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Dog Diarrhea: Causes, Symptoms, Types

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They bring joy in your life, they shatter your loneliness, they reduce your blood pressure, they welcome you wagging their tails when you return home, and the list of their cute and lovely gestures goes on.

Yes, I'm talking about our furry friends - dogs. Having a dog at home is associated with many positive outcomes, which can be the topic of a separate hub. Maybe, next time, I'll pen down it. This hub deals with the topic 'dog diarrhea and home remedies for dog diarrhea.

What causes it?

There may be one or more than one from below mentioned causes of diarrhea.

  • Food intolerance
  • Change in diet
  • Ingestion of spoiled food or garbage
  • Ingestion of toxic plant material
  • Ingestion of foreign body such as rubber band, plastic product etc.
  • Colitis
  • Stress
  • Allergic reaction
  • Kidney and Liver disease
  • Certain medication
  • Bacterial or Viral infection
  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
  • Internal parasites such as roundworms, coccidia, giardia

Dog diarrhea is characterized by frequent bowel movements, loose stool, liquid stool or increased amount of stool. The cause of diarrhea can be as simple as a change in diet or there can be some serious illness or infection causing it. Diarrhea can be sudden in onset or last for just a few days. Your dog may have it off and on.

Symptoms of Diarrhea

The most common symptoms of diarrhea are liquid and frequent stools. Other signs include changes in the volume of stool, blood or mucus in stool, flatulence, and straining to defecate. Decreased appetite, increased urgency to defecate, lethargy, dehydration, fever, vomiting, and weight loss may also accompany diarrhea. Sometimes, signs of abdominal pains (panting rapidly, groaning, bloating, avoidance responses when the belly is touched) also accompany it.

As there are several types of diarrhea, it is important for you to know the normal state of your dog's stool so as to determine what kind of treatment is required.

Soft stool without blood or mucous:

If your furry friend is having soft stool, this can be the result of eating of an unusual thing. This can also be the sign or parasites or stress.


Your dog may be at the risk for such as Parvo. Your dog needs medical attention immediately as it may be an indication of the presence of parasites.

Greasy gray stool:

It happens when your dog ate greasy food or too much fat. Many times, reducing fat content in your pup's diet solves the problem.

Solid stool with fresh blood:

The presence of fresh blood in your dog's stool is the sign that there is currently bleeding inside your dog, in the large intestine or the anal gland. It can be the sign of a tumor or an ulcer or your dog may have eaten something that perforated its intestinal wall.

Black stool with tar type texture:

This shows that there is old blood in your dog's system. This means your dog may have eaten something that caused internal damage. You should visit a vet quickly as it may be a sign of cancer of tumor.

Runny stool with blood:

Diarrhea with blood is a serious condition. It can be the result of parasites or your dog has eaten something wrong.

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Liquid diarrhea:

Viral or internal intestinal infection may cause it. This can induce dehydration in your dog. So, immediate attention is required.

Worms in stools.

Your dog may have worms in its stool. You should take immediate action if you see worms in your dog's stool.

When you should take your dog to a vet?

It is not like that you should visit a vet all at once you notice watery or frequent stool. Sometimes, diarrhea is the result of body's mechanism to tackle some problems. It can be classified in two kinds on the basis of duration:

Acute diarrhea:

Your dog may be suffering from acute diarrhea if dog's soft stools started suddenly and then lasted for just couples of days. Usually, you don't need to be panicked when your dog has an onset of acute diarrhea. It can be managed at home.

Chronic diarrhea:

If the dog has frequent and long-lasting diarrhea, it is suffering from chronic diarrhea, which is accompanied by constantly watery, mucus or blood coated, or often normal stool followed by soft stool. You need to visit a vet when your dog has chronic diarrhea.

Diarrhea management

When your dog is suffering from diarrhea, you need to keep it on a balanced diet. It is advisable that you should not give your dog cooked real bones (especially chicken). Also, you need to ensure your dog gets enough amount of protein and fiber. Spending time with your pet lowers the stress. This can speed up the recovery. It is suggested that you should not give any over the counter medication to your dog without consulting your vet.

Home remedies for dog's diarrhea:

If diarrhea is caused by viral infection or unusual eating, you can withhold food from your dog from 24 hours. And then, you can begin with bland food diet that consists of boiled turkey, boiled chicken, boiled hamburger, rice, boiled potato without skins, scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, electrolyte water, etc. When your dog's stool is normal, you can start giving your dog normal diet with mixing half a serving with the bland diet above.

When to see a vet?

You need to take your dog to a vet if its gums are dry and tacky. Prolonged dehydration can cause electrolyte imbalances, which can disrupt the acid-base balance as well. All this can make your dog very sick. You should also seek advice from a vet if your dog is having blood in its stool. A vet examines diarrhea by a physical and fecal exam. He can also do snap tests to find out infectious agents causing diarrhea. In the situations where diarrhea is severe, he can recommend for radiography and blood work. Your dog may be treated with subcutaneous fluids and take home medications or it may be hospitalized to get intravenous fluids and medications as needed, depending on the condition of it.

What the medical expert says

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How to prevent diarrhea in dog

You can keep your dog away from diarrhea by not allowing it to eat people food. If you want to change the diet of your dog, you should change it gradually by mixing the new food with the old food. It is advisable that diet changes should take place over the course of a week. You should keep your dog's vaccinations and deworming schedule up to date. When you are taking your dog out, you should make sure it doesn't eat garbage and trash. You should play with your dog daily to bust its stress. If you take good care of your dog, you can help minimize the risk and impact of diarrhea. As rightly said by Josh Billings,

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.”

So, you owe it to yourself to take the best care of your dog. And I’m sure, the love you show toward your dog will come in many folds.

If you find this hub informative, do share it. Thanks in advance for sharing it and spreading awareness.

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How to stop diarrhea in dogs?


This hub has been written with a view to spreading awareness about dog's diarrhea. It doesn't intend to provide you with skill and knowledge to treat chronic diarrhea at home. You should seek the advice of a vet immediately if you don't understand the condition of your dog. The information presented in this hub has been gathered from reliable and authentic sources.

Your turn?


Andrew Petrou from Brisbane on September 23, 2016:

At last answers to questions that have plagued humanity since dogs were domesticated.

Any follow up hubs? I'd like to know about dog vomit too.

The Logician from then to now on on February 11, 2016:

What an informative and comprehensive look at this problem! After viewing that last video I can see why a product like Dino Vite can perform miracles with all sorts of dog's problems connected to nutrition. I'm sure it could help with diarrhea but they say to make sure that the first 3-5 ingredients are a meat protein for the best results with the supplement and to stay away from carbs and starches as they break down to sugars and feed yeast, which leads to yeast infections, itching, shedding, licking, odor and skin and ear infections.

Anyway thanks Sandeep for good advice.

Vanelly on May 28, 2015:

It's impriateve that more people make this exact point.

Sandeep Rathore (author) from New Delhi on May 25, 2015:

Thanks Caleb for nice words. The cooking process makes bones more brittle, which increases the likelihood they might splinter and cause internal injury to your dog.

Caleb DRC on May 25, 2015:

Jam-packed full of useful information, Sandeep. Very well written and concise.

You mentioned that we should not give our dogs "cooked real bones( especially chicken)." I admit I have done this for years. Do you know why it is not recommended?

Sandeep Rathore (author) from New Delhi on May 02, 2015:

Thanks, Laurel for reading and sharing a thought. Much appreciated!

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on May 01, 2015:

Luckily I have never had a dog get more than a mild case of the runs. A useful article.

Laurel Johnson from Washington KS on May 01, 2015:

You provided a lot of helpful information here, Sandeep. We no longer have a dog as a pet, but in the past we did see problems with diarrhea. We used natural remedies to good success. Well done.

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