The Dos and Don'ts of Dealing with Dog Diarrhea

Monday, October 10, 2022 12:47:13 PM America/Los_Angeles

Every dog has an off day when it comes to digestion. Just like us humans, sometimes our canine companions can overindulge or eat something they really shouldn’t have. Even noshing on some fresh grass while out on a walk can result in diarrhea. Isolated incidents of diarrhea are normal and usually they aren’t anything to be worried about. 

Photo by Samuel Toh

However, frequent diarrhea could be cause for concern. An upset tummy from overeating may be harmless, but diarrhea can also stem from serious problems like parasites, stress, or more chronic issues like irritable bowel disease. 

What Should You Do If Your Dog Has Diarrhea?

Here are a few things to try if your furry one is dealing with diarrhea. If it’s just an upset tummy that your doggo is dealing with, a couple of simple tricks can help make sure a bout of diarrhea doesn’t turn into anything more serious:

  • Do make sure fresh water is always available. 
  • Do refrain from feeding food or treats that aren’t a regular part of your dog’s diet. The exception might be a light chicken broth (minus the spices, onion, and garlic) to offer an extra source of hydration.
  • Do try dog-safe home remedies if your dog is otherwise eating and behaving normally. 
  • Do use pee pads for easy cleanup, and keep extra wee wee pads on hand for potential accidents. 

What Should You Not Do If Your Dog Has Diarrhea?

No matter the cause, there are some important things to keep in mind if your pup has the runs. 

  • Don’t change their diet abruptly or feed table scraps. 
  • Don’t use over the counter meds without consulting your vet. Not only are OTCs not formulated for dogs, the dosage can be tricky to determine without the guidance of a veterinary professional. 
  • Don’t force your dog to go on walks or exercise if they appear weak or fatigued.  

When Should You Worry About Your Dog’s Diarrhea?

If a dog is exhibiting the following signs, they may require further attention.

  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Changes in behavior
  • Forgetting potty training
  • Blood in stool or tarry stools

You know your fur baby best. If there are behaviors or bowel movements that seem out of the ordinary, reach out to a veterinarian. Even if the diarrhea does show signs of slowing down, it may be a good idea to go to the vet anyway as diarrhea can cause dehydration.