Dog Diarrhea – Common Causes, Prevention & Treatment

Dog diarrhea is common among pet owners, especially when their furry friends are still puppies. Occasionally, diarrhea can be cured with a simple dietary adjustment or medication. But in some cases, the cause of your pup’s upset stomach may be more serious. This blog post will explore some of the most common causes of dog diarrhea and how to treat it. From parasites to food allergies, we will discuss the possible causes and offer tips on how to best address each. Whether you’re dealing with an occasional bout of diarrhea or a chronic issue that requires medical attention, understanding these common causes can help you get your pup back in tip-top shape in no time.

What is Dog Diarrhea?

There are many potential causes of dog diarrhea, including dietary indiscretion, intestinal parasites, viral or bacterial infections, allergies, and more. Dietary indiscretion means eating something that doesn’t agree with your dog’s stomach, such as garbage, table scraps, or plants. Intestinal parasites, like roundworms and hookworms, can also cause diarrhea. Viral or bacterial infections, like parvovirus or salmonella, can be passed to dogs through contaminated food or water. Allergies to food or environmental triggers can also cause diarrhea in dogs.

Causes of Dog Diarrhea

There are many potential causes of dog diarrhea, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause without professional help. However, there are some common causes that you should be aware of.

  • Diet:A sudden change in diet, or eating food that is not nutritionally balanced, can cause diarrhea in dogs. Eating garbage, spoiled food, or table scraps can also cause problems.
  • Infections:Both viral and bacterial infections can cause diarrhea. Parvovirus, distemper, and kennel cough are all common viruses that can affect dogs and lead to diarrhea. Bacterial infections such as salmonella or E. coli are also possible culprits.
  • Intestinal parasites:Intestinal worms and other parasites commonly cause diarrhea in dogs. These parasites can be passed on from other animals or contaminated food or water.
  • Stress:Dogs can experience diarrhea when they are under stress from things like moving to a new home, changes in routine, or loud noises.

How to Treat Dog Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a common problem in dogs and can be caused by various things. The most important thing to do if your dog has diarrhea is to take them to the vet so it can rule out any serious causes. If your dog has mild diarrhea, there are some things you can do at home to help treat it.

First, make sure your dog is drinking plenty of water. Diarrhea can cause dehydration, so it’s important to keep your dog hydrated. You can offer them small amounts of water frequently throughout the day or give them ice cubes to lick. You can also give them Pedialyte or Gatorade to help replenish electrolytes.

Next, you’ll want to adjust their diet. Feed them small meals more often than usual, and avoid giving them anything that could further upset their stomach. Stick with bland, easily digestible foods like rice, boiled chicken, and plain yogurt. Gradually introduce new foods back into their diet as their diarrhea improves.

Finally, you can try giving your dog some over-the-counter medications designed for diarrhea in humans (like Imodium or Pepto-Bismol). Always check with your vet before giving your dog any medication, as some human medications can harm dogs.

When to See a Vet for Dog Diarrhea

When your dog has diarrhea, it can be tough to decide whether or not a trip to the vet is necessary. After all, diarrhea is a common ailment and usually nothing to worry about. However, there are certain cases where you should seek professional help.

If your dog has diarrhea for more than a day or two, this could be a sign of a more serious issue. If the diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, or lethargy, it’s best to see a vet immediately. Additionally, if your dog seems in pain when defecating or has blood in their stool, this warrants a trip to the vet.

In most cases, dog diarrhea is benign and will go away independently. However, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and consult with a professional if you’re unsure about anything.

Prevention of Dog Diarrhea

As with any health condition, prevention is always the best medicine. When it comes to dog diarrhea, there are a few simple things you can do to help reduce your dog’s risk:

Feed a high-quality diet: This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent dog diarrhea. A healthy, balanced diet will help support your dog’s immune system and keep its digestive tract in good working order.

Avoid table scraps: It can be tempting to give your dog a taste of whatever you’re eating, but resist the urge! Table scraps are often high in fat and spice, which can upset your dog’s stomach and cause diarrhea.

Watch for parasites: Parasites like roundworms and giardia are common causes of diarrhea in dogs. Keep an eye out for signs of parasites (e.g., weight loss, poor appetite, vomiting, etc.), and have your vet check your dog if you suspect they may have picked up something. Regular deworming can also help prevent parasites from taking hold in the first place.

Keep clean water available: Always ensure your dog has access to fresh water. This will help keep them hydrated and flush out any unwanted toxins or bacteria causing diarrhea.

What can I give my dog to stop diarrhea?

You can give your dog a few things to help with diarrhea, but it’s always best to speak to your veterinarian first. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action based on the cause of your dog’s diarrhea. For example, if your dog has food allergies, they may recommend a special diet. If parasites are the cause, they will prescribe medication to clear them up.

In general, though, you can do a few things at home to help ease your dog’s diarrhea:

  1. Make sure they’re drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, and you can offer clear broth or water with a little honey added for taste.
  2. You can give them small amounts of white rice mixed with their food, which will help bind everything together and make it easier for their stomach to digest.
  3. Avoid giving them fatty foods or table scraps, as this can worsen diarrhea.

How long should diarrhea last in dogs?

Generally speaking, diarrhea in dogs should last no more than a day or two. If your dog has diarrhea that lasts longer than this, it is important to take them to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. Diarrhea can be caused by several things, some of which may require treatment.


A variety of things can cause diarrhea in dogs, and it is important to be aware of the possible causes and treat it immediately with the advice of your veterinarian when needed. Other than serious medical conditions, diarrhea in dogs can often be managed with simple diet changes or medication as prescribed by your doctor. Keeping an eye out for signs and symptoms could help you diagnose and prevent further health issues before they arise, so make sure to take care of your dog’s health!

Back to top