Psst! Let’s Talk About K9 Diarrhea

Ok, it's not a pleasant topic, but ALL dogs suffer from occasional diarrhea.
Learn what to look for and even more importantly,
what to do to effectively address it!


If you are a dog owner, you know your beloved K9 is highly motivated by non-stop curiosity which often ends up with the ingestion of whatever the nose has found. In a perfect world, the K9’s nose and mouth work in tandem in helping Fido learn about his world.

But unfortunately, this sometimes means eating things that are not good for them which can lead to loose stools and dreaded diarrhea!

Diarrhea is often due to:

  • Indiscriminate scavenging and eating including the trash, table scraps or items in the composting pile

  • Stress
  • Sudden change in diet; dietary allergies or food intolerances
  • Infections including viral, bacterial or parasitic:
    •  Giardia
    • Hookworms, Roundworms/Whipworms



Loose stools typically indicate diarrhea, but they can also be accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Panting and/or groaning
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Lethargy

Occasional diarrhea is a common problem in dogs. But, if your dog’s diarrhea has become more frequent or severe, it’s time for a consultation with your veterinarian.



    Immediately call your veterinarian for professional advice for:

    Diarrhea in very young puppies is not ok.

    • Diarrhea in very young puppies
    • Frequent diarrhea or diarrhea has lasted more than 24 hours
    • Diarrhea that is very watery, dark or tarry, or bloody (when there’s more than just a streak of blood)



    If, after speaking with your regular vet, you decide on home treatment, follow the steps below.

    Dogs with just Diarrhea

    1. It may seem counterproductive, but it’s critical to keep your dog hydrated to avoid further health issues from dehydration (unless your dog is vomiting; see below). Encourage your dog to drink plenty of fresh, Only feed WHITE rice to a dog with diarrhea.clean water. If your dog refuses to drink, tempt them with diluted chicken or beef broth and/or Pedialyte in addition to water.
    2. Only feed small meals of boiled white chicken meat (NO bones or skin) with white rice (NOT brown rice due to the high fiber content) to help control diarrhea and harden stools. Feed this bland diet until your dog's stools return to normal. 
    3. Offer small amounts of sweet potatoes or pumpkin (not the pie filling). In small amounts, it will help harden the stools. (Do not feed large portions as it will have the opposite effect!)
    4. If your dog’s diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours with no improvement, immediately call your vet.


    Dogs with Diarrhea & Vomiting
    For dogs with diarrhea and who have vomited once or twice, follow the steps below. (If your dog has thrown up more than that, call your veterinarian immediately.)

    1. Do not feed your dog for 12 hours (allowing the intestinal tract to rest and recover).
    2. Offer small amounts of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration. If your dog refuses to drink, tempt them with diluted chicken or beef broth and/or Pedialyte.
    3. After NO vomiting for at least 6 hours, offer a small meal of boiled white chicken meat without bones or skin and white rice.
    4. If your dog has not vomited for at least 2 hours, offer another small meal.
    5. Gradually increase the amount of chicken and rice and lengthen the time between meals until stools are back to normal.
    6. If your dog’s diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours with no improvement, call your vet right away.

    Want more home remedy suggestions for K9 diarrhea? Read this Bark article.


    Curious about what your dog’s poop is trying to tell you?
    Click here to learn more!


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    Video: Dr. Becker Discusses Pet Diarrhea