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Why Is My Dog Suddenly Having Diarrhea?

Oh, y’know, the usual stuff — garbage, changes to their diet, a virus, an infection, a parasite, allergies, medications, stress and everything in between

Picking up poop is one of the necessary evils of dog ownership. It usually happens multiple times a day, so it’s readily apparent when your pup releases a load that can’t be bagged. Why might your dog be having diarrhea? Here’s a variety of shitty answers… 

Why Is My Dog Having Diarrhea?

They Ate Something They Weren’t Supposed To: One of the simpler explanations for dog diarrhea is ingesting something undesirable. It could have been spoiled food from the sidewalk, a poisonous houseplant or even a random foreign body, like that weed pipe you left on the coffee table. 

You Changed Their Diet Too Suddenly: If you plan on changing your dog’s food, it’s best to do so gradually. Otherwise, they could get an upset stomach and diarrhea. Slowly increasing your dog’s new food and decreasing their old food over the course of a week should help prevent this.

They Have a Virus or Infection: Bacterial infections and viral diseases like parvovirus, distemper and rotavirus can all cause diarrhea, especially in puppies. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to keep your dog’s vaccinations up-to-date. Diarrhea is also a common symptom of kidney and liver disease in older dogs. If the diarrhea is accompanied by lethargy, weight loss, vomiting and/or a lack of appetite, this could be the cause.

They Have a Parasite: It’s gross, I know, but dogs can pick up parasites from stagnant water, like puddles and communal water bowls at dog parks, as well as other dog’s shits. So if your dog is a known poop eater, a parasite could be the cause of their diarrhea.

They’re Having an Allergic Reaction: Allergies in dogs manifest in many ways, one of which is diarrhea. If your pup is also sneezing, constantly licking their paws and scratching, check in with your vet to see if they can help you find the source of what’s going on.

A Medication Is Making Their Tummy Hurt: Did you just put your pup on an anti-inflammatory of some sort? Side effects of those medications (and some others) often include diarrhea.

They’re Stressed: Sometimes all it takes is a stressful activity like travel, going to the vet or even taking a bath to make your dog do a volcano poop.

What Helps With Dog Diarrhea?

In less serious cases without any other accompanying side effects, your vet may initially recommend rest, plenty of water and a bland diet for 24 hours or so. As for what to feed your dog when they have diarrhea, white rice or cooked pasta and boiled chicken are safe options. Alternatively, your vet may prescribe your pup a more therapeutic diet, specifically designed to be easily digested, along with an antidiarrheal agent.

For more serious, long-lasting cases of diarrhea, however, it really depends on the cause, and only your vet can help you figure that out. If your dog has a parasite, they’re going to need a dewormer. If your dog has an infection, they’re going to need antibiotics. And if your dog ate your weed pipe, they may need to have it surgically removed. 

If you really want to know how to fix dog diarrhea, the best approach is, as always, prevention. Keep their vaccines current. Consider a monthly dewormer or heartworm medication. And do your best to keep your dog from eating things they shouldn’t, which may mean moving that pipe to higher ground.

Also, hey bro, do you happen to have an extra bag?

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