July 15, 2024

What To Do If…

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What to Do if Puppy Has Diarrhea

What to Do if Puppy Has Diarrhea – Causes, Prevention, Treatment

Are you the new owner of a playful puppy? If so, make sure you are prepared for potential diarrhea episodes. Puppy diarrhea can be upsetting for both pet and owner alike, but it is usually a manageable condition. Here are some tips on how to deal with a puppy with diarrhea.

What Causes Diarrhea in Puppies?

puppy has diarrhea

Diarrhea can be a frustrating symptom for pet owners as it could indicate anything from a potentially fatal virus to simple indigestion. Anyone who has ever searched for puppy diarrhea on Google knows that there are many symptoms. It can be difficult to tell what is serious from what is minor.

Don’t panic. There are six main causes for diarrhea in dogs, despite the number of horrible diseases.

Food Intolerance or Diet Change

Bacterial Infection

Viral Infection

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Consumption of Garbage, Toxic Substances, or Foreign Bodies




You might change your dog’s diet for many reasons. Perhaps your vet recommends better-quality food or the local store has run out of your dog’s favorite kibble. No matter what the reason, diarrhea can happen in puppies regardless of how simple it is.

It could be your current food. Sometimes, puppies can develop intolerances or sensitivities to certain foods and ingredients. If you think your puppy has food allergies or intolerance, talk to your vet immediately.

Bacterial Infections

Puppy immune systems are more fragile than those of adult dogs. Because of this, puppy infections are more likely to occur. Puppy diarrhea can be caused by E. coli, Clostridium and Salmonella. These diseases can be fatal and often cause vomiting, bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

Viral Infections

A viral infection is the leading cause of diarrhea in puppies. Parvovirus and distemper viruses are potentially fatal diseases that can affect puppies who have not been vaccinated. Viral diarrhea in puppies can also be caused by the coronavirus. Your veterinarian should be consulted for all viruses.


Puppies will eat anything that isn’t supposed to be there. Your puppy will eat anything, even poisonous plants. Puppy diarrhea can be caused by eating garbage, particularly if it is full of food. If you caught your puppy eating rotten food/spoiled food, or any other foreign objects that shouldn’t even be consumed, take them for immediate veterinary attention. In some cases, it may even cause blockages that need to be treated by a veterinarian.

Diarrhea can also be caused by poisons and toxic substances. If you believe your dog ate something potentially dangerous, call your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency center immediately.


Parasites are common in young puppies. It is possible for puppies to contract diarrhea from parasites, whether they are born with them or pick them up in their environment. Acquired or intestinal parasites will live in your puppy’s gastrointestinal tract and will cause your dog to develop diarrhea and can even induce vomiting.


Sometimes, the cause of puppy diarrhea can be quite simple. Dog diarrhea can be caused by stress, just as it can in humans. Puppyhood is a stressful time. Stress-related diarrhea can sometimes be caused by your puppy’s constant exposure to new people and exploration.

What to Do if Your Puppy Gets Diarrhea?

Bring a sample of your stool to the vet if you are going to visit them. You can scoop up some traces of watery diarrhea dog poop and put it in a container or plastic bag. You should also bring any evidence such as a piece of plastic chewed or a parasite. You don’t need to bathe your dog, you don’t want them to be cold. However, you can wipe any traces of it with a towel before heading off to the clinic.

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What if your vet says you can try home treatment for your dog’s diarrhea? Your vet will always give you the best advice, but it is often what helps dogs suffering from diarrhea.

Begin by getting your dog to drink. Puppy can quickly become dehydrated, especially if they are very young or small. Be sure to provide your puppy with plenty of water. If they need it, bring it to them.

Add some low-sodium bouillon to your water, or some liquid from tuna cans in water to entice reluctant drinkers. If your dog is willing to drink them, pediatric hydration fluids are also good for babies.

Avoid bland foods. You can give your vet a prescription diet to help with intestinal problems, such as boiled or unseasoned hamburgers or white meat chicken with rice. After your dog has recovered from diarrhea, you can gradually transition back to the regular diet.

Talk to your vet about whether you are able to give supplements or other over-the-counter medications like canned pumpkin, kaolin-pectin, or probiotics.

The Dangers Of Puppy Diarrhea

Keep in mind that puppies are smaller and have fewer resources than older dogs to help them with health problems. Your puppy can quickly become disoriented if they have a runny stool. This is especially true if it’s combined with vomiting or poor appetite. It is important to know what to do if your dog has diarrhea.

If your dog has any of these risk factors, please immediately call your vet.

Young Puppy (Less Than 4 Months Old)

Toy Dog

Abdominal Pain

Bloody Diarrhea (Severe Diarrhea)

Vomiting & Diarrhea


Poor Appetite

Pale or Tacky Gums Can Be a Sign of Shock, Dehydration, or Anemia.


Watery Poop That Lasts More Than a Day

Treating Diarrhea in Puppies

Your puppy’s cause of diarrhea will determine the treatment. The cause of your puppy’s diarrhea is dependent on the severity. Mild diarrhea due to stress or dietary changes can often be treated with a bland diet. However, it is a good idea for you to talk to your veterinarian to discuss at-home options. You should ensure that your puppy has plenty of water as even mild diarrhea can lead to dehydration.

Your vet might diagnose your puppy with a viral or bacterial infection. You may need to keep your puppy in hospital while he heals. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics to help with primary and secondary bacterial infections. He might also recommend intravenous fluids for your puppy to keep him hydrated while he recovers.

Garbage ingestion may resolve itself if your dog did not eat something that caused it. However, your vet might recommend changing to bland food until your puppy has diarrhea cleared up. Toxins or poisons need immediate medical attention. The treatment for each toxin will vary.

The treatment plan for your dog with a parasite depends on the type of parasite and the severity of the infection. Some parasites can be treated with simple medication. Others require more intensive treatment.

Preventing Diarrhea in Puppies

Diarrhea in puppies is almost always preventable. These are some ways to keep your puppy’s digestive tract healthy.

Slowly transition your puppy to a new diet

Keep your puppy’s kennel clean and disinfect it if there are other dogs in the kennel.

Make sure your puppy is vaccinated at the right age. Take your puppy to the vet and book a regular deworming schedule. Puppy parents should keep their unvaccinated dogs or puppies out of public places, such as dog parks or kennels, and away from other dogs.

To prevent your dog from accidentally ingesting garbage or toxic substances, you should not allow him to be left unsupervised.

Talk to your vet about prevention and how to take care of your dog.

Diarrhea can be your puppy’s way to tell you that something is not right. Monitoring your puppy’s bowel movements daily is a great way to monitor his health, regardless of whether it’s an upset stomach or a virus.

Look out for what your puppy ate or the kind of dog food you are feeding them, and overall maintain good puppy health.

Deciding Whether to Visit the Veterinarian

Your veterinarian should be contacted immediately if your puppy has diarrhea. This will give you an individualized guideline on home remedies and dosages for your puppy. Dosage adjustments may be required for puppies, as they are more sensitive to medications than adult dogs.

Talking to your veterinarian about loose stool in puppies can help determine if a visit to the hospital is necessary. A more severe case of acute diarrhea may require treatment.

Fluid therapy for dehydration – administered under the skin or intravenously

Medication to reduce the rate of diarrhea and fluid loss and slow down the bowels

Medication to treat vomiting

Antibiotics to prevent or treat a bacterial infection from the gut

For extremely sick dogs, close monitoring and hospitalization

A veterinarian may also perform tests to find out why your dog has diarrhea. For example, a fecal exam for parasites and a parvovirus test.

FAQs about Puppy Diarrhea

What Can You Give Your Dog for Diarrhea?

Dog diarrhea can be dangerous for pet parents. Some over-the-counter remedies can prove fatal if they are used in the wrong circumstances. A bland diet, such as rice and white meat chicken, may be sufficient to treat mild diarrhea that is not linked to any serious health problems. You can ask your veterinarian if it is safe to give your dog canned pumpkin, kaolin-pectin, probiotics, or any other medications.

How Long Does Dog Diarrhea Last?

It can be short-term or long-term. Talk to your veterinarian immediately if you notice that your puppy has diarrhea for longer than two days or if it is associated with vomiting, lethargy, or weakness.

Is My Dog’s Diarrhea a Serious Emergency?

Any amount of diarrhea in puppies should be considered an emergency. For advice, call your veterinarian immediately. This can affect the puppy’s immune system, especially if there’s an underlying cause of your pup’s diarrhea. As a puppy parent, you should take any issue seriously and allow your puppy to get expert veterinary care.