Easy diarrhea treatments for cats and dogs

If you have a cat or a dog, an almost certain issue you’ll have to deal with at some point is diarrhea.  Whether it’s as simple as a result of eating something they shouldn’t, the result of medication use, or a change in food that suddenly creates havoc in the bathroom department, it’s a good idea to be ready to act when it happens.  Luckily, there are three inexpensive and easy diarrhea treatments for cats and dogs that should help resolve the issue quickly.

Three easy diarrhea treatments for cats and dogs 

Over the years of researching and trying different things, I’ve only had one case where one of these three options didn’t take care of diarrhea in one of my cats or dogs.  The one case in which none of these worked 100% was the one I wrote about here, http://savingcatsdogsandcash.com/how-i-cured-my-cats-diarrhea/ where my cat Julien ended up having a food intolerance to chicken.  Once I got him entirely off chicken in any form for a while, he was fine.  After giving his system a break from it for a few months, I was able to transition him back onto chicken and he’s been fine ever since.

In all the other instances where there wasn’t an underlying reason for it, I’ve had success in getting my cat or dog’s diarrhea under control quickly with one of these three options:

Canned Pumpkin 

easy diarrhea treatments for cats and dogs

Works due to its high fiber and water content to bulk up diarrhea and also helps relieve constipation.

With so many animals, I keep a can or two on hand at all times.  It’s under $2 a can for the organic kind and is sold at Walmart and most grocery stores.  Just make sure the only ingredient is pumpkin.

I have found that pumpkin works very well and quickly when one of my crew has diarrhea.  All of my dogs and some of the cats will eat it right up by itself, either on top of their food or in a bowl, but it can also be pretty easily disguised in wet or raw food.

Dosing recommendations:

Small dogs and cats:  1 Tbsp. per day

Larger dogs:  2 Tbsp. per day

Plain Yogurt

Easy diarrhea treatments for cats and dogs

Works by restoring beneficial bacteria to the gut due to its natural probiotics.

While pumpkin does work extremely well, and has a longer shelf life, making it easier to keep on hand, I have also had excellent luck with plain yogurt.  Depending on the circumstances, you may want to use it instead of pumpkin.  Just make sure that it is ONLY plain, unsweetened yogurt.

When I take in a new dog that I have no idea what his or her previous treatment, diet or health issues are/were, I like to give them yogurt if they have diarrhea, just as a good bacteria boost.  Between the yogurt and worming, I’ve yet to have a case that a dog didn’t respond quickly to this method of treatment.  I also like to give it to a cat or dog that has recently been on antibiotics, even if they don’t have diarrhea, just to replenish any good bacteria that may have been destroyed.

One thing about my rescue dogs is that they have never been picky.  I can just put a dollop of yogurt on top of their food and they eat it just fine.  The cats, on the other hand, can sometimes be less receptive.  Like pumpkin, it may be necessary to mix it into your pets wet or raw food.

I don’t use an exact measurement on this, as I have found a dollop, depending on the size of the dog, works fine.  For the cats, I try to make sure the intended cat gets at least 1-2 teaspoons of yogurt.  I will give it usually in the morning and then monitor their bathroom breaks during the day to determine if they need more at their evening feeding or if I can just give them another dose with the next morning’s meal.

Slippery Elm Syrup

Works by lubricating the digestive tract, and helps with inflammation.  Can also be used for constipation.

Back when I was trying to help Julien with his chronic diarrhea that I discussed above, I read a lot about slippery elm.  Most of what I read said to just add the powder to food.  Maybe that works for some, but it didn’t help Julien at all.

After further research, I found a recipe for a liquid version of slippery elm.  While it didn’t completely cure Julien, since his diarrhea was food related, it helped more than anything else had, along with a bland diet of lean ground turkey and pumpkin.  Since then, slippery elm syrup has worked when the pumpkin and yogurt haven’t.  I’ve found it extremely helpful in curing medication-related diarrhea.  Here’s a link to a small bottle of it, http://amzn.to/2AAv40K

Slippery elm syrup recipe:

Put 1/2 cup of cool purified water into a glass or stainless steel saucepan.

Add 1 slightly rounded teaspoon of slippery elm powder.

Whisk with a fork until the powder blends with the water.

Note:  Always blend it in the cold water first.  If you add the powder to warm or hot water, it will be lumpy.

Bring the ingredients to a simmer over a low flame, stirring constantly.  Simmer for two minutes or until it slightly thickens to a syrupy consistency.

Cool the mixture then refrigerate in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.  With proper storage, the syrup will remain fresh for 7-8 days.

Dosing recommendations:

Dogs:  Depending on the size of the dog, give 1 to 3 teaspoon(s) of slippery elm syrup before each meal (2-3 times a day).

Cats:  1 teaspoon of slippery elm syrup before each meal (2 times a day)


Using one of the above methods, diarrhea is normally resolved within a couple of days.  However, sometimes a bland diet is necessary to get things back on track.  The typical bland diet usually involves rice and chicken or rice and beef.  While possibly due to it still being in the fowl family and therefore not working as well as I would have liked to completely and permanently eliminate Julien’s chicken-related diarrhea, I had good luck with Julien eating a bland mixture of very lean ground turkey and pumpkin.

Why I recommend natural remedies for diarrhea

Whenever the topic of diarrhea comes up in forums or other places, I immediately see people recommending people medications.  And while they can and do work, I recommend you at least initially avoid treating your pet with any of those human products at all as long as there are safer and even beneficial treatments that work without the risk of any harm to your pet.  Remember, pumpkin adds fiber to the diet and yogurt’s probiotics add beneficial bacteria.  Those are safe AND good things to have in one’s diet.

It’s also important to note that some people medications are safe for dogs and not cats.  There is plenty of bad information thrown around out there by well-meaning, but uninformed people.  Ingredients also unknowingly change, potentially making a once safe product dangerous.  Take this word of caution from someone who killed their dog using a non-natural treatment for arthritis that is considered “safe” by almost every vet and person who has used it without it causing death or serious injury to their dog.   Maybe Sadie was just one of the unlucky thousands that had an adverse reaction to the pharmaceutical medication, but because I’ve seen firsthand how quickly you can go from having a dog with a treatable ailment to a dead dog, I avoid rushing to use anything that can potentially cause harm to any of my animals.  That includes something as simple as diarrhea treatment.

Beware of it being more than a simple case of diarrhea

Although I’ve never personally had an instance of a disease or serious health crisis in my crew that started with diarrhea, there are health conditions that do.  Since all of my animals are indoor/outdoor and are likely to come into contact with things that can cause diarrhea, I’m always paying attention.  As long as they have no other symptoms, I feel comfortable treating them at home first.  If your pet has diarrhea that lasts longer than a few days even with treatment or anything other than diarrhea, like vomiting, lethargy or any other unusual behavior, please get your pet to the vet to be checked out.  Diarrhea can lead to dehydration and other bigger issues, so it’s wise to get to the bottom of diarrhea before it progresses into something much worse.

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2 thoughts on “Easy diarrhea treatments for cats and dogs

  1. “What a great blog! Thank you for your recipe and recommendation, well take note of this and pin your post on my bookmark for my future reference. I do read about this slippery elm every site that I browse online. I learn some of the benefits of this elm, especially on how it helps for the canine when they undergo from gastrointestinal it can reduce inflammation and some respiratory problem which I read it from here too https://drmartypets.com/slippery-elm-for-dogs/
    I know there are other potential uses of this slippery elm not only for dogs but for us humans as well, and I’m trying to figure it out so I can share it with other readers. I will tune in to your next post.”

    1. Hi Angel,

      Thank you for your kind words. Slippery elm has been very helpful with my crew for treating diarrhea caused by a number of things and I also gave it to one of my dogs that seemed to possibly have developed an ulcer from the prescribed medication Ursodiol for her gallbladder sludge. I am constantly learning and trying new things with my pets and issues that arise, so while there may be eventual tweaks to using slippery elm, I still think it will always be an excellent product as is and to have on hand.

      To learn more about slippery elm and its possibilities, you might be interested in checking out what earthclinic.com has to say about it and what it has helped here, https://earthclinic.com/search/?q=slippery+elm

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