How to Make It Through Your Dog's Diarrhea

Getting Back To Typical Situations

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It's not something people like to talk about, but if you have a dog, you've probably spent more time than you'd like cleaning up a smelly brown puddle (or, less diplomatically, doggie "runs").

Common in canines, diarrhea can range in severity, duration, and frequency depending on the dog.

While you might not be able to stop diarrhea in your dog entirely, being well-informed about the condition can lessen the frequency of episodes and shorten their duration when they do occur. Several remedies for canine diarrhoea are currently available without a vet's prescription.

Intestinal Function in Dogs

The digestive processes of dogs and humans are vastly different.

For example, when a human puts food in their mouth, the jaw shape and salivary enzymes begin to break it down. In contrast, canine jaws and mouths are built for tearing, crushing, and speedy ingestion. They are able to eat foods that would make their human companions sick because the salivary enzymes they produce are primarily aimed at killing bacteria.

Canine esophagus transports food quickly to the stomach, where most digestion occurs. Dogs can easily digest relatively whole foods because their stomach acids are roughly three times stronger than human ones. A healthy bowel movement is the result of food passing through the small and large intestines in less than 10 hours.

Common Canine Diarrhea Triggers

This delicate equilibrium can be upset by a number of factors, leading either to diarrhea or, less frequently, to constipation. Too much grass-eating, for example, is not a major problem. A life-threatening issue, such as a rock or other indigestible object stuck in the stomach or a disease like cancer, can cause other symptoms.

There are numerous causes of diarrhea in dogs, but the following 12 are the most common:

  1. Sins of the stomach: overeating, scavenging, and spoiled food In the veterinary community, this condition is referred to as "garbage toxicosis" or "garbage gut." ”
  2. It may take a dog a few days to adjust to the new proteins in their diet. This is why many producers of dog food advise taking it easy when switching brands.
  3. Food allergy
  4. Allergies
  5. Most of these parasites will sicken puppies or adults with compromised immune systems:
    1. Roundworms
    2. Hookworms
    3. Whipworms
    4. Coccidia
    5. Giardia
  6. Toxic materials and vegetation
  7. Accidental ingestion of a non-digestible object, such as a sock or a toy
  8. Virus infections, especially those caused by
    1. Parvovirus
    2. Distemper
    3. Coronavirus in canines
  9. Infections caused by bacteria, like salmonella,
  10. Diseases such as kidney and liver failure, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, and colitis
  11. Treatments such as antibiotics and other drugs
  12. Distress or mental strain

Dog Poo: A Window Into His or Her Health

What's going on with your dog can be deduced from the diarrhea's consistency and color. When describing the symptoms to a vet, be as specific as possible about the color, consistency, and anything else you can think of. Diarrhea typically improves after a few days of home treatment, but you should contact your veterinarian if the condition persists or if any of several warning signs present.

The "perfect dog poop," as depicted in this Purina infographic, is chocolate brown in color, has a log-like shape, is compact, and is easy to scoop. When pressed, it should have the consistency of cookie dough or Play-Doh, say the experts. Not normal are excessive amounts, a pudding-like or watery consistency, signs of mucus (which can appear as jelly-like blood streaks), or a bloody appearance.

poop infographic 1

Observe the Stool for Its Color

The dog's coat color may also provide clues about its internal health. Colors like orange, green, or gray may indicate problems with the liver, gall bladder, or pancreas, while chocolate brown indicates health. Severe internal bleeding is suggested by black tarry stools. Please consult your veterinarian immediately if this is observed.

Purina also offers a poop color wheel for quick reference.

dog pool chart

Diarrhea in your dog can be diagnosed by the color, shape, and consistency of the feces. Your veterinarian will be able to pinpoint the precise location of the issue along your dog's digestive tract based on these factors.

Other Methods for Reading Dog Stool

In addition to coat color, consider the following common abnormalities and what they may reveal about your dog's health:

  • Frequency:
    • Some people experience "the squirts," or small amounts that require straining several times within an hour, as a sign of inflammation of the large bowel.
    • If you have these symptoms three or more times a day, especially if they are accompanied by a lot of stool, you may have a problem with
  • What your dog has gotten into can be deduced from the presence of solid objects of an unusual color or shape. For instance, a tapeworm infestation could be indicated by the presence of several small white rice-like shapes. If your dog vomits up grass, wood, or string, he may have eaten something he couldn't digest.
  • This consistent chart, developed by Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets, shows how veterinarians rate canine fecal consistency on a scale from 1 to 7.

dog fecal scoring

It's important to examine your dog's feces closely if she's experiencing diarrhea so you can provide your vet with as much information as possible. The vet will then know whether to recommend an exam or if you can treat the problem at home.

Natural Treatments for Dog Diarrhea

In many cases, a trip to the clinic might be unnecessary if you consult your veterinarian for advice. They might improve with a series of very simple treatments like:

Dog Diarrhea Remedies Available Without a Prescription

For the occasional loose stools or diarrhea that every dog can experience, these over-the-counter dog diarrhea treatments are handy to have on hand and can be ordered online for quick delivery.


A fast of 12 to 24 hours, accompanied by frequent, small sips of water, can help eliminate the offending substance and calm the GI tract. It's commonly used as a first line of defense against diarrhea. Be sure your dog's health can handle a fast before deciding to do one. Dogs of all ages, including puppies, require proper nutrition. In addition, smaller dogs may not be able to handle the physical demands of a fast as well as their larger counterparts

Dehydration can result from diarrhea, so always make sure your dog has fresh water available. Under the guidance of your veterinarian, you may also give unflavored Pedialyte to aid in electrolyte maintenance.

Home Remedies for Dogs with Diarrhea

After a fast, people typically eat very simple foods. Binder foods are often the first thing pet owners try because they help bring stools back to a normal consistency. Some time-tested strategies are:

  • To make rice water, simply boil some high-quality rice in a lot of water, strain out the grains, and serve the soup to your dog. You can make it more tolerable by adding some broth or baby food.
  • Uniformly White Rice
  • Pumpkin (100% pumpkin puree from the grocery store, pet-safe pumpkin powder, or a pet-specific canned pumpkin for dogs) has the odd distinction of being effective both for diarrhea and for constipation When shopping for canned pumpkin, check the label to make sure it contains only pumpkin and not "pumpkin pie filling," which often contains sugar and other additives in addition to pumpkin.
  • Dogs that are able to digest milk and dairy products benefit from eating plain yogurt with live cultures.
  • Probiotics, the good bacteria found in yogurt that aid digestion.
  • Potatoes, skinless and boiled
  • Cheese made from cottage milk
  • Eggs and skinless chicken breasts are two examples of lean protein sources that are prepared simply.
  • Fennel and other herbs may be able to calm an upset stomach.
  • Dogs with sensitive stomachs may benefit from a special diet created by some manufacturers. Your veterinarian may recommend that you pick up a supply of these.
  • While some human over-the-counter diarrhea medications may also be effective for dogs, it's best to check with your vet first.

It's possible that you'll need to do some trial and error to find the optimal method of treatment for your dog. In order to be better prepared for the next time you need to clean up a mess, it may be useful to keep track of what works and what doesn't.

You can gradually increase the portions over a few days, and then start to add small quantities of your dog's regular food, until things are back to normal, once you find a recovery diet that agrees with your dog and doesn't cause a relapse.

When Doggy Diarrhea Demands a Vet Visit

If your dog is acting out of the ordinary, it may be time to call the vet. Some canines are at a higher risk for gastrointestinal problems than others, so it's important to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary with your pet.

However, there are indicators that might indicate you should at least talk to your vet:

  • Lethargy, fever, vomiting, dry, tacky, or pale gums, weakness, and so on are some other physical symptoms;
  • Uncontrollable diarrhea despite the use of tried-and-true home treatments;
  • Dehydration;
  • Prolonged (a few days is a common estimate, but others go much higher) Your dog's typical behavior will determine this. );
  • Medication (an antibiotic-treated dog, for instance);
  • Age, diabetes, Cushing's syndrome, cancer, or any other preexisting medical condition, and
  • When something is obviously wrong Only you can recognize the subtle changes in your dog's behavior that indicate trouble. Listen to your gut and call a vet if you feel unsure what to do.
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