How to quickly help your dog with diarrhea

Your dog has diarrhea and you want to know how best to act now. We can reassure you. In many cases, you can do something about it yourself and thus avoid a visit to the vet. We have dealt with the topic intensively. In addition, we have for this article Advice from veterinarian Emin Jasarevic obtained. Note: This article is written for the german country.

Diarrhea dog
Table of Contents

Diarrhea often means a disorder in the organism due to the gastrointestinal tract. 

Definition and symptomatology

The medical profession refers to diarrhea with the technical term the Diarrhea. It is usually due to a malfunction of the stomach, intestines or both together. Often the diarrhea is a concomitant of the flu effect, other infections or general illness.

Diarrhea as a symptom of a Gastrointestinal problem or as Accompanying symptoms are not the only reasons. The psychic condition of your dog also affects the gastrointestinal tract. It can also be the trigger for the diarrhea.

The symptoms appear as follows: Bowel movements occur more than three times a day and are characterized by watery or mushy excretions. 

This symptomatology does not occur alone. Diarrhea is often accompanied by other symptoms. Below you will find the most common accompanying symptoms that can occur in your pet:

  • Pain in the complete abdominal area (usually cramp-like)
  • Flatulence
  • Nausea as well as vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Increased body temperature
  • decreased urine output
  • Changed urine color 
  • Dehydration

The causes

The causes of diarrhea are varied. As a rule, a distinction is made between acute and chronic diarrhea. 

The acute diarrhea lasts on average between one and two days and should not last longer than three days at the most. Usually it is not a cause for concern. Stress or improper food intake are the most common reasons for acute diarrhea. 

You should be more concerned if your dog's diarrhea lasts longer than three days and is accompanied by other symptoms. If the diarrhea lasts longer than three days, doctors usually refer to it as chronic diarrhea. 

Since there are various causes of diarrhea, we have summarized the most common causes for you below:

  • Spoiled food
  • Incorrect diet
  • Allergies or intolerances to treats or the food
  • Change of diet
  • Toxins and other harmful agents
  • Medication side effects
  • Diseases or other disorders of the gastrointestinal tract
  • mental illnesses (anxiety disorder or stress factors)
  • Other diseases
    • viral and bacterial infections
    • Autoimmune diseases
    • Kidney or liver disease
    • hormonal disorders

Poison bait poisoning

Rat poison in dog

Special care should be taken with the following symptoms:

If the condition of your favorite changes spontaneously and he shows (bloody) diarrhea and additional Fatigue, Unrest or Cramps you should visit the vet. In case of poisoning also come increased saliva, bleeding in the urine, tremors or Vomiting to this.

It is best to leave right away and try to reach the practice by phone only on the way. On weekends or holidays, go to the emergency veterinary practice. A quick look on the Internet will show you the practices that are open on that particular weekend.

Indeed, these symptoms often indicate poisoning. Unfortunately, many quadrupeds still die because of poisonous bodies distributed in forests, parks and meadows.

For this reason, always keep a close eye on your charge when you're out and about with him. Dogs love to sniff out potential snacks. That's why poison baits are often hidden in treats or meat.

Diarrhea & connection with dog food

The dog food also plays a big role in diarrhea in dogs. Especially cheap feed products have ingredients that can lead to diarrhea.

These varieties include particularly high-carbohydrate feed that contains added sugar. In addition, products consisting of many animal by-products and mostly hard-to-digest proteins.

Also a Change of feed can lead to diarrhea in your dog. For this reason, make sure that you gradually replace his food. Access only High quality feed back.

Also check the Feed quantityThe amount of food you give your dog per day. It is better to distribute a little food several times a day than to give a large amount at once.

A change of feed should last at least 4 days.

If your pelt is sensitive, you can extend the duration to one or two weeks.

Mix smaller amounts of the new food into the old food. At the same time, reduce the amount of the old feed. Gradually increase the amount of the new feed until the full ration is fed with the new feed.

Monitor your foster for intolerances. In the beginning, mild bloating is normal for the first few weeks. If there is diarrhea, you can slow down the duration of the change. If there is no improvement after two to four weeks, you may be better off using a different food.

When should I go to the vet?

Apart from the presumption of a Poisoning, there are other reasons to see a veterinarian.

Generally, diarrhea should not last longer than three days. Even if the reasons are not serious, you need to get chronic diarrhea treated.

If your pet's condition worsens, it is also advisable to consult a veterinarian. Worsening of the condition occurs when your dog gets other symptoms besides diarrhea.

In case of fever above 40 °C, please consult the veterinarian directly, even if this has only been in existence for a short time.

The symptoms for which you should see the veterinarian immediately are:

  • Diarrhea - longer than three days
  • bloody diarrhea, bloody urine
  • bloody mucous membranes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Disturbances of consciousness
  • Restlessness
  • high fever (higher than 40 °C)
  • Dog does not drink and eat
  • Vomiting

Abdominal pain in a dog can not be easily recognized by the owner, because your protégé can not communicate with you. For this reason, we would like to tell you here how you perceive the abdominal pain in your dog:

For bellypain your faithful companion often has a cramped posture. Mostly the dog then moves in a bent posture, i.e. the back is rounded and the belly is usually slightly retracted. In addition, he has a increased salivation has and drools. This leads to the fact that he often licks over the muzzle. Some dog owners also notice the abdominal pain when the four-legged friend strange, yelping sounds of itself.

How do I behave with a puppy?

Puppy bowl

If the diarrhea is in a puppy, see your veterinarian immediately. 

The puppy period goes up to 18 weeks of life, depending on the breed. A puppy, in contrast to an adult dog, can quickly become dehydrated. Since dehydration is life-threatening for the little four-legged friend, we recommend you to go directly to the vet.

For an apartment

Anyone who has ever had to deal with this discomfort knows how unpleasant it can become. Since the sphincter muscle does not function properly due to the diarrhea, you and your four-legged friend sometimes do not make it out of the house in time. So your four-legged friend does his business indoors. 

An important tip from our side: Do not blame your protégé if he goes into the apartment with diarrhea. After all, he can not help it. It is advisable to remain calm and resort to alternatives.

If you have a garden or a balcony, it is best to open the doors. This way, your pet can quickly get some fresh air in case of an emergency and your home will be spared. A diaper is also a possible alternative.

Acute diarrhea? 5 Helpful Tips

If the diarrhea has only been present for a short time and there are no other symptoms, try to get the diarrhea under control yourself. Only if fever, increased salivation & Co. are added or the diarrhea lasts longer than 3 days, please consult a veterinarian.

1. enough liquid

Make sure your dog is drinking enough fluids. Additionally, place several water containers so that he can find the water at any time. Also try to encourage him to drink or combine it with playful activities.

Lent 2

To stop your pet from suffering from diarrhea further, consider putting him on a diet. This diet should not exceed a period of 24 hrs. 

If your dog does not eat any more food, this restricts the intestinal activity and the gastrointestinal tract comes to rest. Also, the deprivation of food encourages the animal to drink more.

3. light diet after fasting

After a maximum of 24 hours, administer to your quadruped a Gentle diet. You can also find suitable food in this article.

The gentle diet ensures that your dog can be readjusted to a normal diet and that the intestines do not yet have to work intensively.

4. the right food for bland diet

The right Gentle diet you can buy not only in pet stores. We also recommend that you prepare your own food. At this point we will show you the suitable food to feed your pet again.


Cooked, not salted Rice is the ideal gentle food for your four-legged friend. Make sure that the rice is cooked very soft and cooled down. 

Low fat meat

Low-fat meat is also a good option. It is found in poultry, especially Chicken or turkey and at the Beef

Cook the meat well and give it to your four-legged friend after sufficient cooling. When preparing the meat, it is best to make sure that you cook it as well as possible. Without fats prepare. Roasting in water or cooking in the oven are the best options here.

Cooked vegetables

Pumpkin, carrots and potatoes are ideal for the digestion of your four-legged friend, as they are easily digestible. Best you cook the vegetables really soft and puree them. Make sure you don't season it and give it chilled.

5. helpful preparations

In case of regular or recurrent diarrhea, please contact your veterinarian. In this case, various causes can weaken your pet's intestines.

For example, your dog was given Antibiotics administered or did he consumed the "wrong food" for a longer period of time.

A visit to the veterinarian usually helps, because he can prescribe you preparations that protect the intestine, build up the intestinal flora and stimulate the intestinal activity.


The best way to protect your dog

Last but not least, we will provide you with helpful tips on how to prevent diarrhea in your four-legged friend:

Healthy dog food

Make sure that you provide your darling with high-quality dog food. Cold-pressed products and products without preservatives are ideal. The diet should always remain the same. This means that you stay with the same dog food if possible.

Fat free treats

Of course, treats are the be-all and end-all in everyday dog life. However, ideally you should also pay attention to the quality of these products. Go for treats that are low in fat. There should also be no additives in them.

No raw fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are best given cooked - or soft-boiled - and pureed. Raw fruits and vegetables can cause diarrhea because they are difficult for a dog to digest.

Avoidance of milk and dairy products

If your four-legged friend often suffers from diarrhea, you should avoid milk and dairy products. As a rule, the animal cannot break them down optimally. As a result, the intestinal activity suffers. The diarrhea sets in.


Frequently Asked Questions

Your dog has diarrhea when he has bowel movements more than three times a day and his feces are mushy or watery. If the diarrhea stops after 3 days at the latest, then it is acute diarrhea. If it lasts longer than 3 days, then it is chronic.

Make sure your dog has enough water and put him on a diet for a maximum of 24 hours. After that, you should give him a light diet. If the diarrhea does not stop after three days, you should consult a veterinarian.

Most of the time your dog has diarrhea for rather harmless reasons like stress, incompatible food, change of food or too big a portion. If other complaints occur or the diarrhea becomes chronic, it can be a serious gastrointestinal disease or poisoning. 

If your puppy has diarrhea, be sure to take him to the vet and hydrate him. Puppies can dehydrate quickly, unlike adult dogs.

To help your dog recover as gently as possible, you can give him unsalted cooked rice, low-fat meat, or cooked vegetables like squash, carrots, and potatoes.

Veterinarian’s Recommendation

Diarrhea in our dear four-legged friends is not a reason to panic - as long as the diarrhea does not occur at regular intervals and lasts more than three days.

Most often helps a Gentle diet out beyond a few days to stop it.

However, if this is not the case and your dog has other accompanying symptoms, you should call your veterinarian immediately. Get well soon!

Veterinarian Emin Jasarevic
Veterinarian Emin Jasarevic

I am a veterinarian and writer on animal health topics. Animals are my passion, and it is my personal goal to create medically accurate articles and videos to educate pet owners as much as possible.

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