Dog diarrhea – What to do?

Dog diarrhea is defined as an abnormal increase in the amount of fluid in the...

25 July 2016



Dog diarrhea is defined as an abnormal increase in the amount of fluid in the feces. It is often followed by excessively loose, watery and frequent stools. As a dog-owner, you probably know what this means. A sick dog, a stinky mess, countless trips outside, and a miserable experience for both you and your dog. Diarrhea may be short in duration, but can also last for weeks or months. The bad news: nearly all dogs get diarrhea sooner or later. The good news: most cases are mild and self-limiting. This article may help you be better prepared when diarrhea strikes.

Causes of dog diarrhea

  • Change in diet
  • Overeating
  • Food intolerance
  • Ingestion of garbage or spoiled food
  • Ingestion of poisonous substances, toxic plant material, rocks, bones, fabric, carpet, and other indigestible materials
  • Allergic reaction, food allergy, e.g. to milk, wheat gluten, soy, corn, beef
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Internal parasites
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Cancer or other tumors of the digestive tract
  • Certain medications
  • Stress
  • Poor quality diet

dog diarrhea

What can YOU do? Home remedies for dog diarrhea

In most cases dog diarrhea is mild and may be treated with basic home treatments – and without a trip to the vet’s office. These are the best home remedies for treating dog diarrhea:

  1. Take away all food for 24 hours. Withholding food for 12 to 24 hours, and providing water in small amounts frequently, can clear the cause of the upset and allow the gastrointestinal tract to settle. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, so it’s important to give your dog access to water at all times. Before you decide on a fast, be sure that your dog is healthy enough to endure it. Puppies, and elderly dogs, for example, need nutrients.
  2. After 24 hours, continue to feed several small meals for a couple days in gradually increasing amounts until a formed stool is passed. Check with your veterinarian about the proper food for diarrhea. If this is working, then start to wean your pet back to its regular food over the course of a week.
  3. Do not give your dog bones, snacks, or table scraps. They may irritate the intestinal tract during this time.
  4. Check with your veterinarian about the proper course of treatment for your dog’s specific case.

When should you bring your dog the vet?

Bring your dog to the veterinarian right away if the diarrhea continues for more than a day, or if your dog’s diarrhea:

  • is accompanied by repeated vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, generalized weakness, or fever.
  • contains large amounts of visible blood.
  • is accompanied by dark-colored or bloody stools
  • might be related to the ingestion of something toxic.
  • occurs in a puppy under nine months of age, particularly if vaccines were missed.
  • occurs in an elderly or medically frail animal.

When things just don’t seem right. You know your dog, and only you know the signs that something is wrong. Respect your instincts and if you think you need veterinary guidance, pick up the phone.

More interesting Articles

  1. Diarrice

    Glad you didn’t mention giving the dog rice. It can further irritate the GI tract because dogs can’t properly digest whole grain rice like people can. If your dog is prone to getting diarrhea from eating things they shouldn’t or if you have switched their diet recently, you can give your dog Diarrice. People instinctively want to give their dogs rice because it works for them and their children.

  2. Peter Denies

    You have posted some really great stuff here. I really like your comments regarding my problems or I must say that you have proposed a solutions to a universal problem. Kudos to you, and good luck for your future blogs.

    • Lisa

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks a lot 🙂
      We are happy that you like our blog!


  3. help with research paper

    For dogs who just have diarrhea: Make sure the dog has access to plenty of clean water to avoid dehydration. Give the dog a small meal of boiled white meat chicken (no bones or skin) and white rice. If the diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours or your dog’s condition worsens at any time, call your vet immediately.

  4. sharonK

    be patient. i had to keep my dog on rice and boiled meats for two weeks before the diah. stopped. i am now (warily) reintroducing his food in small bits over a week, and switching from once a day to twice daily feedings. hoping this will help. hate to put him on that prescription crud.