As pet owners, diarrhea is one of the most common health concerns we may face with our furry friends. While it is not unusual for dogs and cats to have an occasional loose stool, bloody diarrhea can be alarming and may indicate a more serious health problem. Fortunately, several natural home remedies can help treat this condition and improve your pet’s overall health.

Causes of Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs and Cats

There are many reasons why dogs and cats may develop bloody diarrhea. Some of the most common causes include:

  1. Food Changes: Abrupt changes in your pet’s diet can cause digestive upset, including diarrhea.
  2. Eating Foreign Objects: Dogs and cats may swallow objects such as bones, toys, or even hairballs, which can cause intestinal blockages and lead to bloody diarrhea.
  3. Stress Colitis: Stressful situations such as boarding, traveling, or changes in routine can lead to inflammation in the colon, resulting in bloody diarrhea.
  4. Parasites: Parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and Giardia can cause bloody diarrhea.
  5. Dysbiosis: An imbalance in the natural bacteria that live in your pet’s digestive system can cause diarrhea, including bloody diarrhea.
  6. Bacterial Infections: Bacterial infections such as Salmonella, parvovirus and E. coli can cause bloody diarrhea.
  7. Anal Gland Issues: Anal gland problems can lead to diarrhea and other digestive issues.
  8. Organ Issues: Certain conditions such as liver or kidney disease can cause bloody diarrhea in pets.

When to Go to the Veterinarian

While many cases of bloody diarrhea can be treated at home, knowing when to seek veterinary care is important. You should take your pet to the vet if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Large amounts of blood in the stool
  • Your pet is a puppy or kitten
  • Diarrhea persists for more than 48 hours
  • You are concerned and worried since it’s always best to be safe

Home Remedies for Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs and Cats

If your pet is experiencing bloody diarrhea but is otherwise acting normally, several natural home remedies can help ease their symptoms and promote healing.

  1. 12-Hour Fast: The first step in treating diarrhea is to give your pet’s digestive system a break. For the first 12 hours, withhold food but allow access to water and/or broth to prevent dehydration.
  2. Saccharomyces boulardii: This probiotic is known for its ability to prevent and treat diarrhea in pets. It works by restoring the balance of good bacteria in the gut and supporting the immune system. Start with 1/2 capsule for a small dog/cat, 1 capsule medium dog, and 2 capsules for a larger dog.
  3. Bland Diet: After the initial 12-hour fast, feed your pet a bland diet of lean meat such as cod or turkey, with cooked squash, pumpkin, or sweet potato. These ingredients are gentle on the digestive system and provide essential nutrients.
  4. Activated Charcoal: Activated charcoal is an effective natural remedy for diarrhea as it binds to toxins and removes them from the body. You can give your pet activated charcoal in capsule form or mix it into their food. Start with 1/2 capsule for a small dog/cat, 1 capsule medium dog, and 2 capsules for a larger dog.  This is best given 1-2 hours away from main meals and other supplements and medications. Remember that charcoal may make your pet’s stool look darker or black.  Another great option is to use RX Vitamins RX Clay which works very similar to activated charcoal.
  5. Slippery Elm: Slippery elm is an herbal remedy that can soothe and protect the digestive tract. You can give your pet slippery elm in capsule form or mix the powder with water to create a paste. Start with 1/4 tbsp mixed in 1/4 cup broth or water and give 2-3 times a day to help soothe the inflamed digestive tract.
  6. Teas: Teas such as marshmallow, fennel, and chamomile can help soothe the digestive tract and reduce inflammation. You can add these teas to your pet’s water or mix them with their food. Teas are very safe and starting with 1/4 cup of tea for a small dog/cat, 1/2 cup for medium sized dog and 1 cup for large dogs is a great starting amount. Mountain Rose Herbs is a great place to get organic, safe teas for you and your pets.
  7. Coptis Teapills: Coptis teapills are a traditional Chinese herbal remedy that can help treat diarrhea in pets. You can give your pet one tea pill per 10 pounds of body weight for 5-10 days at most, depending on the severity of their symptoms. This is a very cooling remedy and is meant only to be used short term.

For more supportive remedies, make sure to read our blog on Tips For Dogs With Sensitive Gut Health.

It is important to note that while these home remedies can be effective in treating mild cases of bloody diarrhea in pets, they should not be used as a substitute for veterinary care. If your pet is experiencing severe symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or large amounts of blood in the stool, you should seek veterinary care immediately.

Preventing Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs and Cats

Preventing bloody diarrhea in pets involves several key steps:

  1. Gradual Diet Changes: When introducing new foods to your pet’s diet, make sure to do so gradually. Sudden changes in diet can cause digestive upset and lead to diarrhea, especially if transitioning from a kibble diet to raw food. If you’re not sure what foods are best, make sure to grab our free guide Simple Guide To Improve Your Pet’s Food.
  2. Supervise playtime: Supervising your pet during play can help prevent them from swallowing foreign objects such as bones, toys, or hairballs, especially if introducing new foods, toys, or bones.
  3. Stress Management: Managing your pet’s stress levels can help prevent stress colitis. This can include providing them with a safe and comfortable environment, regular exercise, and plenty of mental stimulation.
  4. Supporting overall health: By following our five pillars of health, you can optimize the foundations that lead to a healthy pet for life. If you have a pet who has a sensitive GI tract, you’ll want to learn more about how to support and heal a sensitive gastrointestinal tract.

Bloody diarrhea in pets can be a concerning and uncomfortable condition. However, with proper home care and veterinary attention when necessary, most cases can be resolved quickly and effectively. Remember to always consult with your veterinarian before trying any home remedies or making any changes to your pet’s diet or medication.

By taking preventative measures such as gradual diet changes, stress management, and optimizing the five pillars of health, you can help prevent future occurrences of bloody diarrhea in your furry friend. With a little bit of care and attention, you can help keep your pet healthy and happy for years to come.

Need Additional Holistic Veterinary Support?

Are you looking for support and guidance in addressing your pet’s gut health issues?

Our Healthy Holistic Pet For Life Blueprint is designed specifically for pet parents like you who want to find and heal the root cause of their pet’s gut health problems. This comprehensive program provides step-by-step guidance to support and heal your pet’s gut health naturally. With nutrition, supplements, herbs, and lifestyle modifications, Dr. Katie Woodley, a holistic veterinarian, will mentor you through a private community and weekly Q&A sessions.

The program includes:

  • Understanding the Root Cause: Learn what’s causing your pet’s GI and skin issues, focusing on diet, environment, and using appropriate tests so that you spend money on things that actually work.
  • Effective Natural Remedies: Access safe, natural remedies that treat symptoms to help your pet feel better, heal at the root cause, and promote overall wellness.
  • A Trusted Guide and Mentor: Get expert advice and reassurance from Dr. Katie Woodley tailored to your pet’s needs whenever you need it for as long as you need with our lifetime support.
  • Educational Resources: Educate yourself with comprehensive resources on holistic pet care and preventive treatments so that you feel empowered and confident you are on the right path.
  • Community and Support: Join a community of like-minded pet owners for shared experiences and support that is moderated by Dr. Katie so you never feel overwhelmed with all the different opinions that happen on many other groups.

If your pet is experiencing gut health issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and itchiness, and you are tired of medications and tests that aren’t working, our program can help.

To take the next steps in getting personalized, holistic support and healing for your pet’s gut health issues, schedule a call today!

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*Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. The information contained in is strictly for educational purposes. Therefore, if you wish to apply ideas contained in, you are taking full responsibility for your actions. Please consult your veterinarian for medical advice for your own pets. Dr. Katie Woodley cannot answer specific questions about your pet’s medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet without first establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.  Links in the blog are typically affiliate links that let you help support us.

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