Six Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs
While no one likes to discuss runny poos, most pet parents will face dog diarrhea from time to time. This messy situation can be uncomfortable for both pet parents and dogs. Understanding the reasons behind this common issue can help limit its occurrence and minimize its impact on your pup. Below we’ll explore six causes of diarrhea in dogs and provide tips to help treat upset tummies when they occur.
Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs
Sudden Change in Food
Dogs have sensitive digestive systems, and changing their food too quickly can lead to gastrointestinal upset. Whether you’re transitioning to a new brand of food, protein type, or flavor, it’s essential to do so gradually. Abrupt changes can shock their system, causing loose stools and discomfort.
It is recommended to transition your dog to a new food over the course of seven to ten days.
Eating Something They Shouldn’t
Dogs are notorious for their curious nature, and they often explore the world through their mouths. Unfortunately, this can lead to them ingesting things that upset their digestive system. Whether it’s scavenging food from the trash or swallowing small objects, these foreign materials can irritate their intestines and trigger diarrhea. If you think your pet has eaten something harmful contact your veterinarian immediately.
Just like humans, dogs can experience stress, and it can manifest in various ways, including diarrhea. Changes in routine, loud noises, separation anxiety, or introducing a new environment or pet can all make your dog feel stressed. This emotional strain can disrupt their digestive balance and lead to gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea.
If your dog frequently experiences runny stools after eating, they may be dealing with a food intolerance. Food intolerances can make it more difficult for your pet to properly digest certain ingredients like wheat, dairy, or some proteins. This can result in gastrointestinal upsets like vomiting, increased flatulence, and diarrhea. If you have concerns about a food intolerance, it’s always a good idea to consult your veterinarian.
When a dog is prescribed a new medication and experiences an adverse reaction to a particular drug, it may lead to gastrointestinal disturbances. Diarrhea can be a common side effect of some medicines, including NMDA receptor blockers and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories used for pain relief), especially when they first start taking them.
Other Health Concerns
If none of the situations above apply to your pet, it’s possible your dog may be dealing with something like an infection or parasite. Anytime your dog has loose stools that don’t subside within 24-48 hours, we recommend visiting your vet to rule out more serious issues.
How to Treat Diarrhea in Dogs
If your dog is experiencing concerning diarrhea, it’s time to visit your veterinarian. They will know your dog’s health history and can help determine the underlying cause of your pet’s tummy woes.
In addition to veterinary care, it’s essential that you provide your dog with plenty of fresh water. Runny stools can lead to significant fluid loss, which can quickly result in dehydration for dogs. Having access to clean, fresh water at all times helps counteract the effects of diarrhea-induced fluid loss and keeps your dog hydrated.
Owners can check their dog’s hydration by observing their gums. Hydrated dogs have moist, shiny gums that are typically pale pink in color. Pressing a finger against the gum and observing how quickly the color returns, within 1 to 2 seconds, can also indicate hydration levels. Any signs of dry, sticky gums or changes in color may suggest dehydration, warranting an immediate trip to the vet.
If you’re struggling to get your dog to drink enough water, consider adding bone broth to their meals. Nature’s Logic’s Dehydrated Bone Broth adds moisture to dry kibble as well as providing nutritional benefits like amino acids and collagen. Simply mix the dehydrated bone broth with water according to the label’s directions and it’s ready to serve your pup.
Here to Help Keep Your Dog Healthy
We’re dedicated to helping keep your dog healthy and happy which is why we have a variety of all natural dog food recipes. Got a pup with a grain sensitivity? Check out Nature’s Logic’s grain free dog food. Is your pet sensitive to common proteins? Consider trying our Duck & Salmon Recipe or our Rabbit Recipe. Unsure which option is best for your pet? Shoot us an email. We’d love to help you discover the best option for your beloved furry friend.