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Is it safe to treat dog diarrhea at home?

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Quick Answer

It is safe to treat many cases of dog diarrhea at home, according to The Bark. Veterinarians recommend rest, hydration and a diet that is easy on the stomach, but it's important to monitor the dog for signs of a more serious illness.

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Full Answer

Diarrhea is not a disease but a symptom of a problem in the digestive tract. Most of the time, diarrhea results when dogs eat things they are not supposed to eat, which medical professionals refer to as dietary indiscretion, and it often resolves on its own. Veterinarians commonly recommend withholding food for 12 to 24 hours before introducing an easily digestible bland diet, such as boiled chicken and white rice. The fast allows the dog's digestive tract to rest. It is important to provide plenty of drinking water during this fast to prevent dehydration. If the dog's bowel movements return to normal after eating the chicken and rice diet, it is safe to begin slowly mixing in dog food with the chicken and rice to smooth the dog's transition back to its regular diet, according to the VCA Animal Hospital.

Another treatment option available is to mix in probiotics with the dog's food, notes The Bark. Probiotics are living organisms that promote the growth of gut flora in the digestive system and help restore balance of bacteria that is vital to its proper function. Probiotics for dogs are available at most veterinary offices and pet supply stores.

Some cases of dog diarrhea signify a more serious condition and require a veterinarian's attention, warns The Bark. If vomiting accompanies the diarrhea, or if the dog shows signs of pain, appetite loss or lethargy, a veterinary examination is necessary.

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