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Why Does My Dog Keep Getting Diarrhoea?

Photo by Chiper Catalin:

It’s not the most pleasant of subjects, but it’s one that every dog owner is going to have to touch on at some point or another.


As any dog owner knows, these four-legged fiends are like small, sentient hoovers, they will eat just about everything they can. This might include stones, their food, other people’s food, insects, and even – try not to gag – any animal poo they find.

Unsurprisingly, this can lead to your dog getting an upset stomach. However, vomiting and diarrhoea can be due to other causes rather than your dog’s tendency to eat anything and everything they find. So, if your dog keeps getting diarrhoea, what should you do? What are the causes? When should you see a vet?

Read on to find out.

1. You’ve recently changed your dog’s food.

One of the simplest reasons behind diarrhoea is a change in diet. Dogs get used to their particular brand and amount of kibble, so if you suddenly change your dog’s food, they may get an upset stomach.

The best way to avoid this is to gradually incorporate the new food into your dog’s old food. This means that you’ll need to get the new dog food while you still have some of the old dog food left. This means that your dog will have time to get used to its new diet.

2. Your dog has eaten spoiled food.

Dogs will eat anything, and this included spoiled or rotten meat. Dogs who try to eat out of the rubbish bin are more likely to get ill from spoiled food. While dogs can eat “people” food, as a rule, you shouldn’t feed your dog anything you wouldn’t eat yourself. This includes raw or poorly cooked meat or spoiled food.

Persistent diarrhoea and/or vomiting from spoiled food can get your dog seriously ill, so try and keep your dog away from spoiled food, if you can.

3. Bacterial or viral infections.

A bacterial or viral infection can also make your dog get diarrhoea, and it could be related to your dog eating spoiled food. Persistent or foul-smelling diarrhoea can be a symptom of a more serious issue. If you’re concerned that your dog might have picked up some sort of infection, visit a vet as soon as you can.

4. Allergic reactions.

If your dog eats or comes into contact with something they’re allergic to, their body’s first reaction will be to try and flush it out through the bowels. This will result in – you’ve guessed it – diarrhoea. Other symptoms of an allergic reaction could include watery eyes, sneezing, chewing and licking of paws, scratching, or a red, itchy rash.

If you think your dog is having an allergic reaction to something, visit a vet. The sooner you can work out what your dog is reacting to, the quicker you can get rid of these unpleasant symptoms.

5. Your dog has eaten something toxic.

Diarrhoea can be a sign that your dog has eaten something poisonous. It’s easy for your dog to find and eat toxic plants on a daily walk, and this can cause persistent diarrhoea. Just like when your dog has an allergic reaction, its body will try and flush out the offending item.

Depending on how ill your dog is or what they’ve eaten, you might want to visit a vet. Ideally, you should try and familiarize yourself with the plants you’ll encounter on your daily walks and work out which are toxic. Keep your dog away from these!

6. IBS.

Yes, dogs can get IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), just like people! The main symptom of IBS is diarrhoea and possibly weight loss.

Just like in humans, doggy IBS usually has a trigger. This might be the food your dog eats, or it could be due to anxiety and stress. If you’re concerned, work with your vet to figure out the root cause of your dog’s IBS – and subsequent pooping.

7. A more serious medical complaint.

As you can imagine, diarrhoea is a fairly common complaint among dog owners, and it can be caused by a lot of conditions. While it’s most likely that your dog’s diarrhoea comes from something we’ve discussed above, there is a chance that it’s a symptom of something more serious.

More serious symptoms of diarrhoea include kidney disease, liver disease, ingesting foreign objects, intestinal parasites, or other conditions. If your dog’s diarrhoea is persisting, getting worse, or doesn’t seem to respond to any other treatments, you should take your dog to a vet. A vet can help to establish the real cause of your dog’s stomach upset and will help you work on a solution.

What To Do If Your Dog Has Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is a very common complaint among dogs, and many causes can be fairly simple. However, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog if they have persistent diarrhoea. Watch out for blood in their poo, along with too much mucus or froth. It’s a bit gross, but your dog’s health depends on it!

Make sure that your dog has plenty of water available – diarrhoea is very dehydrating. If you think that your dog’s food is causing diarrhoea, consider switching your dog’s food.

When To See A Vet

If your dog’s diarrhoea doesn’t go away or gets worse, it could be time to visit a vet to figure out what’s going on. If your dog displays other symptoms – vomiting, whining, signs of pains, a hunched posture, lethargy, blood in their poo, or anything out of character – then the diarrhoea could be part of a larger health issue. Persistent diarrhoea or very bad diarrhoea in itself could harm your dog, even if it’s not part of a larger health issue.

If you’ve ruled out all the obvious causes, it’s time to think about whether your dog’s diarrhoea is caused by something more serious. Usually, parasitic infections or other issues can be treated with antibiotics, diet and lifestyle changes, or medication. However, you do need to consult with a vet first.

However, diarrhoea in dogs usually isn’t anything to worry about. Keep an eye on your pooch, and maybe cut back on the treats and scraps, and hopefully, they should be just fine!

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