There’s no getting around it – diarrhoea in dogs is messy and unpleasant.
Diarrhoea is one of the most common puppy problems and thankfully it can be straightforward to treat if the cause is something simple (like your puppy eating something they shouldn’t!)
Source: hannah k
What causes diarrhoea in puppies?
It’s important to find the cause of the diarrhoea because that will help you find the best treatment for your pup.
However, the cause isn’t always obvious and in these cases you’ll need the help of a vet.
Diarrhoea can be a result of many different things, including:
• Stress (situations like leaving their mother and getting used to their new home)
• A change in diet (it may help to continue feeding them the food they are used to and gradually phasing in any new ones)
• Dietary indiscretions (like eating strange plants or eating out of the bin)
• Viruses (like parvovirus)
• Food poisoning
Your puppy might seem a little quiet but he or she should not be lethargic, look ill, or refuse a drink or treat.
The good news is that most cases of mild diarrhoea can be treated at home, without the aid of prescription medicine, especially if your puppy is still acting normally and the diarrhoea has a pudding-like appearance.
It’s still best to pay a visit to the vet first, however, just to be on the safe side! They may suggest one or more of the following remedies.
Make Sure Water is Available
It’s easy for puppies to become dehydrated when they’re well, never mind when they’re sick, so it’s important to make sure their water supply is topped up at all times.
Diarrhoea can cause a loss of fluid and minerals, while dehydration weakens the delicate immune system, so it is important that your puppy consumes the same amount of fluids that he or she has lost.
Fasting allows the digestive system to rest and gives it a chance to heal.
For dogs 16 weeks or older: You can withhold food for up to 24 hours if they are over five pounds in weight.
For dogs at 8-16 weeks: Withhold food for a maximum of 12 hours if they are over five pounds in weight. Plain, dry dog biscuits or plain, cooked white rice will help to settle the stomach in the evening and prevent vomiting.
Give Your Puppy Plain Food
Once the fast has finished, plain food is your best bet for satisfying your dog’s appetite without making the problem worse. Good foods for diarrhoea include:
• Plain, cooked white rice (add a little chicken as they start to improve)
• Pureed sweet potato
• Plain, dry dog biscuits
Source: Derek Gavey
The younger the puppy, the higher the risk of diarrhoea developing into something serious. See your vet immediately if your puppy’s diarrhoea:
• Smells extremely foul
• Contains blood and/or mucus
• Is watery and projectile
• Is accompanied by vomiting, pain, fever, loss of appetite or lethargy. The risk of dehydration increases when your puppy is vomiting — any water is likely to be thrown straight back up.
In these instances, diarrhoea can be an indication of illnesses that may kill your puppy. Be sure to get your little one drinking water to minimise the risks of dehydration before you see the vet.
The vet will take a stool sample to test for parasites, bacteria and viruses, and give IV fluids to combat dehydration.
Medicines may be prescribed, so be sure to administer them exactly as your vet tells you to.
At Lovejoys, we understand that it can be a huge worry when your puppy isn’t feeling well, so we hope this guide to treating diarrhoea will ease your stress and help your puppy recover quickly!