How Long Does It Take for a Dog’s Stomach to Settle After Diarrhea?

How Long Does it Take for a Dog’s Stomach to Settle After Diarrhea: Understanding Recovery Time

how long does it take for a dog's stomach to settle after diarrhea

When your dog experiences diarrhea, it’s natural to be concerned about the time it will take for their stomach to settle. Diarrhea can be the result of various factors such as dietary indiscretion, infection, or even stress. Typically, a dog’s gastrointestinal system will need a couple of days to adjust and recover, but this can vary depending on the underlying cause and the dog’s overall health. Prompt attention to diet and hydration is critical during this recovery phase to support your pet’s health.


Understanding the specific needs of your dog during their recovery from diarrhea is crucial. Ensuring they have access to clean water and following a vet-recommended diet will facilitate a smoother transition back to normal bowel movements. It’s important to monitor your pet, as continued or severe diarrhea warrants veterinary attention to determine if there’s a more serious health issue at play. With the right care and management, most dogs will recover without complications, and their stomachs will settle down.

Key Takeaways

  • A dog’s recovery time from diarrhea varies based on the cause and their health.
  • Adequate hydration and appropriate diet aid in settling a dog’s stomach.
  • Persistent diarrhea should be evaluated by a veterinarian.

Understanding Canine Diarrhea

When your dog experiences diarrhea, it’s important to understand the underlying causes, recognize the symptoms for diagnosis, and be aware of complications like dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

Common Causes of Diarrhea

Dietary Indiscretion: Feeding your dog table scraps or fatty foods can upset their stomach, resulting in diarrhea. Similarly, sudden changes in diet or the ingestion of spoiled food can disrupt your dog’s digestion.

Infections and Parasites: Dogs can contract diarrhea from various pathogens, such as viruses like parvovirus, bacteria, and intestinal parasites. These organisms often cause inflammation and digestive upset.

Health Conditions: Chronic ailments like inflammatory bowel disease, kidney or liver disease, and certain types of intestinal cancer can manifest as persistent diarrhea. Allergies and food sensitivities also contribute to gastrointestinal upset.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Identifying Symptoms: Diarrhea in dogs typically manifests as loose or watery stools, but may also be accompanied by vomiting, lethargy, fever, or a painful abdomen. Gas and changes in appetite can also indicate digestive problems.

Steps Toward Diagnosis: A thorough medical history and diagnostic testing, including blood tests, are crucial for pinpointing the cause. Your vet may also recommend specific tests to rule out parasites, infections, pancreatitis, and other conditions.

Dehydration and Electrolyte Imbalances

Recognizing Dehydration: Prolonged diarrhea can lead to dehydration. Watch for signs such as dry gums and decreased skin elasticity. Extreme thirst and decreased urination are warnings that your dog’s body is losing more fluids than it’s taking in.

Restoring Balance: To counter dehydration, provide your dog with constant access to fresh water. In severe cases, your vet may suggest administering fluids and electrolytes to restore balance and prevent further complications.

Remember, quick action and professional advice are vital. If your dog’s symptoms persist, consult with your veterinarian to explore treatment options and ensure their swift recovery.

Treatment and Management

When your dog experiences diarrhea, specific treatment and management strategies are crucial for a swift recovery. The approach you take should soothe the gastrointestinal tract and address symptoms like loss of appetite and abdominal pain.

Immediate Care and Fasting

Begin by withholding food for 12-24 hours to give your dog’s digestive system a rest. Ensure your pet has access to plenty of water to prevent dehydration, which can lead to electrolyte imbalances. If weakness or retching persist, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian since prolonged fasting without veterinary guidance can be harmful.

Dietary Adjustments and Home Remedies

After the fasting period, slowly reintroduce food with a bland diet consisting of boiled chicken and processed  rice. This diet is gentle on the stomach and provides easily digestible proteins and carbohydrates. Gradually mixing in your dog’s old food over several days can help their system adjust without causing an upset stomach. Adding canned pumpkin, which is rich in fiber, can help firm up stools. Additionally, consider supplements like dog probiotics and prebiotics that support the gut microbiome and help manage symptoms like bloating and decreased appetite.

Medical Interventions and Follow-Up

If home remedies do not lead to improvement, seek veterinary care. A vet may prescribe medications such as antibiotics or recommend diagnostics like x-rays to rule out foreign bodies or illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or diabetes. Following up with your vet is essential to monitor recovery and prevent recurrence, especially if dietary indiscretion or new foods introduced toxins that triggered the diarrhoea. Rest, continued feeding of a bland diet, and close observation are pivotal until your dog fully recuperates.

Frequently Asked Questions

When your dog is recovering from diarrhea, you have key questions. Let’s address them with straightforward answers.

What dietary changes should I consider for a dog recovering from diarrhea?

Introduce easily digestible foods such as boiled chicken and processed rice to help your dog’s stomach settle. Fermented foods like kefir can also be beneficial for replenishing the gut microbiome.

How can I tell if my dog’s diarrhea is severe enough to seek emergency care?

Seek immediate veterinary care if you notice bloody diarrhea, signs of significant pain, profuse vomiting, or if your dog becomes lethargic. These can be indicators of a serious condition, as outlined by the Preventive Vet guide.

How should I reintroduce regular food to my dog after a bout of diarrhea?

Start with small, frequent meals. Gradually increase portion sizes while observing your dog’s response to ensure the return to their regular diet does not trigger a recurrence of diarrhea.

Are there any quick home remedies to help alleviate my dog’s diarrhea?

Hydration is crucial. Ensure your dog has constant access to water. In mild cases, PetPlate’s guide suggests a temporary shift to bland foods like boiled chicken can help.

For how many days should a bland diet like chicken and processed rice be given to a dog with diarrhea?

A bland diet should generally continue for 3 to 7 days. Then, depending on your dog’s progress, you can start mixing in their regular diet.

Is it normal for my dog to behave normally despite having diarrhea for several days?

Yes, dogs can remain energetic and happy even with diarrhea. However, if it persists beyond a couple of days without improvement, consult with your veterinarian to rule out underlying issues.

Dr. Jeff Kordell, DVM is a practicing veterinarian in the northern suburbs of Chicago. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois Veterinary School. Dr. Kordell owns Animal Medical Center at Fort Sheridan and has had his own private practice for over 30 years. He is the co-founder of K&S Veterinary Labs LLC the maker of DiarRice.