My Dog Has Diarrhea But is Acting Fine: What Do I Do?

Your dog can appear okay, even if they are suffering from persistent diarrhea. As a pet parent, it is upsetting to see your fur baby struggle.

The most important thing to know is that you should never try to treat your pup’s diarrhea without talking to your vet. You will generally start by having your dog fast for about twelve to twenty-four hours. This fasting may help alleviate your dog’s diarrhea or decrease it.

If that does not work, you might have to try a specially formulated dog food until they feel better. Peruse this article and find out more about what to do if your dog has diarrhea.

Dog walking on living room, holding tennis ball in its mouth

What Are the Different Types of Diarrhea in Dogs?

There are three different types of diarrhea that dogs, as well as humans, can have. If your dog has any diarrhea, it can be very stressful for them. It might also cause them a fair amount of pain and discomfort. The following explains the types of diarrhea in dogs.

Acute Watery Diarrhea

This type of diarrhea is abrupt and runny. Your dog, like you, can have the kind of diarrhea in which they need to do their business right away. Your dog will make it clear that they need to go outside. Their needs are no different than ours.

Acute Bloody Diarrhea

If your dog has acute bloody diarrhea, they will have the same symptoms as acute watery diarrhea. However, it is more serious. Blood in your dog’s stool can be present in several ways. Your pup could have black tarry stools or bright red streaked stools.

There could also be mucus in the stool or different color stools. Blood in your dog’s stool could mean the following:

  • Red bloody stool is fresh blood from the colon or rectum.
  • Black tarry stools contain digested blood from the esophagus, upper small intestine, or stomach.
  • Stools with red or pink indicates bleeding in your dog’s small intestine.
  • The dark jelly-like stool could be hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.

If your dog has hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, they may also be vomiting. If you see these symptoms take your pup to the vet immediately.

Chronic Diarrhea

Chronic diarrhea is a severe condition in dogs. If you find that your dog has been suffering from diarrhea for more than twenty-four hours, you must take your pup to see the veterinarian. Due to water loss in the stool, dehydration is dangerous for your dog, so do not hesitate to take them.

What Causes Diarrhea in Dogs?

Diarrhea is a common dilemma for dogs, and there can be several different causes. Many things can disturb your dog’s delicate system, triggering diarrhea. You will need to observe your pup, which may help determine the underlying cause.

The following include different causes of diarrhea in dogs.

Digestive Problems

The most prevalent reason your dog has acute watery diarrhea is that they have consumed food that irritated their stomach. Dogs can get intestinal upset, and diarrhea will eliminate the food quickly from their system. Digestive problems can result from the following:

  • If you are suddenly changing your dog’s diet from dry food to wet food or wet to dry and there is no transition period
  • Your dog is bloated from eating human food from your plate
  • Your dog has been eating from the garbage
  • Your dog may be rejecting nutritionally inadequate foods

Dogs naturally crave a well-balanced diet with plenty of nutrients to keep them healthy. If your pup has diarrhea, you may want to look at the food you give them.

If the food is filled with additives and artificial flavoring, your dog’s system may not respond favorably to the food. Diarrhea may be your pup’s way of letting you know that they require better nutrition.

Stress and Anxiety

Sometimes dogs can become nervous around the following stressors:

  • New people
  • New/unpleasant places
  • Unfamiliar objects
  • Loud noises

Your dog may also have separation anxiety, which can cause a lot of stress for them. Keep an eye out and learn what stresses your pup and how you may be able to help.

Parasitic Infection

If your dog has a worm infestation, their body will purge the infection through their digestive tract. This infection will provoke diarrhea.

Bacterial or Viral Infection

Your pup may develop a bacterial infection by eating or inhaling something foreign to their system, and diarrhea can occur.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is typically triggered by stress. IBS is often seen in dogs who are sensitive to changes in their environment.

What Can I Do to Help My Dog with Diarrhea?

When your dog has intestinal upset, it is essential to contact your vet for guidance. Only try to treat your dog’s diarrhea at home under the supervision of a veterinarian. The following are various ways you can help your dog:

Fasting

Your vet may recommend that you try to hold food for twelve to twenty-four hours if it is appropriate for your dog. During this time, you should give them water in small amounts. However, it is essential to keep them hydrated.

You can accomplish this by giving your dog unflavored Pedialyte. A fast may allow the gastrointestinal upset to subside. It is usually the first way your vet will advise you to attempt to help your dog feel better.

Bland Diet

Try giving your dog a bland diet such as boiled chicken and white rice. Don’t add any seasonings to the chicken or rice. Keep it plain.

If it works, you should notice that your dog has firmer stool within a few days. Please keep in contact with your veterinarian so that they can monitor your dog’s progress.

Specially Formulated Dog Foods

You can give your pup food as they are recovering from their experience with diarrhea, but your vet may recommend that you provide them with something different. You do not want your dog to worsen when they have been sick and changing up their diet for a while may be necessary.

Probiotics

Probiotics can help in both preventing and controlling diarrhea. Certain strains of good bacteria may help decrease the incidence of diarrhea in dogs.

Probiotics can help strengthen the immune system that resides in your pup’s gut. There are many different types of beneficial bacteria, but lactobacillus acidophilus is the standard option.

Conclusion

Diarrhea is a common health issue for dogs. It can be rather painful and aggravating for your pup. There can be different causes of diarrhea in dogs.

Fortunately, there are various things you can do to help your dog make a speedy recovery. Before you attempt to treat your pup’s diarrhea, consult your veterinarian for guidance. If the problem persists, you will need to take them to see the vet.

 

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About Us

Cornerstone Veterinary Hospital of Clifton Park was founded in 1989 as Animal Care Hospital of Clifton Park. We began with 10 employees, 4 of whom are still working with us today. The name “Cornerstone” has special meaning to Dr. Knott and his family, both because it symbolizes their commitment to “faith, family, and then everything else,” and because it promotes the animal hospital as a cornerstone of the Clifton Park community.