A common issue that dog owners must deal with is diarrhea. Dog diarrhea can range from mild discomfort to severe distress for your pup, so it’s essential to know how to identify the cause and learn how to help your furry friend.
Causes of dog diarrhea
The following are some of the most common causes of dog diarrhea:
Poisonous substances or plants
One of the most common causes of dog diarrhea is ingesting poisonous substances or plants. Suppose your canine has been exposed to toxic substances such as fertilizer, weed killers, antifreeze, paint thinners, etc. In that case, they may experience an upset stomach and loose stools, even when they’ve only encountered small amounts.
Additionally, many plants, including lilies, azaleas, rhododendrons, and oleanders, are toxic for dogs if ingested in large quantities. If you suspect your pet has ingested a poisonous substance or plant, contact your vet immediately for further instructions.
Swallowing an indigestible foreign body
Dogs also tend to swallow objects like toys or socks not meant for consumption; these items can become lodged in their intestines and irritate, leading to loose stools.
They can also lead to blockage, which can be incredibly dangerous. If your dog has been displaying signs of digestive distress, such as vomiting or loss of appetite, in addition to diarrhea, take them to see a vet right away, as this could be a sign of an obstruction resulting from ingesting foreign objects.
Dietary indiscretion is a common cause of canine diarrhea. This can occur when dogs overeat or eat garbage, spoiled food, or anything else they shouldn’t. This problem is called “garbage toxicosis” or “garbage gut” in veterinary circles.
Dietary changes can also lead to digestive issues in dogs. Because their digestive systems can take several days to adjust to new proteins, slowly switching from one brand of food to another is essential.
In addition to dietary problems, parasitic infections can cause diarrhea in puppies and dogs and drive weakened immune systems. Common parasites include roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia, and giardia.
Dog diarrhea treatment – home remedies
Dog diarrhea can be a distressing problem. But many natural home remedies can help in treating diarrhea in dogs.
These cures can be used to treat mild cases of diarrhea:
Fasting and kitchen cures
If your dog has loose bowel movements, fasting is one of the first things you can try.
This means preventing your pup from eating food for 12 to 24 hours. It is important to remember that this option is not suitable for puppies or elderly dogs.
Speak with a vet before proceeding. Ensure your dog drinks plenty of water during its fast.
Introduce plain foods into your furry friend’s diet after the tight ends. Examples of these foods include plain white rice, pumpkin puree, and plain yogurt with active cultures and probiotics.
Boiled potatoes without skin and cottage cheese are also great options that are easy on the stomach. Herbs like slippery elm and ginger root can help ease symptoms of dog diarrhea. Specialized dog food for sensitive stomachs is available in pet stores and online retailers.
Natural home remedies for dog diarrhea are a safe and effective way to treat mild cases without taking medication or prescription drugs.
While over-the-counter anti-nausea chewable tablets and human medications like Pepto Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) can effectively treat dog diarrhea, they should only be used after consulting a vet.
Always use caution, as you must know how much to give your dog—usually based on its body weight—and the process.
Just as you shouldn’t take medications without talking to your doctor or pharmacist, you should never give your dog medication without consulting your vet.
When dog diarrhea requires a trip to the vet
It is essential to familiarize yourself with your pet’s normal behavior patterns to know when something is off. If your pup is acting differently or seems unwell, it may be time for a trip to the vet. Here are some warning signs that indicate a visit may be necessary:
Other physical symptoms in addition to diarrhea
- Dry/tacky/pale gums
- Black stool
- Diarrhea not ceasing with home remedies
While an episode of diarrhea caused by dietary changes or food allergies often resolves itself with at-home remedies like fasting and probiotics, persistent diarrhea warrants a visit to the veterinarian.
It could signal an underlying digestive tract disorder or an issue with their gastrointestinal tract requiring antibiotics or other treatments.
Suppose you’ve noticed any of the above symptoms persisting beyond what would be considered regular bouts of diarrhea (i.e., more than 24 hours).
In that case, it’s likely time for a check-up at the vet’s office to identify the root cause of your dog’s discomfort before it worsens.