Diarrhea in dogs can be a very upsetting and unpleasant experience for pet parents to deal with. In this post, we'll discuss the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs.
Diarrhea in dogs
Diarrhea is a common problem in dogs. During diarrhea, dogs experience loose, watery, and possibly more-frequent bowel movements. It might be present alone or be associated with other symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, abdominal pain, or weight loss.
Diarrhea is particularly dangerous in puppies, senior dogs, and those with weakened immune systems. In puppies, diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration. Dehydration can be life-threatening if untreated.
What causes diarrhea in dogs?
Mild diarrhea cases in dogs are very common. They can develop due to some intestinal distress such as eating an item that doesn't agree with their body. Also, the reason might be that you recently switched your dog to new dog food.
Diarrhea in dogs can be caused by a lot of reasons including:
- Many medications, like antibiotics, can cause diarrhea in dogs. Antibiotics disturb the natural balance of bacteria in your dog's intestines. They work by killing bad bacteria but they also kill good bacteria.
- Dogs generally have difficulty digesting lactose. They usually have diarrhea after eating dairy products.
- Trouble absorbing certain nutrients also called malabsorption
- Eating foods that upset the digestive system or eating something they shouldn’t have
- A sudden change in dog food very often causes diarrhea
- Colitis or inflammation of the large intestine, which causes diarrhea containing fresh blood and mucus
- Pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas
- Stress or anxiety
- Ingesting any toxins or poisons
- Eating garbage or bad, spoiled food
- Allergic reaction to some food
- Ingestion of foreign objects like broken parts of toys, bones, and fabric
- Viral infections such as parvovirus and distemper
- Intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia, Giardia, and tapeworms
- Bacterial infections such as salmonella or E. coli
- Medications including certain antibiotics
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Intestinal cancer
- Problems with the liver or kidney often cause diarrhea along with other symptoms such as weight loss, low energy, and vomiting.
Some of them are much more serious and may cause more severe diarrhea in dogs.
What foods cause diarrhea in dogs?
Foods that cause diarrhea in dogs vary widely.
Cheese and other dairy products can trigger diarrhea in dogs. Many dogs can't produce enough lactase to break down the lactose found in dairy products.
Spoiled food can upset your dog's stomach and cause gastric discomfort and diarrhea.
The following foods can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. When ingested in large amounts, they can harm or even kill dogs.
- Grapes and raisins
- Onion and garlic
- Macadamia Nuts
- Raw bread dough
- Foods containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol
Avoid feeding them to your dog at all times.
When to contact your vet?
When your dog has diarrhea, they lose water and electrolytes along with stool. Dehydration can become serious if it is not addressed adequately.
If there are more than two episodes of diarrhea in quick succession, that means that your dog is experiencing an issue. The dogs with diarrhea show the following symptoms:
- Loose, watery, or liquid stool
- Loss of appetite
If your dog is displaying any symptoms that cause you concern, contact your veterinarian. Your vet will let you know whether your dog's symptoms indicate that an examination is necessary.
Call your vet if your dog's diarrhea fails to get better or go away. Also, if your dog has any of the following symptoms, make an appointment with your vet right away:
- Bloody stool
- Unusual drooling
- Signs of dehydration such as sunken dry-looking eyes, dry nose, or dry, sticky gums
Supplementing with Safe Guard probiotics may help prevent diarrhea in dogs. It can also help treat diarrhea in dogs by repopulating and maintaining beneficial gut bacteria and correcting an imbalance. Safe Guard probiotics boost your dog's immune system and improve the gut environment.
When it comes to your dog's health, it's better to be safe than sorry. Doggy diarrhea can easily lead to dehydration. You must ensure that your dog has plenty of clean water available at all times.
The responsibility of taking care of your dog makes your life more meaningful. If your dog is showing any symptoms of diarrhea, seek treatment to ensure the issue does not become severe. If the diarrhea persists, you must take your dog to the vet.
You can help your dog live his best life! A healthy dog can save you from a lot of stress in the long run. If you are not sure what is good for your dog - we'd be happy to help!