My Dog Has Diarrhea! What Can I Give Him?

Oct 15, 2019byVeronic Fournier


Diarrhea in dogs is without doubt one of the most common manifestations of many diseases and conditions. It’s not a disease in itself, but rather a symptom. It is therefore important to firstly find the cause in order to properly treat it.


While this symptom can hide a serious affection, it can also prove to be "banal". Despite this, diarrhea should not be taken lightly. Even if it is only a slight indiscretion of the digestive system, it can lead to dehydration if it is not addressed quickly.



Why does my dog ​​have diarrhea?


Here are 12 possible causes of diarrhea in dogs:


  1. Transitioning too quickly between two diets : A good transition between two types of food should be gradual over a period of about 10 days. A faster transition could disturb your pet's digestive system and cause diarrhea.


  1. Food indiscretion : If your dog gets too many treats in a day or table food that it is not used to being exposed to, for example, it could suffer from diarrhea.


  1. Poisoning : Many products and foods can be toxic to a dog and cause diarrhea if ingested. A visit to the vet is essential if you suspect that your dog has been poisoned.


  1. Parasitic infection : If your dog is infected with worms or a protozoan (Giardia for example), he will probably get diarrhea. These intruders create inflammation in the digestive tract. Your dog will need an anti-parasite treatment to solve this problem.



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  1. Food intolerance : Just like some humans, dogs can suffer from food intolerances. We often hear about gluten intolerance, for example, which is also present in some dogs.


  1. Allergies : In the same vein, food allergies can cause diarrhea in your furry friend. This will sometimes be accompanied by itching. Your vet will probably suggest trying a new diet containing a different protein.


  1. Ingestion of a foreign body : Diarrhea caused by ingestion of a foreign body should be addressed very quickly. It will usually be very liquid and sometimes tinged with blood, and may be accompanied by lethargy and vomiting. Ingesting a foreign body can cause a blockage in your dog's intestines and be quite serious. This is a fairly common problem, however, as many dogs like to eat anything that they find.

    I helped out on a Bernese Mountain dog's surgery just last week as part of my job. The veterinarian removed shreds of blankets stuck in the poor dog's intestines. Following this dubious snack, he suffered from diarrhea and was lethargic. He has now recovered well!

    sick dog


  1. Viral or bacterial infection : Just as it is possible for us to catch gastroenteritis ("gastro" for short), dogs can also be affected by the same kind of thing. In this case, bacteria or a virus causes diarrhea and sometimes also vomiting and lethargy.


  1. Cancer : A cancer that reaches part of the digestive tract can cause diarrhea. This is of course less common, but possible.


  1. Antibiotics : As ironic as it is, a medication can also cause diarrhea. Antibiotics in particular can disturb the digestive tract. If your dog has a weak stomach, your vet may recommend adding probiotics to the antibiotic treatment in order to protect your pet from such symptoms.



  1. Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease : Some breeds of dogs are predisposed to developing this condition. It is characterized by persistent diarrhea that does not seem to have any cause. The digestive system is colonized by inflammatory cells that disrupt the proper functioning of the system itself.

    Moreover, other diseases can cause diarrhea in dogs, this is just one example. Liquid stools can be a symptom of liver, kidney or even pancreatic diseases.


  1. Stress : Anxiety is also a cause of diarrhea. In such a situation, it will be important to first identify what is making your dog nervous. Then you can help him to better manage his anxiety to help him regain normal bowel movements.



What do I do if my dog ​​has diarrhea?


Do I need to see a vet?


It’s important to consult a vet if your dog has more than one or two liquid stools, or if you see traces of blood in there. A professional examination should also be considered if the diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting, anorexia and/or lethargy. Any diarrhea that persists for more than 48 hours should definitely be assessed by a vet.


As you surely know, the solution to your dog's diarrhea greatly depends on its cause. It will therefore be necessary to act at the source in order to be successful. In any case, below are some tips you can try which might help relieve the first symptoms of diarrhea in your dog.



What can I give to my dog ​​for diarrhea?


If your dog does not want to eat and has diarrhea, let his digestive system rest for a day before trying the foods noted below. Make sure that your dog is at least drinking a little water during this time. Here is what to feed a dog with diarrhea :


  • Pumpkin puree: This is a good food to provide in case of diarrhea. As it contains a lot of fiber, it helps the digestive system to work properly. On the other hand, you should not add more than 1 to 4 tablespoons to your dog's usual meal to get all the benefits.


  • Homemade food: A meal of rice and cooked chicken is easily digestible for your dog and tastes good, which will entice your dog to eat something. In addition to this, have him drink some water from the rice cooking for more benefits.


  • Small meals: Provide your dog with small but frequent meals throughout the day. It will be easier for him to digest.


  • Natural Products for Dog Diarrhea: Zumalka suggests this natural product for your dog even when he's suffering from diarrhea. This easy-to-administer product promotes the digestive balance of your dog and therefore will be useful in case of diarrhea.

    As mentioned earlier, probiotics could also be useful to address diarrhea issues.



See our article ‘The Best Foods And Supplements For These 10 common Pet Health Issues’ for other food ideas to give your dog during bouts of diarrhea (e.g. slippery elm, boiled egg, etc.).



Although this is a rather unpleasant topic, diarrhea will be present in your dog's life at one time or another. Although most of the time it will not be very serious, it’s very important to keep an eye open to determine the cause because in some rare cases it can be the manifestation of a very serious condition.


I wish you success in relieving your dog’s diarrhea and hope you avoid some damage!



About the author

Veronic Fournier
Veronic Fournier


Véronique Fournier shares her extensive pet health know-how on Zumalka through her articles.

Véronique’s background as an animal wellness advocate began in Cégep La Pocatière in Quebec, which led to comprehensive internships and training with respect to the breeding, rehabilitation, and monitoring of various types of animals. The institutions she has worked with include the Quebec Aquarium and the SOS Miss Dolittle shelter, just to name a few.

Her immersion with various veterinary clinics in British Columbia and other places has made Veronique not just knowledgeable, but also quite perceptive in zeroing in on the right strategy to help keep pets in the best of health.

And can we get you in on a secret? Veronique shares that she has already made a lot of canine pals due to her stint as a foster mom in several shelters. Isn’t that cool?

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