Why do Dogs Get Diarrhea?

Home Dog Health Why do Dogs Get Diarrhea?

When a dog’s droppings have a too soft or liquid texture and, also, the dog defecates in a volume and frequency above the usual, there’s only one thing that’s happening and that’s dog diarrhea.

In a normal digestive process, the dog’s body is capable of absorbing up to 80% of the water contained in the food it eats.

A dog with diarrhea, however, will not absorb that percentage of water and neither will the nutrients contained in the ingested food. Therefore, the animal is exposed to a risk of dehydration and progressive deterioration of its state of health if it is not remedied. Canine diarrhea is very common, but it’s not something to ignore or something to wait on too much. There are always remedies, and yes home remedies that could help your dog.

Why does my dog have diarrhea?

There are several reasons for diarrhea in dogs. They should be taken into account because, many times, diarrhea can alert us to a much more serious health problem.

Sudden changes in diet

In a dog with diarrhea, the bacterial flora of the intestine ​​is adapted to the usual diet that that animal receives.

If the diet changes, the intestinal flora requires time to adapt to the new food, especially in puppy diarrhea cases. If this adaptation time is not allowed by mixing the old diet with the new one, the dog can suffer gastrointestinal disorders as a consequence. One of the most common is diarrhea.

It must be taken into account that the bacterial flora of the dog is oriented, fundamentally, to the digestion of meat because it is a carnivorous animal.

Dogs have a lower density of flora than humans (omnivores) because they are oriented to digest a smaller range of food than we do. Specifically, a dog has a density of 10,000 bacteria per gram of intestine while humans have 10 million per gram. Thus, it is easy to understand why a sudden change in diet or, for example, the introduction of homemade foods cooked for humans, can cause that the dog has diarrhea.


As with people, stress can be the source of diarrhea in dogs.

Stress produces a response in the dog’s body that causes changes in digestive processes, in addition to an increase in blood cortisol levels and a weakening of the body’s immune functions.

Ingestion of toxic or inappropriate foods

What happens to a dog if it eats chocolate? Well, this would be a good example of toxic food for dogs that can cause, among other things, diarrhea in dogs.

Any food that is toxic or unsuitable for the canine diet can result in moderate or severe gastrointestinal disturbances. It is common for some dogs to eat things off the ground when they go for a walk in the street.

You have to be very careful because the ingestion of inappropriate foods, or even objects that cannot be digested in the stomach, can be very dangerous. Some treats or cookies, especially new to your dog or low-quality brands, can cause intestinal irritation.

Food allergies or intolerances

Food intolerances manifest with problems of the gastrointestinal system such as vomiting or diarrhea. Therefore, a food intolerant dog will tend to have diarrhea every time he eats it.

Other symptoms of food intolerances are vomiting, increased flatulence, and even discoloration of the stool. On the other hand, when a dog suffers from a food allergy, it can also lead to digestive problems. However, food allergies usually cause, mainly, changes in the hair and skin.

Parasites and bacteria

Some of the most common parasites that cause diarrhea in dogs, especially puppies, are roundworms or roundworms and tapeworms or flatworms. Commonly called “worms”.

These parasites reach the body of the dog intending to feed on what the animal ingests. That is, they steal the food that the animal eats. Therefore, they can cause serious deterioration of your health. Bacteria are much smaller than intestinal worms but they can also be very harmful to the dog because they tend to appear in very high numbers. They are the reason for some canine diarrhea.

What to do if your dog has diarrhea?

Even if the diarrhea is short-lived, your dog is at risk of dehydration. Make sure to provide plenty of fresh water and give it a probiotic while maintaining her meal schedules.

If your dog is feeling anxious or upset, he may experience acute, short-term diarrhea. You can also give the dog a probiotic to help his digestive tract and promote the colonization of good bacteria that help the microbial balance in his gut.

As for food, if your dog experiences diarrhea frequently, it may be from a food allergy that the vet should examine. You may need a highly digestible dog formula.

What to do when your dog has diarrhea?

The first thing you should do as a dog diarrhea treatment if your dog has diarrhea is to observe the color of the stool. If while doing this you notice the presence of dog bloody diarrhea, pus, mucus, or even worms, go to the vet immediately. It is possible that the bleeding is due to the same effort that the animal makes, however, as many of the causes of diarrhea refer to serious diseases, it is best to try to collect a sample and take it to the specialist. Especially if your dog is a puppy, the production of puppy diarrhea can be due to diseases such as parvovirus or distemper.

If there is no mucus, no pus, or worms, even if there is blood, to try to find out the cause of dogs with diarrhea, start treating it and going to the vet with all the information possible, try to remember if you have made any changes to their diet, you have caught your dog eating in the garbage or there is a possibility that he has been intoxicated or poisoned.  Once the stool has been analyzed in dogs with diarrhea, if there is no blood and you suspect that it may be an intolerance, allergy, or a change in diet, the next step will be to fast for 24 hours in adult dogs and 12 hours in puppies. With fasting, we refer to not offering any type of food, but offering all the amount of water you need, fresh and always clean. It is essential to observe the animal during these hours and ensure that it remains properly hydrated since if it shows rejection of water, apathy, or vomiting, you will have to go to the vet.

Careful! Never medicate your dog without first consulting the vet, since, as we have seen in previous sections, the same medications can worsen the clinical picture if they are not administered correctly.