Diarrhea in dogs is relatively common and harmless for the most part. However, if you notice that your dog is having frequent diarrhea, it could leave them dehydrated or it could be a sign of a more serious condition or poor gut health in general.
If your dog has diarrhea more frequently than normal, it’s important to address it because poor gut health can have a detrimental effect on your dog’s overall health.
Probiotics have been used in humans for some time now and one of the main findings has been that probiotics effectively treat diarrhea in humans but only recently has there been more research done into the benefits of probiotics in dogs. Probiotics could potentially be an effective therapy for diarrhea in dogs and improve gut health.
Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs
There are many potential causes of diarrhea in dogs, some more serious than others.
Some of the reasons your dog may experience diarrhea may include:
- Eating spoiled food, non-food, getting into garbage
- Having an imbalanced microbiome
- Systemic illness
- Bacterial/viral/fungal infection
- Changes in diet
- Intestinal blockage
Symptoms/Side Effects that Accompany Diarrhea in Dogs
If your dog is having frequent diarrhea, you may notice other related symptoms. Signs of diarrhea, dehydration and other symptoms of related health issues may include:
- Excessive panting
- Extreme weight loss in a short period of time
- Dry mouth/nose
- Dry skin
- Low energy
How Diarrhea in Dogs is Treated
Sometimes diarrhea in dogs is minor it passes on its own without an issue. In other cases, home remedies may help and if not, a trip to the vet may be necessary.
Some things you can try before going to the vet include:
- Fasting: Withholding food for 12 to 24 hours can help to let your dog’s digestive system settle. However, just be sure to let your dog have access to water during this time, as diarrhea can be dehydrating.
- Probiotics: Probiotics may help treat diarrhea in dogs by aiding in digestion and balancing the microbiome.
- Yogurt: Small amounts of yogurt may help treat diarrhea in dogs, as it contains probiotics. Keep in mind this is only for dogs who can tolerate some amount of dairy products.
- Cottage cheese
- White rice
- Rice water
What Strains to Look for When Buying Probiotics for Dogs with Diarrhea
Some of the probiotic strains likely to relieve diarrhea in dogs include:
- Bacillus coagulans
- Bifidobacterium animalis
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Bifidobacterium breve
- Bifidobacterium lactis
- Enterococcus faecium
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus casei
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Lactobacillus reuteri
If your dog is experiencing diarrhea more frequently than what is considered normal, probiotics for dogs with diarrhea can likely help.
When buying probiotics for dogs, look for products that contain some combination of the probiotics listed in the section above. Another thing to look for is a product that comes in the form of soft chews, as it’s healthier for dogs’ teeth than hard foods and easier to get your dog to take than powders or pills.
If you’re trying to decide what’s the best probiotics for your dog, we rated the best probiotic products on the market here.