What to do if your dog has diarrhea

dog has diarrhea

Dogs are our family members and we love them dearly. However, sometimes their health issues can be quite serious. In fact, there are several diseases that dogs can suffer from. Some of these illnesses are very common while others are rarer.

If you find yourself wondering what to do if your dog has the runs, then this article is for you.

What is Diarrhea?

The gastrointestinal tract is a term that refers to both the esophagus and stomach as well as the small and large intestines. When something upsets this part of your dog’s anatomy, then he often has diarrhea.

Diarrhea is a medical condition where your dog passes several bowel movements in succession. The feces of these dogs will contain more fluid than usual and this will lead to watery stools. You can imagine how unpleasant it must be for the dog as constant diarrhea tends to impede their ability to go out and play as they usually do.

In addition, watery stools can damage their skin. This is because diarrhea can cause a loss of electrolytes from the body. Electrolytes are minerals that regulate the fluid balance in your dog’s body. Therefore, if they lose too many electrolytes, then their skin will become dry and itchy.

Diarrhea may be caused by many things, but one of the most common causes is dietary indiscretion. The term refers to a dog’s tendency to eat things that it should not eat. For example, if your dog starts consuming items such as garbage or other uneatable objects, then it is likely to develop diarrhea.

What Causes Diarrhea in Dogs?

Have you ever wondered what causes diarrhea in dogs? 

Diarrhea is a common problem in puppies. In fact, it affects nearly half of all dogs at least once during their lifetime. This condition can range from mild to severe diarrhea. Severe cases can even lead to life-threatening emergencies if left untreated.

There are several reasons why a dog might develop diarrhea.

Some causes of diarrhea in dogs include:

Bacterial infections. If you own a dog, then chances are you’ll see signs of viral infections at least once during your lifetime. These parasites live inside your dog’s body and cause a variety of symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and even seizures.

Food allergies. If your dog is licking his paws, chewing on his coat, or frequently scratching himself in weird places, then he might have developed a food allergy. Symptoms that are associated with food allergies include chronic ear infections and diarrhea. If your dog has a food intolerance, then it will usually react to certain ingredients. For example, you might notice that your dog’s stool becomes loose after he eats beef. In these cases, the most common cause of diarrhea is something known as salmonella enteritis or parvovirus.

Intestinal disease. Some dogs are born with intestinal issues that cause them to experience diarrhea throughout their lives. These include inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and intestinal infections.

Stress. Dogs are very sensitive to changes in their environment and any stressful event in general. When they’re feeling stressed, many will develop diarrhea as a way of trying to get rid of the stressor.

The most common cause of diarrhea in dogs is an intestinal parasite called Giardia Lamblia. It’s also the most prevalent parasitic infection in dogs. If you notice your puppy vomiting, or signs of weight loss, lethargy, or dehydration, then you should immediately take your dog for veterinary care.

dog diarrhea treatment

How Do You Know Your Dog Has Diarrhea?

There are a few symptoms that can mean that your dog’s diarrhea is a medical emergency. If your dog has any of these symptoms, then you should take him to the vet right away:

Lethargy. If your dog usually loves to play but suddenly lays all day on your legs, then he might be suffering from diarrhea.

Increased water intake and urination. Dogs with diarrhea often drink more water and urinate more frequently than usual.

Vomiting. If your dog is vomiting along with having diarrhea, then it’s likely that he’s also dehydrated.

Weight loss. If your dog has been losing weight even though he’s been eating the same amount of food, then there’s a good chance he has diarrhea.

Sudden changes in behavior. Dogs who have diarrhea often become more clingy, get scared easily, and seem to be uncomfortable all the time.

Loss of Appetite. In addition to all of the other symptoms, dogs with diarrhea often lose their appetites as well.

How To Treat Dog Diarrhea

If your dog has diarrhea, there are several things you can do to help him feel better.

  • Make sure he has plenty of fresh water to drink.
  • Try to keep him from eating anything for a few hours.
  • If your dog has diarrhea for more than 24 hours, then you should try switching to a bland diet. This consists of cooked chicken and white rice. Do this for 3-5 days and see if your dog’s symptoms improve. Brown rice is not recommended because it can be hard for dogs to digest.
  • Get rid of all the garbage in your dog’s normal diet. This means no more table scraps, no more treats, and no more regular food at all.
  • If your dog’s diarrhea doesn’t improve after a few days, then take him to the vet. He might need antibiotics or other medication to get rid of the infection.
  • The best thing you can do for your dog when he has diarrhea is to give him plenty of rest. This will help his body heal itself and he’ll feel better after a period of time.

What NOT to Do to Treat Diarrhea in Dogs

There are several things you shouldn’t do to treat diarrhea in dogs:

  • Don’t give your dog any table scraps or treats. This includes all the yummy food that your family eats as well as any people’s food that he might sneak from the trash. These items will only make his diarrhea worse and won’t do anything to help him feel better.
  • Don’t let your dog run around outside in the rain or snow. He might enjoy playing outside, but it’s not safe for him when he has diarrhea since this could make it worse and he might also get a stomach virus from another dog.
  • Don’t force your dog to eat if he doesn’t want to. When you have diarrhea, it’s not always easy to feel hungry. If your dog doesn’t want to eat then don’t force him to because he might just vomit later on.
  • Don’t use human medications and any kind of over-the-counter medications to treat your dog’s diarrhea. Only give your dog medications that are specifically meant for dogs and always consult with your veterinarian before giving your pet any type of medication. It’s more common than you think to have a reaction to medications.

When diarrhea is a veterinary emergency?

If your dog has diarrhea for longer than 24 hours, then you should take him to the vet. The same goes if he starts vomiting or has other symptoms such as lethargy or weight loss. Bloody diarrhea is also a sign that you should take your dog to the vet right away for medical care.

Your vet might give your dog medicine and fluids if he is dehydrated or he might need to be hospitalized if his diarrhea hasn’t improved after a few days. It might be necessary to perform blood tests or take X-rays. If possible, get a fecal sample to the vet so that they can test for parasites or other infections.

Diarrhea is a common problem in dogs, but it’s not something to take lightly. If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, then take your dog to the vet right away.


Is dog diarrhea contagious?

Yes, dog diarrhea can be contagious to other dogs as well as humans. It’s important to keep your dog away from other animals and people until his diarrhea has gone away. This means that if he sleeps in your bed or goes on the furniture, then you shouldn’t touch him while he has diarrhea until he gets better.

Can I give the dog diarrhea medicine?

Only give your dog diarrhea medicine if your veterinarian prescribes it. Never give your dog any kind of diarrhea medicine without approval from a vet because you could make your dog’s condition worse or cause other medical problems.

Can dog diarrhea be caused by stress?

Yes, dog diarrhea can be caused by stress. This is especially common in puppies who are adjusting to a new home or in dogs who are experiencing changes in their daily routine.

What to give a dog with diarrhea? Should you still feed them?

No, you shouldn’t still feed a dog with diarrhea. In fact, you should stop giving your dog all regular food and just give him water until his diarrhea has gone away. You can also give him some bland food such as boiled rice or chicken.

How long does dog diarrhea last?

The length of time that your dog has diarrhea will depend on the severity of his illness. Some cases are caused by something simple like eating something bad, while others are caused by more serious problems such as intestinal parasites or an infection.

When is dog diarrhea an emergency?

Any time that your dog has diarrhea for longer than 24 hours is a sign that you should take him to the vet. He’ll need to get special medication and fluids if he has diarrhea for this long.

Will bread help dog diarrhea?

No, bread is not a good treatment for dog diarrhea. In fact, you should avoid giving your dog any kind of food until his diarrhea has gone away. Bland foods such as boiled rice or chicken are a better option.

Dog diarrhea vs soft stool

Soft stool is a term for when a dog has difficulty moving his bowels. It’s different from diarrhea because there is no water or mucus in the poop and it uses up less energy to pass through the system. A soft stool can be a sign of constipation or another medical problem. If your puppy has runny poop, then you should take him to the vet.