Dogs of all ages invariably get sick and also can have their bouts with runny stools because of too many treats. I live with an especially sensitive Collie named Ranger that has provided me first hand experience with home health care to soothe upset dog stomachs.
As always, check with your veterinarian before using any home remedies. Even herbs can be powerful and can cause problems if used incorrectly. Here are some of my favorite suggestions that I have gleaned from first-hand knowledge, conferences, books, and my client’s experiences.
Skip a Meal
This is often overlooked as one of the easiest way to get a puppy on track. Sometimes stomach issues can be remedied by giving the system a break.
Sticky Rice and Steamed Chicken or Beef
This is usually the first suggestion that veterinarians offer to their clients that have runny stools. To get the useful “stickiness” use extra water and cook the rice for a longer period of time. I usually use ¾ portion rice to ¼ portion meat. Keep in mind that many dogs have more problems digesting beef. Chicken is usually a safer bet if you are not sure.
Try a teaspoonful for a little pup and a tablespoon for a larger guy. This has been known to help either constipation or diarrhea.
Slippery Elm Bark Powder
This is my favorite both because of the name as well as the effectiveness. Slippery Elm as described in Wikipedia is made from the bark of the slippery elm tree. While native to North America, slippery elm bark powder is widely used in many countries to soothe sore throats as well as the digestive tract. I usually try ¼ tsp mixed with the sticky rice and chicken described above. I have also used more as the need arises.
Sometimes dogs react to one ingredient and it can be difficult to identify the culprit. The first step with an elimination diet involves paring down the ingredients to a bare minimum until the system is back on track. Then you should add ingredients slowly while making sure your puppy’s system remains stable. Accurate notes are important to track progress.
Never hesitate to check with your veterinarian if your dog doesn’t quickly get back on track. Everything is probably fine, but it is better to be safe than sorry.