9 Benefits of Slippery Elm for Dogs

9 Benefits of Slippery Elm

The digestive system of your dog can be affected by a number of factors. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, constipation, ulcers, and so on are only a few examples.

There are several additional factors that can play a role. Perhaps he experimented with something new or consumed something he shouldn’t have. He could be suffering from a gastrointestinal virus or have overworked himself.

Whatever the cause of the upset, you want to help your dog feel better. 

Fortunately, there are a lot of safe, simple options to help you manage your dog’s digestive health.

A Useful Herb 

One useful herb that everyone should have on hand is slippery elm. It’s a great solution for a wide range of digestive problems and other issues.

And it’s one of the safest herbs you can use.  

Benefits of Slippery Elm

Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) also goes by the names red elm and sweet elm. 

It’s an eastern North American deciduous tree. For generations, this has been used to treat digestive problems, coughs, and other diseases.

  • Demulcent – Mucilage is a gooey material secreted by the slippery elm. To reduce mucous membrane irritation, mucilage forms a protective coating.
  • Laxative – This herb acts as a mild laxative to help with bowel movements. 
  • Emollient – Slippery elm can soften and soothe skin. 
  • Astringent – This herb can dry and tighten skin cells and tissue. 
  • Nutritive Slippery elm contains a variety of nutrients. It’s packed with nutrients like vitamins A, B complex, C, and K, calcium, magnesium, and sodium. 
  • Anti-inflammatory Slippery elm helps to reduce redness, swelling, and pain.

Slippery elm is harvested in the spring and can be used internally and topically. It has a sweet taste and is usually found in powder form. 

Ways Slippery Elm Can Help Your Dog

Slippery elm can be beneficial to your dog in the following ways:


Slippery elm is helpful for short-term diarrhea.

It calms mucosal membranes in the digestive tract and lowers inflammation. It produces oily mucilage that lubricates the gastrointestinal tract and promotes mucus secretion.

Slippery elm’s astringent properties also aid in tightening the lining of the digestive tract. Inflammation is reduced as a result. It also contains fiber, which helps to feed the good bacteria in your dog’s gut.

This means it’s a prebiotic that feeds healthy bacteria in the gut to help it function normally.


The fact that slippery elm can help with both diarrhea and constipation may seem unusual. This is due to the presence of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Its primary function, like that of many fibrous plants, is to control the digestive tract.

When your dog is constipated, his muscles have to work extra hard. Slick elm soothes and lubricates the mucosal membranes in his digestive tract.

This helps relax the muscles. This plant can also be administered as a light laxative if your dog has worms. It may also aid in the relief of the inflammation caused by the worms in his digestive tract (if you’re struggling with parasites).

Additional Digestive Issues Can Be Managed with Slipper Elm

The anti-inflammatory properties of slippery elm don’t just help diarrhea and constipation. They can also relieve intestinal inflammation that accompanies other digestive issues, including:

  • Ulcers
  • Colitis
  • Gastritis 
  • Irritable bowel syndrome 


Some professionals recommend slippery elm bark for heartburn or acid reflux. 

A painful burning feeling can occur when stomach acids run back into the esophagus. This is because the acid is causing damage to your dog’s esophageal lining.

The mucilage in slippery elm protects the esophagus from stomach acid, which then helps to reduce heartburn.


Slippery elm can also protect the upper respiratory tract by lining the throat and easing discomfort. This can help dogs with the following:

Transition From Kibble To Raw 

If you want to switch to raw food, it can take some time for your dog’s body to adjust. It’s important to go slowly when you transition your dog. But even then … your dog may need extra support. 

Slippery elm can soothe your dog’s gut and help make this transition easier.

Urinary Tract 

Some believe that slippery elm can also help the bladder. 

It’s most often recommended for unexplained inflammation in the bladder. In fact, bladder and urinary tract infections are often just inflammation, rather than bacteria. 

Skin Healing

Slippery elm is an astringent that dries and tightens tissue. As a result, it can be used to help dry oozing wounds and stop bleeding, allowing wounds to heal faster. 

If your dog has a burn, boil, or skin infection, apply slippery elm to the affected area. 

Swallowing Too Soon

Dogs are gulpers. Has your dog ever almost choked by swallowing something a bit too big to go down?

If something like a bone gets stuck in their throat, slippery elm gel or syrup can help it on its way through the digestive tract

As with Other Herbs, There are Some Precautions

So you know how slippery elm can help. But first, a few cautions …

  • When you look for a slippery elm product, find one that’s sustainably harvested. Slippery elm is in danger of overharvesting
  • In rare cases, your dog may be allergic to slippery elm. Signs of allergies may include, hives, swelling, diarrhea, vomiting, or itchiness. 
  • Don’t use it for pregnant dogs. 
  • Slippery elm can interfere with absorption because of the protective layer it forms. For this reason, it’s best to give slippery elm at least 3 hours away from other supplements

Read more:

A Complete Guide to Using Slippery Elm for Pets – Dr. Axe

Slippery Elm for Dogs: Benefits and Uses | Great Pet Care

Published by Amber L. Drake

Dr. Amber L. Drake is a celebrated author and a distinguished cancer specialist, renowned for her comprehensive research in canine cancer prevention and nutrition. She is widely recognized for her commitment to helping dogs lead long and joyful lives, as well as for her contributions to veterinary medicine education. As the CEO of Canine Companions Co., the Founder of the Drake Dog Cancer Foundation and Academy, and the Co-Founder of Preferable Pups, she has become a respected and influential figure in the canine community, earning the admiration and respect of dog enthusiasts around the globe.

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