Gastroenteritis in Dogs
Natural Remedies

Natural Cures for Gastroenteritis in Dogs

| Modified on Jun 23, 2016

While you may not think of your beloved pet developing digestive issues, the reality is animals are just as likely as humans to develop gastrointestinal upset. In fact, canine gastroenteritis is one of the most alarming forms of disease to which dogs are predisposed. However, you can typically treat the condition safely under veterinarian's care with additional home supports. Fasting and dietary changes as well as specific nutritional supplements like canned pumpkin are a few of the most effective treatment options for dog gastroenteritis.

What Is Canine Gastroenteritis?

Technically, gastroenteritis is defined as inflammation of the stomach and small intestines, but when it comes down to it, the term is often used to describe a variety of intestinal issues that create for a rather unhealthy pet (and often an unhappy pet owner).

One of the most characteristic symptoms of the condition is what is sometimes called “raspberry jam diarrhea.” The feces actually appears somewhat the same consistency and color as raspberry jam – the red color being blood indicating intestinal inflammation. Additionally, your pet may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, decreased appetite, and lethargy.

What Are the Best Ways to Treat Dog Gastroenteritis?

Dog gastroenteritis is typically one of those conditions that can be largely redirected or managed if it is caught early enough, so knowing your pet’s normal habits and affect is important to help you detect abnormalities. In any case, though, a veterinarian can help you determine the diagnosis and severity of your pet’s condition and suggest treatment options. In most cases, gastroenteritis can be treated at home with remedies such as fasting, dietary changes, and nutritional supplements.

1. Fasting

One of the initial steps involves putting your pet on a fasting diet to allow the gut to calm and to prevent any additional toxic materials from entering. For a period of several hours to 1 day, allow your pet only small, frequent amounts of water.

2. Dietary Changes

Acidic-load foods are often another culprit of the disease. With that, you may want to change your pet’s diet at least for a period of time after which you can reintroduce other foods. Because protein causes a raise in acidity in the body, feed your pet a diet high in rich, whole grains to help combat the condition.


Pumpkin is a great nutritional support for gastroenteritis. This food is rich in fiber, so it helps your dog feel full without irritating the digestive system. It can also help with constipation. Begin by feeding your dog 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree 2 times a day.

4. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another option that is effective for relieving gastro distress. The oil helps lubricate the colon and can also relieve constipation. One teaspoon of coconut oil twice a day is typically sufficient.


You may also want to consider treating your pet with probiotics. Your vet can recommend a good brand supplement, or some pet owners have even had success using low fat, active culture yogurt with no artificial sweeteners or colors in a dose of 1-2 teaspoons twice a day.

Keep reading to learn more about treating dog gastroenteritis from our Earth Clinic readers!

An Appalling Symptom That Is a Blessing in Disguise - fullyvetted/2013/march/hemorrhagic-gastroenteritis-hge-in-dogs-29938
Gastroenteritis in Dogs -
Gastroenteritis in Dogs: The Post-Thanksgiving Digestive Tract Blues - thedailyvet/pmahaney/2013/dec/post-holiday-indulgence-gastroenteritis-in-dogs-31102
Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis in Dogs -


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Karen (Lethbridge, Alberta) on 07/07/2014

Ok, first this is the background story:

One day our Chessie developed some worrying symptoms, a sudden drop in energy level and unwillingness to move her legs. We waited it out for about 4 days to see how she was feeling but I knew if I saw blood in any stool or urine she was going to be rushed to the vet. On Thursday she started vomiting and having diarrhea, salivating and walking as if she were drunk. Upon inspection of her stool there was what they call "frank blood" meaning small flecks of blood surrounded by mucus. We took her to the vet an hour later, the vet diagnosed her with Gastroenteritis and dehydration (that type of blood in the stool is common in dogs with intestinal issues, it means an irritation of the intestine). They gave her a Sub-q injection of 1 liter of water and Cerenia, sent her home with anti biotics and some food for the condition. We gave her the meds and fed her the wet food but a few days ago she stopped taking food. She was drinking better but the wobbly legs game and went in spells. After three days of waiting she still had not produced a bowel movement which made me think perhaps she had an obstruction.

Fast forward to yesterday she was crouching as she walked like she needed to poop but instead she would just lay down.. she refused food, even bacon. After reading everything I could online I decided to try pumpkin (Cant believe I didn't think of it earlier, I had a friend who swore by it). We had to force feed her the lot unfortunately but here was what I used:

2 separate doses of

  • 1/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tsp corn syrup

mix well and feed

I used coconut oil because I know from experience with other dogs and myself that it can lube up a colon no problem plus it has allot of nutrients to help her energy level. The corn syrup I heard from my father in law to be a laxative as well so I thought I would try it but I later found out it wasn't even corn syrup, just glucose-fructose in a bottle so I really doubt that gave way to any results so check labels carefully! I fed her this mixture twice yesterday at about 1 pm and 6 pm along with her dreaded anti-biotics. I feel torn about them as I dont usually advocate the use of anti-biotics but because I know nothing about dog gastroenteritis I caved.

Last night she was very lethargic and I decided I would call the vet in the am if she did not improve. 8 am and she went out to pee, no problems with wobbly legs, came inside and drank her water. 10 am I dozed off and when I woke up and found a great big stinking pile of poop in my living room! Probably the happiest I've felt finding dog crap in the house lol, anyways I looked through it to make sure there wasn't a blockage and oddly enough there was nothing in there at all. I am baffled but I suppose if it is gastroenteritis there are so many factors to an issue like that, that I will probably never wrap my head around it and if the bacteria that causes it are messing with poor Burly's body then no poop for 4 days could be a side effect?

Any who, here's for pumpkin puree! Thank you everyone for helping my pooch out, I will update in a few days. Burly is still tired and wont eat but hopefully once her GI tract is on track things will be looking up for her.

Oh and I read that pumpkin is high in Vit A and too much can cause toxicity problems in dogs, if that's true it just goes to show you "everything in moderation" are words to live by.

Replied by Karen

Just an update about Burly. It has been a few days since the incident and she is on the mend. Her energy levels have increased and she is wagging her tail and moving around on her own accord. By no means is she 100% but I think this condition hit her very hard. She used to eat everything and anything that was edible but now she is very picky and we are having a hard time finding food that she will accept, this too is most likely from the condition and will improve once her stomach settles down.

As EC has stated, gastroenteritis is a term used widely in vet care and I'm sure Burly was attacked by more than just stomach inflammation so if your dog does develop these symptoms it is best, in my opinion, to treat the illnesses as a whole. Helping your dog get the vitamins and minerals they need is important for boosting the immune system( we have added some probiotics to the recipe above to giver her gut flora a boost). We as pet owners seem to take the responsibility of curing our animals into our own hands and its easy to forget that these animals may need our help but it is ultimately up to their own immune systems to fight off invading bugs. This is what I found anyways, my worrying and stressing was caused by my need to control the situation even when I had already done everything I could. After everything that can be done has been done it is good to be reminded that our pets are their own animals and sometimes things are just out of our hands! (and vets hands)

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Karen!

How old is Burly? And what did the vet prescribe that you were so hesitant to give?

I had a dog have similar problems and it was giardia and the drug was Flagyl; it took a week to treat. Normally giardia responds very quickly to flagyl so this was very strange, so must have been an individual thing.

Replied by Karen

Burly is 4 years old. They prescribed her with Apo-Metronidazole and I have no idea if it worked or not, she will not eat but a few bites of random food. We have tried liver, chicken, turkey, even shrimp and she rarely eats more than a few ounces. We are still pretty worried for her, she is very weak today and cannot support her own weight but she is still drinking, peeing with no blood and her bm's are a little runny but normal. It is so frustrating to have no where eles to turn, we just don't know what more to do for her at this point, we honestly thought she wouldn't make it today but we are trying to be positive.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Karen!

I'm sorry to hear that Burly isn't bouncing back :(

The drug prescribed - Apometronidazole/Flagyl - sounds right on; the lack of recovery does not. Flagyl *can* in some cases take a week /10 days to work and for those stubborn cases it means stuffing the pill down a reluctant dog's throat.

An xray or ultrasound might provide some answers and show if an organ is enlarged or if there is an abnormal mass or malignancy. If further vet work is out of the question, you might try giving her Essiac tea [cancer fighting], and liquid or paste nutritional supplements ie 'Nutrical'.

Sending healing prayers for a recovery for Burly!

Replied by Karen
(Alberta, CA)

Thank you for your suggestions, I am going to try them. We appreciate your prayers, it is so nice to have some positivity since lately everyone around us has been suggesting putting her down. Thank you again!

Replied by Tyree

Do you think the pumpkin would have cured your dog without seeing the vet? I broke my leg in a really bad car accident. My pup keeps me company and I don't want to lose her.