How to Prepare Slippery Elm Powder for a Dog

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The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) states that slippery elm bark is a "time honored" remedy for diarrhea and stomach upset as well as for burns and wound care. It's also a good stomach upset remedy for dogs. Slippery elm is made from the inner lining of elm bark, and when mixed with water becomes a mucus-like gel which coats the entire digestive tract. It does not have a strong taste and most dogs won't object to it in their food, but there are some tricks if your dog is picky or doesn't have much of an appetite.

Things You'll Need

  • Slippery elm powder
  • Container
  • Hot water or broth
  • Mix 1 tbsp. of slippery elm powder with 12 oz. of boiling water or low-sodium broth, or follow label directions. Allow it to cool--it will thicken as it cools.

  • Give 1 tsp. of the liquid to puppies or dogs under 20 lbs, 2 tsp. to medium-sized dogs, and 3 to 4 tsp. to large dogs.

  • Mix the slippery elm with your dog's food. If your dog doesn't have much of an appetite, encourage him to eat it with a little canned dog food, tuna, or something else he really enjoys eating.

  • Give the slippery elm with a syringe if your dog refuses to take it any other way. Have her sit or stand with you behind her so she can't back up. Gently raise her head. Insert the syringe into the corner of her mouth aimed toward her throat and quickly depress the plunger. Praise her and rub her throat until you feel her swallow.

  • Administer slippery elm two to four times a day.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep the slippery elm mixture refrigerated for up to three days.
  • Don't use slippery elm for long-term therapy without guidance from a veterinarian.
  • Diarrhea that persists for more than three days in an adult dog needs to be medically evaluated. Take a puppy in within 24 hours if the diarrhea does not resolve, and bring a stool sample with you.
  • This information is not a substitute for veterinary advice. Chronic diarrhea or stomach upset can be serious, and even fatal in puppies and small dogs.
  • Never give your dog medication for preventing diarrhea unless your veterinarian advises you to. Diarrhea may be your dog's way of expelling foreign substances or excess bacteria from his system and stopping him up can make him very ill.

References

  • Photo Credit dog image by Michal Tudek from Fotolia.com
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