Diarrhoea is the most common complaint to vets by dog owners. This possibly reflects the behaviour of dogs to eat what humans would regard as rather undesirable material. Also many owners take the attitude with their own food that if it is ‘off’, feed it to the dog. Consequently, a single bout of loose motions probably does not signify the need to seek veterinary assistance.

If a dog has one or two loose bowel movements then home therapy should include fasting for 24 hours. If you can’t bring yourself to not feed your dog, then at least provide very bland food in the form of cooked rice mixed with a little well-cooked chicken or cooked mince.

If the diarrhoea persists or should there be copious amounts of blood then professional assistance must be sought. Blood indicates a severe cause as the inernal lining of the bowel has been sufficiently attacked to strip the mucous layer thereby exposing the more delicate layer containing blood vessels.

Parasites are a very common reason for diarrhoea, so check your worming program. Also have a faecal test performed at your local veterinary clinic. This will not only ensure that your choice of worming product is effective but it will also rule out the possibility of protozoa which can inflame the bowel, leading to chronic watery motions.

Food allergies are often considered as a cause of chronic diarrhoea but in trust they are very rare in dogs.

Try a bland diet of just two products and if this appears to control the dog’s diarrhoea then only one type of food should be added on a weekly basis. Cooked rice and either cooked skinless chicken or cooked lean mutton or lamb is often a good starting point as it avoids the possibilities of a wheat allergy or the histamine release that is sometimes seen when beef is fed. Should this initially work then after two weeks cooked potato or pumpkin could be added to the diet. The process continues, adding a differenet product each fortnight until a balanced diet that does not cause diarrhoea is finally developed for the animal.