What causes dogs to have diarrhea? (Dog Diarrhea)

what causes dogs to have diarrhea

Diarrhea is a common problem in dogs which can cause due to a variety of reasons. There are chances that every dog had experienced diarrhea for one or more times. Diarrhea is not a disease but a sign of many other diseases and can result from minor illness to severe or life-threatening conditions. Diarrhea is considered as the passing of watery or loose stool that can occur in a significant amount or also more often. If timely treatment is not given to cure diarrhea in dogs, it can result in organ failure or cancer. After understanding the causes and treatment behind mild diarrhea it can be treated at home.

What can cause a dog to have diarrhea?

The cause of diarrhea can be simple as an upset stomach, or it can be a symptom of severe diseases such as cancer. Depending on the elemental cause the minor diarrhea is resolved within two days. Occasional diarrhea is not a an usual diarrhea; if the dog has on and off diarrhea for two weeks or more, you should take the dog to the vet.

Also read what to do if dog has a cold?

Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs

Change in diet-

The most common cause of diarrhea in dogs is a change in their diet. It takes several days for the dog’s digestive system to adjust to the new food. When the dog is introduced to fresh food, especially when the owner wants to feed the dog with raw food, there are chances that the dog will have diarrhea. It is always suggested by the experts and vet that the new diet should be slowly introduced to the dog by mixing it with the current food.

Poor eating habits-

We all know that dogs enjoy putting everything in the mouth, which also includes those that definitely shouldn’t be getting in their mouth. This includes garbage, table scrap, spoiled food, feces, and even overeating causes upset stomach and diarrhea. The dog’s digestive system imbalances when the food is fully processed with chemicals, fatty food, high salt and sugar. Also, too many commercial treats can lead to diarrhea.

Food Intolerance-

All the dog breeds may be hypersensitive to the food that is rich in gluten, fat, and dairy products. Some breeds are more sensitive to these items. Dogs with food intolerance have to struggle with diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems. Though, it is challenging to figure out what your dog is unable to tolerate, but when you determine it, you should avoid it.


Food allergy is another reason that can cause diarrhea in dogs; certain foods are more allergic than others. The most common food items that cause allergies in dogs are beef, rabbit, pork, wheat, and dairy. However, not all breeds need to be allergic to these items.

What Causes the Dog to Have Diarrhea?


Intestinal worms such as hookworms, roundworms, can result in severe stomach issues. Dogs acquire parasites by drinking contaminated water, soil, or stool, which leads to diarrhea. Puppies and dogs with weakened immune systems are more prone to get diarrhea.

Bacterial or viral infection-

If the dog is suffering from fever, vomiting, weakness, and leathery, this may be the symptoms of bacterial or viral infection in the dog. In some instances, the disease becomes severe and leads to diarrhea.

Medications or Antibiotics-

Antibiotics treat disease by killing the bacteria in the dog’s stomach. However, is this condition, the good bacteria are killed, which are necessary for the dog to keep a balance between the digestive system and the gastrointestinal tract. The absence of good bacteria results in an upset stomach, abdominal pain, and ultimately leads to diarrhea.

Anxiety or Stress-

Dogs are sensitive creatures that feel emotions, highs, and lows like we humans do. Stress is directly linked to irregular bowel movements, which causes either constipation or diarrhea.

Dog Diarrhea Treatment (Dog Diarrhea Home Remedy):

If the diarrhea is mild, it can be treated at home, but if it seems to be more severe than proper medication and supplements are necessary as instructed by the vet. The vet may prefer anti-diarrhea supplements, which also aims to relieve stomach cramps and abdominal pain.

Here are some dog diarrhea remedy to help the dog at home-

  • Make sure your dog drinks plenty of water, as drinking less water will quickly make the dog dehydrated. Encourage the dog to drink more water.
  • A bland diet is proper to treat diarrhea in dogs, stop feeding him with his regular food until the diarrhea seems to get better.
  • If episodes of diarrhea, do not seem to stop, then make an appointment to the vet as soon as possible. 
  • The vet will first suggest checking the intestinal parasites from a stool sample.
  • Other diagnostic tests include a blood test, x-ray, after doing all the necessary criteria, the vet will discuss the medications, dietary changes, and supplements to cure diarrhea.

Also read information on symptoms of liver disease in dogs.

What Can I Give My Dog for Diarrhea?

Several home remedies prove to be effective from time to time in relieving diarrhea in dogs. The food that can be prepared at home is-

Boiled chicken and white rice-

Feeding the dog with a bland diet of boiled chicken and white rice in a smaller amount from time to time helps the dog to feel better in diarrhea.

Canned pumpkin-

Canned pumpkin is another option to soothe the upset stomach of the dog. Pumpkin absorbed slowly by the stomach, which make it an excellent remedy for diarrhea and constipation.


Ginger proves to be an active ingredient that promotes and maintains a healthy GI tract. Also, ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory that helps to fight against bloat, arthritis, and nausea.


Bone broth not only helps the dog with diarrhea, but also prevents the dog from dehydrating. Simmer the chicken in a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar in a pot and cook till the meat falls off the bone.

Blood in Dog Stool Home Remedies:

The blood in a dog’s stool can medically be classified as Hematochezia or Melena. In Hematochezia, the blood in the stool is a bright red that indicates that it has come from the lower intestine. In the case of Melena, the blood turns out to be in black and tarry, which suggests that the blood has come from the upper intestine.

Home remedies for blood in a dog‘s stool-

  • Let the dog fast for 1 to 2 days, which will allow the dog’s digestive system to rest.
  • Keep the dog hydrated.
  • Feed the dog with a bland diet.
  • Provide the dog with probiotics and enzymes which will boost the immune system and helps the body to absorb nutrients and digest the food.

Puppy Diarrhea Causes:

Just like adult dogs, puppies can also cause diarrhea due to the following reasons-

  • Changes in diet or food tolerance
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Parasites
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Ingestion of toxins or foreign bodies

Read everything about small dog syndrome.