Diarrhea is the most common health issue in canines. This condition varies in intensity, duration, and frequency from one dog to another.
It can be a sign of serious, life-threatening diseases in dogs such as organ failure or cancer. This health condition can also be associated with other minor conditions in dogs.
Diarrhea can be quickly resolved in dogs with simple treatments. But without early treatment, it may become a serious health condition in canines. Diarrhea in dogs will also lead to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in them.
You can also treat diarrhea in dogs with a few, simple home remedies. But, you may not find it easy to totally prevent diarrhea in dogs.
However, learning about this health condition in detail can reduce the frequency of its occurrence in canines.
What Are The Causes Of Diarrhea In Dogs?
There are plenty of reasons for a dog developing diarrhea. But, the following are the most common causes of this condition in dogs.
- Emotional disturbance
- Medications or antibiotics
- Illnesses including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, liver disease, and kidney disease
- Salmonella infections
- Coronavirus, distemper, and parvovirus
- Eating socks, toys, or any restricted foreign substance
- Poisonous plants or materials
- Giardia, coccidia, whipworms, hookworms, and roundworms
- Food intolerance
- Diet change
- Garbage gut problems
Can Worms Cause Diarrhea In Dogs?
Of course, worms can cause diarrhea in dogs. And, they are one of the most common causes of it in dogs. That’s why veterinarians always request a stool sample of a dog having diarrhea.
Your dog can be prone to several, different types of intestinal parasites, including roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm, whipworm, giardia, and coccidia.
Therefore, it is essential to deal with a dog having worms as some of these parasites can be passed over to humans.
Symptoms of Worm Infestation in Dogs
In most cases of parasite infestations in dogs, the most common symptom is diarrhea. But, blood can sometimes be passed with the dog’s stool depending on the severity of the infestation.
Dog owners can also notice other common symptoms in dogs infected by worms. They include
- Dry coat
- Vomiting (sometimes with worms in the vomit)
- Weight loss
It’s also important to note that not all infestations by worms in dogs cause these symptoms. In fact, some infestations cause very few or no symptoms at all in canines.
Also, it is possible for the larvae to remain dormant in the dog’s body depending on the parasite. For example, roundworms and hookworms tend to activate in the later stages of pregnancy in dogs and thereby infest the puppies before birth.
So, dog owners should be vigilant toward the symptoms of worm infestation in dogs. Specifically, dog owners should take their diarrheic dog to the vet as soon as possible to prevent their dogs from further infestation by worms.
When Should You Take Your Diarrheic Dog To The Vet?
Dogs having diarrhea may strain to defecate with little or no stool production. But, this is not necessarily a concern unless it continues for more than a day.
So, it is advisable to take your dog having diarrhea to the vet as soon as possible. But, you must contact your vet immediately if you notice any of the following changes in the dog.
- Frequent episodes of diarrhea (i.e. if diarrhea occurs for more than 24 hours)
- Extreme lethargy or lack of responsiveness in your dog
- If your dog has ingested a toxin or a foreign body such as a toy or clothing
- Excess amount of blood in the stool
- Black stool or stool has a tarry appearance
- Your dog’s gums are pale, white, bluish, or gray in color
- Dog’s abdomen seems painful and/or distended
- Worms in the stool
You should also take your dog to the vet if it is already suffering from conditions such as cancer, Cushing’s disease, diabetes, or other age-related conditions.
Dog owners should also respect their instincts. And, if they find that their dog is not doing well, they should call the vet as soon as possible.
Diet For Diarrhea In Dogs
Introducing a bland diet will give temporary relief to your dog experiencing diarrhea. This diet is the best option for dogs having frequent episodes of diarrhea.
Preparing a bland diet for dogs
You can prepare a bland diet for your dog in the following steps.
- Boil chicken breast. You can cook it with plain, white rice.
- You can also use the ground, low-fat meat instead of the chicken breast and mix it with plain, white rice.
- Drain off any residual fat after cooking.
- Don’t add salt or seasoning.
- Now, the bland diet is ready to serve! You can feed it to your dog until the next day.
If diarrhea begins to improve in your dog and it has a good appetite with no vomiting, gradually add your dog’s normal food to the bland diet mixture.
Also, if your dog has diarrhea once and acts completely normal, you can probably continue with its normal routine and feeding.
You can’t completely prevent diarrhea in dogs. But, preventive measures related to your dog’s diet are the best ways to fight against diarrhea in dogs.
So, avoid table scraps and human food for your dog. Also, don’t let your dog eat foreign objects or outdoor materials as they can wreak havoc on your dog’s gastrointestinal system.
Rice for dogs having diarrhea
Plain, cooked rice is a part of the bland diet for dogs with diarrhea. Switching your diarrheic dog from its regular dog food to rice for a couple of days will definitely help for the normal returning of your dog’s digestive tract.
But, canine owners should determine the right amount to rice to feed their dogs. Also, it is advisable to provide the same amount of rice similar to the dog’s regular food.
For example, if you feed your dog two cups of dry dog food per meal, give him two cups of rice per meal.
You should also know how to feed rice to your diarrheic dog.
- Get a large pot and cook enough rice to feed your dog for a day or two.
- Initially, cook the rice in plain water.
- After the first day, add a couple of tablespoons of plain yogurt to the rice at feeding time. Yogurt is good stuff for your dog’s digestive tract. You can also add a boiled turkey or hamburger to the rice.
- You can also cook the rice in low-sodium chicken stock to increase the nutrient and flavor.
- If your dog begins to recover from diarrhea, gradually mix the rice or rice-and-meat mixture with the dog’s regular food.
- Initially, start with 25 percent dog food to 75 percent of rice in the first meal and gradually increase the percentage of food.
- If your dog’s diarrhea subsides with the rice, your dog can return to its regular diet.
Pumpkins For Diarrhea In Dogs
A fiber-rich food, pumpkin contains important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, E, and C, potassium, and iron.
Pumpkin can be a great addition to your canine’s first aid kit. It can also ease digestion in dogs in several ways. The soluble fiber content in pumpkin absorbs water and adds bulk to your dog’s stool.
Also, fiber fermentation produces beneficial fatty acids in a dog’s body. Fatty acids provide energy to the cells, stimulate intestinal sodium and water absorption, and lower the pH level of the large intestines in dogs.
Fiber also acts as a prebiotic. They inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the dog’s intestines. Pumpkin helps with some cases of diarrhea in dogs in this way.
How Much Pumpkins Should I Give My Dog?
You can add 1 to 4 tablespoons of pumpkin to your dog’s meal to help with diarrhea. It is a good idea to start in smaller quantities initially to avoid adding too much fiber to your dog’s diet.
If you have any questions about exactly how much pumpkin to feed your dog, consult your veterinarian.
What Kind Of Pumpkin Should I Feed My Dog?
Plain, canned pumpkin is the healthiest choice for your dog. Also, both fresh and canned pumpkin are good sources of nutrients and fiber.
But, fresh pumpkin has higher water content than canned pumpkin. Also, canned pumpkin contains a higher concentration of fiber and nutrients compared with fresh pumpkin.
Also, canned pumpkin with added salt, spices, sugar, or other additives can irritate your dog’s stomach further, which will counteract the beneficial effects of pumpkin.
Note that you should never feed canned pumpkin pie to your dog as it contains xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
Diarrhea In Dogs With Mucus
Dog stool generally contains some mucus. But, an excess amount of mucus in the dog’s stool indicates a medical condition and needs immediate attention.
Causes for mucus in dogs with diarrhea
Some common disorders can cause mucus in the dog’s stool.
- Cancer – Cancer in the dog’s GI tract can cause mucus in the stool. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or palliative therapy.
- Change in diet/adverse food reaction – An abrupt change in diet can lead to mucus in the dog’s stool. In such cases, returning to the original food and then slowly increasing the amounts of new food usually resolve the problem.
- Dietary indiscretion – When a dog eats something unusual, it can disrupt the gastrointestinal tract and cause mucus in the stool.
- Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis – When a dog’s stool contains a lot of mucus, HGE may be one of the causes. Anti-nausea drugs, antibiotics, fluid therapy, and supportive care will resolve the condition in dogs.
- If the symptoms persist, a food allergy/intolerance is the cause of mucus. In those cases, switching to the vet-prescribed hypoallergenic diet is necessary.
- Inflammatory disorders – Inflammatory bowel disease can cause mucus in the dog’s stool, which is usually accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea. Treatment for these cases includes immunosuppressive medications and diet changes.
- Intestinal infections – Bacteria, fungi, and the virus can affect your dog’s gastrointestinal system. Most dogs will also develop diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or other symptoms in addition to mucus in the stool.
- Parasites – Whipworms, tapeworms, and other intestinal parasites can cause mucus in the stool. A fecal examination can identify the type of parasite present and an appropriate dewormer will take care of the problem.
Appropriate treatment for mucus in dog’s stool will depend on the eventual diagnosis of this condition in your dog.
So, when you notice abnormal amounts of mucus in your dog’s stool over an extended period of time, take your dog to the vet. Your veterinarian will first look for an underlying cause of this condition in your dog.
He or she will then collect the details of the complete health history of your dog and may physically examine your dog.
The vet may also recommend for any of the following tests or some combination of them.
- Abdominal x-rays
- Biopsy of the intestinal tract
- Blood chemistry panel
- Complete blood cell count
- Fecal examinations
The results of these tests will give the vet a clear idea about what exactly causes mucus in your dog’s stool. He or she will provide the necessary treatment according to the test results.
You can also talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s condition, particularly if your dog
- Becomes lethargic or depressed
- Develops vomiting or diarrhea (especially if it is dark/tarry or contains fresh blood)
- Has a poor appetite
- Is in pain
- Is too young or old or has a pre-existing health condition
Treatment for mucus in dogs with diarrhea
A small amount of mucus in the dog’s stool does not require any major treatment. In such cases, a probiotic supplement may help.
But, severe cases will require medications that will vary with the underlying cause. Those cases will require supportive care, antibiotics, fluid therapy, and sometimes surgery to remove any foreign material.
Sometimes, switching to a highly digestible diet or adding additional fiber to the dog’s diet will help dogs having mucus in their stool.
In addition, boiled white meat chicken (no skin or bones), white rice, and a teaspoon or a tablespoon (depending on the size of the dog) of canned pumpkin is a good option to reduce the amount of mucus in dog’s stool.
The dog owners should also ask the vet regarding when next he or she wants to see your dog for a progress check. Also, you should know to whom you should contact if an emergency arises outside of your vet’s normal business hours.
Home Remedy For Diarrhea In Dogs
You can treat diarrhea in your dog by following a few simple tips at home.
- Stop feeding your dog with food for at least 12-24 hours.
- Give small amounts of water as it can help clean your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
- Unflavored Pedialyte can maintain electrolyte balance in dogs.
- Try over-the-counter medicines usually given for humans, but be cautious and contact your vet beforehand.
- You can also use fennel herb as it has gut-soothing tendencies.
- Try to feed chicken or egg with no butter or oil added to it.
- Feed your dog cottage cheese.
- You can also try boiled sweet potatoes or white potatoes without skin.
- Live bacteria that increase digestion such as yogurt is one of the best food to help for diarrhea in dogs.
- Feed white steamed rice with no salt.
Rice Water: An easy-to-prepare home remedy
It is one of the best home remedies for your dog with diarrhea. And, it is an easy-to-prepare home remedy as well.
Rice water is nothing but a creamy liquid that results from boiling white rice in water. One cup of white rice actually makes a lot of rice water!
Let’s know how to prepare it and feed the same to your dog with diarrhea.
- Boil 1 cup of white rice in 4 cups of water for 15 to 30 minutes or till the water turns creamy white.
- Pour the rice water into a container and allow it to cool.
- You can serve the rice water to your dog as often as it drinks it.
- If your dog doesn’t like rice water, mix a teaspoon of chicken baby food with the rice water and feed it.
It is essential always to use a good quality white rice. Don’t go for brown rice as it has too much fiber in it.
Diarrhea In Puppies Home Remedy
In puppies, diarrhea can be caused by a large number of factors. Also, it can range from mild to severe in them.
Most cases of mild diarrhea in puppies can be treated at home. There are many natural home remedies that will alleviate diarrhea in puppies.
But, any noticeable changes in a young dog’s stools are enough to call your veterinarian. Let’s find out everything you need to know about how to get rid of diarrhea in puppies.
How to get rid of diarrhea in puppies
For minor diarrhea cases, a few items in your cupboard can help your pup’s gut get back on track. But, note that fasting for up to 24 hours is not recommended for puppies under 5 lbs.
You can try the below-mentioned home remedies in case if your puppy has mild diarrhea. These simple remedies will provide comfort to your pup having diarrhea.
1. Bland Foods
White rice, a bland food, can be good for your puppy’s upset stomach. Mix rice with salt-free chicken or vegetable broth to enhance the flavor. Cooked sweet potato or plain pumpkin will also help to normalize your pup’s stools.
2. Over-the-counter medications
Anti-diarrheal medicines such as Petpo Bismol, Kaopectate, and Immodium AD can be given to puppies with an upset stomach.
You can also give DiaBec, which is specially made for puppies. But, consult your vet for dosage based on the size, age, and breed of your dog.
Also, ask your vet before administering medicine to puppies that are under 6 weeks old. In addition, make sure your puppy gets plenty of water during diarrhea to avoid dehydration.
You can also discuss with the vet regarding what home remedies may help most for your puppy having soft stools.
Beneficial bacteria in yogurt can help to restore balance in your dog’s belly and firm up stools. Depending on your puppy’s size, try to provide a small amount (6 oz) of plain yogurt daily.
Your pup may not like the taste or texture of yogurt. In such cases, try to mix it with dried food or natural treats to make it more appealing.
Important Points to note
While providing simple home remedies to your puppy having diarrhea, you should keep in mind a few things.
Techniques that work for your puppy may not work for your neighbors. So, write down what works and what doesn’t so that you can be in a better position next time.
After you zero in on a recovery diet, you can start adding regular dog food until things become normal.
Diarrhea In Dogs FAQs
1. Is bloody diarrhea in dogs an emergency?
Yes, it is an emergency situation in dogs. Bloody diarrhea or hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is an acute onset of severe bloody diarrhea in dogs.
It can occur with or without vomiting in a dog.HGE often becomes acute in a dog that was acting normally several hours before. Other times it may develop after a day or so of diarrhea, lethargy or vomiting.
This kind of diarrhea is alarming as it typically looks like a “raspberry jam” or watery blood. It can be often seen in small breeds of dogs, but any breed, gender, and age of dog can be affected by HGE.
Although the causes of bloody diarrhea are numerous, it is one of the most common problems on dogs that make an emergency room for your dog.
2. Can Benadryl cause diarrhea in dogs?
Yes, it can cause diarrhea in dogs. Benadryl is generally prescribed for dogs having allergies.
But, if proper dosage guidelines aren’t followed, it may cause some less common side effects in dogs such as diarrhea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, breathing problems, or loss of appetite.
So, always consult your veterinarian before giving your dog Benadryl to find out what dosage is appropriate. The vet will also make you aware of its potential side effects.
3. Does prednisone cause diarrhea in dogs?
The common side effects of prednisone and most other steroids in dogs are panting and vomiting.
Sometimes, your dog may develop diarrhea on this medication. In such cases, call your vet. Also, try to obtain a fecal sample if necessary. The vet may reduce the dosage or switch your dog to another medication.
4. How can antibiotics cause diarrhea in dogs?
The most common side effect of the usage of antibiotics in dogs is the gastrointestinal upset. This includes both vomiting and diarrhea.
Generally, antibiotic-induced diarrhea occurs due to the upset of natural flora (good bacteria) in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. It can be prevented by providing probiotics or yogurt to your dog.
Beneficial bacteria in them will help your dog’s stools get back to normal.
5. Will heat cause diarrhea in dogs?
Yes, heat exhaustion, also known as hyperthermia, can cause diarrhea in canines. It occurs when your dog’s body temperature rises above and it is unable to regulate its body heat.
Generally, vomiting, diarrhea, or abnormal soft stool, or stool with blood in it are the major warning signs of heat exhaustion in dogs. .This condition ranges from mild heat exhaustion to severe heatstroke.
Also, dogs primarily pant rather than sweat and so they are more sensitive to heat than humans. But, mild heat exhaustion is easily preventable in dogs.