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Unfortunately, all dogs deal with diarrhea at one point in their lives. So, understanding how to treat minor cases can help your pup get back to his normal self in a short time.
Dog diarrhea can either be acute (caused by a spontaneous response to food or something your dog ate) or chronic (caused by an underlying health problem or other serious issues). If your dog’s diarrhea is chronic or accompanied by some worrisome signs like blood, lethargy, extremely foul smell, severe abdominal pain, or lack of appetite, we advise that you take a trip to a local vet. However, if it is an acute flare-up caused by ‘garbage gut’ (your dog eating something he shouldn’t) or stress colitis, you can address it at home by changing your dog’s diet. Switching your pup from his regular food to white rice, for instance, can help his digestive tract return to normal.
White rice is not only easy for your dog to digest but is also rich in soluble fiber, which can soak up water in the bowel, combating diarrhea and promoting normal stool formation. It is also easy to prepare as all you need to do is boil rice in water and allow it to cool a bit before serving your dog.
The only concern for most dog owners is to figure out the right amount of rice to feed their pups. So, how much rice should you give a dog with diarrhea? Well, here are important guidelines on the portions that you should feed a dog with stomach upset.
For the first servings, we recommend giving your dog very small amounts of rice. Generally, smaller amounts of food will be easier for your dog to digest and will put less burden on his digestive system. However, to meet your dog’s caloric needs, you need to provide him with these small portions of rice several times throughout the day.
For the first three days, consider feeding your dog about one-quarter of his normal serving but remember to break them up through several servings throughout the day. If diarrhea does not re-occur and once you notice his stool returning to normal, you can increase the amount of rice to as many cups as you normally give him normal food.
The Weight of Your Dog Matters
The weight or size of your dog may also dictate the amount of rice to feed him when he has diarrhea. Offer less rice to smaller breeds and more to larger ones. Here is a quick guideline you can use unless you are advised otherwise by your vet:
- 1/2 a cup of rice for dogs weighing less than 5 pounds
- 1/2 to3/4 cups for 5 – 15 pounds dogs
- 1 to1 ½ cups for 16 – 30 pounds dogs
- 1 ½ to 2 cups for 31 – 50 pounds dogs
- 2 to 3 cups for 51 -75 pounds dogs
- 3 to 4 cups for 76 to 99 pounds dogs
- 4 to 5 cups for 100 pounds dogs
Consider the Age of Your Dog
Puppies that are transitioning from breast milk to solid foods generally feed on smaller portions and more frequently than adult dogs. When they suffer from diarrhea, therefore, offer them a tablespoon of rice every hour and a half. Feed toy-breed puppies more frequently than medium breeds or larger breed puppies.
Besides, keep an eye on the activity level of the puppy. If the puppy is still active and consequently losing a lot of calories, you can adjust the portion accordingly to ensure they don’t lose too much weight.
Getting Back to Normal Diet
As your dog starts to get better, gradually reduce the amount of rice that you are feeding him and replace it with his regular food. Start the transition process by feeding him 75 % of rice mixed with 25 % of his regular diet. Keep reducing the amount of rice and adding his regular diet over a week (but remember to keep up with the total amount of food per day and frequency guidelines highlighted above). If his stool remains normal, continue decreasing the rice by 25 % each passing day until he can feed on 100% of his regular diet without suffering any form of an upset stomach.
A Couple of Caveats
- Always use good quality rice when you want to resolve your dog’s diarrhea problem. “Minute” rice is not very effective and brown rice is not recommended due to high levels of fiber, which doesn’t firm your dog’s stool since it speeds the transit of digested material through the colon. Brown rice can also be harder for your dog to process because it is not as processed as white rice.
- White rice has a higher glycemic index and can cause your dog’s blood sugar level to rise. So, if your pup is diabetic, you may consider feeding him a little white to rice to resolve his diarrhea issue but you should feed him consistently. You should also stop feeding him any amount of rice if you notice any abnormal symptoms.
- When preparing rice to give a dog with diarrhea, just boil it in water without adding any seasoning or spices because most spices are toxic to dogs.
- Avoid giving your dog treats or chews when he is on a bland diet as they can exacerbate the symptoms.
- White rice should help your dog with mild cases of diarrhea but it is not a balanced meal. So, it is advisable to only feed it to your dog for a couple of days. Remember that like other cells in your Fido’s body, GI tract cells need vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to heal and function optimally.
Knowing how much rice to feed a dog with diarrhea is important because it will help your dog get better faster. It will also help you avoid additional problems like too much dehydration or weight loss. Most importantly, diarrhea can point to other underlying conditions that could kill your canine friend. So, if it persists longer than two days or accompanied by worrisome symptoms, consult your vet immediately.