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Why Does my Dog have Diarrhoea?

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
Why Does my Dog have Diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea in dogs is one of the most common causes of veterinary consultations. In fact, when this is a frequent occurrence or is severe, consulting with a specialist to determine the specific cause of this disease is essential.

Soft and watery stool occurs when food passes through the intestinal tract more quickly than usual. The intestine does not have time to absorb nutrients or water, causing the animal to evacuate the stool with a large amount of water. This can be caused by a number of things and knowing the main causes would be very useful for both us as owners, and the vet. OneHowTo.com covers these in this article on why your dog has diarrhoea, in which the most common reasons for this condition are addressed.

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Causes of diarrhoea in dogs

This condition is not really a disease but rather a symptom of another disease, which is why it is fundamental to go to the root of the problem in order to improve your dog's condition. Occasional diarrhoea usually sorts itself out after a few days; however, even in these cases, it is important that you take the necessary measures to prevent the animal from becoming susceptible to conditions that may cause stomach upset.

The main causes of diarrhoea in dogs are:

Sudden changes in diet

Sudden changes in diet are one of the most common causes of diarrhoea in dogs. This symptom can occur when, for example, we substitute one food with another suddenly, without a gradual transition; when we switch to a lower quality dog food brand or product; or when we decide to switch prepared dog food for having been a transition, when we decide to feed our dog homemade food instead of prepared dog food, or vice versa. In these cases it is common for the dog to have diarrhoea but to maintain physical activity, good humour and playfulness. If your dog is suffering from diarrhoea, find out what foods you should feed it in order to stay nourished and hydrated.

Ingestion of rubbish or spoiled food

It is known that dogs are greedy and curious, so we must be very vigilant that they do not eat any food that's in poor condition or any foreign object found in the street or at home. This is one of the most common reasons for changes in their stool. In these cases the dog will maintain their normal mood but simply have looser stool.

Allergies and poisoning

Dogs are sensitive to a large number of ingredients and plants. In addition to this, they are unable to digest chemical or toxic substances that we humans can, which can gravely endanger their health. If you suspect your dog has ingested poison or some chemical, you should take it immediately to a veterinarian to be treated urgently. Similarly, it is essential to know which ingredients are harmful to our pet. Find out exactly what food is toxic to dogs in this OneHowTo article.

As well as diarrhoea, vomiting is also common in these cases, and symptoms can be sudden and intense.

Various infections

Pets may also suffer parasitic infections, viruses and bacteria, which can cause irritation in the intestinal mucosa. This can cause vomiting, loss of appetite and general lethargy as well as diarrhoea. They may have additional symptoms depending on the condition.

Why Does my Dog have Diarrhoea? - Causes of diarrhoea in dogs

When to see the vet

Whenever a dog has diarrhoea, more extensive previsions should be be implemented, alongside changes to their diet to ensure their recovery.

However, there are specific cases where the warning signs are clear, indicating that it is necessary to take the dog to a veterinarian immediately for it to receive appropriate medical care. Your dog should be seen by a specialist if:

  • Diarrhoea lasts longer than 24 hours with no improvement.
  • If blood is detected in faeces.
  • Diarrhoea accompanied by vomiting.
  • Presence of other symptoms such as fever, lack of appetite or lethargy.
Why Does my Dog have Diarrhoea? - When to see the vet

How to prevent diarrhoea in dogs

In addition to all previous recommendations that will help us to determine the causes of this condition and give us guidelines on how to act, it is important to consider some measures to take in order to prevent diarrhoea in dogs and to ensure their health. Therefore we recommend that you:

  • Pay special attention to your dog during walks out on the street. It is important that you make sure the animal does not eat anything on the street, rummage in the rubbish, smell or eat faeces of other animals, or consume any toxic substances. It is our responsibility to ensure the welfare of the dog when out an d about on the street.
  • At home you must keep all rubbish in a bucket or in a suitable space that the animal cannot access. Also make sure they do not ingest any food that may affect their stomach. It is also essential that you don't throw drugs, chemicals or toxic products in the home rubbish bin as your dog could ingest it, which would endanger its health.
  • It is also necessary to avoid sudden changes in food and to give them quality animal feed. If you're going to switch brands, do so gradually by mixing both feeds so that your dog's stomach becomes used to it.
  • Do not feed your dog food that is not exclusively for canine consumption. Avoid giving your pet biscuits, sweets or chocolate, as they can be detrimental to your dog's intestinal tract, causing diarrhoea.
Why Does my Dog have Diarrhoea? - How to prevent diarrhoea in dogs

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