Upset Tummy Protocol
The most heart-wrenching thing is when your best friend isn't feeling good! Whether it's from a new food or stress, rocket butt (aka diarrhea) is never fun for anyone...
So here is my go-to upset tummy protocol that more often than not, clears things up pretty quickly!
⚠️ If your dog is having chronic diarrhea that has lasted longer than 1-2 days, please take them to your holistic or integrative vet ASAP. ⚠️
Why Does Diarrhea Happen?
Diarrhea is defined as a loose and watery stool. It often disappears within a few days and can be acute or chronic.
Acute diarrhea lasts 1-2 days while chronic diarrhea is usually the result of a viral or bacterial infection or due to food poisoning.
Diarrhea can occur due to numerous factors such as:
A food allergy or intolerance
⚠️ The following protocol is for acute diarrhea only ⚠️
Symptoms of an upset tummy:
Drinking less water
Sensitive to touch around the abdomen area
Having an upset tummy is never fun for anyone but hopefully, with this upset tummy protocol, you can get through it a little easier!
Upset Tummy Protocol
#1 Fasting (from solid foods)
Fasting is the willful refrainment of food for a period of time. Fasting should only be done with dogs older than a year old. If your dog is younger than 1 year, disregard this step and opt for feeding a bland diet instead.
Fasting adult dogs will give their digestive system a break and allow whatever is messing up their system to have a chance to clear out, reset, and recover from the inflammation inside.
Especially if the diarrhea is caused by something she ate, it can be beneficial to stop putting solid foods in their stomach for a 24 hour period. And out of having an upset tummy, fasting can be beneficial on its own, to learn more click here!
#2 Raw Goat's Milk
The next step that is essential to this whole protocol is raw goat milk... and emphasize on the raw!
Raw goat's milk provides loads of prebiotics, 200+ species of live active probiotics, and all digestive enzymes (60+). It also populates the gut with beneficial probiotics bacteria better than pills/powders and since raw goat milk contains antioxidants (fight off free radicals damage) which reduce free radicals (unstable cells that steal electrons from healthy cells), it aids in reducing inflammation immensely and preventing metabolic diseases.
You also get wonderful high-quality fat that aids in many metabolic functions and is a critical part of any diet... fat has been demonized so much but (quality) fat is our friend! But remember... all of these benefits deteriorate when pasteurized... while it’s understandable not everyone can source raw milk, it’s important to its benefits and why it’s the preferred choice.
My top favorite sources for RAW goat milk are:
Answer's Pet Foods Fermented Raw Goat Milk - the added step of fermentation adds so many more health benefits that deserve a whole post on its own!)
Bones & Co Raw Goat Milk - based from Austin, TX, so local-ish? to me!
Primal Pet Foods which is the most common brand that is easily found
Local quality farmers
Diarrhea can easily dehydrate a dog, therefore, it's vital to supply liquids. Some easy ways to check if your dog is dehydrated are...
Skin Elasticity Test - Using the skin elasticity test where you gently lift the skin on the back or between shoulder blades in a tent using two fingers. If the skin snaps back quickly into position, that's great! If it delays, or worse, stays lifted, then the dog needs to be re-hydrated quickly.
Gums Texture - You can also check the gums as well. Hydrated gums will have a nice pink color (unless the dog's gums are naturally not pink) with a nice coat of saliva. While dehydrated gums will be pale and have a tacky touch to them.
Capillary Refill Time (CRT) - This test also uses the gums as a measurement of hydration. First, apply continuous pressure onto the gums for 5 seconds. The pressure should be enough to where it turns the area where pressure is applied turns slightly white. When you release the pressure, the gum should spring back to a pink color instantaneously.
Raw goat's milk is also an amazing way to keep your dog hydrated when they have the runs. Often times, they will not want to drink water so offering goat milk is an easy way to convince them to drink some liquids!
I usually triple the serving size of raw milk as it will be her only source of calories for that day. For example, she usually gets 1/4 cup with a regular meal but when she has an upset tummy, I will give her around 1 cup or more.
#3 Marshmallow Root & Slippery Elm Bark
The last step of the protocol involves some herbs! The 2 herbs that I most frequently use are marshmallow root and slippery elm bark.
Both of these herbs are very similar and essentially do the same thing. Sometimes one or the other is easier to source for some people. My favorite place to source from is Mountain Rose Herbs.
Both of these herbs are a mucilaginous product that functions as a demulcent (anti-inflammatory) agent. The mucilage of these herbs is a complex polysaccharide that becomes a gel-like substance when mixed with water.
Marshmallow root has been studied for its healing properties surrounding constipation and colic while slippery elm bark by indigenous tribes from mucilage for wounds, skin conditions, coughs, and sore throats. These herbs are also beneficial to give if your dog has constipation too!
My favorite way to dose this is a heaping teaspoon with a cup of goat milk. I allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the mucilage to form then I feed to Stormy. Since it's mixed in with the raw goat's milk, she usually eats it willingly but if your dog is a bit pickier, you can either syringe it on their gum line or dilute even more with goat milk and/or bone broth.
Fun fact: Slippery elm bark can also be given to horses to help with ulcers or GI upset!
Both of these herbs help soothe the GI tract and calm inflammation, naturally!
Pumpkin is another very popular go-to supplement for GI imbalances. But, I find that it can be hard to find a quality pumpkin puree (especially during COVID-19 for some reason?) that is free of added ingredients, organic, BPA-free lining, etc. unless you are making it yourself. If you have some quality pumpkin on hand, feel free to add a dollop in! But this should only be given in small amounts as it can be high on the glycemic index.
Stomach trouble can be the worst for you and especially your dog! But hopefully, with these tips & tricks, you can get through it like a pro. As always, I hope you enjoyed and Always Keep Exploring!
📢Disclaimer: Any information shared is to be used at your own discretion. I am sharing what I personally have learned through my own independent research as well as formal education. I am not a licensed veterinarian, and any information I share is not intended to replace the advice of a holistic or integrative veterinarian.