Diarrhea in dogs: possible causes and how to stop it
Does your dog have diarrhea? Unfortunately, this is a fairly common symptom, but it is harmless and can be easily controlled in most cases. Read here what causes diarrhea in your dog and how to treat it. You can also find out when you need to go to the vet and what is essential.
When it comes to diarrhea in dogs, you need to distinguish between acute and chronic diarrhea. Acute diarrhea occurs only for a short time and as a direct reaction to something, for example, an upset stomach. On the other hand, chronic diarrhea lasts for a long time at a stretch, may not heal properly, or may recur.
Diarrhea in dogs: Possible causes
Diarrhea is often a sign that your dog has eaten something incompatible. The most common causes of diarrhea include:
I was generally eating the wrong food or eating the bad thing.
Change in diet, such as diarrhea due to barfing, i.e., feeding raw fresh meat, is still unusual.
Infection with parasites, bacteria, or viruses
Side effect after deworming
Intolerance of medicines
What helps dogs against diarrhea? How to treat your four-legged friend
Does your dog only have mild symptoms? Then it is often sufficient not to give him any food for 12 to 48 hours. He should only drink water during this time – but plenty of it. Diarrhea causes an increased loss of fluids, and you must compensate for this in your dog. Fill your dog’s water bowl with fresh water several times a day and make sure that he drinks it.
The vet can also prescribe an electrolyte solution or a probiotic powder for your dog. You can dissolve this in water and give it to your four-legged friend to drink. The electrolyte solution helps to rebalance your dog’s water and mineral balance. In turn, the probiotic powder helps displace possible diarrhea pathogens from the intestinal tract. In this way, both support your four-legged friend in recovery. Also, give your pet plenty of rest.
Attention. This only applies to adult, otherwise healthy dogs. Puppies, older and weakened dogs should be taken to the vet immediately in case of diarrhea. In these cases, an infusion may be necessary – and your pet will usually have to be admitted to the veterinary hospital for this.
The dog has diarrhea: Gentle diet relieves stomach and intestines.
If diarrhea improves after one or two days, you can slowly start feeding your dog a light diet. This particularly easy-to-digest pet food is available at pet stores, but you can also prepare it yourself.
Good ingredients for a gentle diet are, for example:
Lean meat, such as chicken or low-fat cuts of beef or lamb.
Cooked rice (in water without salt).
Low-fat cottage cheese or curd cheese.
Homemade, unseasoned mashed potatoes.
Boiled pumpkin and carrots.
Finely grated apple or mashed ripe banana.
How to get your dog used to regular food again
If your dog’s diarrhea has subsided after a few days, you should still not rush things. Instead, get your four-legged friend used to his regular food again step by step. It is essential to give your dog only small portions, especially initially and spread them throughout the day. Keep a close eye on your pet: Is he already tolerating his usual food well? Or does his body not seem to be able to cope with it yet?
In case of doubt, alternate the small portions of food with a gentle diet until you are sure that your dog has recovered. And don’t hesitate to ask your vet for advice if your four-legged friend continues to cause you concern!
Can home remedies or homeopathy help dogs with diarrhea?
In addition to water and gentle food, you can give your dog fiber as a home remedy for diarrhea. Psyllium husks, for example, can cause the feces to thicken again and relieve the symptoms. However, this does not treat the cause of diarrhea and may miss a severe disease.
As far as homeopathy for treating diarrhea in dogs is concerned, opinions differ. Some swear by it; others consider it ineffective. It is strongly advised not to experiment on your own – always seek detailed advice from a veterinary practitioner and a veterinarian before using homeopathic remedies on animals.
Charcoal tablets against diarrhea in dogs
Charcoal tablets are a proven remedy for acute diarrhea in dogs. They bind toxins in the animal’s digestive tract so that, with luck, it can eliminate them without suffering any harm. You must always consult your veterinarian exactly about the correct application and dosage and act quickly.
When you should consult a vet
If your dog suffers from severe or watery diarrhea, you should immediately take him to the vet. The same applies if the symptoms have not improved after 24 hours.
In these cases, you should also take your dog to the vet immediately:
Your dog suffers from vomiting at the same time.
Your pet develops a fever (above 39°C body temperature).
The diarrhea is bloody, seems to contain mucus, or looks unusual.
Your dog is not drinking.
Caution. Additional symptoms such as trembling, weakness, or loss of appetite may indicate poisoning. It is called: Immediately to the vet; it is an emergency.
How to prevent diarrhea in dogs
Give your dog only food that is suitable for him. So no leftovers from the barbecue or other pieces, no sausage, no cold cuts, and sweets. Especially chocolate is toxic for dogs!
Also, pay attention to high-quality food. This will significantly reduce the risk of intolerable additives. The dog food and water for your dog should also always be fresh. Even stale food can cause diarrhea.
The dog has diarrhea all the time: What to do?
Some dogs constantly suffer from diarrhea, which cannot be alleviated by the measures mentioned. This is then usually a symptom of chronic disease, for example, a food allergy, chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). Therefore, be sure to take your dog to the veterinarian if diarrhea does not subside.
The veterinarian can determine if any of these diseases are present in your pet. If it is, your dog will need exceptional food permanently. The vet can also tell you if your four-legged friend needs nutritional supplements or certain medications to help alleviate the symptoms of his condition and prevent deficiencies.