Many dogs are taken to veterinary clinics due to diarrhea. Dogs usually suffer from frequent passing of soft stools that can last either for a few days or for longer periods of time. Although diarrhea can affect the well being of the pet, this condition is not an illness but a symptom that signifies an abnormality in the dog’s gastrointestinal system.

The frequent passing and the increased volume of soft stool can be due to a bacterial or viral infection, to food allergies or a change in the dog’s diet, intestinal parasites and the dog’s inability to digest what it has ingested. We know how dogs eat – Fido has the inclination to eat indiscriminately. Ingestion of spoiled food and substances that are not tolerated by the dog’s stomach will result to diarrhea. Ingestion of foreign objects can be another reason why the dog is passing soft stool.

To treat the pet’s loose bowel movement, a pet parent has to have an idea what causes the condition. With the availability of over the counter medications, treating diarrhea is not a problem but a dietary change is highly recommended by experts. The diet of the dog must be changed but what food can be safely given to a pet with diarrhea?

Diarrhea normally resolves in a day or two after the normal balance of the dog’s system is restored so that a pet owner may not have to take the dog to a veterinary facility. Pet owners have to watch out for dehydration as this situation is oftentimes the outcome of frequent passing of runny stools. The dog must be given enough water to drink. In addition to drinking water, administer oral rehydration therapy to restore the pet’s electrolyte imbalance. To allow the dog’s digestive system to rest, the dog must not be given food at least for 24 hours for mature dogs and 12 hours for puppies. After the fasting period the dog can be given a bland diet of boiled rice or boiled chicken.

Fasting empties the stomach thus it is expected that diarrhea will stop but if this is not the case, it is imperative for the dog to have immediate medical attention. Persistent diarrhea that may be going on for weeks results from conditions not associated with the dog’s dietary indiscretion. Chronic or persistent diarrhea can be caused by distemper, bacterial infections, parvovirus or parasitic infestation that hinders the absorption of nutrients so that an imbalance of the dog’s systems is created.

Learn more about what can you give a dog for diarrhea and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.