two, or even three weeks after bringing them home. 

Warning About OTC & Prescription Medicines

Human over-the-counter diarrhea medications such as Imodium may also be effective for your dog but isn’t really a natural remedy. There are some restrictions and possible side effects, so before you give it to your dog, read this article by PetMD Imodium for Dogs: Is it a Good Idea?

If you call your vet, they may prescribe an antibiotic such as Metronidazole. Dr. Katie with The Natural Pet Doctor wants us to be informed of the side effects before giving our dogs any antibiotics. You can read more about that in her article: Metronidazole for Dogs & Cats: Exploring Natural Alternatives and Safer Options for Diarrhea.

When is it Time to Take Your Dog to the Vet?

When is it Time to Take Your Dog to the Vet?

If your dog has had diarrhea for more than a few days, has any signs of red or blood, mucus in his poop, vomiting, lethargy, or shows any other signs of being in pain, call your vet right away. If your puppy is younger than 9 months old, call your vet right away.

The vet may say you can wait a couple of days, but at least they can give you more details on what to watch for. A dog with diarrhea and/or vomiting can be as simple as stress or as serious as a life-threatening illness. If you have any worries, just call your vet! A phone call is free and can ease your mind.

Allergies and Diarrhea

If your dog has, or you think may have, any food allergies, be careful about feeding him any dairy, chicken, or beef. Our dog Ginger is allergic to all three of these foods, so we need to be careful of feeding her anything with these ingredients.

If your dog shows any signs of allergies, and you aren’t sure yet what he is allergic to, stay away from the yogurt, chicken, and broth. Food allergies can also be a cause of diarrhea.

A note about Parasites and Diarrhea

The first thing I check when we get a new foster dog is their poop! It’s not uncommon for our foster dogs to have diarrhea, not only are they stressed, and likely have changed foods a lot, but they’ve also been exposed to some terrible environments.

Recommended reading: My dog has Worms

With the rescue I work with, we don’t release a dog to be adopted until he is 100% healthy. But some other rescues are all about getting the dogs adopted quickly to make room for the next dog. So if you just adopted a dog, watch him closely the first few weeks, check his poop daily. If you see any signs of white rice-looking things in his poop, call your vet right away. If you see anything moving around in his poop, then he could very likely have worms or a parasite.

In Conclusion, Doggy Diarrhea Stinks

There’s nothing worse then trying to pick up watery, runny poop! I am trying to remember back to each dog we’ve ever had in our home, resident dogs and foster dogs… and I think most of them have had a bout of diarrhea at one point or another. I think diarrhea is one of those nasty things dog parents just have to deal with, and we just need to be there to comfort our dogs until they feel better. 

While home remedies can provide temporary relief for your dog’s diarrhea, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian if the condition persists or worsens. Diarrhea can be a symptom of underlying health issues, and professional guidance may be necessary. These home remedies are intended for short-term relief and should not replace proper veterinary care when needed. Always prioritize your pet’s well-being and consult with a veterinarian for any health concerns.

If your dog has diarrhea and/or vomiting for more than a few days, call your vet. If your dog is normally healthy, then you can treat their diarrhea at home with a few home remedies, such as fasting, bland food, pumpkinprobiotics, plain yogurt, slippery elmMarshmallow RootCoptis herbal remedychamomile tea or over-the-counter medicines.

P.S. Remember to try Daily Dog by FullBucket, and use coupon code RescueDogs101 for a 20% discount. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the results. Plus, for everyFullBucket you buy, they give one to an animal in need. 

More help…

Rescue Dogs 101's Natural Remedies Reference Guide
About the Author

Debi McKee

Debi McKee is the expert behind Rescue Dogs 101 where she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She is a mom of 3 human kids and 4 dogs and volunteers for a local dog rescue and Humane Society. Click here for more about Debi and her passion for helping you and your dog.

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  1. I have a 7 week old german shepard and he does not want to eat his food and has a runny tummy and also seems to be nauseas. All he does is lay and sleep, he will drink some water but does not want to eat anything we give him and is abit weak in standing aswel

    What can i do?

    1. Take him to the vet ASAP. First of all, he should still be with his mom at 7 weeks old. Second, he is so very young, not wanting to eat is a red flag that something is going on.

  2. 17 week old mixed lab seems to eat everything around her. she started last night vomitted 2x"s slept well and this morning diarrehea its light brown. she is eating ice but what else can i doo for her before i call a vet im on a fixed income.

    1. It’s been less than 24 hours, so I wouldn’t panic. Give her some pure pumpkin and make sure she stays hydrated with water. If she gets worse and diarrhea continues to tomorrow, then I suggest giving your vet a call.

  3. I have a dog that gets diarrhea a lot. I’ve tried a lot of different things, but nothing seems to work. I’ve read a lot of the comments on this blog post, and I think I’ve found a remedy that works

  4. My pups ate eggplant maybe around 7pm then suddenly She was crying at 3am so i had to go to check on her and to my surprise she was having diarrhea. Now i dunno what to do

    1. If you are concerned for your dogs health and safety you should call your vet for help. In normal cases, diarrhea isn’t life-threatening, as long as the dog is acting normal, eating and drinking. Use some of the above remedies to try and help her get through this.

  5. Hi I'm from the Philippines. Three days ago, i noticed that my dog has been sleeping for the whole day. He ate something bad and he also ate a rock. We don't have enough money to go for a vet. he's been vomiting until now. it's been 4 days that he won't eat anything. Please help me. I don't know what to do.

  6. My pug has started having trouble breathing an can’t sleep also diarrhea. How can I help her from home, I am on a fixed income. She has never had a health issue now her sleep is interrupted by her breathing.

  7. My sister noticed that her dog has been pooping and vomiting for days, which is why she has decided to start looking for a vet clinic that may address the matter. Well, you made a pretty good point that a bacterial infection could be one of the main causes. Thank you for clarifying here as well that her dog could be suffering from a parasite.

  8.  You may wonder, “What can I give to my dog with diarrhea?” You can give your dog small meals of boiled, white-meat chicken with white rice. Substitute pure canned pumpkin or sweet potato for the rice to increase fiber intake. Continue to feed this diet to your dog until her stool returns to normal. 

  9. My chihuahua has had diarrhea on and off her hole life and she only weighs 4 lbs. She just goes through these fazes where she has bloody, mucusy, diarrhea and don’t want to eat. The vet always gives her a antibiotic and sends her home. It always comes back maybe 2 or 3 times a year for a couple days each time. What should I do??

    1. You need to keep a diary of when it happens. What she is eating, did you change foods, has she been outside somewhere she could have eaten something she wasn’t suppose to, etc. There is a cause you need to figure out what it is. What does your vet say it can be from?

  10. My 3 month puppy has a parasite when she poop and vomit also. I don’t trust our vet here because my last 2 pups died because of some reason. What home remedy can i gave to my puppy? thank you

  11. I wanted to thank you for going over some remedies for dog diarrhea. It’s good to know that pure pumpkin, being a great source of fiber, can help a dog’s upset belly quickly. I’m interested to learn if the amount of pumpkin could be different depending on how big your dog is.

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