How to Clean a Dog's System Out

Easy
12 - 24 Hours
1 Day

Introduction

Whether it’s a tummy bug, food, or something like Giardia, if your dog has gotten into something that he shouldn’t have--like an entire pumpkin pie--it might be a good idea to give his system a good rest and clean it out. Imagine how you'd feel eating a holiday dinner, the next day's leftovers, and dessert--all at once. Sometimes your dog's tummy and system need a gentle clean out and a break from anything harsh and uncomfortable. Cleaning out your dog's system will occur over time by not introducing any new food to his gut. Gastrointestinal pain is a good reason to give your dog's system a clean out.

Dog's Perspective

If your dog has eaten ingested something to cause tummy pain or intestinal issues, he is probably not feeling well. He may be lethargic and grumpy. Keep a close eye on him, and give him lots of TLC until he feels better. Cleaning his system now should help.

The Light Foods Method

Effective
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Step
1
Hydrated
Do a skin check to ensure your dog is well hydrated. If he is dehydrated, you may need to call your veterinarian. Otherwise, give your dog small amounts of water and light foods to increase the water in his system while also giving his system a chance to clean out.
Step
2
Fast
As long as your dog won’t eat, allow him to fast, but do not let him fast for more than twenty-four hours. Watch him closely for dehydration as he is fasting. If he wants to eat, allow him to eat small, controlled meals with the following foods.
Step
3
Bananas
Try to give your dog mashed banana or banana baby food from a spoon or your finger. Only let him lick a small amount at a time. This will help him stay hydrated as well as give him sugar for energy.
Step
4
Rice
If your dog must eat and cannot fast, offer him a small amount of boiled rice a few times throughout the day. Be sure to make these meals small and leave enough time in between to see how they affect your dog’s tummy.
Step
5
Chicken
Boiled chicken can also help your dog’s tummy recover after being upset. Only give him small amounts of boiled chicken at first. If he’s interested in the boiled rice, you can add the chicken to his boiled rice for a small meal.
Step
6
Sweet potatoes
Once your dog is eating boiled chicken and rice, you can add sweet potatoes to his meals for a day or two. These will increase his blood sugar levels giving him more sustained energy.
Step
7
For a week
Increase his meals in size over several days. Make sure he is drinking water and going potty on a regular basis. Over time, you can add his regular kibble to his bananas, rice, chicken, and sweet potato meals, increasing the kibble and decreasing the whole foods. Alternatively, consider giving your dog whole foods every day to keep his system healthy.
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The One Day Fast Method

Effective
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Step
1
Upset tummy
If your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, consider giving his tummy time to clean out without additional foods to process.
Step
2
Hydrate
As long as he is vomiting, you’ll need to watch him closely for hydration levels. He’ll need to be well hydrated before he can fast for an entire day. If he looks for water, offer him small amounts, but do not allow him to drink freely as he may overdo it causing more pain and vomiting.
Step
3
Fast
Do not feed your dog anything for twenty-four hours. If he needs water, you can offer water in small amounts but control how much he drinks.
Step
4
Introduce foods
After twenty four hours, you can slowly introduce foods back to your dog’s system. Start with bland boiled white rice. Give him small amounts to lick off a spoon or your fingers.
Step
5
Monitor
Watch your dog closely to see how his system responds to the rice. If he is not vomiting and does not have diarrhea, give him more boiled rice the next hour.
Step
6
Next meal
His second meal can be increased in size and foods. Add boiled chicken to his boiled white rice for his second meal. Continue to monitor him after meals to ensure his system is handling them well.
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Caution & Considerations

  • If you are worried about your dog’s overall well-being, do not hesitate to call your veterinarian. 
  • If your dog is dealing with excess vomiting, he runs the risk of becoming dehydrated. 
  • Before allowing your dog to fast, check his hydration levels. 
  • A quick skin check will tell you how well hydrated your dog is. Simply lift a small portion of his skin in a pinch and pull up. If the skin stays up, it is likely he is dehydrated and at risk. If the skin falls quickly into place, his hydration levels are safe.
  • Once your dog has had some time to fast, cleaning out his tummy and system, he can start a bland diet of rice and chicken.
  • Avoid giving boiled hamburger meat to your dog. Chicken is a better alternative because the fat in ground beef can upset his tummy again. 
  • If you suspect your dog has eaten something toxic, you may need to call or see your veterinarian right away.
  • Watch your dog closely for excessive vomiting and diarrhea. These activities alone can cause dehydration.
  • Once your dog is eating again, consider a bland diet that includes rice and chicken along with some simple foods like banana or sweet potato to increase energy.

Conclusion

As long as you are confident your dog hasn't ingested something that could cause him harm, giving his system a rest to clean out and start fresh is a great way to rid his body of unwanted bacteria or foods that might be causing gastrointestinal issues. He might be tired but shouldn't be overly lethargic. He'll need some extra rest and love but no special treats until his tummy can handle foods again.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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