How to Handle Diarrhea in a Puppy

Boxer Puppy in Rear Seat of Car

Diarrhea, which can be brought on by a variety of illnesses, is frequently an indication of disease. It's a frequent problem with pups, but it might develop worse if they become dehydrated or eat anything poisonous or harmful. Although minor bouts of diarrhea can be managed at home, more serious cases can be fatal for pups and require veterinarian care. To know what to do when their puppy has diarrhea, puppy owners should be able to identify significant signs and be knowledgeable with dog diarrhea remedies.


Waiting to treat diarrhea might cause pups to become more ill because of the accompanying dehydration. When a pet exhibits certain symptoms of diarrhea, such as vomiting, severe abdominal pain, fever, appetite loss, or lethargy, it is important to call a veterinarian right away. Other symptoms include waste that has a tar-like consistency, smells very bad, contains a lot of red blood, or has a black, tar-like appearance.

Why Do Puppies Get Diarrhea?

Viruses such the parvovirus and distemper can cause diarrhea. Intestinal parasites like whipworms and hookworms, protozoa like giardia, and bacteria like salmonella and E. coli can also be responsible for its development. To diagnose some forms of intestinal parasites, it may take numerous tests spread out over several weeks. A quick change in the environment, such as a sudden change in nutrition, the stress of moving into a new home, being overfed, or from indiscriminate feeding, can also cause puppies to develop diarrhea (like out of the garbage or picking up items from outside).

Viruses and Infections

When puppies are extremely young and have not had all of their recommended vaccinations, their immune systems are not completely matured. This indicates that pups are often more prone to bacterial or viral illnesses than adult dogs.


Because both infections have the potential to be lethal, they should be treated very away. Salmonella and E. coli are two common bacteria that may infect your pet, but there are many more germs that can do so as well.

Unvaccinated puppies can contract deadly viral illnesses including coronavirus, parvovirus, and distemper, as well as other viruses that cause diarrhea. There's a considerable possibility you'll notice other symptoms like fever, lethargy, and/or lack of appetite if your puppy has an infection.


Very soon after birth, puppies can pick up various intestinal parasites from their mothers, including roundworms and giardia. Outside, they can potentially take them up off the ground or from contaminated water. The majority of common intestinal parasites are treatable with the correct drugs from your veterinarian, but some can be harmful to your pet's long-term health if left untreated.


Due to their growing digestive systems, some puppies may have sensitive stomachs or struggle with certain brands or types of food. The majority will also react negatively to a sudden diet change. Some people might get diarrhea as a result of food sensitivities. There are many various types of food available, and one will undoubtedly be suitable for your pet. Consult your veterinarian to ensure that the food you've chosen is a good fit for your puppy's needs.

Puppies are inquisitive creatures with fragile digestive systems that will mouth or consume nearly anything they find intriguing. This can be anything they discover on the ground, such as thread, trash, or practically anything else. This can occasionally be risky since some things can poisonous or create intestinal obstructions.


It's likely that your puppy is under some stress if it has just been taken away from its mother and other puppies. Other pets in the house, strange sounds or odors, unfamiliar meals, and different schedules can all increase stress. By keeping your puppy on a steady schedule with consistent meals and playtime, as well as lots of love, you may help them cope with stress.


Although it's always advisable to get your pet's health checked by a veterinarian first, they can advise treating lesser cases of diarrhea at home. For instance, home care is typically suitable if it has just been a few days, your dog still feels and behaves normally, and the diarrhea looks like pudding.

Withhold food (but never drink) for 12 to 24 hours before to seeing the vet. This provides the gut a chance to relax and gives the inflammation time to go away. However, without your veterinarian's guidance, don't delay feeding your pet for more than 24 hours.

Water should always be accessible to your dog since it can easily get dehydrated very rapidly. Additionally, abrupt watery diarrhea can cause the body to lose significant quantities of fluid and electrolytes. Offer ice cubes for your pet to lick if they are hesitant to drink. Dehydration can also be treated with Pedialyte or Gatorade diluted with half water.

Your dog could also benefit from Kaopectate and Pepto-Bismol. To administer the medication, use a turkey baster or a needleless syringe. Your veterinarian will be aware of the recommended dose if it applies to the condition of your dog.

A bland food is advised because it typically takes a few days for your puppy's upset stomach to calm down. Offer plain, soft macaroni or plain, boiled white rice in a no-salt chicken broth. You may add a spoonful of plain yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese for taste. Yogurt has good bacteria that can help your puppy's diarrhea by restoring its natural balance. You may also experiment with a little pumpkin flavoring because the high fiber content of pumpkins can help with diarrhea or by promoting normal bowel movements.


The greatest thing you can do for your puppy is to make sure that it receives regular activity and enough of nutritious, balanced meals. When pups are young, new foods should be introduced gradually. Keep ruined food out of your puppy's reach and be diligent about never giving him any human food leftovers because it's conceivable that he is ingesting it through the rubbish can. Additionally, you should keep your dog's vaccines up to date and check for any residual parasites.

Make sure there is no stress in the environment that your puppy will be living in. You should make sure that the kennel is clean and sterile if your puppy is housed there along with other animals. Due to their heightened sense of awareness, puppies benefit from routines that include regular meals, sleep, exercise, and walks. Offering some weekly obedience training is another approach that might be beneficial. While out walking, be cautious of any plants or puddles you may consume because they may contain excrement, which can cause diarrhea. You might wish to keep your puppy in a kennel while you can't watch it to avoid any accidents.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.


"Why Is My Puppy Suffering From Diarrhea?. Hudson Veterinary Hospital, 2020", "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "What You Should Know About COVID-19 and Pets." Published June 29, 2021." ;