Dog Diarrhea: Causes, treatment, and how to tell when it’s a serious problem.
Dogs are robust creatures which a digestive system adapted to digest a wide variety of foods. So when a dog develops diarrhea it is not only upsetting, but a cause for concern.
It may simply be an upset tummy, but you can never be sure. The best you can do is to be alert for other symptoms and, if in any doubt, to speak to your vet.
Dog Diarrhea Symptoms
Dog diarrhea can have many causes, an upset intestinal tract, worms or parasites, anxiety, or disease are all possibilities.
Unpleasant though it may be, looking at the diarrhea can provide a number of clues. Look for signs of worms and parasites, blood, mucous or an unnatural color to the stool. If possible take a stool sample to the vet for analysis.
Along with the diarrhea you may notice other signs that your dog is unwell. Vomiting, depression, dehydration, loss of appetite, or any unwillingness to drink, are all danger signs.
Dog Diarrhea: Which dogs are affected?
Any dog can get diarrhea, and they get it for a number of reasons. The obvious one that you can control, is diet. Feed your dog a healthy, balanced diet, avoiding table scraps and rich, “human” foods and you’ll eliminate most problems.
Other reasons may be raiding the trash can, coprophagia (eating poop), or having their diet changed too quickly.
Dog Diarrhea Treatment and Prevention
If your dog gets diarrhea and there are no other symptoms, start by withholding food (but, not water) for a day. This allows the dog’s digestive tract to get back to normal. Then, introduce a bland diet of chicken and rice. Avoid any flavoring and feed the food at a cool temperature.
If the dog’s stool returns to normal, then most likely no further action is needed. If the diarrhea persists, the safest course is to call the vet.
You’ll prevent most problems by following these simple rules – when changing to a different brand of dog food, do so over a few days rather than all at once. Be sure that your dog cannot go rooting around for scraps in the garbage can. And avoid foods not intended dogs, like table scraps, a major cause of dog diarrhea.