HEALTH & CARE

Diarrhea In Dogs: Symptoms And Remedies

Dog in toilet
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

Diarrhea is almost akin to diarrhea in humans, with the sole difference being that we have cognitive powers to understand its advent, while dogs cannot. It is termed as passing of liquid or abnormal texture and volume of stool alongside abdominal pain and discomfort in the dog due to consumption of allergic food, trash and other harmful substances.

Every dog ends up getting gastrointestinal troubles and the subsequent bout of loose motions, more than a dozen times in his life.  It is not a serious issue but with neglect and trigger of causes, it can become severe as well.  One stroke of diarrhea in your dog may not be reason for serious concerns as this can be, caused by a routine indigestion or just the sudden change in diet.

The following provides substantial information on what diarrhea is for dogs, types and remedies both traditional and in modern ways.

Understanding dogs’ diarrhea

Any pooping pain and looseness in stool is a clear sign of acute diarrhea in your dog. It results in uneven bowel movements, potty and difficulty in digesting the consumed food.  This can produce fluid like stool or an undue amount of it as well.  It is impossible to bear the endless moaning and stomach trouble that your little puppy undergoes, when you care for your dog deeply. Although, you must understand that diarrhea is not such a serious cause of worry and can be, treated by yourself through exclusive home remedies.

Traditional remedies are not just effective but healthy, in comparison to the prescription drugs and other practices of modern medicine. Diarrhea is one of the routine complaints that all dog owner come across. Given that the discomfort and the odor of your dog’s poop become unbearable, there are many symptoms to identify this problem. In order to treat any medical ailment in your dog, you must first detect the symptoms.

Fecal scoring

While understanding what diarrhea means for your dog, one should be aware of all types of diarrhea before embarking on how to stop it. This helps to make one understand which type of diarrhea needs immediate help and which one is just a benign and brief reaction of the dog’s body. Different types of diarrhea can be distinguished by the observation of the stool. You must have an apt knowledge of the type, texture and volume of your dog’s stool when he is healthy in order to conduct this observation. They are

  • Gray Stool: this type of stool in diarrhea condition is found in dogs who eat excess fat, wherein the stool turns greasy and grey;
  • Soft Stool: softer feces is a sign of indigestible or new food consumed by the dog;
  • Black Stool: with a black texture to the stool, the significant cause is the presence of old black blood in it. This can also be a signal about the internal damage in your pup as well.
  • Liquid Stool: common diarrhea with the cause being gastrointestinal infections or viral infections;
  • Mucous in stool: a clear presence of parasites in your pup’s body, mucous in stool is a clear pointer towards Parvo type of diarrhea.
  • Bloody stool: blood in stool is a clear indication of serious ailments in your dog and you must immediately take him to a doctor. Learn what steps you can take by reading our article on bloody diarrhea in dogs.
  • Worms in Stool: if you find tiny living things or worms in your dog’s stool, run to the DOC!
  • Anti-biotic induced diarrhea: Side effects that occur due to allergic antibiotics are the prime cause of this type of diarrhea. This is generally caused when the good bacteria in your dog’s gut is killed because of concentrated antibiotics. Side effects are generally, observed in dogs with higher intake of antibiotics unlike that of the safer options of home remedies.

Following provides some of the symptoms of all types of diarrhea:

  1. Flatulence
  2. Loose motion
  3. Increased bowel movements
  4. Pain in the abdomen and subsequent moaning in your dog
  5. Fever
  6. Vomiting
  7. Mucus in stool
  8. Blood in stool
  9. Drastic change in the volume of the stool
  10. Appetite variations
  11. Urgency in defecating
  12. Lethargy
  13. Black stool
  14. Depression
  15. Loose excreta that lasts for more than two days

Most of the times, diarrhea is easily treatable at home. Still, it can be a cause and effect of much other serious internal damage, so it is wrong to continue self-medicating your dog for weeks without the consultation of a veterinarian once you know that he is suffering from diarrhea.

Causes of diarrhea in dogs

There is a wide-ranging list of causes. If you like to let your dog without a leash to roam freely around your compound walls, there is a very good chance that he will dig up some kind of grand-trash to satiate his curiosity and biting urge!

Dog bowel diarrhea

As most of the diarrhea cases go away as soon as it appears, some need a few days fasting, improvised diet and rest for the dog, like that of the techniques of home remedies. If your dog’s physical condition does not progress after the home remedies that you have provided for more than a week, it is time that you see a vet to help your dog out of his misery as soon as possible.

A major cause can be observed when your dog develops a natural allergic reaction in the form of diarrhea due to the consistent diet that you have been providing him with. Diarrhea is also, observed owing to sudden change in diet or consumption of allergens by the dog. There are also instances of puppies ingesting foreign and indigestible items, which causes gastro-intestinal disorders.

Apart from these, sever conditions of parasites and other living things in the stool can be a direct result of worm infection in your dog. Some of the worms capable of rendering this pain and damage to your pup are hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms and whipworms and one should know of efficient mechanisms on how to stop it.

To summarize, these can be the main causes of your dog’s diarrhea:

  • Stress
  • New food
  • Allergic food
  • Consistency in food
  • Parasites
  • Viral infections
  • Colonic Ulcer
  • Rectal cancer and polyps
  • Ingestion of foreign items
  • Gastro-intestinal disorder
  • Inflammatory Reactions
  • Toxicity in the body
  • Renal disorders
  • Adrenal Disorders
  • Thyroid-related disorders
  • Central Nervous System related disorders
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Hepatic disorder
  • Exocrine Pancreatic disorder
  • Internal injury

If you fear that your dog may be infected with parasites and/or worms, you should prepare with the details we’ve laid out in our article about treatment for worms and parasites in your dog.

In addition, many other physical and mental ailments can happen to a dog with diarrhea. Like that of acute dehydration, stress and depression. Apart from the causes, you never know what out-of-the-world item has your little guy swallowed to reap diarrhea! Hence, observe his comfort, health and stool closely for a week. If his condition does not turn better, go to a veterinarian and follow up his advice in order to learn how to stop this problem.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diarrhea, being one of the most common ailments in dogs, is one of the easiest to cure as well.  With the information provided above about types determine which one your dog has. Often dog-owners do not need any doctor’s assistance to help heal their dogs as they themselves know how to stop this problem.  There are many effective home remedies to cure the diarrhea within 24 hours in dogs! Some dog owners also opt out for veterinarian care owing to their ease or discomfort in taking the dog to the doctor or not taking care of the dog on their own, respectively.

Dog with diarrhea

Whatever may be the school of medicine that you follow for your dog, make sure you keep a strict journal that records all your observations, changes in your dog’s physique, changes in your dog’s psyche and the remedies you have been subjecting him to.

If at any point you feel that your remedies are not working on the little guy or rather it is aggravating his pain and discomfort, halt all of it and take him to a doctor to conduct manual inspection, diagnosis and treatment. Following provides an elaborate description of the two ways of curing your dog from diarrhea at home, on your own!

Traditional or home remedies to cure diarrhea

Traditional methods of curing this problem is one of the most successful and effective method to treat him. With the least of side effects and progress in health, traditional methods have no side effects in dogs. Some preparations to do before starting the home remedies for dog diarrhea are to have recorded observation of his stool, pee, and temperature. Some of these traditional remedies are:

  1. Fasting: Make your dog fast for 12-24 hours as the food consumption or presence in his bowels can worsen his situation. Fasting helps the dog hold the food inside without ejecting it fast. It also rejuvenated the stomach cells to hold the food in and stop uneven and high tummy contractions.
  2. Water: A person with diarrhea suffers from heavy bouts of dehydration and dogs are much more energetic than humans! Give your little guy tons of water to restore his health and comfort during this daunting phase.
  3. Bland or non spicy food: During this phase of recovery from diarrhea, make sure you provide high amounts of non-spicy food to your dog. Avoid adding any powdered or wholesome spices, so that you cook the food bland. Fasting prepares the dog’s body to remove problematic elements from the gut and start on healthier energy and bacteria in the gut. For a few days that you are serving bland food to your dog, his stool will be pale or peach as this is a normal reaction signaling by the road to recovery in your dogs.
  4. Prescription diet: If you are unsure about what to give your dog, then seek a veterinarian’s helps so that you can follow a strict and precise diet for your dog. Usually, veterinarians quote the above procedures to restore your dog’s health as well as poop!
  5. Measure out your dog’s food intake: Keep a regular record of observation of your dog’s food intake. When you start to provide smaller portions of food, it helps your dog to digest more effectively.  This also reduces the patient’s chance of having recurrent spasms as well. This is also another healthy method to prevent diarrhea from returning as well.
  6. Feed him probiotics: These contain the useful bacteria that your dog has missed the endless bouts of excretion during his phase of diarrhea. Now that he is on the road to recovery, you can administer the good bacteria directly for him to consume, so that his health is also, restored.
  7. Slow transition back to the normal diet of your dog: Now that you have, patiently and properly carried out the above procedures, in another day or two, your dog will return to his pink of health!

Modern remedies to cure diarrhea in your dog

Home remedies do not guarantee maximum effectiveness in curing diarrhea steadfast, while modern medicine, pills and injections provide immediate recovery, in comparison with the traditional options. One option to this is through the GI tract-restoration approach. Some modern remedies are:

  1. Lactobacillus sporogenes: this is another probiotic that helps in reducing the overgrowth of bacteria in your dog’s gut;
  2. L-Glutamine: this is an amino acid that supports the active growth and health of intestinal cells;
  3. Slipper Elm: with endless bouts of draining the bowels, one must restore the tenderness and health of the stomach walls as well. This is an herb that soothes and protects the mucosal membranes of the intestinal track.
  4. Saccharomyces Boulardi: this is a category of yeast that highly support the growth and functioning of intestines in your dog;
  5. Boswellia Extract: this helps eliminate or bring down inflammatory reactions;
  6. Gastriplex: nutrition supplement that heals the tract of your dog’s intestines;
  7. Runipoo relief: a combination of herbal and homeopathic elements to instantly heal diarrhea in your dog through firming of stools;
  8. Gastrigen: this heals diarrhea as well as extended ailments of nausea, vomiting and inflammatory bowels effectively as this is a Chinese herb.

Whenever you are skeptical about the progress of your dog’s health and mental stability, regardless of whether you employ home remedies for dog diarrhea or modern remedies, make sure you have all means to access the physician. There are many reports of the cases where owners tend to think that the dog has diarrhea while the dog has sever hemorrhages and severe internal damage, which adds up to his rate of fatality!

How to prevent diarrhea in dogs

As diarrhea is a recurring ailment, one must learn ways of preventing it completely.  Although this relies on the rate of strictness of your techniques:

  • Do not feed fatty foods to your dogs
  • Do not feed sugar or chocolate to your dogs
  • Avoid onions in your dog’s diet
  • Avoid dairy in your dog’s diet
  • Avoid citrus in your dog’s diet
  • Avoid grapes in your dog’s diet
  • Avoid raisins in your dog’s diet
  • Avoid coffee in your dog’s diet
  • Do not have the same diet for your dog for more than 3 months
  • Do not change your dog’s diet suddenly
  • Do not feed trash or table scraps to your dog
  • Vaccinate your puppies
  • Keep your dog away from non-vaccinated animals
  • Keep your dog on a balanced diet
  • Check your dog’s stool at a veterinarian at least once in a year
  • Check your dog’s stool everyday for change in color or presence of living things
  • Try home remedies for a mild diarrhea attack in your dog
  • Do not give bones as a toy to your dog
  • Do not encourage scavenging in dogs
  • Do not give any small objects to your dog to play
  • Give probiotics regularly
  • Feed healthy and quality food to your dog
  • Select special food if your dog has a sensitive stomach
  • Do not feed excess water or dairy to your dog
  • Do not feed chemicals to your dog
  • Check your dog’s allergies
  • Do not let your dog stress-out
  • Do not leave your dog alone in a place for more than 4 hours
  • Have a journal with strict update on dietary and potty changes in your dog
  • Exercise your dog regularly and spend enough time with him!

Diarrhea is inevitable in dogs as dogs have been world’s ancient-most scavengers who eat everything and eat all the time, sans sensibility or sensitivity. As aforementioned, diarrhea tends to recur in dogs after the first bout of it.

It’s also important to ensure that your dog or puppy has had all of its recent vaccinations, one of the most important ones being parvo. If you’re eager to find out more, check out our article on parvo in dogs.

You will need to prepare yourself and keep a close watch over your dog for a few months soon after the episode of diarrhea to observe and comprehend the changes and rate of progress in your dog’s health through home remedies for dog diarrhea.

 Treatment for your dog with diarrhea

You can never stop your dog from rummaging the trash. You can only keep him clean and give him remedies to prevent the trash in his stomach from adversely affecting him. As the righteous said, prevention is better than cure. Nevertheless, when cure is the sole option for you, start as early as possible to keep your dog safe, healthy and happy!

Good Luck!

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.

  • Dana Weather

    Diarrhea in dogs? Two words: canned pumpkin! All around something healthy for their insides, canned pumpkin was a godsend help maintain our pooch’s health since he’s got an iffy stomach at times. I’ve taken to keeping them on ice in our fridge to keep them fresh, since we occasionally add this to our dog’s diet if we suspect he’s having tummy problems. I highly recommend it, especially if your pooch is prone to diarrhea.

    • Wyatt Robinson

      Pumpkin is a good option! But you really have to determine where your pumpkin is coming from. We don’t want any further complications from the food choices we give our dogs. Just make sure you’re getting the canned goods from a trusted source.

  • Bruce Morgan

    Our dog had some diarrhea problems after we changed his diet and bought another dog’s food. It lasted 5 or 6 days, and then everything was ok. The main thing is to provide your dog a full access to water.

    • Wyatt Robinson

      Hydration and free access to clean water can help our dogs flush out toxins that can cause digestive problems such as diarrhea. It also keeps its cells healthy as the nutrients are properly transported to the smallest units of its body.

  • Bahareh

    Hello Wyatt,
    Thank you for the great information you provided in the article. We are having some problems with our 5 year old doxie-terrier and I’m hoping you can shed some light on it. 3-4 months ago she has started eliminating in the house around noon if we don’t walk her right around that time. She had never done that before and she was used to walking twice a day, in the morning and afternoon. The fecal consistency based on the scoring system is mostly a 4 or 5 but has been as bad as 6 or 7 a few times. The color is not dark and no blood. We de-wormed her a few weeks ago just in case but that didn’t help. Her food has not changed either and overall she seems healthy (no lack of appetite, signs of pain, lethargy etc.). So at this point we are quite confused about what the problem is. I would be grateful if you can advise on what else might be causing it.

    • Wyatt Robinson

      Dear Bahareh,

      Welcome to Dogsaholic! I would like to know if there were any recent changes in you or your dog’s routine within the concerned timeframe (3-4 months) because based on my observation and the information you have provided, your dog might be immersed into an alteration in routine that may have caused stress. We’d love to hear from you again.

      • Bahareh

        Thank you so much for your response. We were in fact overseas for about a month while Hannah, our dog, was staying with a friend. Her problem did start a couple of weeks after we came back and picked her up from the friend’s house. I also thought the change and stress caused it at first but after the issue persisting a few months we are now worried that she might have a digestive problem. Is there anything we can do to help now?

        • Wyatt Robinson

          Dear Bahareh,

          I would recommend an appointment with the veterinarian. Hannah may require some testing and physical assessment by her vet to make a sound diagnosis what the real problem is. It may really be a digestive problem, but we have to know what specifically it is. Let us know how it goes.

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