When Should You Worry About Dog Diarrhea?

Dog standing against toiletThere’s not much we can say about dogs that you don’t know already. They’re the fluffiest, furriest, smartest, and cutest four-legged companions, a person can have. The loyalty dogs have towards their humans is unprecedented. Additionally, many of us, if not all, consider our dogs as family members.

We tend to share both joyful and less joyful moments with our family, including our dogs. Therefore, what do you do when your family member gets ill? You become worried, correct? The same happens when your dog gets sick.

Although dogs have a different organism than humans, some cases require immediate attention while others don’t. But, we tend to panic either way.

Dog Diarrhea Explained

Like humans, dogs can suffer from diarrhea as well. Thus, one of the health problems your dog can have is diarrhea. Dog diarrhea is not an illness, but a health problem. The common reason for canine diarrhea happens because the unabsorbed nutrients draw water or retain water into the intestines. If you notice your dog has diarrhea, there’s no need to panic.

There are three different types of diarrhea, each one of which can occur because of various underlying causes:

  • Acute diarrhea happens suddenly with no previous symptoms.
  • Chronic diarrhea can last anywhere from weeks to months.
  • Intermittent diarrhea is a persistent and frequent type that can go on and off in cycles.

What Are the Leading Causes for Your Dog to Have Diarrhea?

Many factors can cause diarrhea in dogs. Since it’s not an illness but a health-related issue, one method to resolve it is by changing your dog’s eating habits. Feeding your dog with table scraps because you can’t resist their cute begging and their big, adorable eyes can be one of the reasons for diarrhea.

If your dog’s diet doesn’t usually include various foods, table scraps, etc., it may cause them to have a soft and watery stool.

Here are the main reasons for diarrhea in dogs:

  • Changed diet.
  • Toxins or poisons.
  • Viral infections, such as distemper, coronavirus, or parvovirus.
  • Bacterial overgrowth in the intestines.
  • Pancreatitis, or intestinal cancer.
  • Stress and anxiety caused by introducing a new pet or a family member, traveling, or changing a home.

Knowing The Cause Is Essential

To successfully help your dog overcome the diarrhea problem, you must be able to determine the cause. If benign things caused it, diarrhea in dogs usually passes during the first 48 hours. However, if the cause is more severe, and the problem is persistent and more prolonged, you must visit your vet for full diagnostics.

These are the most usual warning signs to be aware of:

  • Bloody diarrhea or black stool.
  • Increased lethargy.
  • Fever and vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Diarrhea lasts more than 48 hours.

Often diarrhea or loose stools are common in dogs with sensitive stomachs. We always recommend getting your dog checked by a medical professional and if you find it has a sensitive stomach here’s some recommended reading.

You must know that some reasons behind your dog’s diarrhea can have severe consequences. Here are some reasons when you should be worried about your dog’s diarrhea problem:

1. High Fever

If you realize that your dog has a high fever along with diarrhea, you should be alarmed and make a trip to the vet’s office as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will diagnose the problem and treat your dog accordingly.

High fever can also be caused by various viral infections (distemper, parvovirus) as well as bacterial infections, like salmonella.

2. Nausea or Vomiting

In case you notice that your dog vomits or is nauseated along with diarrhea, a trip to the vet is necessary. The leading reason for vomiting can be food poisoning or ingestion of toxins.

It’s a possibility that your dog ate something from the garbage that’s resulting in excessive vomiting and diarrhea.

3. Decreased Appetite and Weight Loss

Decreased appetite, accompanied by persistent diarrhea, usually means that the problem is severe. In some cases, it’s possible that your dog had food poisoning that may cause this problem to occur.

If you noticed that your dog had lost weight, it should alarm you to take your dog to the veterinarian immediately for further examination.

Always bring your dog’s stool sample when visiting a vet regarding your dog’s diarrhea problem.

4. Weakness or Lethargy

All dog parents know how their dogs function on a daily basis. It’s not hard to notice if your dog’s behavior is different than usual.

If you see that your dog is lethargic or feels weak while having diarrhea, you should carefully follow the changes.

Diarrhea can weaken the body since it’s draining all the fluids from your dog’s organism. Thus, your dog may feel more tired and lethargic. Acute diarrhea will run its course for a couple of days, and your doggo will be back to normal.

If that’s not the case, consult your veterinarian for further instructions.

Home-Made Remedies Can Help

Several home-made remedies will help relieve your dog’s diarrhea without any medications.

Here are some things to try before panicking and taking your dog to the vet:

  • Canned pumpkin will help soothe and calm your dog’s upset stomach. The body will slowly absorb the pumpkin, which makes it an excellent remedy for both diarrhea and constipation.
  • Boiled white rice and chicken is one of the oldest remedies out there. This method helps in most diarrhea cases, but it’s essential to make sure there are no additives in both chicken and rice.
  • Bone broth is another fantastic home-made remedy that may help your dog with diarrhea. It’ll help ease the upset stomach while it’ll also hydrate your dog.

Preparing bone broth is easy. Simply simmer the whole chicken in water with apple cider vinegar until meat falls off the bone. Also, make sure there are no additives involved.

  • Ginger will help fight nausea, arthritis, and bloating. It’s also an excellent anti-inflammatory natural remedy. Ginger also helps with maintaining a healthy GI tract.

Many of these home-made remedies have helped a lot of people to successfully treat their dog’s acute diarrhea. Before rushing to your vet’s office, make sure to try some or all of these remedies by yourself first.


When you notice your dog has diarrhea, it’s not always a big deal, and you don’t need to rush to the vet. Try some of the home-remedies we’ve mentioned in this article and see if they’ll fix the problem.

If the diarrhea is persistent even after a couple of days, and you notice some of the mentioned side-effects, like vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, then you should consult your veterinarian for further instructions and treatment.

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