Dog Diarrhea: Causes, Treatment & Home Remedies

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jack russell terrier sitting on a toilet seat with digestion problems or constipation looking very sad

Diarrhea is loose or unformed feces that occur more often or in more significant volumes. Several illnesses may cause diarrhea, but it is not one of them. When mild ailments cause diarrhea, easy remedies may typically alleviate it.

As a consequence of acute or even life-threatening conditions, dog diarrhea might occur.

Aside from that, diarrhea may be caused by life-threatening conditions, including organ failure or cancer. Even moderate cases of diarrhea may become life-threatening if treatment is not started as soon as possible to avoid dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance.

The Canine Digestive System

Dogs digest food in a very different manner than humans do.

Human jaws and salivary enzymes, for example, begin to break down a meal as soon as it enters the mouth. As for dogs, their lips and jaws are designed for eating, ripping, and devouring food. These bacteria-killing enzymes in their saliva are the primary reason they can eat things that would make us sick.

Dogs eat in pieces because their esophagus moves quickly, and food reaches the stomach in chunks. Unlike humans, canines have stomach acids that are three times more powerful; therefore, they can digest essentially unprocessed food. As a general rule, the time it takes food to travel from the mouth to the intestines should be no more than 10 hours.

Dog Diarrhea in the Living Room on the floor
Dog Diarrhea in the Living Room on the floor

Top Causes of Dog Diarrhea

Various factors may disrupt this well-balanced system, resulting in dog diarrhea or constipation. Overeating grass, for example, is not life-threatening in the slightest. Most incidents of loose stools in dogs may be traced back to one of the following triggers:

Dietary indiscretion:

Overeat, eat unclean food, or eat food that has been ruined. The term “trash toxicosis” or “junk gut” is used in veterinary circles to describe this condition.

Dietary change:

A dog’s digestive tract may take several days to adjust to new proteins. Because of this, many dog food manufacturers suggest that you begin slowly when transitioning to a new type of food.

Food allergy:

Diarrhea, rashes, itchy skin, congestion, and a tightness of the neck are all symptoms of food allergies. Diarrhea may also be caused by a lack of absorption. If you’re unable to absorb the nutrients in your meals, you may have a condition known as dysregulation.


Puppies and adults with weakened immune systems are at risk from most of these

  • Roundworms
  • Hookworms
  • Whipworms
  • Coccidia
  • Giardia
french bulldog dog sitting on a toilet seat with digestion problems or constipation
French Bulldog Dog Sitting on a Toilet Seat with Digestion Problems or Constipation


Oleander is a widespread blooming shrub in the southeastern United States and California. Like digoxin, its cardiac glycosides are poisonous to dogs, causing deadly heart irregularities, muscular spasms, incoordination, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea.

What Kind of Human Foods Can source diarrhea?

Digestive systems in our dogs are incredibly different from those in humans. If you feed your pet a diet high in fat, it is unlikely that they will be able to break it down efficiently or even at all.

Dog Diarrhea may be caused by osmosis, the basic process of water being pulled into the gastrointestinal system while food is digested. Stick to safe fruits and veggies such as carrots, green beans, or apples if you’re going to give your pet “human food” (without seeds).

Dog on the toilet - Jack Russell Terrier
Dog on the Toilet – Jack Russell Terrier

Types of Dog Diarrhea

To cut down the list of possible causes, we divide canine diarrhea into large-bowel and small-bowel diarrhea.

Large-Bowel Diarrhea in Dogs

Diarrhea that originates in the large intestine, or colon, is defined by the following:

  • The frequency has increased.
  • Stool in little amounts
  • Fumbling to defecate
  • Feces with red blood and mucus

It’s common for pet owners to be alarmed whenever they see blood in their dog’s feces. A tiny quantity of blood is standard when dealing with large-bowel diarrhea, which indicates inflammation and necessitates a trip to the vet.

Because this is the reason. The colon has two purposes:

  • The stool will be stored here until it is ready to be removed.
  • To avoid dehydration, water is absorbed.

Blood vessels are close to the colon’s surface, which makes straining and inflammation more likely to cause them to rupture—mucous glands in the colon aid in the transit of feces by lubricating it.

Their mucous covering will be overproduced when there is inflammation. Stools might become watery if the colon isn’t operating properly. Dog diarrhea with mucus

Blood in the feces should be taken more seriously if it seems to be a considerable amount (the stool is entirely blood or looks like raspberry jam).

irish setter dog pooping on the grass in the park
Irish Setter Dog Pooping on the Grass in the Park

Small-Bowel Diarrhea in Dogs

Diarrhea that originates in the small bowel is characterized by the following:

  • Regularly large and goopy bowel movements.
  • The fatty and foamy stool is common.
  • Colored blood or mucus in dogs’ diarrhea is quite infrequent in the stool.
  • In most of the cases, there is little or no effort required.

The digestive tract is responsible for absorbing nutrition. Fatty stools might be the consequence of a failure of absorption due to inflammation or malfunction.

Additionally, dogs with slight diarrhea show indications of malnutrition:

  • Loss of weight
  • Poor hair coat
  • A ferocious hunger

Acute Diarrhea in Dogs

It is possible to treat some instances of dog diarrhea. Diarrhea may typically cure itself with little or no assistance from you if it is an acute start.

If your doggy is experiencing diarrhea that has continued for more than 48 hours, as well as other symptoms such as vomiting or a lack of appetite, you should take your pet to the clinic.

Chronic Diarrhea in Dogs

If a person has continuous or recurring diarrhea, they are suffering from chronic diarrhea.Some of the possible causes include, but aren’t limited to,

  • Whipworms and other parasites
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Insufficiency of the exocrine pancreas
  • A metabolic disorder such as hyperthyroidism
  • Cancer
  • Dysbiosis

When dogs suffer from chronic diarrhea, they may have weight loss, a dry and unattractive hair coat, and lethargy.

Chronic intermittent diarrhea may also occur if your pet is constantly exposed to a food allergy.

Dog and cat food promoted as “healthier” for your pet may be higher in fat and protein than other options. If you’re feeding your pet a grain-free diet, you’re removing fiber from the food, which may be hard on a delicate system.

Dietary balance is essential, as is the fact that the formulas originate from a well-known brand that has done its due diligence.

Golden Retriever puppy sleeping with a roll of toilet paper
Golden Retriever Puppy Sleeping with a Roll of Toilet Paper

Diarrhea with Vomiting

A whole new part of the gastrointestinal system has been introduced when dog diarrhea and vomiting occur together. The word “gastroenteritis” refers to both stomach and upper gastrointestinal tract inflammation.

Even a modest amount of high-fat food may cause pancreatitis, a disease in which the pancreas, which generates digestive enzymes, is inflamed. Acute nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort are all possible symptoms. Pancreatitis may be lethal in extreme circumstances.

When blood is present in vomit, it might appear red, brown, or black in color. The presence of even a trace quantity of blood in vomit is cause for alarm, as opposed to a bit of volume of blood in the stool.

What Stools Say About Your Dog’s Health

The color and consistency of your pet’s diarrhea might tell you a lot about what’s wrong with him. Describe the conditions to a vet in detail, including color, consistency, and any other relevant details. Diarrhea may often be treated at home, but if it persists for more than a few days or has any of several symptoms that might indicate a more severe condition, it’s best to contact your veterinarian.

Internal parasites in the puppy's feces
Internal Parasites in the Puppy’s Feces

Purina has created an infographic that depicts the “ideal dog poop,” which is dark brown, log-shaped, compact, and simple to scoop. Cookie dough or Play-Doh, according to experts, is the ideal consistency. Not typical include large amounts, a pudding-like character, any evidence of mucus (which resemble jelly), or any blood streaks in the sample.

Take a Note on the Color of the Poop

Color may tell you a lot about what’s going on in your dog’s digestive tract. Colors like orange, green, or gray may indicate liver, gallbladder, or pancreas problems, whereas chocolate brown is typical. Stool that is black, tarry, or bloody is quite concerning and may indicate internal hemorrhage. You should call your vet doctor right away if you observe anything like this.

Purina has also given a color wheel of dog feces as a helpful reference.

Diarrhea in a dog may be difficult to diagnose unless you pay attention to the details like color, shape, and consistency. Using these criteria, your veterinarian will be able to pinpoint where the issue is coming from in the dog’s digestive system

Other Ways to Decipher Dog Poop

The following is a summary of some common abnormalities and what they might signify for your dog’s condition:


  • Having “the squirts,” or minor quantities with straining, multiple times each hour may indicate inflammation of the big intestine.
  • It’s possible that having diarrhea three or four times in as many days indicates a problem with the small intestine.

Tangible things that are oddly shaped

A tapeworm infection, for example, might be indicated by the presence of many minor white rice-like forms. If your dog eats anything he couldn’t digest, you could find grass, wood, or twine in those places.


Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets created a well-illustrated chart showing how doctors rank canine fecal uniformity on a scale of one to seven.

If your dog has diarrhea, it’s critical that you thoroughly inspect her feces so that you can provide your vet doctor with as much information as possible. As a result of this information, the veterinarian will advise if an exam is necessary or whether the issues can be treated at home.

Cute beagle dog in front of a potty and looking at camera
Cute Beagle Dog in Front of a Potty and Looking at Camera

Home Remedies for Dog Diarrhea

Many instances are minor, and if you follow your veterinarian’s recommendations, you may be able to avoid going to the doctor’s office. They could react to a simple treatment plan, such as:

Diarrhea Treatments for Dogs Available Over-the-Counter

These remedies are useful to have on hand and maybe obtained for rapid delivery online.


Food should be held for 12 to 24 hours, and tiny quantities of water should be given often to remove the source of the upset and enable the gastrointestinal system to settle. It’s generally the first line of defense when it comes to diarrhea. Before you decide to go on a fast, make sure your dog is in good health. Puppies and senior dogs, for example, need nutrition.

Diarrhea may cause dehydration, so make sure your dog always has access to water. Under the supervision of a vet doctor, you may also provide unflavored Pedialyte to assist in maintaining electrolyte balance.

What Can You Give a Dog with Diarrhea

Simple meals usually are given gently after a fast. Many dog owners begin with binders, which may aid in normalizing stool consistency. The following are some tried-and-true methods:

Rice water

Boil a large amount of high-quality rice in a large pot of water, strain out the grains, and serve the remaining creamy white soup to the dog. It will be more pleasant with a splash of broth or a spoonful of baby food.

Diet of Chicken Breast and Rice Water. Bland food for dogs with diarrhea
Diet of Chicken Breast and Rice Water. Bland food for dogs with Diarrhea

Plain yogurt : with active cultures may aid dogs that are lactose intolerant.

Probiotics: help digestion by promoting living microorganisms (these are also found in yogurt)

Skinless boiled potatoes: Dog meals that have been specially formulated: Some manufacturers provide meals for dogs with sensitive stomachs to help them feel better. Some of these may need to be obtained from your veterinarian.

Human over-the-counter drugs may benefit dog diarrhea, but they should be used with care and only after consulting with your veterinarian.

Strategies that work for one pet may not work for the other, so you’ll have to undertake some trial and error to find the right mix. It’s also a good idea to make a list of what helps what doesn’t so you’ll understand what to do the next time you’re in a bind.

Once you’ve discovered a recovery diet that works for your dog without causing a relapse, gradually increase the quantities over a few days, then gradually introduce small amounts of your dog’s regular food until everything is back to normal.

When Dog Diarrhea Means a Tour to the Vet

The best time to consult a veterinarian is determined by your dog’s typical behavior. Unfortunately, some pets are more prone to digestive problems than others, so you must be alert of anything out of the norm on a case-by-case basis.

There are, however, several indicators that you should visit with your veterinarian:

  • Lethargy, fever, vomiting, dry, sticky, pale gums, or weakness are other physical signs.
  • Diarrhea that persists after previously successful home treatments;
  • Dehydration; Long duration (some claim a few days, while others suggest a few weeks). It is dependent on your dog’s normal behavior. ); Medication (an antibiotic-treated dog, for example);
  • Existing medical issues, such as old age, diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome, cancer, or any other medical problem and
  • When something doesn’t seem quite right. You recognize your pet better than anyone else, and you’re the only one who can see the telltale signals that anything is wrong.

Preventing Diarrhea in Dogs

  • Vaccines and parasite prevention should be given to your dog regularly.
  • Garbage access should be restricted.
  • Feeding table scraps, particularly fatty, creamy, or spicy foods, is not recommended.
  • If you need to switch your pet’s food, do it gradually over a period of 1-2 weeks.
  • If your dog is anxious while boarding, traveling, or otherwise, talk to your vet about probiotics or other supportive treatments.


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