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November 09, 2022 4 min read

Top 10 Reasons Your Dog has Diarrhea

If you own a dog, chances are you have found yourself cleaning up nasty doggy messes more times than you’d care to think about. Diarrhea is one of the most common canine afflictions and it can vary in frequency, duration, and intensity from dog to dog. Diarrhea will never be 100% preventable but knowing common causes and simple steps you can take to prevent them, might help limit the number times your dog has one of these unpleasant episodes and help reduce the duration when the runs do come.

1.    Sudden change in diet

Dogs can be creatures of habit when it comes to their food, and a sudden change in diet can upset their intestinal tract, which often can lead to diarrhea and stomach upset. This can be avoided by slowly decreasing their current food and whilst slowly increasing their new food over the course of a week. This should help to minimise the disruption to their gastrointestinal system.

2.    Bacterial and Viral Infections

Dogs can easily pick up bacterial infections when in close contact with other dogs, such as in a kennel environment. If you plan on putting your dog in kennels, help to build up their immune system in advance to avoid them picking up infections. DoggyRade Prebiotic Chewiesare a healthy way to treat your dog, while also benefitting their immune system.

Viruses such as Parovirus (especially dangerous in puppies), distemper and other rotaviruses can also be a cause of diarrhea in dogs. These diseases are highly contagious and can be life threatening if not treated quickly. Symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite and fever. Distemper can also produce symptoms of a cough and immediate veterinary attention is necessary.

3.    Eating Rotten Food

Dogs will often be enticed by strong smelling odours, which is often found in spoiled food. The bacteria found in food that has gone bad can unsurprisingly cause a stomach upset in your dog. Try not to leave food sitting out, or bins in reach of your dog to help avoid this common problem. Most cases of intestinal problems from this are mild, depending on what was consumed, but severe cases can lead to pancreatitis which can be very serious and would require veterinary attention.

4.    Ingesting toxic substances

Frequent diarrhea is often one of the first symptoms when a dog has ingested a toxic substance. Daffodils, ivy, bluebells, holly, honeysuckle, grapes, raisins, chocolate, wild mushrooms, silica gel sachets, chalk and many more are all potentially toxic substances to dogs. Be vigilant when out walking and at home that these substances are not within reach of your curious pup.

5.    Intestinal Parasites

Dogs will often drink from muddy puddles, or ponds when out and about and this cannot be completely avoided but unfortunately, intestinal parasites are most often found in stagnant water sources. If your dog drinks from a contaminated water source, there’s a possibility they may have consumed a parasite which may be living in their intestine. The symptoms to watch out for include fothy or greasy diarrhea, which will have a very strong odour. A veterinarian will need to treat your dog if you suspect they may have consumed a parasite.

6.    Eating a foreign object!

Dog owners will often find their dogs gnawing on different random objects, and unfortunately this can lead to foreign objects being lodged in their stomach or intestines. This can be life-threatening to your pup. Diarrhea is a common sign associated with foreign body obstruction and other signs include vomiting, abdominal pain or discomfort, lack of appetite or aggression when touched. This is very serious and will need veterinarian investigate to determine the treatment.

7.    Allergic reaction

Diarrhea can be a sign that your dog is having an allergic reaction, as their system will try to flush out the allergens. Other signs that they may be having an allergic reaction include: itchy eyes, increased scratching, sneezing or excessive paw licking. This can be triggered by many things and will need further investigation from your veterinarian. The protein in chicken is a common dog allergen and may cause a reaction to your dog. DoggyRade products are hypoallergenic and use hydrolysed chicken products (the allergenic protein has been removed), making them suitable for the most sensitive pups.

8.    Medication side effect

If your dog has recently been prescribed a new medication, you may want to check if diarrhea can be a side effect. Such medications include NMDA receptor blockers and NSAIDs. Your veterinarian may recommend a change to your dog’s prescription if the diarrhea persists.

9.    Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS occurs when inflammatory cells chronically invade the intestine, the cause of which is unknown. The disease has two main symptoms: diarrhea and constipation. Both of which can be chronic or it can resolve with repeated episodes periodically. Although there is no 'cure' for IBD, it can be treated. Not all dogs respond to the same medication or food, so a series of drugs and/or foods may be necessary. Prebiotics can help to support dogs with digestive disorders and ensure they have a healthy gut flora.

10. Stress

Stress, especially following travel, boarding, or other changes in the environment, can also cause acute diarrhea in dogs. Motion sickness in dogs is very common. Some dogs also experience serious stress and anxiety when travelling. DoggyRade’s TravelPack For Dogs is an essential travel kit for your trips away with your pet. It is a 5-piece travel kit containing DoggyRade, YummyRade, DoggyRade Prebiotic Chewies, a collapsible bowl and a ball to keep them distracted on long journeys!

If your dog is suffering from diarrhea, DoggyRade Pro is a healthy prebiotic rehydration drink which helps dogs recover from such intestinal disorders. DoggyRade prebiotic drink can then be given daily after they have recovered to help prevents such episodes.