5 Tips for Treating Dog Diarrhea

5 Tips for Treating Dog Diarrhea - lolathepitty.com

Sometimes I have to laugh at the text conversations the boyfriend and I have…I mean really, they’re quite romantic:

Me: Morning! Hope your day is going well, how does Rio’s poop look?

BF: Good morning. He didn’t go yet…

Me: Oh, well that’s a good sign! Let me know how it looks when he does go.

BF: He just went poo – it looks much better, mostly solid!

Me: Yay!


As I was typing out the title to this post I was thinking to myself, “Gross…”. But then I look back at all the times I was in desperate need of advice and was looking for exactly that. Dealing with foster dogs and Lola, who has a very sensitive stomach, we’ve had no shortage of dog diarrhea around here. So here ya go, tips and advice on what to do when your dog has diarrhea.

1. Skip a meal

Give your dog’s systems a chance to flush. Try not to feed anything for at least 12-24 hours.

2. Slowly introduce a bland diet to your dog

After skipping a meal, the next thing I feed my Lola and Rio is a bland meal for at least a couple days. Here’s what we usually make: rice + boiled ground beef + a spoonful of Greek yogurt.

You can also try Rice + boiled chicken (or turkey) + a small amount of pure pumpkin.

3. Pepto Bismol

Seriously. After my vet recommended this, it has been a life (and money) saver. Pepto is something you likely have in your medicine cabinet – and it works. I give Lola and Rio (40-50lbs) a tablespoon or so and serve it right on top of the bland dog food or give it alone. This combined with the above tips has cured many episodes of an upset tummy.

4. Fish Zole

Okay, I won’t lie – when my dogs have had parasites such as giardia, coccidia, or just diarrhea, there isn’t much I wouldn’t have done for a Metronidazole (Flagyl) prescription. It stops diarrhea almost instantly. And yes, we’ve had all of the above. Unfortunately that’s one of the downsides to fostering dogs – but they’re totally worth it.

Well here’s the life-changing news I found out recently: you can buy an over-the-counter product called FISH-ZOLE (found at Petsmart, Walmart…or any fish supply store) which is the prescription Metronidazole (Rx) bottled and labeled for fish tank use. It is a bottle of 250 mg x 100 tablets of Metronidazole.  It’s the same tablets that your Vet will prescribe to you for any parasite or diarrhea issue; same tablets, same color, same size – the same. Here’s the recommended dosage: a 25lb dog should get one 250 mg tablet twice per day, a 50lb dog would get two (500mg) tablets twice per day for a total of 5 days.

5. Slowly re-introduce your dog’s regular diet

After your dog has a chance for their system to calm down, work out whatever was upsetting their GI, slowly re-introduce their normal diet. For Lola and Rio we usually make a big batch of the rice and boiled beef, and give a couple spoonfuls on top of their food for the first couple days back on regular food.

Note: These tips have saved us so many times! However, I’m not a vet nor am I advising you not to see a vet – because anytime we think something is wrong with Lola or Rio, we don’t hesitate to make them an appointment. But sometimes we try a new brand of treats or they eat something they shouldn’t and these simple tips have saved us and made them feel better almost immediately. *If your dog has liquid/water consistency stool vs. pudding type stools, it’s time to contact a vet. Liquid stools could lead very quickly to dehydration.

Enough about dog poo, here are some other articles I think you’ll enjoy:

*We Asked Our Fans: What do you love most about your pit bull?

*Gift ideas for those who have lost a dog

*Natural Flea & Tick Preventatives – what we’ve tried and what works

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Sarah Lukemire

Sarah Lukemire

Fur mom to Lola & Rio, free-spirited personality, coffee addict. Blogging to create positive awareness for pit bull type dogs. Committed to creating a world in which all dogs are treated fairly and equally. Read more >>


  1. December 7, 2014 at 6:32 pm — Reply

    A topic no one wants to write about but it’s something that will help a lot of concerned dog parents! When Ace has an upset tummy, I do the same thing you do with your dogs. I have him skip at least one meal, sometimes two. Then I slowly introduce him to the food he is most used to. If he has diarrhea, it’s usually because he ate something he’s not used to. And very interesting about the Fish Zole. That is good to know!

  2. December 8, 2014 at 12:42 pm — Reply

    These are great tips! Luckily, Haley’s been a pretty ‘regular’ girl, but the one time she had diarrhea it happened at a local fair and there were people everywhere. It was so embarrassing because it’s not the easily thing to cleanup. I’m guessing she ate something off the ground when I wasn’t looking. I’ll keep these tips handy and share.

    • December 8, 2014 at 5:20 pm — Reply

      Hi, Elaine! Lucky you – as I mentioned, we’ve dealt with our fair share of issues around here. No fun, but now we know how to get it under control. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. December 9, 2014 at 6:26 pm — Reply

    I really recommend pure pumpkin. It really helps stiffen up the stool of a dog and it’s good for them too.

  4. December 11, 2014 at 9:47 am — Reply

    We have had our fair share of allergy related poo issues, what has helped out pups a lot when they get an upset tummy is kefir! Just plain ole regular (NO SUGAR ADDED) kefir. It’s full of probiotics, and although it is a dairy product it is safe for doggy tummies because it is a yogurt drink (lactose free). It has helped our pups with upset tummies, gas, and runny poo issues.

    And yes…the hubby and I have these same conversations..you know your a pup parent when…””

    • December 11, 2014 at 4:48 pm — Reply

      Thanks for sharing! I’ve never tried kefir, but this is a great idea as it is lactose free – we have done just plain Greek yogurt for the probiotics but I don’t give my dogs any other dairy, orelse…
      Thanks for the tip!

  5. December 20, 2014 at 11:55 am — Reply

    I had to laugh at the conversation…I’ve had way to many of those myself 🙂 Good tips – especially this time of year as people indulge their pups!

  6. kieta
    December 21, 2014 at 7:01 pm — Reply

    One of my dogs (my first failed foster) had a terribly sensitive stomach and was always having diarrhea. Ever since we changed her food to Hill’s Science Diet, at the recommendation of her Vet, we have not had any diarrhea in almost a year.

  7. Maria
    January 14, 2015 at 11:53 am — Reply

    LOL and here I thought that puppy poop talk was just between me and my sister …. Nice tips by the way …

  8. Lizzie
    March 13, 2015 at 1:47 pm — Reply

    I was told that Pepto Bismol was a “No, No” for dogs at any time…have used boiled rice and warm beef broth when my Aussie has diarrhea, and left out one of his regular meals. Seems to work but takes a full day to clear up.
    Thanks for the tips – will try kefir next time.

  9. melanie
    June 27, 2015 at 4:33 pm — Reply

    that is way too much metronidazole…a dose that high can cause neurological abnormalities.

    also, you should use white rice…not brown. it is much easier to digest.

    and there is really no benefit to fasting a dog who is having diarrhea.

  10. December 26, 2015 at 6:39 am — Reply

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  11. October 24, 2016 at 3:04 am — Reply

    Thank you so much for this article 🙂 I can relate to both the morning texts with the husband and the proud feeling of a solid poo… so lovely 🙂 Great blog, I’m really glad I’ve found you!

  12. December 9, 2017 at 8:33 am — Reply

    Oh yeah…know this one well [honey, how did her poop look?] LOL ???? As a fellow Coloradoan, I would add Kaopectate works just as well (if not better) than Pepto. I don’t know what it is about Pepto but that stuff makes me nauseous…can’t imagine what it does to the fur-kids. Anyway, great article, and thank you for sharing.

    • December 17, 2017 at 5:03 pm — Reply

      Good point about Kaeopectate! Never thought of it to be honest… thanks for commenting!

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