Unfortunately, many dogs suffer from chronic diarrhea or loose stools.
And while it’s important to discuss the issue with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying issues, there are some things you can do to help, such as changing your dog’s food.
That’s right – there are several dog foods that may help eliminate your dog’s diarrhea and promote regular, problem-free poops.
We’ll try to help below, as we explain what to look for in a food for doggo diarrhea and recommend some foods that may firm up your four-footer’s poops.
Quick Picks: Best Dog Foods for Diarrhea
- Ollie [Best Overall Dog Food for Diarrhea]: Fresh, fiber-rich, human-grade foods that many dogs with sensitive systems are able to digest without issue.
- Sundays Food For Dogs Best [Best Kibble for Diarrhea]: This air-dried, human-grade food is made with stomach-soothing pumpkin to help promote normal elimination habits.
- Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice [Most Affordable Dog Food For Diarrhea]: Despite its modest price point, this dog food features probiotics to promote intestinal health and problem-free digestion.
What Makes a Dog Food Good for Diarrhea?
Here are the following factors you should consider while finding food for your dog’s diarrhea or loose stools:
- Proper Fiber Content: Too much or too little fiber can send your pup’s system out of whack. Most dog foods have a fiber content in the 2% to 5% range, with “high fiber” dog foods falling between 6% and 10% in fiber content.
- Low Moisture Levels: Excessive food moisture can make it difficult for dogs to pass firm, healthy stools. So, if you have a diarrhea-prone dog, be sure that you’re feeding him a dry rather than wet food.
- Easily Digested Ingredients: The best dog foods for diarrhea contain ingredients that are easy for your dog to digest, such as rice and potatoes, as well as whole protein sources like chicken.
- Probiotics: Canine probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help promote proper digestion and elimination. They’re available in supplement form, but some dog foods contain probiotics too. Some of these foods even contain prebiotics, which are essentially food for these bacteria.
- Limited Produce: Fruits and vegetables can provide a good source of fiber, but too much produce content can cause poor digestion and loose stools. So, if your dog is suffering from chronic tummy troubles, consider switching to a food that contains fewer fruits and vegetables.
- Made For Your Dog: Keep in mind any dog food should suit your dog’s needs in terms of food intolerances or other health considerations. If you can’t find an off-the-shelf dog food that satisfies your dog’s needs, consider switching to one of the best custom-crafted dog foods.
9 Best Dog Foods for Diarrhea
Here are some of the best dog foods for diarrhea you might want to consider for your canine companion. Just be sure to pick one that suits your dog’s specific needs and, as always, consult your veterinarian before switching your dog to a new diet.
About: Ollie’s human-grade food provides plenty of fiber and whole protein, making it easy on your dog’s digestive system. This fresh food is also designed to entice even the pickiest eaters and is approved for all life stages.
Meals from Ollie are pre-portioned and shipped out fresh frozen. Pet parents get a storage container and scoop to help serve and preserve these fresh meals.
Note that there are several recipes in Ollie’s product lineup, but their beef recipe – which we’re focusing on here – has the lowest moisture content of them all.
- Good source of whole protein
- Made in US facilities
- Slow cooked for easy digestion
- Great source of fiber
- Packed with antioxidants
Beef, peas, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, beef kidney...,
beef liver, spinach, blueberries, tricalcium phosphate, chia seeds, salmon oil, salt, zinc gluconate, rosemary, copper amino acid chelate, vitamin e supplement, ferrous sulfate, choline bitartrate, manganese amino acid chelate, thiamine hydrochloride, vitamin d3, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin b6), riboflavin (vitamin b2), potassium iodide
- Several pet parents reported digestive improvements after switching to Ollie
- Dogs love the taste of this fresh food
- This food is features salmon oil, which may combat intestinal inflammation
- Fresh food is more expensive than dry food
- Though this is the lowest-moisture option available from Ollie, fresh foods inherently contain more water than kibbles
2. Sundays Food for Dogs
About: If you’re searching for dry food with plenty of fiber and tasty ingredients, Sunday’s Food for Dogs is an excellent choice. Featuring fiber-rich quinoa and stomach-soothing pumpkin, this dry food is also made with whole protein and gently air-dried in USDA-certified facilities to ensure a fantastic taste your four-footer will love.
Additionally, this recipe is a great source of inflammation-fighting omega-3s and antioxidants, which help support immune function.
- Air-dried to ensure a great taste
- Made from human-grade ingredients
- Includes pumpkin and ginger to support regular, problem-free elimination
- Made with whole, USDA-certified protein
- Good source of omega-3s
USDA Beef, Beef Heart, Beef Liver, Beef Bone, Quinoa, Pumpkin...,
Fish Oil, Sunflower Oil, Zucchini, Kale, Flaxseed, Sea Salt, Parsley, Dried Kelp, Dried Chicory Root, Turmeric, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Ginger, Selenium Yeast, Blueberries, Carrots, Apples, Tomatoes, Shiitake Mushrooms, Broccoli, Oranges, Cranberries, Spinach, Beets, Tart Cherries, Strawberries
- This is one of the few air-dried foods made with human-grade ingredients
- This food is a great source of antioxidants, fiber, and Omega-3s
- It’s a great choice for picky eaters
- You have to sign up for shipment a plan to get this food, but you can pause or cancel at any time
- More recipe options would be ideal
3. Weruva Steak Frites Dinner
About: Diarrheal doggos who prefer wet food can present challenges for dog moms and dads, as canned foods rarely have high fiber content. But Weruva Steak Frites Dinner is a tasty, fiber-rich food that may be an excellent pick for your pup.
This grain-free dog food is made in a USDA-certified facility, and features whole proteins, tasty, vitamin-rich organ meats, antioxidant-rich carrots, and pumpkin to help promote regular elimination habits.
And because it is so tasty, this food may also serve as a kibble topper for picky eaters who also have digestive difficulties.
- Made in a human-grade facility
- Great source of vitamins A and B
- Contains fiber-rich pumpkin and sweet potato
- Made with whole protein and organ meats
- It’s grain- and gluten-free
Water Sufficient for Processing, Beef, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Carrot...,
Beef Lung, Beef Kidney, Potato Starch, Xanthan Gum, Sunflower Seed Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement
- Most dogs love the taste of this protein-rich canned food
- Includes fiber-rich pumpkin to soothe sensitive tummies
- Also works as a delicious kibble topper for picky eaters
- This is a grain-free food, which may give some pet parents pause
- Wet food contains more moisture content than dry food
4. Acana LID Food
About: Acana Limited Ingredient Food might be a great choice for dogs who suffer from food allergies or intolerances, as it’s made with novel protein sources like lamb. And as a bonus, this nutritious food features plenty of other healthy ingredients like fiber-rich pumpkin, probiotics, and fish oil for omega-3s.
- Made with novel proteins
- Includes fiber-rich ingredients like pumpkin
- Formulated with probiotics
- It’s a good source of omega-3 fatty acids
- Contains no legumes, gluten, or potatoes
Deboned lamb, lamb meal, oat groats, whole sorghum, lamb liver...,
whole pumpkin, fish oil, natural lamb flavor, whole oats, ground miscanthus grass, lamb fat, lamb cartilage, lamb tripe, salt, taurine, potassium chloride, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, dried kelp, mixed tocopherols (preservative), vitamin D3 supplement, freeze-dried lamb liver, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, copper proteinate, chicory, turmeric, citric acid (preservative), rosemary extract, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product
- This food is a good choice for dogs who can’t handle beef, chicken, or other common protein sources
- This food is a great source of probiotics
- Owners were impressed with the relatively affordable price of this kibble considering its quality
- Some picky eaters refused to eat this food
- Some pet parents thought the kibblets were too large for their small dogs
5. Naked Essentials Dry Dog Food
About: This dry dog food by I and Love and You is packed with probiotics, fiber-rich ingredients, such as chickpeas and lentils, and whole proteins to help calm your pup’s tummy troubles and tempt his tastebuds. The food is also a great source of vitamins E, A, and D and has natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseeds.
This adorable, heart-shaped kibble is appropriate for all life stages, making it great for puppies, adults, and seniors.
- A whole protein is the first ingredient
- It’s a good source of omega-3s
- Made with prebiotics and probiotics
- Eco-friendly packaging is recyclable
- Contains no corn, wheat, or soy
Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, dried chickpeas, dried lentils...,
dried peas, pea starch, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), duck, dried tomato pomace, flaxseeds, natural flavor, dried sweet potatoes, salt, fish oil, sunflower oil, monosodium phosphate, potassium chloride, minerals (ferrous sulfate, iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate), ground miscanthus grass, dried chicory root, taurine, dl-methionine, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid), l-threonine, citric acid (preservative), mixed tocopherols (preservative), choline chloride, dried bacillus coagulans fermentation, rosemary extract
- Most dogs seem to love the taste of this food
- It’s a great source of fiber and antioxidants
- Included probiotics help support problem-free digestion
- Each flavor contains multiple types of protein which might not work for pups with food allergies or intolerances
- The kibble size may be too small for extra-large breeds
6. Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Chicken and Rice
About: Looking for dog food for diarrhea that won’t break the bank? This chicken and rice recipe by Diamond Naturals is certainly worth considering. Made in the USA by a family-owned company, this food is packed with probiotics and full of fiber-rich ingredients, such as pumpkin and kelp.
- A fiber-rich recipe that features pumpkin and kelp
- Whole chicken is the first ingredient
- It’s a great source of probiotics
- Made by a family-owned company
- Made in the USA
Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley...,
chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), grain sorghum, dried yeast, dried beet pulp, egg product, natural flavor, flaxseed, salmon oil (source of DHA), potassium chloride, salt, DL-Methionine, choline chloride, dried chicory root, kale, chia seed, pumpkin, blueberries, oranges, quinoa, dried kelp, coconut, spinach, carrots, papaya, yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, beta carotene, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid. Contains a source of live (viable), naturally occurring microorganisms
- Chicken and whole grain rice are excellent ingredients for dogs with digestive difficulties
- This food is packed with probiotics
- In addition to being affordable, this is a tasty recipe most dogs love
- Some dogs’ stools didn’t improve after switching to this food
- Large kibble size might not be suitable for small dogs
7. Blue Buffalo Digestive Care
About: Blue Buffalo Digestive Care is an excellent choice for pups with tummy troubles. This kibble is specifically designed to promote proper digestion and elimination, and it includes plenty of prebiotics and probiotics to achieve that goal.
The food is made in the USA and contains plenty of natural antioxidants and fiber to help combat loose stools.
- Features prebiotics and probiotics to aid digestion
- Whole chicken is the first ingredient
- Made in the USA
- Great source of vitamins E and A
- Blu Buffalo’s “LifeSource Bits” are a great source of antioxidants
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley...,
Potatoes, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Canola Oil (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Peas, Pea Protein, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Fructooligosaccharides, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, L-Threonine, Vitamin E Supplement, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Tryptophan, DL-Methionine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), L-Lysine, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary
- Formulated with 5 different probiotic strains
- Most dogs loved the taste of this food
- Several owners reported stool improvements after switching to this food
- It’s a fairly complex recipe, which increases the chances of triggering food allergies or intolerances
- Some dogs eat around the LifeSource Bits
8. Under the Weather Bland Dog Food
About: If your dog frequently suffers from diarrhea, it might be convenient to have some Under the Weather Bland Dog Food readily available. This recovery dog food is essentially the same chicken-and-rice diet vets often recommend for diarrheal dogs, with added electrolytes to help your dog start feeling normal again.
To prepare this dehydrated food, simply mix the formula with boiling water, stir, and cool before serving.
- Easy to rehydrate and prepare
- Features a simple ingredient list
- Formulated by a veterinarian
- Recipe contains electrolytes to promote rapid recovery
- Made in the USA
White Rice, Freeze Dried Chicken Breast, Glycine, Sodium Chloride...,
- This bland diet food is a convenient option for pups who frequently have bouts of diarrhea
- Most dogs love the taste of this food
- Added electrolytes should help dogs recover more quickly
- You could make a version of this at home, but this one is much more convenient
- There’s a little bit of prep involved
9. Fruitables Food Supplement
About: Looking for a supplement to help firm up the occasional loose stool? This topper from Fruitables is a great choice with plenty of fiber-rich ingredients like pumpkin and spinach.
The made-in-the-USA supplement also contains flax seed, a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. This supplement is really versatile, and it can be mixed with your dog’s dry or wet food.
- Designed to soothe upset stomachs
- Made in the USA
- Good source of vitamin B
- This pumpkin-based supplement is a great source of fiber
- It’s also suitable for cats
Harvest fresh pumpkin, apple pomace, spinach, tomato pomace...,
choline chloride, ginger, spearmint, ground flax seed, cinnamon, calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), folic acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12 supplement
- This supplement makes a great topper for dogs with sensitive systems
- Owners reported rapid stool improvement
- This topper helped entice picky eaters to eat more kibble
- It’ll increase your overall dog food budget
- Some dogs didn’t like the taste of this fruity supplement
Homemade Food for Dog Diarrhea
In most instances, we discourage owners from making homemade dog foods
Meeting your dog’s nutritional needs takes a lot of training and can be costly in terms of ingredients and time spent making your mutt’s meals.
However, on occasion, your veterinarian may recommend that your dog to spend a few days eating a “bland diet.” This will help settle your dog’s stomach after bouts of diarrhea or other GI-related issues.
To make your dog a bland diet food, boil your protein of choice (chicken is generally the best option) and combine it with white rice.
Note that chicken should always be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce the risk of salmonella contamination.
Your veterinarian can provide portion sizes specific to your dog, but generally speaking, dogs need about 30 calories per pound of body weight a day.
The protein and rice should not be cooked with any seasoning. This diet should be used temporarily to help your dog settle his stomach before progressively transitioning back to your dog’s traditional diet under the guidance of your veterinarian.
Why Do Dogs Suffer from Chronic Diarrhea and Loose Stools?
Most dogs suffer from occasional bouts of diarrhea over the course of their lifetimes. But some others suffer from chronic diarrhea or loose stools, which happens more frequently than would be considered normal.
A few of the reasons this may occur include:
Chronic diarrhea or loose stools can be a symptom of any of the following health conditions:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Ingesting toxins or foreign objects
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
- Liver or kidney disease
- Reaction to medication
Each of these health issues requires its own treatment plan, so it’s always important to see your veterinarian if your dog experiences chronic diarrhea.
Simple food intolerances can also lead to loose stools.
Note that though they are both issues that require your attention, food intolerances are different than food allergies.
Food intolerances typically cause intestinal issues, whereas food allergies generally cause skin and coat problems.
In any event, it can be challenging to determine the specific food or ingredient that is giving your dog a problem. However, your veterinarian can usually help, by either recommending a hypoallergenic food or an elimination diet.
Stress and anxiety can also cause chronic diarrhea in dogs.
You may be able to address this yourself by doing things like removing the source of the stress (if possible), providing more enrichment or exercise, or by rearranging your lifestyle. For example, if your dog is suffering from diarrhea due to severe separation anxiety, you may be able to start working from home or having a dog walker drop in during the day.
In other cases, you may need your veterinarian to recommend a supplement or prescription medication to help ease your canine’s anxiety.
Chronic diarrhea or loose stools can also indicate that your dog is suffering from a parasitic infection.
A wide variety of parasites – including whipworm and giardia – can cause loose stools and doo-doo discoloration, which illustrates the importance of staying up to date on vet visits and deworming treatments.
Fortunately, most common canine parasites are easily treated, which may solve your dog’s digestive issues without any further effort.
What to Do When Your Dog Has Diarrhea
If your dog has diarrhea, start by assessing the situation. Do you suspect that your dog has consumed something toxic? Is your dog experiencing other symptoms like lethargy, loss of appetite, pale gums, bloating, or blood in the stool?
If so, it’s important to go to the veterinarian as soon as possible in case the diarrhea is a symptom of an underlying medical issue.
But if your dog is acting normally otherwise, a little TLC may be all that he needs.
Start by letting your dog rest and fast (no treats or food of any kind) for 12 to 24 hours. Keep water close and filled to help your hound stay hydrated.
After your dog has completed the fast, you can offer small portions of a bland diet, like boiled chicken and white rice in small amounts.
Start slow and build up to your dog’s typical portions.
Once your dog’s stool has recovered over a period of 5 to 7 days, you can slowly reintegrate his typical kibble or wet food.
Start with 25% kibble and 75% bland diet and gradually transition over the course of 5 days until your dog is back to 100% of his typical diet.
If your dog’s diarrhea does not improve within a period of 48 hours or you’re seeing other symptoms in addition to diarrhea, it’s time to make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Other Potential Solutions for Doggie Diarrhea
Every dog responds differently to diarrhea, so what works for your pooch might not work for another or vice versa. Aside from trying other foods, you can try the following to help solidify your dog’s stools:
- Consult your veterinarian. In many cases, diarrhea may be a symptom of an underlying medical issue. If your dog’s diarrhea doesn’t seem to be going away, it’s essential to seek out medical treatment to get to the bottom of the issue.
- Use pumpkin puree. Pumpkin puree, not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling, is an excellent kibble topper that’s nutritious and delicious. This fiber-rich food can help your dog with his tummy troubles.
- Incorporate probiotics into your pup’s diet. Inquire with your veterinarian about probiotics. These beneficial bacteria help balance your dog’s intestinal flora and can be found in plenty of over-the-counter supplements.
- Adjust your dog’s feeding schedule. If your dog is eating too much at once, it could be hard on his digestive system, leading to loose stools. Opt for smaller, shorter meals to help aid your dog’s digestion.
Best Dog Foods For Diarrhea FAQ
Consider these common questions to help your find the right food for your furball:
Why do dogs suffer from ongoing diarrhea?
Dogs suffer from ongoing diarrhea for a variety of reasons ranging from parasites to chronic conditions. If your pooch is experiencing diarrhea for two or more days, it’s time to head to the veterinarian to determine the root cause of the issue.
What do you need to do when a dog has diarrhea?
If your dog is experiencing diarrhea, it’s a good idea to contact your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause. In less serious cases, your veterinarian may recommend restricting diet or transitioning to a bland diet for a few days to help settle your dog’s stomach.
What can I feed my dog to stop diarrhea?
Your veterinarian may recommend that your dog switches to what’s called a bland diet for a couple of days to settle your dog’s stomach. This is usually a mixture of boiled, plain protein and cooked white rice.
What can I give my dog to harden his stools?
Switching to a bland diet for a couple of days under the direction of your veterinarian may help your dog firm his stools. It’s best to seek out an assessment from your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause of your dog’s diarrhea and address the issue.
Diarrhea is unfortunately a fairly common problem most dogs will experience over the course of their lives. Luckily, there are several methods and foods that can help protect against chronic diarrhea.
Has your dog tried any of these dog foods for diarrhea? How do you nurse your furry family member back to health? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!