When it comes to diarrhea in dogs, the first thing a dog owner wants to do is get rid of it as soon as possible and forget about it altogether. Often times, you will not even need medical treatment for dog diarrhea. Home treatments may help to solve the problem a natural way.
Diarrhea in dogs is not uncommon. Most dogs will likely contract diarrhea at some point in their life, whether it be from new medication, a disruption in his environment or a change of food. In most cases, diarrhea in dogs is simply from your dog consuming something he shouldn’t have. In some cases, however, dog diarrhea can be caused by intestinal parasites and other serious illnesses. Although it’s not a pleasant subject, it is important to look for possible clues as to why your dog may have diarrhea, because some cases may actually be life threatening.
The more informed you are, the easier it will be to treat diarrhea in dogs.
From determining the source of your dog’s diarrhea to options for medical treatment for the problem, we provide an in-depth look at what may be causing diarrhea in your dog and other symptoms to look for in case of an emergency situation. We also provide readers with information about different types of dog diarrhea, such as diarrhea and vomiting or blood in your dog’s diarrhea. These are much more serious cases, and need to be treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
We understand that not everyone wants to treat their dog with medications. We discuss natural dog diarrhea treatment options, from bland diets to herbal supplements. There are even ways you can help to prevent diarrhea in your dog by simply changing a few things around the home and keeping an eye out for possible threats to your dog. We’ve got the information you need to prevent diarrhea in dogs.
Diarrhea itself can be a sign your dog is not well. Whether it’s caused by a change of diet or consuming rat poison, our mission is to provide you with the most informative information to quickly and effectively treat diarrhea in your dog. Diarrhea can be a pain to deal with, but the sooner you seek treatment, the sooner it will go away and both you and your dog may be comfortable again.
- 1 Types of Diarrhea in Dogs
- 2 My Dog Has Diarrhea
- 3 Why Does My Dog Have Bloody Diarrhea?
- 4 Dog Vomiting & Have Diarrhea?
- 5 Treating Your Dogs Diarrhea
- 6 Home Remedies
Types of Diarrhea in Dogs
Diarrhea is the passage of loose, unformed feces. Normal feces contains no mucus, undigested food or blood. Food takes around 8 hours to pass through a dog’s small intestines. If your dog has diarrhea, normally there is a large amount of stool passed and more often bowel movements. These movements are often uncontrollable and typically smell worse than regular feces.
Acute dog diarrhea – There are two main types of diarrhea in dogs. Your dog’s behavior will likely not change and other symptoms are usually not present. Acute diarrhea is not usually caused by disease, and will normally cure on its own after a day or so.
Chronic dog diarrhea – Chronic diarrhea is a cause for concern. Even though all diarrhea generally looks and smells the same, chronic diarrhea is typically caused by something more serious. Chronic diarrhea in dogs may last for 3-5 days, which if left untreated, can actually lead to death. Dogs with a case of chronic diarrhea are often hospitalized and monitored closely to be sure they do not become dehydrated and that secondary illnesses do not attack the system. Usually, conventional treatments for chronic diarrhea will not cure the problem. Chronic diarrhea is often seen in cases of canine parvovirus.
If your dog is suffering from a minor case of acute diarrhea, there are some home remedies you can give him to help him feel better.
Causes of Diarrhea
The most common causes of diarrhea in dogs are intestinal parasites and dietary problems. However, there are many different things that can cause dog diarrhea. It is important to look for possible causes such as rotten food, stressful environment, recent trips to the vet or even your dog’s age. Lean more about why your dog may have diarrhea.
My Dog Has Diarrhea
While it’s not uncommon for dogs to have diarrhea, it’s best to understand what causes it, and prevent it if possible. Dogs can has diarrhea by a variety of different factors. Some of these causes may be a simple fix, where as some causes may be much more serious and require immediate medical attention.
If your dog is suffering from a case of diarrhea and you are trying to determine if it is serious or not and how long diarrhea will last, the first thing to look for is the cause. The cause of your dog’s diarrhea could potentially be the difference between life and death. Even if your dog’s case of diarrhea is acute, it is important to monitor his behavior and try to determine the cause in case it becomes worse.
If you’re wondering why “my dog has diarrhea” then look below for a list of possible reasons and causes.
Diarrhea in Puppies
In young dogs, diarrhea can be caused by viruses and parasites. Puppies at the age of 2-3 weeks have a high risk of contracting worms. When worms become active, they can cause diarrhea. Ignoring diarrhea in your puppy may lower his immune system and cause extreme illness and even death in some cases. Parasites such as Coccidiosis, Giardia and Cryptospordia may infect your puppy and cause diarrhea. It is important to get your puppy proper vaccinations, and keep him away from other animals who may have worms.
Diarrhea in Older Dogs
Diarrhea in older dogs can be caused by very serious illnesses. Older dogs is often caused by kidney diseases, certain types of cancer, gastrointestinal disease, parasites or inflammatory bowel disease. Diarrhea can also cause serious dehydration in senior dogs, so it is very important to take your dog to the veterinarian immediately if your dog has diarrhea.
From excitement or stress
Much like children or people with anxiety, excitement or stress can also cause diarrhea. If you are taking your dog to the vet, he may experience anxiety, which in turn can cause diarrhea. An exciting event such as a dog show or a party at your house may cause your dog to become too excited or stressed out and cause diarrhea as well. Stress related diarrhea is usually not serious, and should go away on its own.
Diarrhea from Change
This ties into stress. A sudden change in a dog’s living situation may cause diarrhea. Dogs are creatures of habit, and some dogs do not react well to drastic changes. Even a small change in your dog’s lifestyle, such as a change of food, may cause an upset stomach from stress. Puppies are known to develop diarrhea at an early stage if fed too much at a time or have constant changes of food. If you’re asking yourself why my dog has diarrhea, think about any changes in you or your dogs routine. It is important to make changes as gradual as possible to avoid any change or stress-related diarrhea in your dog.
Diarrhea from Medications or Vaccinations
Have you recently given your dog a new medication? Possible taken him to the vet for a yearly shot? Diarrhea is a common side effect of many medications, especially common in medications such as aspirin. Some heart medications and dewormers may also cause diarrhea, as well as most antibiotics. If your dog develops diarrhea and/or vomiting after a vaccination, chances are your dog is having a reaction to the vaccine. This condition is called vaccinosis, and needs to be treated medically.
Diarrhea From Foods or Illness
Intestinal parasites are a cause of chronic diarrhea in both puppies and adult dogs. Dogs have also been known to contract illnesses such as the flu, which in turn can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
Food intolerance can also cause diarrhea. Dogs are natural scavengers and have tendencies to eat garbage, dead animals, plastic, plants, things around the yard and other foreign objects, which can be an obvious reason to why your dog has diarrhea. However, a simple change in their food can also cause their stomachs to become upset if they are intolerant to certain ingredients. Beef, chicken, pork, fish, eggs, wheat, corn or spices and salts may cause food intolerance. It is important to note that food intolerance is not the same as a food allergy.
Human food is also a major cause of dog diarrhea. Every once in awhile dogs consume table scraps, but it is important to make sure the types of human food you give to your dog are not too rich for his system. Dogs should never be given turkey or chicken bones, as this can puncture the intestines and stomach and cause bloody diarrhea and further serious problems.
Things to Look For
Diarrhea itself is a sign your dog is not well. Other signs in conjunction with diarrhea include lethargy, vomiting, fever, dehydration and loss of appetite. If any of these symptoms occur while your dog has diarrhea, it is important to take him to the vet immediately to avoid possible serious illness and receive proper treatment immediately.
More serious side effects with diarrhea are loss of coordination, loss of vision, uncontrollable panting, and seizures. These can be signs of organ failure or cancers.
Why Does My Dog Have Bloody Diarrhea?
Seeing blood in you dog’s stool is always a concern. Blood in stool is medically known as hematochezia or melena. In hematochezia, the blood is bright red and likely coming from the lower intestines. It is usually mixed in your dog’s feces. In melena, the blood appears black, which usually means the blood is digested and coming from the upper intestines. Melena is normally more serious than hematochezia.
The main causes for bloody diarrhea in dogs are usually fairly serious. Dog Rat poison, swallowing sharp objects or eating decayed garbage or dead animals are all common causes of bloody diarrhea in dogs. Another serious cause of bloody diarrhea is cancer. If you have an older dog, this can be a common cause for bloody diarrhea.
Ringworms can also cause bloody diarrhea in puppies. This is usually accompanied by vomiting.
Foul-smelling bloody diarrhea that is bright red in color is the most extreme, and most serious and emergency situation. This indicates your dog is hemorrhaging internally. This is very noticeable, as your dog is likely repeatedly passing pools of blood. If you notice blood in your dogs diarrhea, it is imperative you take your dog to an emergency veterinarian immediately.
Dog Vomiting & Have Diarrhea?
Diarrhea and vomiting are usually signs your dog is over-excited or nervous, has eaten something disagreeable, eaten too much food, or exercised too soon after eating. As long as your dog is not showing any other signs of illness, it should pass within a few days. Be sure to observe your dog and his behavior. If he is behaving normally, treatment is as simple as taking away all food and most water. Too much water may cause more vomiting, but it is important to keep him hydrated during his bout of diarrhea.
Be Sure to Check Your Dog For the Following
Serious problems may arise if any of the following symptoms are present:
- Blood in vomit or diarrhea
- Vomit looks or smells like feces
- Vomiting is projectile
- Multiple bouts of vomiting occur over a short period of time
- Suspected ingestion of poison (rat poison, antifreeze)
- Fever or other signs of illness
Treating Your Dogs Diarrhea
Dog diarrhea treatment can sometimes be a bit of a task. It is important to observe your dog’s behavior to determine if it is a serious problem, or if he simply ate something bad. For the most part, dog diarrhea can be treated at home. Be sure to monitor your dog’s behavior to determine if he needs to be taken to the vet right away. Take note if your dog is displaying signs of pain, vomiting or fever.
Sometimes you will need to take your dog to the veterinarian if his diarrhea is persistent. Your veterinarian will perform a series of tests to determine the exact cause of your dog’s diarrhea and then administer proper treatment for his specific case. Sometimes, dog diarrhea treatment needs to be a prescribed medication which will need to be followed properly to treat. Some dog diarrhea treatments may also be accompanied by home remedies, which can help to boost the immune system and fight of secondary infections.
What to Look For
First step is to determine the cause of your dog’s diarrhea. A common cause of diarrhea is consuming rotten food or dead animals. Have you recently taken your dog to the vet? It may be a reaction to his shots or medication. It is important to be sure your dog has not consumed any poison such as fertilizer or antifreeze.
If you suspect your dog has consumed a toxic substance, you must take him to the veterinary clinic as soon as possible so he can be treated immediately.
When to Visit the Veterinarian
Your veterinarian will likely take a blood sample to tell you what the cause of the diarrhea is. They will be able to determine if it is a high or low intestinal problem. High intestinal problems are usually very serious.
If you have a puppy with diarrhea, they may need to be vaccinated to prevent worms or bacterial growth.
Common medications given to dogs with worms are pyrantel, fentebel, nitroscanate and fendendazole. These medications only cure two varieties of worms. These treatments usually span over a course of days, or every few weeks.
Antibiotics are a common dog diarrhea treatment, especially from eating raw or spoiled foods or dead animals. E. coli or salmonella are common causes of vomiting and diarrhea from bad foods consumed by your dog, much like a human reaction to food poisoning.
Over the Counter Treatments
You can ask your vet if you can try to give your dog Tylenol, Aspirin, Pepto Bismol or Immodium. These dog diarrhea treatments should ONLY be done if advised by your vet. Your veterinarian will recommend the appropriate dosage according to the situation. Be aware that just as any medications, there may be side effects to these treatments as well. It is important to note these medications should be kept away from cats.
There are some tips in preventing dog diarrhea. First off, you should always have puppies vaccinated right away to keep bacteria and worms from growing. It is also advised to keep puppies away from other animals that have not been vaccinated to prevent the spread of bacteria infections.
Don’t feed your dog any fatty, spoiled, or sugary human food. Be especially aware of chocolate and dairy, as they can cause serious digestive problems. Fatty foods especially can cause diarrhea and may also cause pancreatitis.
Keep your dog away from broken or sharp objects. Only give your dog toys meant for dogs to avoid possible problems.
Be sure to check your yard regularly for dead animals. Dogs have a tendency to eat or play with dead carcasses, which can cause illness and infection, including diarrhea.
Avoid changing his food too much unless recommended by a veterinarian.
Always have your dog’s feces tested once a year. This is a good way to make sure your dog is healthy and getting the recommended nutrients and vitamins.
Often times, your dog will not need medical treatment for diarrhea. As long as your dog’s diarrhea does not last longer than a few days, there are many at home treatments and remedies to help get rid of the problem faster. Acute diarrhea is usually very easily to treat with extra care and attention. Home remedies are an excellent, natural way to treat your dog’s diarrhea. These remedies are safe for dogs and can usually be found right around the home or at your local health foods store.
Always talk to your veterinarian if your dog’s case of diarrhea becomes worse. Some prescribed treatments can be accompanied by home remedies, but sometimes home remedies may interfere with medical treatment.
The First Step
The first step in curing your dog’s diarrhea is to take away his dog food. It is important to clear the stomach and intestines of food for the first 24 hours. If your dog has diarrhea, avoid giving him rawhides and treats. Your dog should be encouraged to drink plenty of water, unless vomiting is accompanied by diarrhea.
With persistent diarrhea, electrolyte beverages such as Pedialyte can be added to his bowl of water to avoid dehydration. If your dog refuses to drink any water, consider adding a low-sodium broth to his water.
Diet and Exercise
The next step to treat your dog’s diarrhea is to only give him bland meals. (This should only happen after the 24 hour fast.) These are easily digestible and low in fat. You can feed your dog three or four small meals a day for the first few days. Some foods to consider are cooked white rice, boiled hamburger or chicken, cooked oatmeal, cooked macaroni or cottage cheese.
After a few days of only eating a bland, fat free diet, you can slowly introduce your dog’s regular food back into his diet.
Exercise can also help with treatment for dog diarrhea. As long as he is willing, try and take him for a short walk twice a day.
Herbs and Supplements
Herbs & supplements are great home remedies for dog diarrhea. There are some vitamins and herbs you can give to your dog to help support his digestive system:
- L-Glutamine: this is an amino acid which is a source of fuel for cells lining the intestinal tract.
- Slippery Elm: This is a herb. Slippery elm neutralizes stomach acids and soothes inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Saccharomyces boulardi: A probiotic yeast. This helps reduce the symptoms of frequent antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
- Licorice: Licorice helps the healing process in the intestinal lining by increasing blood flow.
- Enzymes: These are essential for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. They also have anti-inflammatory properties.
Help him adjust to the environment or situation and be sure to give him a lot of attention until he can calm down. Your dog will probably not want to be alone during a stressful situation, so it is not advised to leave him alone during this time.
Diarrhea can cause extreme dehydration, make sure your dog has access to clean water if he has diarrhea.