Dog Diarrhea: How to Prevent and Cure a Case of the Runs

. 3 min read

It’s a messy issue, but dog diarrhea is just a slightly unpleasant part of being a dog owner. While nearly all dogs will have a case of the runs from time to time, there are a few easy ways to prevent loose stool in your dog. If your pup is already dealing with a case of the runs, there are also ways to cure (or at least temporarily stop) dog diarrhea fast.

Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea?

The number one reason dogs experience diarrhea is a change in food. Gary Weitzman, DVM, President of the San Diego Humane Society and author of the book The Complete Guide to Pet Health, Behavior, and Happiness, says: “We all know not to change a dog’s food abruptly, but this can happen from a new treat.” Even small amounts of unusual food, like a bite of pepperoni, can cause issues for dogs who have particularly testy digestive tracts. Be wary of any dietary changes for your dog and take caution when introducing a new food.

Other reasons that your dog might have diarrhea include:

  • Food allergies. “These are not as common as people think,” says Weitzman, “but it could be a food sensitivity.”
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBS).
  • Bacterial infection.
  • Pancreatic disease.
  • Parasites, including roundworms and whipworms.
  • Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
  • Eating a toxic substance.
  • Gastrointestinal injuries, including those brought on by eating household items that can’t be digested.
  • Cancer—but this is not likely.
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Let me tell ya bout my best frienddd. This is one of my best buds, Beau (he liked my name so much he had to have the same one). Beau Jr and I got to go swimming on our camping trip and we had the best time racing for sticks. I think maybe Beau Jr had a little too much lake water. That lake water never sits well on the stomach so Beau woke up in the middle of the night and let out a little cry to let his mom know he needed out because nature was calling. Unfortunately Beaus mom couldn’t get her shoes on fast enough and the two of them ended up with a diarrheal mess all over the inside of the tent 🏕😳. Also it was 3 in the morning and very quiet and dark at that campground. They got to spend the rest of the night roaming the campground on foot in the dark til the sun came up. Other than than, great trip! Can’t wait to go camping again. #itsbotime #itsbeautime #campingwithdogs #diarrheadog #poopytent #outdoorswithdogs #thegreatoutdogs #gloriousgoldens #retrieverstagram #goldensofig #ilovegolden_retrievers #welovegoldens #goldenlife #goldenretriever #retrieverstagram #bestwoof #puppylove #barkpack #aplacetolovedogs #ruffpost #dogworld #mydogiscutest #barkpost #dogsdaily #badinlake

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How Can I Cure Dog Diarrhea Fast?

If your dog’s loose stool is caused by anything more serious than new food or food sensitivity, you will need to address the root cause. However, there are a few measures you can take to stop diarrhea in dogs, fast.

The first step is to feed your dog only easy-to-digest foods. Weitzman suggests boiling white rice, which can bind the stool, and mixing it with a lower-fat protein. Steamed chicken or ground beef that has been cooked and drained of fat should work well. This will prevent the issue from getting worse.

Weitzman says that it’s safe to give your dog Pepto-Bismol for diarrhea. The recommended amount from the American Kennel Society is one teaspoon for every 10 pounds. Immodium is generally safe for dogs as well, but it’s typically used as a last resort, since it can lead to constipation. Use a 2-milligram pill for every 40 pounds of body weight. “It’s for those 2 a.m. emergencies,” says Weitzman, who recommends always checking with your vet before giving your dog any sort of medication.

When Should I Be Worried About Dog Diarrhea?

In almost all cases, dog diarrhea is not serious. However, if your dog’s diarrhea persists for more than 36 hours, it’s time to call the vet. Make an appointment and collect a sample if possible to bring in for the vet to inspect.

Additionally, if your dog’s diarrhea is accompanied by other troubling symptoms, like lethargy, vomiting, or pain—or if the stool is streaked with blood—it’s likely that there’s something else wrong. Make an appointment with the vet immediately.

The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.