Puppy Diarrhea, Home Remedies & When to Call The Vet
We love snuggling baby dogs with sweet puppy breath, Frito-smelling toes, lap snuggles, and then–OH NO, puppy diarrhea! What’s a pet parent to do about dog loose motion or explosive diarrhea? We’ve already had this issue with our new pup, Shadow, and had to deal with it. And one time Magical-Dawg suffered explosive diarrhea–not fun for any of us!
Of course, adult dogs also suffer from the occasional loose stool as well or they pass gas (flatulence). At any age, dog diarrhea can be a sign of something serious that needs immediate attention to prevent pet dehydration. This is not about puppy accidents during house training, but an illness your dog can’t control. Knowing home remedies, dog first aid, and when to call the vet about puppy diarrhea could save your pet’s life.
Puppy diarrhea ranks near the top as a common puppy problem, and being familiar with dog diarrhea treatment is important. Mild cases may be treated at home and get better but diarrhea can be deadly especially for puppies.
When you have a dog, poop happens. Knowing what to do is key, and it’s vital to recognize the difference between an aggravation and an emergency, and what to do with both.
Diarrhea isn’t a disease. It’s a sign of illness and caused by many conditions. You can get insight from the color of the poop, too, in this post.
Causes Of Puppy Diarrhea
Diarrhea can be associated with viruses such as parvovirus and distemper. It also can be caused by intestinal parasites like whipworms, hookworms; protozoan such as giardia, bacterium like salmonella and E. coli. Some types of intestinal parasites can be very difficult for veterinary tests to detect and it can take many tests over weeks to obtain a diagnosis.
Puppies also may develop diarrhea from a sudden change of diet, or even swallowed foreign objects. The stress of coming to a new home could prompt loose stools or vomiting. Overfeeding or eating out of the garbage also causes tummy upsets. Without knowing the cause, the right treatment can’t be suggested.
Diarrhea can point to conditions that could kill your puppy. Don’t wait—the resulting dehydration can make puppies even sicker.
A couple of years ago, Magic suffered from a bout of explosive diarrhea. I’d been called for jury duty, so I was gone–and discovered his illness when I returned home after the first day of service. Yikes! Magic had been drinking from the water-filled tank (aka man-made pond) on our property, and we suspected the run-off infected him with some type of parasite. It required a couple of weeks of medication for him to feel better. Had he been a baby, the situation could have been life-threatening. Learn more about what normal poop and poop problems look like. See the veterinarian immediately if your puppy’s diarrhea:
- Looks black with a tar-like consistency
- Smells extremely foul
- Contains large amounts of red blood
- Diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting, severe pain, fever, appetite loss or lethargy.
It’s always best to get a vet check first. But your vet may recommend milder forms of diarrhea be treated at home. For instance, if it’s been less than three days, the dog or puppy still feels and acts well, and the diarrhea has a pudding-like appearance, home care may help.
Make sure that water remains always available. It’s very easy for puppies to quickly become dehydrated. Ask your vet about electrolyte replacement solutions like Petralyte. A sudden watery diarrhea can spill large amounts of fluid and important minerals out of the body.
- Withhold food for 24 hours to let his tummy rest
- Then offer bland meals (one-part boiled egg with two parts rice or cooked macaroni) in four to six servings for several days
- Gradually transition the meals to regular food. Mix half/half, gradually increasing to regular food by end of the week.
It often takes a couple of days for your puppy’s tummy to calm down, and a bland diet can help. You’ll find all the must-know puppy-licious info in the book COMPLETE PUPPY CARE (much of it applies to adult dogs, too!).
Are you also dealing with vomiting? Learn more about dog vomiting and what you can do in this post about puppy and doggy vomiting. Or click below to get the quick tips list for treating vomiting at home (or making your dog vomit, in case of poisoning!).
Has your dog ever suffered from diarrhea? Seems like it always happens on a holiday or weekend, too! What did you do? Although dealing with diarrhea stinks, knowing what to do can ensure that everything comes out all right. Literally.