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As a dog owner, you spend a decent amount of time cleaning up after your dog. Scooping poop several times a day gets you pretty familiar with your dog’s digestive system, so it doesn’t take long to notice when something is off.
Diarrhea is fairly common in dogs and is often the result of poor dietary habits—frequent changes in diet, eating spoiled food from the trash, or consuming foreign objects. The quality of your dog’s diet is directly linked to his digestive health, and that includes treats. Many dog owners make an effort to feed their dog a healthy, nutritious daily diet but forget to check the ingredients on the treat bag.
All dog treats are not created equal, and it’s your job as a dog owner to make sure everything you give your dog is safe and healthy. Here’s what you need to know about diarrhea in dogs and how to choose the right dog treats that help with dog diarrhea.
The texture, color, and consistency of your dog’s stool can tell you a lot. Healthy stool is brown, firm, and log-shaped—easy to pick up on a bag. If your dog’s stool is hard, soggy, or very wet it could be an indication that something’s off with his digestive system. Loose stools are the primary indicator of diarrhea, though you may also notice an increase in the frequency or urgency of bowel movements.
Here are some of the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs:
- Recent changes in diet
- Consuming garbage or spoiled food
- Food intolerance or allergies
- Bacterial infection
- Intestinal parasite infection
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Ingestion of toxic substances
- Extreme stress
- Cancer or tumors of the digestive tract
- Kidney or liver disease
Diarrhea in dogs is typically divided into two categories: acute and chronic. Acute diarrhea comes and goes quickly, often related to stress and dietary indiscretion. Chronic diarrhea can become a long-term issue and is more likely caused by an infection or underlying condition like inflammatory bowel disease.
You’re unlikely to find dog treats specifically formulated to relieve diarrhea, but choosing higher-quality treats may help resolve your dog’s digestive issues. Treats made with natural, whole-food ingredients will be easier to digest than those made with fillers and artificial additives. The more digestible your dog’s diet is, the fewer gastrointestinal issues he’s likely to experience.
Here are some things to look for in dog treats that help with diarrhea:
- Made with wholesome, high-quality ingredients like real animal protein
- Free from ingredients that are harmful or toxic to dogs
- No non-nutritive fillers like corn, wheat, and soy ingredients
- Low to moderate fat content (look for high-quality, animal-based fats)
- No artificial additives like colors, flavors, and preservatives
Shopping smart for dog treats is only half of the equation—you also need to be careful when feeding them. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet. After all, they’re called treats for a reason! Check the calorie content and nutritional value of the treats you choose and modify the size of your dog’s daily meals accordingly.
There’s no substitute for good veterinary advice, especially if your dog is suffering from digestive issues like diarrhea. If you’re simply looking for a higher quality dog treat to reduce digestive upset, however, we’re happy to help! We’ve assembled a list of healthy, natural treats your dog will love.
Here are some of the best dog treats for diarrhea:
Packed with real animal protein, these freeze-dried dog treats are sure to be a hit. They are freeze-dried instead of cooked to retain their nutritional value and contain only real meat ingredients. These treats come in a 3-pack of real meat flavors including wild boar, grass-fed lamb, and free-run duck.Shop on Amazon
For premium nutritional quality, consider these all-natural dog cookies made with 95% organic ingredients including free-range chicken and organic brown rice. They offer a crunchy texture at just 8 calories per cookie and can easily be broken into pieces for training.Shop on Amazon
These all-natural, bite-sized treats are ideal for training. With just 3 calories per treat, these tasty morsels feature premium ingredients like real chicken and rice with no artificial additives. They’re also supplemented with whole cherries and turmeric for added nutritional value.Shop on Amazon
Made with real turkey and duck plus whole fruits and veggies, these treats are moist and tasty. This grain-free formula is completely free from corn, wheat, and soy as well as artificial colors and flavors. They are loaded with real meat flavor and can be broken into pieces for training.Shop on Amazon
Keep your dog’s teeth strong and healthy with these all-natural dental bones. Designed with the ideal shape and texture for optimal oral health, these bones come in several sizes. They are made with easily digestible ingredients without grains, by-products, and artificial additives.Shop on Amazon
If your dog loves crunchy treats, he’ll flip for these grain-free salmon and sweet potato biscuits. The crunchy texture helps keep your dog’s teeth clean while premium natural ingredients ensure optimal digestibility. These treats are perfect for training or just to give your dog something to snack on.Shop on Amazon
Many jerky treats for dogs are made with low-quality protein and artificial additives but Rocco & Roxie jerky sticks are all-natural. Their chewy texture makes them easy to break into pieces for training and they’re full of slow-smoked, natural beef flavor.Shop on Amazon
With real beef as the first ingredient, your dog won’t be able to resist these Power Bites. They are made with fresh deboned beef along with real potatoes, peas, and an assortment of fruits. These bite-sized treats are packed with protein and completely free from fillers and artificial additives.Shop on Amazon
Boost your dog’s daily protein intake with these freeze-dried dog treats. Made with raw grass-fed beef, these treats contain just 3 calories each. Because they contain 99% meat, organs, and ground bone with nothing artificial, these treats are perfect for dogs with food allergies or sensitive stomachs.Shop on Amazon
For dogs that love to chew, these Hearty Bones are worth considering. Not only do they last longer than the leading dental chew, but they are highly digestible and 100% rawhide-free. These bones are made with all-natural ingredients like real chicken with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.Shop on Chewy
Give your dog the best with these 100% human-grade, organic jerky dog treats. Made with organic grass-fed beef, chicken, and turkey, these treats are packed with protein and real meat flavor. They’re perfect for training or for an anytime snack just because you love your dog.Shop on Amazon
Occasional diarrhea is generally nothing to worry about – it should pass on its own. If your dog suffers from diarrhea for more than a day, however, or if he develops additional symptoms like fever, vomiting, lethargy, or bloody stool you should definitely contact your veterinarian.
If your dog experiences frequent bouts of diarrhea, it could be the result of an underlying condition. Food intolerance, bacterial infections, intestinal parasites, and inflammatory bowel disease can all contribute to chronic diarrhea. Because diarrhea is a symptom rather than a disease, you’ll need to talk to your veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment for your dog’s condition.
Treating the underlying condition is the best way to prevent your dog’s diarrhea from recurring but there are some additional things you can do. Keep your dog up to date with vaccinations and get him checked for parasites if that seems to be an issue. You should also keep garbage and spoiled food well out of reach and make sure your dog doesn’t consume foreign materials when he’s outside.