What To Do If Your Dog Has Diarrhea

what to do if my dog has diarrhea

Ok, dog poo isn’t exactly the most fun or interesting topic. In fact, it’s pretty gross, but the reality is that our dogs bowel movements are something to watch. Often the consistency of their bowel movements is our first clue that something might be wrong with them. So what do you do when your dog has diarrhea?

Understand what qualifies as diarrhea first. Diarrhea is liquid or very loose and it happens frequently. The worrysome part is that it can be caused by any number of things. Your dog might have chewed up something. It could be caused by a change in their diet, or there could be something seriously wrong.

This means that the first step beyond saying, “my dog has diarrhea”, is to monitor the situation. Note how many times they go, general volume, color, and consistency in case a trip to your vet is needed. If the problem only lasts a few days, you likely have no reason to worry. A long term problem requires more attention.

If diarrhea persists more than two or three days, call your vet and describe the problem.

What If My Dog Has Diarrhea With Blood In It?

Note to your vet if you see blood or mucus in it or if they begin straining to go. Black diarrhea could mean that there is blood in their poop, and that requires an immediate trip to the vet. Blood in their stool could mean internal bleeding, which is a big problem.

What If My Dog Has Diarrhea With White Spots?

If you look closely at your dogs poop and it has what appears to be white strings or long pieces of rice, they could be worms. Even if the pieces are not actively moving you should immediately call your veterinarian and make a visit.

Worms if left unattended can lead to a painful death for your dog so do not hesitate. Take immediate action and get your dog medical care fast.

what to do if my dog has diarrhea

Puppies and Diarrhea

With young dogs it can be hard to say whether the diarrhea is because of a sickness. Much like human babies, puppies systems are immature and even the smallest of dietary changes or new foods can cause liquid stools.

You’ll need to to take action only if the diarrhea lasts for a long time, they present other symptoms like the ones listed here, or if there haven’t been any real changes that could cause the loose stool.

With puppies a lot can go wrong very quickly and it’s usually better to play it safe with at least a call to your vet if presented with loose stool.

What Are Some Common Causes of Canine Diarrhea?

While a sickness or disease can be caused by things out of your control there are some common factors you can control that contribute to your dogs having diarrhea. Here are a few to look at if your dog has a case of runny poop:

Table Scraps
While giving table scraps can seem like a great bonding experience between yo and your pooch, it encourages bad behavior (like begging) along with a constantly rotating diet. This diet can cause diarrhea or mask underlying health problems that are causing it.


Especially in puppies, the need to chew is high and can lead to intestinal problems if they were to chew on something dangerous.

Switching Foods:

If you’re a bargain hunter it can seem like a good idea to just purchase whatever dog food is cheapest that week. However, the constant shift in diet from one brand to the next means your dog’s body will be getting a vastly different array of nutrients every week. This can cause severe problems down the road as well as runny stool while your dog’s body tries to keep up.

What About Other Dog Diarrhea Symptoms?


Diarrhea might come with other symptoms that you should note to your doctor. If your dog is normally energetic and now just wants to lay around, you need to note that to the vet.

The following are symptoms to watch for:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shaking
  • Dehydration
  • Worms
  • Panting
  • Red Eyes
  • Runny Nose
  • Coughing

The same goes for fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, shaking, and dehydration. Your dog might not want to eat so much and loose a few pounds. These are also things your vet will need to know.

There are things you can do at home. Some people recommend that you withhold food for a day or two, while still keeping out plenty of water. The water will keep them from being dehydrated, and they’ll get the worst things out of their system quickly if it’s just a basic problem. You can also use supplements in order to alleviate the symptoms.

A visit to your vet isn’t immediately required. Go in if the problem lasts more than a day or two or if you see any of those listed symptoms above with the diarrhea. Usually the problem will be simple and can be handled at home, but problems worse than that tend to be time critical.

While it may be nothing to freak out about, diarrhea can be caused by such a wide variety of things that it’s almost always better to be safe than sorry. Don’t try to do all the diagnosing at home. Take your dog to the vet just to be sure you have the right diagnoses and then follow the treatment plan provided. It can help to sometimes provide a supplement to make sure your dog’s digestive tract is doing everything it can.