Diarrhea in Dogs: Dogs are notoriously hearty and loyal creatures, but they can also be quite the eaters. One common side effect of being a dog is that they may develop mild diarrhea, which is caused by eating something that doesn’t agree with them.
Mild diarrhea can be caused by a variety of things, such as eating small amounts of something that doesn’t agree with your dog’s digestive system.
8 Most Common Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs
Dogs can develop diarrhea for a variety of reasons. Some causes are more common than others. The following are five of the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs.
1. Change in Diet
One of the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs is a change in diet. If you’ve recently changed your dog’s food, it’s not uncommon for them to experience some intestinal upset. This is usually temporary and will resolve itself once your dog’s digestive system adjusts to the new food.
Another common cause of diarrhea in dogs is an infection. Infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Common symptoms of an infection include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and lack of appetite. If you suspect your dog has an infection, it’s important to take them to the vet for treatment.
Stress is another common cause of diarrhea in dogs. Dogs can experience stress for a variety of reasons, including changes in their environment, changes in their routine, or even the presence of other animals. If your dog is experiencing stress, it’s important to try to reduce their stress levels. This can be done by providing them with a quiet place to rest, by ensuring they have a regular routine, and by avoiding situations that may trigger their stress.
Allergies are another common cause of diarrhea in dogs. Allergies can be caused by a variety of things, including food, environmental factors, or even certain medications. If you suspect your dog has allergies, it’s important to take them to the vet for testing.
5. Intestinal Obstruction
An intestinal obstruction is a serious condition that can cause severe diarrhea in dogs. Intestinal obstructions can be caused by a variety of things, including foreign bodies, tumors, or constipation. If your dog has an intestinal obstruction, it’s important to take them to the vet for treatment right away.
6. Food Intolerance
Food intolerance is when your dog’s digestive system is unable to properly digest a certain type of food. This can be due to a food allergy or sensitivity.
Symptoms of food intolerance include vomiting, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. Treatment typically involves identifying and avoiding the offending food.
Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that can be deadly in puppies. It is spread through contact with infected feces and can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration.
Treatment of parvovirus typically involves intensive supportive care. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical for the best chance of survival.
Gastroenteritis is the most common cause of diarrhea in dogs. It is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines that can be caused by a number of different things, including viruses, bacteria, parasites, or even food intolerance.
Symptoms of gastroenteritis include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Treatment typically involves supportive care and may require antibiotics if the cause is bacterial.
When to Contact Your Veterinarian?
As a pet owner, one of the things you’ll need to know is when to contact your veterinarian. After all, your furry friend can’t tell you when something is wrong!
Here are some general guidelines to help you know when to seek professional help for your dog.
If your dog has a single bout of diarrhea and is otherwise acting normally, there is no need to be concerned. Keep an eye on your dog’s bowel movements to see if things improve. More than two episodes of diarrhea may indicate a problem, so contact your veterinarian if your dog has two or more bouts of diarrhea.
If your dog exhibits any of the following symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately to schedule an appointment:
- Diarrhea that contains blood or is black in color
- Straining to defecate or having difficulty doing so
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
Some of these symptoms could indicate a serious condition that requires prompt medical attention. If you’re ever unsure whether or not to contact your vet, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and give them a call. They’ll be able to help you determine whether or not your dog needs to be seen and can provide you with peace of mind.
5 Ways to Treat Diarrhea in Dogs
It’s not uncommon for dogs to experience diarrhea at some point in their lives. While it can be a nuisance, it’s usually not serious and can be treated at home.
There are a few things that can cause diarrhea in dogs, including change in diet, stress, parasites, and certain medications. If your dog has diarrhea, it’s important to monitor them closely and contact your veterinarian if the diarrhea persists for more than a day or two, is accompanied by vomiting, or if your dog appears to be in pain.
Here are a few things you can do at home to treat your dog’s diarrhea:
- Fast your dog for 12-24 hours. This will give their digestive system a rest and allow the diarrhea to resolve on its own.
- Feed your dog a bland diet. This means boiled chicken and rice, or a commercial bland diet prescribed by your veterinarian.
- Give your dog plenty of fluids. Diarrhea can cause dehydration, so it’s important to make sure your dog is staying hydrated. Offer them small amounts of water or broth frequently throughout the day.
- Try probiotics. Probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria that can help to restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. You can find probiotics for dogs in powder or liquid form, and they can be added to your dog’s food or water.
- Contact your veterinarian. In some cases, diarrhea may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. If your dog’s diarrhea persists for more than a day or two, is accompanied by vomiting, or if your dog appears to be in pain, contact your veterinarian. They may recommend additional treatment, such as antibiotics or anti-diarrhea medication.