My Dog Has Diarrhea, What Should I Do?

Our team is formed for veterinarians, ethologists, and animal health content experts.

Most likely, your dog has had diarrhea at some point in his life.

In the majority of cases, that your dog has diarrhea is nothing to worry about and it will be cured by itself. Still, when your dog has diarrhea it might be inconvenient for both of you. This condition is particularly common among senior dogs and puppies.

In some occasions, your dog has diarrhea and vomits, which complicates both the symptoms and the treatment. Most bowel dysfunctions are produced by irritation of the walls of the intestine. This irritation increases secretion of fluid, which changes stool consistency (doughy consistency, even liquids) and color (light brown).

Why My Dog Has Diarrhea?

  • Virus: Parvovirus, Distemper or Calicivirus. These viruses attack more aggressively to senior dogs and puppies.
  • Bacteria: Salmonella, Yersinia, Clostridium... Usually related to food intake.
  • Parasites: Giardia, Coccidia, Nematodes...
  • Allergies
  • Intolerances
  • Response to medication or intoxication
  • By the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics attack intestinal flora, which facilitates the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • Autoimmune problems
  • Intestinal problems
  • Intake of inedible objects

If your dog has diarrhea, you should take a look around the house and check if he might be eaten something toxic. Puppies tend to chew on everything. If you suspect this may have happened, and there is blood in his stool, you should take him to the vet right away.

Another possibility, if your dog has diarrhea, is that he ate something from the trash or spoiled food without you noticing.

My DOG POOPED BLOOD and mucus. Dog blood in stool jelly like

Does your dog's poop have red blood, with a bit of mucus or vomit? If your dog's poop looks like jelly, something serious might be happening, especially if we are talking about diarrhea with blood.

What Should I Do If My Dog Has Diarrhea?

If your dog has diarrhea, the first thing you should do is to check he is drinking enough water. The main danger when dogs have diarrhea is that they can easily become dehydrated.

You shouldn't give him any kind of food for 12h. When your dog has diarrhea, he shouldn't eat anything, just drink water for at least 12h, so the bowel irritation disappears. If he continues having diarrhea after the fast, you should contact the vet, as the dog might be affected by a virus or bacteria, and he will need treatment.

If after a 12h fast the dog doesn't have diarrhea, then you can start with a soft diet for the next 2 days. Soft diet consists of boiled chicken (boneless) mixed with boiled rice (without salt or any other condiment). Doses should be small and distributed in 3-4 times a day.

This diet helps to regulate and dry the excess of water in the bowels. In fact, it might be that in the next 2 days your dog is constipated because of a rebound effect. Don't worry about that, just check when and how he poops.

After 2 days, go back to a regular diet. If he doesn't want to eat dry food after the soft diet (they love chicken and rice!), mix the dry food with some chicken at the beginning.

How To Avoid Diarrhea In Dogs

  • Make sure your dog is correctly vaccinated
  • Follow the deworming and deflea calendar
  • Never give your dog medication without veterinary prescription
  • Feed your dog a good quality dog food, adapted to his age, breed, and health. As your vet for advice.