If your dog has diarrhea, you want to give them help quickly, both to keep them comfortable and protect against a major mess. Pumpkin is a common, effective, and safe home remedy for dog diarrhea – but does it work quickly?
How fast does pumpkin work for dog diarrhea? How much pumpkin should you feed your dog when they have diarrhea? Before you give pumpkin to your dog, check out the guidelines below.
How Long Does It Take for Pumpkin to Stop Diarrhea in Dogs?
How fast does pumpkin work for dog diarrhea? The time will vary based on the dog and their specific condition, but pumpkin typically resolves diarrhea anywhere from 24 to 72 hours.
Pumpkin takes about 60 minutes to break down in a dog’s stomach, and then another six to eight hours to pass through their digestive system. Ideally, you’ll see some improvement in the consistency of their stool after they’ve eaten pumpkin.
If you give your dog pumpkin, but they still have diarrhea after 24 hours, there’s no need to panic, as long as you see improvements in the quality of their stool. Continue giving them pumpkin for another 24 hours or so.
However, if their diarrhea doesn’t improve within 24 hours of giving them pumpkin or they go 24 hours without passing a stool at all, you need to seek veterinary attention.
The Benefits of Pumpkin in Treating Diarrhea in Dogs
Pumpkin has several properties that make it effective at treating diarrhea:
- One cup of canned pumpkin contains seven grams of fiber, including soluble fiber that adds bulk to the dog’s stool.
- Pumpkin also creates fiber fermentation that helps stimulate the intestine, increase water absorption, and lower the large intestine’s pH level.
- Pumpkin is also a prebiotic, which helps promote the growth of several types of bacteria that improve intestine function.
While you can safely give your dog pumpkin for several days, consult with your vet before making it a part of their daily diet. Too much pumpkin and fiber-rich foods can decrease how effectively your dog’s system can absorb nutrients.
How Much Pumpkin Do You Give a Dog That Has Diarrhea?
The American Kennel Club recommends giving dogs no more than four tablespoons of pumpkin per meal. As a general guide, give your dog one tablespoon per pound, up to four tablespoons at a time. For dogs under 10 pounds, give them half a tablespoon.
Regardless of the dog’s size, you’re always better off giving them just one or two tablespoons at first. If their diarrhea improves but doesn’t go away, you can add more pumpkin to their next meal.
How to Give Pumpkin to Your Dog
Note that you’re not mixing the pumpkin into their regular food. You want to take away your dog’s access to their dry or wet food at the first sign of diarrhea.
Instead, give your dog any of these soft, gentle foods:
- Boiled, boneless, skinless chicken
- Boiled, plain rice
- Scrambled eggs
- Mashed sweet potatoes or bananas (without the peel)
- Chicken or turkey flavored baby food (make sure it has no onions or garlic)
Don’t worry if your dog doesn’t have much of an appetite. They might have a temporarily upset stomach. If they show no interest in food for more than 24 hours, you’ll want to contact your vet, but otherwise, you don’t need to be too concerned.
You can mix the pumpkin in with the rice or smear it across the chicken. Some dogs will even eat the pumpkin directly off a plate.
When your dog has diarrhea, whether they’re eating bland meals or not, always provide them with plenty of fresh water. Diarrhea and eating fiber can both lead to dehydration.
What Type of Pumpkin Is Best?
You can only give your dog certain types of pumpkin.
Canned pumpkin is the best option. It contains the highest fiber concentration and nutrients that help treat diarrhea. Only give your dog plain canned pumpkin. It should have no extra sugar, salt, spices, or other ingredients.
An excellent alternative to canned pumpkin is pumpkin powder. It’s a powder made specifically to help with dog digestion. Pumpkin powder is often useful if your dog doesn’t like canned pumpkin’s taste, smell, or texture. Follow the manufacturer’s specific dosage recommendations.
If you want to give your dog fresh pumpkin, don’t feed it to them raw. Instead, cook it in the oven for about an hour at 350°. Then cut it into small cubes or puree it.
Never give your dog canned pumpkin pie mix (also known as pumpkin pie filling). It’s a sugary mixture that can have over 280 calories per cup. Even worse, pumpkin pie filling can contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs.
The type of pumpkin (canned, powdered, or baked) used doesn’t significantly impact how fast it treats diarrhea.
Can Pumpkin Relieve Constipation?
Although it seems counterintuitive, pumpkin can also help relieve constipation. The fiber turns the dog’s stool softer and larger, making it easier to pass.
The Merck Veterinary Manual recommends adding one to four tablespoons of pumpkin to each meal, similar to the amounts used to treat diarrhea.
When treating constipation with pumpkin, or any other type of fiber, it’s important to always provide your dog with water, as both constipation and increased fiber intake can lead to dehydration.
If giving pumpkin to your dog doesn’t reduce their constipation within about 24 hours, consult with your vet. As with chronic diarrhea, chronic constipation can indicate a more serious issue.
Final Thoughts – How fast does pumpkin work for dog diarrhea?
How fast does pumpkin work for dog diarrhea? For most simple cases of diarrhea, you should see some improvements roughly eight hours after feeding your dog pumpkin. More substantial improvements should appear within 24 hours, and the issue should resolve within 72 hours. (If you don’t see positive changes within about a day, contact your veterinarian.)
Pumpkin is a simple and effective way to treat your dog’s diarrhea and help them maintain optimal digestive health.