Intestinal problems

What to Do if My Dog Has Diarrhea

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: June 11, 2018
What to Do if My Dog Has Diarrhea

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One of the most common canine problems is diarrhea. Be sure that sooner or later your dog will suffer from it. Remember the last time you had it: lying on the couch, blanket over you, a short distance from the bathroom.

We must be clear that diarrhea is a symptom of a gastrointestinal disease, not a disease in itself. This distinction is important, since if the diarrhea does not go away in a day, we must take our pet to the vet urgently. Something will be hurting our dog.

Whether you already share your life with a furry friend, or you are preparing to adopt one, you should be interested in this article. AnimalWised will explain what to do if your dog has diarrhea.

  1. What does dog diarrhea look like?
  2. Causes of diarrhea in dogs
  3. What to do if my dog has diarrhea
  4. Special precautions for puppies
  5. Cure your dog's diarrhea - step by step

What does dog diarrhea look like?

Liquid feces is the best evidence of diarrhea. Also, it is normal for stools to be more frequent, so don't be angry if you see that your pet hasn't been able to avoid doing their business at home.

Nor would it be surprising if this were accompanied by vomiting, flatulence and even fever. If your dog's diarrhea is mild, they will maintain the same mood as always, but if it is a little stronger, you may see them more upset or stressed.

What to Do if My Dog Has Diarrhea - What does dog diarrhea look like?

Causes of diarrhea in dogs

As we said before, diarrhea is a consequence of a gastrointestinal problem. There is a false legend that dogs have steel stomachs and can eat almost anything without a problem. Well, the truth is that dogs can't eat everything that we think, we must give them specific types of food.

Let's now look at all the causes that can result in diarrhea in our dog:

  • Changes in their usual diet
  • Food intolerance
  • Eating chocolate
  • Eating sugar
  • Eating sausages
  • Eating trash
  • Eating poor food
  • Drinking cow's milk
  • Toxic substances
  • Toxic plants
  • Swallowing an object
  • Allergies and reactions
  • Infection
  • Secondary symptomatology
  • Internal parasites
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver diseases
  • Cancer
  • Internal tumors
  • Medication
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
What to Do if My Dog Has Diarrhea - Causes of diarrhea in dogs

What to do if my dog has diarrhea

The first precaution we must take is to observe the color of the stool. If you see that your dog has black, dark reddish diarrhea; or if you directly see that it is accompanied by blood, go to the vet. Perhaps blood is only due to the effort of diarrhea, but it is better for the veterinarian to determine the cause. Of course, if you have a puppy go immediately.

Regardless of the above, think about whether you've seen your dog eat something strange. Have you caught them digging in the trash at home? Maybe in some bin in a park? Try to remember if they have been around any toxic product. If they have swallowed it accidentally, it is very valuable for the veterinarian to know what product they have ingested. Discover how to treat a poisoned dog.

If we see that the color of the stool is normal, the next thing we have to do is put our pet on a fast. Do it for 24 hours if they are an adult dog and if they are a puppy, never more than 12 hours.

Of course, fasting does not mean without water. In fact, the most important thing is to always be careful that our dog drinks enough water. If your dog has diarrhea and does not drink, they can easily become dehydrated. Therefore, they should always have fresh and clean water in their bowl. Ideally, drink little, but often.

  • Caution: We should never give our dog medication without consulting the vet, the only thing this will do is aggravate the problem or hide the possible disease that causes the decomposition.
What to Do if My Dog Has Diarrhea - What to do if my dog has diarrhea

Special precautions for puppies

Diarrhea is a very common nuisance and is likely to pass quickly without having to go to the vet for it. However, we must be more careful if we have a puppy.

If our dog has not yet been vaccinated and has diarrhea, they may be affected by a virus such as parvovirus and distemper. These two diseases cause very strong diarrhea, which can make our puppy dehydrated very fast.

Even if you have vaccinated your dog, if you see that the diarrhea is serious, you should also go to the vet. Your puppy has spent very little time with you, so they could be suffering from a food intolerance without your knowledge.

For whatever reason, if your puppy has diarrhea, remember that it is very important that they drink frequently to avoid dehydration- remember that puppies are very sensitive.

What to Do if My Dog Has Diarrhea - Special precautions for puppies

Cure your dog's diarrhea - step by step

After our dog has underwent the fast and we have taken special care to make them drink water, we can help them recover completely with a few simple steps:

  1. A soft diet* to start: Many people are wondering "if my dog ​​has diarrhea what can I give them to eat?" Well, this diet consists of light foods that are soft and easy to digest. There are people who choose to buy canned dog meat, while others prefer to cook it themselves. A soft diet may consist of white rice and boiled chicken (always shredded and unsalted). Your veterinarian can help you design the diet.
  2. Ration food: It is best to start with small portins, so we will help our pet's digestion. What we must do is give the same amount of food daily, but rationed in smaller portions.
  3. Little by little, we will integrate them back into their normal diet by adding a little food every day (always after observing obvious improvements).
  4. Use probiotics: they are bacteria that help promote good digestion and in the recovery of diarrhea. Remember they must be special probiotics for dogs.

*Don't be alarmed if you see light colored stools and less of it, this will be the cause of the soft diet.

What to Do if My Dog Has Diarrhea - Cure your dog's diarrhea - step by step

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What to Do if My Dog Has Diarrhea, we recommend you visit our Intestinal problems category.


  • Even if a little off-putting, we should get used to monitoring the stools of our dogs.
  • If diarrhea persists, ensure your dog is not eating any dairy products as they may be lactose intolerant.
  • If your change your dog's daily diet, ensure you do it gradually.
  • If you are taking your dog to the vet, bring with you a sample of its stool. This will help the vet reach a diagnosis much faster.
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What to Do if My Dog Has Diarrhea