Every dog (especially puppies) suffers from diarrhea at some point in his life… So it’s no wonder why pet parents are often on the hunt for a cure to dog diarrhea. It can be very easy to resolve if taken care of quickly & correct, or it can be distressing and messy, to say the least! It can take anywhere from hours to get a puppy back on track or as long as months depending on the cause.
If your puppy is having diarrhea, there's no reason to panic unless the problem is very severe. However, you should watch your pup carefully and if the problem doesn't
resolve within one or two days, you should make an appointment with your pet's veterinarian or visit an animal emergency clinic. Young puppies can become dangerously dehydrated in 24 hours or less.
Make sure your dog is getting plenty of water (electrolytes are great to add to water)! If your dog is lethargic, feverish, bloated, vomiting or has a large amount of blood in this stool or in his
vomit- you need to consult your Vet!
Home Care for Mild Diarrhea
If your puppy is having some mild diarrhea but is otherwise playful & energetic, you can start by:
1. Adding Diatomaceous Earth (food grade) to your puppy or dogs food. You will add about 1 TBS to food for 7 days straight. You can order DE from chewy.com.
2. Add/ give probiotics to balance the gut. Probiotics will populate the intestine with healthy bacteria and there is a growing research base showing they boost the immune system to support the whole body. VetriScience Vetri-Mega Probiotic Digestive Health is our go to probiotic! If your dog ever has an upset stomach these are great. We recommend mixing one capsule with food for 7 days. You can order from Chewy.com
3. Make sure your dog is getting plenty of water (electrolytes are great to add to water).
If the diarrhea does not start to improve after a day or two, even if she seems fine, it's time to take her to the vet, and bring a small stool sample with you. Make sure your vet is testing for everything they can while you are there. Toxic medications/ dewormers can worsen their diarrhea so you don’t want to use them if you don’t have to.
There are MANY reasons to why your dog may have diarrhea but here are some common causes:
Change in diet
Ingestion of garbage, toxins, or foreign object
Sometimes the reason behind puppy diarrhea is simple. Stress is a huge cause of diarrhea in dogs just like it does in humans, and puppyhood is certainly a stressful time. Your puppy is constantly meeting new people and exploring new things, and adjusting to the routine of your household is sometimes enough to trigger stress-related diarrhea by itself.
Young puppies are prone to parasites. They pick them up from the environment easily (especially curious puppies). Parasites like roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia, and giardia all cause diarrhea in puppies.
Puppies eat things that they are not supposed to. From garbage, toxic cleaning products, table food, stool, dirt, to poisonous plants, if your puppy can reach it, chances are he’ll try and eat it. Consuming garbage, especially garbage full of food, often leads to puppy diarrhea, and in some cases can cause blockages that require veterinary intervention to resolve.
Poisons and toxins also cause diarrhea. Call your vet or local veterinary emergency center immediately if you suspect your puppy ate something potentially harmful.
Puppies have more delicate immune systems than adult dogs, which makes them more susceptible to bacterial infections. Salmonella, E. coli, Clostridium, and other bacteria can cause puppy diarrhea. These diseases are serious and are usually accompanied by other symptoms, like bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever, and vomiting.
Perhaps the most worrying cause of puppy diarrhea is a viral infection. The parvovirus and distemper virus are both potentially fatal diseases that affect unvaccinated or partially vaccinated puppies. The coronavirus is also a cause of viral diarrhea in puppies. All viruses require medical attention from your veterinarian.
There are many reasons why you might switch up your dog’s diet. Regardless of the reason, even a simple change in diet can cause diarrhea in puppies. Your current food (which may be great for most) could also be the problem. Sometimes puppies develop an intolerance or sensitivity to certain foods or ingredients. If you suspect that your puppy has a food intolerance or sensitivity, talk to your vet about the best way to manage her diet and resolve her diarrhea.
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