Dog Diarrhea: What to Know

Dog Diarrhea: What to Know

  • Kirsten Thornhill - 19.10.2020

How to Handle Dog Diarrhea

No one said that being a paw parent would be easy peezy. In fact, it can sometimes be the opposite - challenging at times, especially when your pup isn’t feeling well. As much as you would wish that your fur baby could speak, that just isn’t the case.

For this reason, it’s important that paw parents are aware of any unusual changes in their pup’s daily lives.

Everything from being overly tired, refusing food, to diarrhea (yep, gross to think about, I know) are ways in which our doggo’s communicate that something it’s quite right with them.

In today’s article, we’ll discuss the topic of doggie diarrhea. We’ll try and address how you can stop it and what your pup may be trying to tell you.



What Causes Diarrhea?

Several reasons may lead to your dog’s diarrhea. Diarrhea alone, is not an illness, but more so a sign of a potential underlying issue. Most cases of diarrhea dissolve within 2 days. However, this also depends on the underlying cause. 

The cause of diarrhea can be simple, for example, an upset digestive tract. Or, unfortunately, it can be a sign of more severe conditions, like cancer or parasitic infestation. 

Because the cause of diarrhea can be ambiguous, dog owners and veterinarians must determine exactly what is causing the diarrhea to approach the underlying condition is treated appropriately. 


1. Diet Change

One of the most common causes of diarrhea may be a recent diet change for your pup. Many paw parents may not realize that it takes several days for your pup’s digestive system to adjust to new food. 

In more instances than not, if the new food isn’t slowly introduced to your pup, it will likely lead to (you guessed it) diarrhea. This occurs when pet parents begin their pup on an all-natural or raw food diet. 

Imagine this - a dog who has eaten dry kibble their whole life and has a diet change of all-natural foods. Your dog will likely experience a shock when making such a big change in food. 


2. Bad Eating Habits


The second most common cause of dog diarrhea is bad eating habits. Most dogs enjoy eating almost everything under the sun, including things they definitely shouldn’t be putting into their mouths. 

This includes objects and things like feces, garbage, spoiled food, and clothing. Bad dietary habits may also include overeating. 

If your dog’s diet is full of high sugar and salt, fatty foods, and chemicals, you’ll likely notice disruption in their digestive system. This disruption often leads to an upset stomach and diarrhea. 

 Does your pup eat those table scraps from under the dinner table? This can lead to a number of behavioral issues and harmful side effects.

Furthermore, too many dog treats can lead to diarrhea too. Treats should be given every now and then, not multiple times a day. 


3. Intolerance of Food

Many dog breeds can be hypersensitive to foods that are rich in fat, gluten, and dairy. However, some breeds are more likely to show these hypersensitivities. 

For example, some Wheaten Terriers are known to have gluten intolerances. On the other hand, some Schnauzers are known to be hypersensitive to high fat diets.

Long-term diarrhea and digestive issues can lead to more problems in the future. Therefore, paw parents should consider adding supplements and foods that will help ease the digestive system. 


4. Food Allergies

Pup’s got allergies? Allergic reactions may be minor to severe. Hopefully, the allergic reaction is minor and may only cause an upset stomach. If that’s the case, the next step is to determine the exact allergen. 

Experts recommend a food elimination diet. This can entail starting from scratch and reintroducing food slowly to determine the underlying cause of the allergen. 



Certain foods tend to cause more allergic reactions than others. Most common of them are dairy, eggs, chicken, soy, lamb, pork, rabbit, and fish. So some dogs may be allergic to beef, but not dairy. If you dog has diarrhea, a quick exam may simply entail taking out the beef. 


5. Parasites

While diarrhea can be the result or sign of something minor, it can also be an underlying sign of a potentially more serious condition or aliment. 

Intestinal parasites - hookworms, roundworms, coccidia, and giardia - can lead to severe stomach issues. Typically, pups contract parasites by drinking contaminated water or eating soil or stool. 

If your pup has a weakened immune system, they may be at a higher risk. In many cases, parasites may be difficult to detect.


6. Toxic Plants and Poisonous Substances

If you haven’t made a diet change for your dog recently but are seeing changes in your dog’s poop, this is typically the first symptom of poisoning. 

Ingesting poisonous substances is extremely scary and dangerous, leading to severe conditions if untreated. 

If you feel that your pup has ingested a toxic substance, such as a poisonous plant, it’s important to get your pup to the vet right away!

What is considered a toxic substance? Chocolate, mushrooms, human medications, charcoal, plants, laundry detergents. Whoa. 


7. Bacterial Infections

Parvovirus, distemper, coronavirus, and bacterial infections like salmonella are often followed by severe diarrhea.

If your doggo has a fever, is vomiting, has weak muscles, and is more tired and lazy than normal, they may have a bacterial infection. 



In most cases, these infections can be highly contagious. HIGHLY contagious. This is troublesome in a home with multiple pets because of the explosive diarrhea. 


8. Illness or Disease

If your pup has liver or kidney cancer, tumors in the intestines, colitis, or inflammatory bowel syndrome, your pup may have diarrhea as a side effect.

Furthermore, bloody diarrhea is typically a symptom of a disease that is associated with the surrounding organs and digestive tract.


9. Antibiotics and Medications

While antibiotics treat infections, they can also lead to diarrhea in your pup (sad face). Gastrointestinal (GI)  issues are one of the most common side effects of antibiotics. 

Antibiotics kill the bacteria in your pup’s body yes, but they aren’t able to differentiate between the good and bad bacteria. 

Therefore, unfortunately, the antibiotics target both types of bacteria. We need good bacteria to help balance the digestive system and GI tract health. 

Without this good bacteria, your dog will likely experience abdominal discomfort and potential stomach issues. If your pup has recently been put on antibiotics, their diarrhea may be linked to the new medication(s). Always consult and follow the advice of your vet.


10. Stress and Anxiety

Have you ever felt so anxious that you are physically sick to your stomach? Well, then you know firsthand just how an anxious dog might feel. 

Stress is indirectly linked to irregular bowels that can cause constipation or loose stools. 

If stress is the underlying cause of diarrhea in your pup’s life, you may want to consider removing the potential stressor. If that’s not possible, you can adopt an all-natural remedy (like our CBD for dogs) that can help your pup relax. 



What Does the Poop Mean?

At least one point of your fur baby’s life they’ll probably experience diarrhea. In most cases, this isn’t a cause to freak out. 

If you’ve changed their diet, been giving them extra treats from table scraps, these factors may be the culprit clues! However, there are certain things that you, as a paw parent, need to be aware of. 

Dog diarrhea that is paired with vomiting, blood, or even mucus may be early signs of liver disease or inflammatory bowel disease. Your vet will need to do specific tests to diagnose these potential conditions. 

 These conditions should not be overlooked or ignored. If left untreated, they can lead to dehydration and potential health problems further down the road. 


What are the Warning Signs?


  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Increased lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Diarrhea that is longer than 48 hours
  • Increased sensitivity in the abdomen 

If you notice any of the symptoms listed, see your vet ASAP.



How Can I Stop the Diarrhea?

There are 2 main ways to treat this horrid diarrhea. 1) let it run its course or 2) provide a supplement/medication to ease the issue.

First things first, you’ve got to figure out the cause of your dog’s diarrhea. Then, you can effectively determine a solution for the diarrhea. 


Medications for Diarrhea


 Many vets and paw parents rave about the Vets Preferred Advanced Anti Diarrhea supplement. It aims to ease stomach and abdominal pains and cramps as well as helping your pup relieve the diarrhea. 



This is just one of many anti-diarrhea products on the market for your doggo. It’s important to talk with your vet to find one that works best for your four-legged fur child.


Natural At-Home Remedies

Boiled chicken & white rice. Feeding your pup a bland diet is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It tends to work the majority of the time. Simple.

Canned pumpkin. This is great for soothing an upset stomach. Pumpkin is absorbed slowly through the body. It makes for a great remedy for diarrhea and constipation. 

Ginger. Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory that can help promote a healthy GI tract and fight nausea and bloating. 

Bone broth. This is a wonderful option for easing an upset stomach while also hydrating your pup too! When purchasing bone broth, we recommend purchasing a brand that is formulated for dogs. This way, you’ll be able to ensure that there are no harmful additives that could further irritate the episodic diarrhea. 

CBD oil for your pup. CBD oil is an aid that helps support gut health and joint support. It can help reduce occasional loose stools due to changes in the diet or environmental stressors. 



 Dog Diarrhea: Final Thoughts

When it’s all said and done, diarrhea can be a gnarly mess. When you add in potential health scares into the mess, diarrhea can be stressful. Well, there’s hope. 

With that being said, we can’t stress enough how important it is to get to the bottom of what is causing your dog’s diarrhea. If it continues for more than a day or two, make sure to take your doggo to the vet. 

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