Herbal Dog Remedies for Canine Diarrhea

Canine diarrhea is a common ailment that is often caused by mild illnesses or stomach upset. This can usually be treated with dietary changes and herbal remedies.

Dietary Changes

When your dog has diarrhea, don't feed him for 12 to 24 hours, while his stomach restores its natural balance. Diarrhea is often just the body's natural way of cleansing a substance that shouldn't have been there.

After that time, feed your dog a bland diet, consisting of equal parts boiled, skinless chicken or turkey and rice. Add a spoonful of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix), to add a healthy fiber source to his diet, and add a spoonful of cottage cheese to restore the healthy bacteria to his stomach fauna.

Add electrolytes to your dog's water to restore nutrients and prevent dehydration. Pedialyte and Gatorade both contain healthy electrolytes that can benefit your dog.

Herbal Remedies

In addition to dietary changes, there are some herbal remedies that can help your dog restore his digestive system.

  • Ginger is often used to improve nausea and constipation and works to reduce stomach inflammation and contractions. This can also improve diarrhea. Dogs don't like the taste of ginger, so add broth or include it with your dog's meal.
  • Myrrh is a stimulant and antiseptic that relieves spasms, reduces inflammation and relieves digestive discomfort.
  • Thyme is an antifungal herb that relaxes spasms and improves digestive function.
  • Peony, an antibacterial herb, reduces spasms and inflammation that may contribute to diarrhea.
  • Alchemilla vulgaris is an herb that has been used since the Middle Ages to maintain healthy bowel functions and soothe the digestive tract.
  • Mullein is an herb that soothes and lubricates tissue, including digestive tissue, which can reduce inflammation that may be contributing to diarrhea.
  • If a bacterial infection is contributing to the diarrhea, bayberry can be added to control bacteria and reduce the effects of the infection.
  • Plantains and elms are herbs known for restoring digestive function by regulating intestinal functions and boosting the immune system and have shown effectiveness for dogs.
  • Slippery elm is highly recommended by holistic veterinarians, because it provides nutrients and protects mucous membranes in the digestive system. To give slippery elm to your dog, mix one teaspoon slippery elm powder with a cup of cold water and bring it to a boil while occasionally stirring. Let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes before removing it from heat and allowing it to cool to room temperature. Give to your dog 4 times daily, one teaspoon for a small dog and 3 to 4 tablespoons for large dogs.

Many of these herbs can be found mixed together in herbal remedy combinations on veterinary or pet health web sites. These mixtures can provide many different herbs that combine to have the desired affect on your dog without you worrying about the appropriate amounts.

Though most diarrhea isn't serious, it can sometimes be an indicator of a more serious problem. If the diarrhea persists for several days, consult your veterinarian.