Diarrhea in dogs: 8 possible causes


Dog’s diarrhea is a frequent reason for veterinary consultation. It is easily spotted by its owners, since the stools become frequent, while having a soft or liquid consistency.

Often benign, dog diarrhea still causes significant dehydration in your companion. They are therefore a warning sign, for which you must consult if they last more than 24 hours in the puppy and more than 48 hours in the dog.

But what are the possible causes of diarrhea in dogs? We have listed 8, because they are the most common.

Cause # 1: a dietary change

By changing your dog’s diet suddenly, you don’t let his body take the time to adjust to a new diet. This is valid by switching from solid food to wet food, from kibble to household rations, but also by imposing a rebranding.

Diarrhea is not always synonymous with food that is not suitable for your dog, but with a metabolism and intestinal flora that do not have time to assimilate the changes. So introduce the new products gently by gradually increasing the quantities over 2 weeks.

Cause # 2: a food allergy

In addition, be aware that dogs can develop food allergies and intolerances to certain meats or certain additives. In this case, it is better to identify it, even if it means going back in favor of its old diet.

The allergenic food will systematically trigger the same immune responses in your dog. Diarrhea is then frequent. An allergen-free or hypoallergenic diet may be recommended.

Cause # 3: food poisoning

Food poisoning can be caused by food, as some are toxic to dogs, such as onion, chocolate, grapes, potatoes. Better to avoid giving leftovers to your dog, to avoid this type of inconvenience as well as obesity.

But that’s not all, food poisoning can also come from products ingested by mistake, such as household products, alcohol, drugs, pesticides, essential oils, certain plants, etc.

Be careful, this list is far from exhaustive, but food poisoning almost always leads to diarrheal episodes.

Cause # 4: intestinal parasites

Some worms and parasites can infest your dog, they are not necessarily visible to the naked eye and cause a lot of inconvenience, including diarrhea. Thus, gardia or giardiosis is often the cause of intestinal disorders.

This is why it is important to deworm your dog at regular intervals. However, no dewormer is powerful enough to prevent all types of parasites, some of which are rare and exceptional.

Cause # 5: a viral infection

Like humans, dogs are prone to viral illnesses and especially gastroenteritis. Among the most well-known digestive viral infections is parvovirus, which causes diarrhea and vomiting, and is often fatal in young dogs.

This is why it is essential to have your dog vaccinated and to carry out the reminders on time. The parvovirus vaccine is included with the vaccine against distemper and hepatitis.

Cause # 6: intestinal obstruction

Bowel obstruction in dogs is most often caused by the ingestion of a foreign object (play, sock, ball, battery, cloth, etc.) getting stuck in the small intestine. Intestinal obstruction then results in the partial or total shutdown of the digestive system.

It is accompanied in most cases by stopping bowel movements, but can also cause diarrhea in small quantities, with or without the presence of blood. This is of course a veterinary emergency to remove the foreign body as quickly as possible.

Cause # 7: stress

You don’t necessarily think about it, but stress triggers many symptoms, and diarrhea is often one of them. Your dog’s stress can be caused by a change such as moving, your prolonged absence or the disappearance of a loved one, for example.

It then causes digestive disorders, with sales pain, gas, gurgling and diarrhea. Often, giving your dog love unconditionally and frequently is enough to make diarrhea attacks go away.

Cause # 8: intestinal, metabolic or tumor disease

Unfortunately, sometimes you cannot identify the cause of diarrhea. This is indicative of a deeper disease and is one of its symptoms.

This is the case for chronic intestinal diseases, chronic inflammatory diseases, diseases related to the liver or kidneys, or cancerous tumors.

In all cases, diarrhea that persists over several days, or is too severe in its intensity, should prompt you to consult your veterinarian without delay!