Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) cannot be cured in dogs but can often be effectively managed. Our veterinary experts at Weldon Spring explore the various treatments available for dogs with IBD.

IBD in Dogs

If your dog has Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), their gastrointestinal tract (GI tract), including the stomach and intestines, can be affected long-term. IBD can hinder your dog's ability to absorb nutrients and expel waste normally, resulting in uncomfortable and unpleasant symptoms.

These symptoms can include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite.

Treatment for IBD in Dogs

While there is no definitive cure for IBD in dogs, there are ways to manage the condition through medication and dietary changes that can help control your dog's symptoms. It's important to keep in mind that treating IBD in dogs can be a trial-and-error process, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach. This means that it may take some time to find the right combination of medication and diet that works best for your furry friend. 

Once the treatment plan is effectively managing the condition, some dogs may be able to reduce their daily medication intake and only need it during symptom flare-ups. Here are some of the most commonly used treatments to control inflammatory bowel disease in dogs.


Parasites and bacterial infections can trigger inflammatory bowel disease in dogs. Unfortunately, these problems may not be detected through fecal exams. Nonetheless, deworming is a simple yet effective way to relieve the symptoms of IBD in dogs. Therefore, it's crucial to be mindful of these possible health concerns and take proactive steps to prevent them. 


Managing the symptoms of IBD in dogs is possible by taking care of their GI tract's microbiome. You can improve your dog's microbiome by providing supplements like prebiotic fibers, postbiotic end products, and a balanced diet. Prescription diets are also beneficial for dogs with IBD, as they can be customized based on the individual dog's symptoms and the cause of their inflammatory bowel disease. .

Some of the formulas available to help treat dogs with IBD include:

  • Novel proteins (avoiding typical chicken and beef formulations)
  • Foods that are more easily digestible
  • High fiber
  • Hydrolyzed protein formulas (protein that has been broken down into small components is less likely to cause adverse food reactions in some dogs)

B12 Injections

Vitamin B12 is crucial for both humans and dogs. If your furry friend's digestive system is not working properly, they may experience a deficiency in this essential nutrient. This can cause them to feel lethargic and unhappy. However, administering B12 injections can help to boost their energy levels and overall mood. So, don't hesitate to give your dog the care they need by providing them with the proper nutrients!


If your dog is suffering from mild digestive issues, changing their diet could be enough to alleviate the symptoms. However, your vet may prescribe medication if the problem is more severe. For instance, antibiotics are often used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in dogs. By reducing inflammation and restoring balance in your dog's gut, antibiotics can help alleviate symptoms. In some cases, steroids may also be recommended to help fight inflammation. 

IBD in Dogs Prognosis

It's crucial to promptly diagnose, manage, and closely monitor your dog's IBD for the best treatment outcomes. Finding the right combination of treatments may involve a trial and error phase, but sticking with it can lead to the successful management of your pet's IBD and a good prognosis. 

With the guidance of your veterinarian, sticking to a modified diet that works best for your dog can eventually lead to a reduction in medication, and possibly even the cessation of daily medication. While some dogs may need changes to their treatment every few months, others can remain on the same regimen for years. Unfortunately, some dogs may not respond to treatment at all. Diagnosis is crucial as severe forms of IBD can lead to intestinal cancer.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Concerned about your dog's inflammatory bowel disease symptoms? Book an exam with our Weldon Spring vets now! Our experienced team is committed to your pet's well-being and will provide top-notch care. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!