What should I do if my dog has diarrhea?


Having a dog with diarrhea can be a worrisome and unpleasant experience for any pet owner. Diarrhea in dogs is quite common and can occur due to various reasons such as dietary changes, food intolerance, bacterial or viral infections, stress, or even parasites. While it may be discomforting for both your furry friend and yourself, it is essential to handle the situation promptly and ensure your dog’s well-being. In this article, we will discuss the possible causes of diarrhea in dogs, its potential consequences, and most importantly, provide you with a comprehensive guide on what you should do if your dog has diarrhea.

To effectively address the issue of your dog’s diarrhea, it is crucial to understand the underlying causes and potential dangers associated with it. In the following sections, we will delve into these causes and offer insight into different treatment options. Additionally, we will explore the importance of monitoring your dog’s symptoms, dietary modifications that may help alleviate the diarrhea, and when it may be necessary to seek veterinary assistance. By following the guidelines provided, you can ensure the best possible care for your beloved furry companion and restore their digestive health. Let’s dive into the various aspects of this common and concerning issue for dog owners.


What to Do When Your Dog Has Diarrhea: Expert Tips and Remedies

In this article, we will discuss the steps to take and remedies to consider when your beloved furry friend is suffering from diarrhea. Diarrhea in dogs can be caused by various factors such as dietary changes, food allergies, viral or bacterial infections, stress, or underlying health issues. It is important to promptly address this condition to alleviate your dog’s discomfort and prevent dehydration.

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What should I do if my dog has diarrhea?

Discovering that your beloved canine companion has diarrhea can be concerning, but there are several steps you can take to help your dog feel better. Before implementing any remedies, it’s important to determine the underlying cause of the diarrhea. Some common causes include dietary indiscretion, sudden changes in diet, food allergies, stress, parasites, bacterial or viral infections, or certain medications.

Monitor your dog’s symptoms

Start by observing the severity and duration of your dog’s diarrhea. Keep an eye out for other accompanying symptoms such as vomiting, blood in the stool, loss of appetite, lethargy, or dehydration. If the diarrhea persists for more than 24 hours or is accompanied by severe symptoms, it’s crucial to seek veterinary advice.

Withhold food temporarily

To give your dog’s digestive system a chance to heal, consider withholding food for a period of 12 to 24 hours. However, make sure your dog has access to clean drinking water to prevent dehydration. If your dog’s symptoms improve during this time, you can gradually reintroduce a bland diet.

Introduce a bland diet

A bland diet consisting of easily digestible food can help soothe your dog’s upset stomach. Options include boiled chicken (without seasoning or skin) or lean ground turkey, combined with white rice or sweet potatoes. Feed small, frequent meals over the next few days, gradually transitioning back to their regular diet once their stool returns to normal.

Avoid certain foods and treats

While your dog is experiencing diarrhea, it’s important to avoid feeding them fatty or spicy foods, dairy products, human leftovers, and treats that could further upset their stomach. Stick to the bland diet until their digestive system has fully recovered.

Probiotics and fiber supplements

Consulting with your veterinarian, you may consider providing your dog with probiotics or fiber supplements. Probiotics help restore the balance of good bacteria in the gut, while fiber supplements can promote healthy bowel movements. However, it’s crucial to follow your vet’s recommendations and dosages.

Hydration is key

Diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration, so ensuring your dog stays hydrated is essential. Encourage them to drink clean water frequently. If your dog is reluctant to drink, you can try offering ice cubes or small amounts of low-sodium chicken or beef broth to entice them.

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Consult your veterinarian

If your dog’s diarrhea persists or worsens, it’s highly recommended to consult with your veterinarian. They can perform a thorough examination, conduct tests if necessary, and recommend appropriate treatments or medications to address the underlying cause.

Dog has diarrhea what to do – Remember the statistics!

According to a research study conducted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), nearly 15% of pet dogs experience diarrhea at some point in their lives. It is therefore crucial for dog owners to be aware of the appropriate steps to take when their furry friends encounter this issue.

What should I do if my dog has diarrhea? – FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about What to Do if Your Dog Has Diarrhea

1. How do I know if my dog has diarrhea?

Signs of diarrhea in dogs include loose or watery stools, increased frequency of bowel movements, vomiting, and decreased appetite. If you notice these symptoms, it is likely that your dog has diarrhea.

2. What could be causing my dog’s diarrhea?

There are several potential causes of diarrhea in dogs, including dietary changes, food allergies or intolerances, ingestion of toxic substances, viral or bacterial infections, parasites, or underlying health conditions.

3. Should I take my dog to the vet if they have diarrhea?

If your dog’s diarrhea is mild and resolves within a day or two, you can try some home remedies and monitor their condition closely. However, if the diarrhea persists, is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, or if your dog becomes lethargic or dehydrated, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian.

4. Can I give any over-the-counter medication to treat my dog’s diarrhea?

No, it is not recommended to give over-the-counter medications to treat your dog’s diarrhea without consulting a veterinarian. Some medications may be harmful or ineffective for dogs, and the underlying cause of the diarrhea needs to be addressed.

5. What can I feed my dog to help with diarrhea?

You can try feeding your dog a bland diet consisting of boiled chicken or lean ground beef with plain white rice. This can help settle their stomach and provide easily digestible nutrients. However, it’s still important to consult your vet for specific dietary recommendations based on your dog’s condition.

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6. How can I prevent my dog from getting diarrhea?

To prevent diarrhea in dogs, it is essential to provide a balanced and high-quality diet, avoid sudden food changes, make sure your dog has access to clean water, keep vaccinations up to date, maintain good hygiene practices, and promptly treat any underlying health conditions.

7. Can stress cause diarrhea in dogs?

Yes, stress can be a potential trigger for diarrhea in dogs. Situations such as changes in routine, travel, separation anxiety, or exposure to loud noises can lead to stress-induced diarrhea. Creating a calm and secure environment for your dog can help prevent stress-related diarrhea.

8. Is it normal for puppies to have occasional diarrhea?

Occasional episodes of mild diarrhea can be normal for puppies, especially during the teething process or when introducing new foods. However, if the diarrhea is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is best to consult a vet for proper evaluation.

9. Can I give my dog probiotics to help with diarrhea?

Probiotics can potentially be beneficial in supporting digestive health in dogs. However, it is important to consult your vet before giving any supplements to your dog, as they can recommend the appropriate type, dosage, and duration based on your dog’s specific needs.

10. How can I prevent dehydration in a dog with diarrhea?

Ensure that your dog has access to fresh water at all times. If your dog is not drinking, you can try providing ice cubes or small amounts of diluted electrolyte solutions. However, if dehydration persists or worsens, it is crucial to contact your veterinarian for further guidance and potential intravenous hydration.


In conclusion, if your dog is experiencing diarrhea, it is important to closely monitor their condition and take appropriate action. Firstly, make sure to withhold food for 12-24 hours to give their digestive system a chance to recover. Offer small amounts of plain, easily digestible food such as boiled chicken and rice once their stool starts to firm up. Remember to provide plenty of fresh water to prevent dehydration.

Additionally, consider adding probiotics and fiber to your dog’s diet to promote a healthy gut and regulate their bowel movements. You can easily find probiotic supplements designed specifically for dogs at your local pet store or consult your veterinarian for suitable recommendations. It is crucial to avoid giving your dog any medication without consulting a professional first, as some medications can exacerbate diarrhea symptoms or have adverse effects on your dog’s health.

If your dog’s diarrhea persists for more than 24 hours, becomes severe, or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as blood in the stool, vomiting, or lethargy, it is important to seek veterinary assistance. A veterinarian will be able to diagnose the underlying cause of the diarrhea and provide appropriate treatment to help your furry friend recover. Remember that while you can handle mild cases of diarrhea at home following these guidelines, it is always best to consult a veterinarian if you have any doubts or concerns about your dog’s health.