Slippery Elm for Dogs
What is Slippery Elm? Slippery elm soothes inflammation and irritation in the digestive and respiratory tract. It serves as a demulcent which means it creates a protective film on the mucus membranes and has a beneficial effect on the microbiome.
Benefits of Slippery Elm
- Inflammation in the digestive tract, diarrhea, vomiting
- Conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease
- Inflammation of the respiratory tract, cough (as a tea)
- Conditions such as collapsing trachea and kennel cough
Where to buy Slippery Elm
- Purchase capsules and open to fill a teaspoon (this will require about four to 5 400-500 mg capsules). Loose herbs are primarily available online.
How to Prepare Slippery Elm Tea
- Add 1 level tablespoon slippery elm to 1 cup water in a small saucepan.
- Heat to a low boil while stirring.
- Turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and cool.
- For dogs add tsp of honey. Do not add honey for cats.
- Keep in refrigerator.
How do I give Slippery Elm to my pet?
You can use capsules or make tea. I prefer to make the tea, but this may not be practical for medium to large dogs. For Medium to large dogs give a 400-500 mg by mouth twice daily (can also be mixed in broth or food).
Use a dropper, spoon or syringe. A 5 ml syringe=1 TSP=5 ml. I always keep one of these handy. You can ask your veterinarian if you can purchase one to have on hand for your pets.
Slippery Elm Dosage for Dogs
- Small dogs (less than 25 pounds): 1/2 to 1 TSP (2.5 to 5 mls) every 8 to 12 hours. Can be given by mouth or added to food.
- Medium dogs (40-75 pounds): 2 TSP (10 mls ) every 8 to 12 hours. Can be given by mouth or added to food.
- Large dogs (75+ pounds): 2 TSP to 2 TBSP (10 mls to 1 ounce) every 8 to 12 hours. For large dogs it may be easier to add a capsule (approximately 400 mg) to the food twice daily until resolved.
Contraindications of Slippery Elm
- Slippery elm should be given at least 2 hours from the time of any other medications as it may decrease the absorption of these medications by coating the digestive tract.
- If diarrhea persists despite a day of treatment, you should contact your veterinarian
Note: Although slippery elm is very safe, you should let your veterinarian know if your pet is having moderate to severe diarrhea and especially if vomiting is present and seek their immediate advice for next steps. Further diagnostics (such as a fecal parasite exam) and/or treatments may be necessary.