Natural Treatment for IBS in Dogs

Since the cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a mystery, veterinarians don't always have a pill for treatment of IBS. Luckily, there are many natural remedies and diet changes that may improve your dog's health.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is a general term used to refer to gastrointestinal infections that cause irritation and inflammation of the mucous membranes throughout the digestive tract, which includes the stomach and large and small intestines. Symptoms include stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, bloating, gas and loss of appetite.

IBS is usually diagnosed when blood tests and stool samples rule out any other more serious illness that may also cause the symptoms your dog is experiencing. Veterinarians may take a biopsy to examine the digestive tissue or may just diagnose IBS.

There are a few medications that can be used to treat IBS, such as anti-inflammatory or corticosteriod medicines. However, many owners opt for natural treatment, which can also be effective.

Dietary Changes

Symptoms of IBS can often be reduced with a diet change. Many experts believe that IBS can be caused by a poor diet or dietary allergies, so improving the quality of your dog's food can help tremendously.

If you suspect allergies, switch your dog to a high-quality, novel protein such as duck and potato. Feed for at least a month to see if symptoms are reduced. If allergies are not the culprit, try improving the quality of ingredients in your dog's food.

Raw food or home-cooked diets can improve your dog's health, but high-quality kibble can also be effective. Avoid foods with meat byproducts, corn, wheat, dyes or preservatives. There are many foods on the market that fit the bill, and many of them are quite affordable.

Natural Remedies

If traditional medicines aren't improving your dog's health, there are several natural remedies for soothing the digestive tract and reducing inflammation.

Licorice is known as an effective tonic for the digestive system and also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce swelling in the digestive tract. Marshmallow has similar effects, soothing inflamed mucous membranes.

Slippery elm has long been known as an effective treatment for digestive disorders including IBS in humans, and it works for dogs as well. Slippery elm contains many trace minerals, such as manganese, iodine, protein and soothing mucilage, which work together to soothe and strengthen mucous membranes and improve overall health in the digestive system.

Homeopathic remedies Nux Vomica and Arsenicum can reduce symptoms associated with IBS, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

To give any of these ingredients, dilute 15 to 20 drops in one ounce of pure water. Depending on the size of your pet, you can give one, two or three dropper-fulls of the mixture up to three times daily until symptoms improve. With the homeopathic remedies, give only once daily as long as symptoms persist.

IBS can be a painful disease for your dog, but there are several remedies available to soothe the digestive tract. Consult your veterinarian before experimenting with home remedies.