Dog Diarrhea !

A healthy dog might have an episode of dog diarrhea every once in a while. Usually it’s a quick bout and over in no time, and that’s the end of that. However if your dog is having diarrhea frequently, this problem must be resolved, or your dog can become quite chronically ill and dehydrated.

Excessively loose, watery and frequent bowel movements are a sign that the bowels are trying to eliminate toxic irritants. This is the body's natural way of trying to get rid of something. That's  OK, we don't want to stop the body's own ability to purge, but at the same time, we can't let it go on for too long.

Dog Diarrhea Is Not Fun!

I think we’ve all been there. The dog is at the door, asking to go out. He's panting. He’s in a hurry! You can tell by the way he’s behaving that something's wrong. Once out, he finds a place, and let’s it gooooooooooo! Relief...but now he’s looking around, his posture is hunched and he’s straining to go again. More runny, smelly, liquid dog poop. Oh no!

Worse yet, you find he’s had a problem while you’ve been out. What a delightful surprise to be greeted with dog diarrhea all over the living room rug upon your arrival home. Your dog knows he’s been bad, even though it’s not his fault ( he was desperate !) and he’s hiding in the bedroom. No greeting at the door for you today! Dog diarrhea is not fun for you, or your dog.

Canine Diarrhea is Often Accompanied By Other Symptoms

  • Loose watery stool that is frequent and urgent.
  • Straining and then an explosion of diarrhea. This is not dog constipation.
  • Low energy and a change in your dog’s typical day to day behaviour and energy? Does he seem to be feeling kind of low, wants to sleep a lot, is not interested in anything, including food.
  • Vomiting together with appearing to be generally unwell.
  • Fever - does your dog feel warm to the touch?
  • Dehydration from the loss of body fluids through excess, watery dog poo is something to worry about. Senior dogs and puppies are at a higher risk.
  • Lack of appetite indicates something is very wrong. When a dog doesn't want to eat, we need to pay attention!

Causes of Dog Diarrhea

  • Dietary Indiscretion means, eating something he shouldn’t. You know dogs! They’ll eat what isn’t nailed down... grass, rocks, sticks, tree bark, garbage, rotten decaying food, other dog’s poop, dead worms, bird poo, paper, plastic, that piece of chocolate cake that wasn’t put away, and other stuff. You get the picture.
  • Intestinal Parasites include worms and single celled micro-organisms such as Giardia which is a microscopic protozoa, that can cause intermittent dog diarrhea. Just when you think all is well, the diarrhea starts again. Various types of worms ( roundworm, hookworm, tape worm, whipworm, threadworm ) can be contributors as well.
  • Change in dog food often causes diarrhea. Think about this. If you have been feeding the same dry dog food for years, you have created a set of circumstances where your dog’s digestive system has been ' conditioned ' to accept only one kind of food. This creates ' food intolerance '. You eat a variety of food every day, don't you? Well your dog needs variety too. Food variety offers a wider range of micro nutrients. His bowel will learn to become ' conditioned ' to accept different foods.  This prevents digestive system problems and runny dog poo if you change foods often. This is called rotation feeding.
  • Food allergies are created by feeding the same protein source for a long time. Example : Chicken. Eventually, the dog develops an ' allergy ' from being overexposed to the proteins in chicken. Food allergies can be the root cause of Leaky Gut Syndrome or Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  • Pancreatitis is the name given to describe inflammation and swelling of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is frequently caused by the dog eating food too high in fat and/or carbohydrates. It can also be caused by certain drugs and/or health problems such as hypothyroidism which can increase the amount of fats ( lipids ) in the blood. Pancreatitis is characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weakness and shock. Pancreatitis is serious. See the vet. In the meantime, WITHOLD ALL FOOD. Nothing by mouth at all.
  • Bacterial and viral infections are common. Dogs are often indiscriminate eaters, so infections causing runny dog poo are common. Bacterial and viral infectious diseases can be picked up from other infected dogs. 
  • Stress is a common cause of dog diarrhea. What’s going on at your house? A change in routine maybe, a divorce, a new baby, money problems, moving house etc. Dogs have emotions too and like us, hold their feelings in their guts. That's where the expression ' gut feeling ' comes from. Is your dog worried about you by any chance? Think about it. Dog's live with the stress existing within the household.
  • Drugs and medications such as antibiotics, steroids, dewormers, pesticides for flea/tick/heartworm control, vaccines and NSAID’s ( Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs ) can alter dog feces and cause a side effect of diarrhea.

This Dog Diarrhea Chart
Can Help You Figure It Out

Color Cause Located
yellow, green rapid transit small bowel
black, tarry Upper GI bleeding stomach, small bowel
red blood, clots lower GI bleeding colon clots
pasty, light lack of bile liver
large, gray, rancid poor digestion, malabsorption small bowel
Odor Cause Located
sour, foodlike, putrid rapid transit, poor digestion, malabsorption, infection small bowel
foul, rancid poor digestion, fermentation pancreas, small bowel
Consistancy Cause Located
watery rapid transit small bowel
foamy bacterial infection small bowel
greasy malabsorption pancreas, gall bladder, small bowel
shiny, jelly like, mucous parasites, irritation colon
Frequency Cause Located
straining, many stools often irritation, colitis colon
3 or 4 large stools a day poor digestion, malabsorption pancreas, small bowel
State of Health Cause Located
weight loss poor digestion, malabsorption pancreas, small bowel
normal weight, normal appetite large bowel malfunction colon
vomiting, pain, diarrhea enteritis, pancreatitis pancreas, small bowel

Here Are Some Natural Options
to Help Your Dog Feel Better

It's OK to let a case of diarrhea go on for a few days to see if it will clear up by itself. But if not, it's important to get a handle on this quickly in order to prevent nutrient deficiencies and other more serious dog health problems. So, let's look at some suggestions for fixing this problem. These home remedies have worked for me and may others. On the next page I'll offer you some ideas for natural dog diarrhea treatment. Let's get your dog feeling better soon.

Go From Dog Diarrhea Back to Home Page

Go From Dog Diarrhea Back to Common Dog Health Problems

Learn it!  Do it!  Share it!