Dog Diarrhea: 5 Simple Tips to Help a Puppy with an Upset Stomach

dog diarrhea

Diarrhea in dogs can turn into a serious annoyance for those who own puppies.

The mop becomes your constant companion as you resignedly try to follow all the sour smells to the source of your puppy’s latest “accident”.

Clearly, it’s no picnic.

But more than the cleaning, as an owner you’re more pained by your puppy’s discomfort and weakness.

“My dog has diarrhea and won’t eat!”


“What can I give my dog for an upset stomach??”

These are likely the sort of things you’re wondering about in those situations, right?

But before you jump into all that, it’s important to understand your puppy’s condition, too.

Recognizing the Signs of Dog Diarrhea

Most people have one classic image of diarrhea – that of loose and frequent bowel movement.

But that’s not all.

Diarrhea can take several different forms with varying symptoms. For instance:

  • Stools may be watery or just loose
  • Vomiting combined with diarrhea can be an indication of a serious condition
  • Unusual odor from the stool
  • Prolonged gassiness/flatulence
  • Strained defecation – if your puppy has a lot of trouble passing stools it may be indicative of diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Dog’s stomach making noises that are weirder than usual
  • General signs of lethargy, loss of appetite, and dehydration
  • Abnormal coloration of stool hinting at blood or mucus
  • Dog eating grass – an upset stomach can increase the frequency of this behavior

If your puppy is showing a combination of dog diarrhea and one or more of the symptoms above, his condition may be a bit more complicated than just an upset stomach.

Unfortunately, sometimes it turns out to be a symptom of a more serious condition such as kidney or liver disease, parasites, and a host of infections.

For instance, black-colored stool means your puppy is passing a considerable amount of blood. He may have an injury somewhere in his digestive tract.

When a puppy exhibits both vomiting and diarrhea along with signs of weakness, lethargy, and dehydration, consider it an emergency and rush to the vet – such conditions can be especially serious for smaller breeds.

In other words:

Dog diarrhea may not be as straightforward as you may have thought, and you’d best be careful and thorough when it strikes.

But what can you do as an owner at home?

In the case of dog diarrhea, things like diet, the feeding schedule, and regular hydration are extremely important.

If you understand what to feed a puppy with an upset stomach – and how – half the battle is won there.

Check this article to learn more about why do dogs throw up and find more advice from veterinarian Dr. Chyrle Bonk.

5 Simple Tips to Treat Dog Diarrhea at Home

You might not know much about medication for a dog with an upset stomach – that’s for the vet to figure out.

But there’s plenty else that you can do at home to make it easier on your puppy.

That’s right.

Knowing a good diet for a dog with an upset stomach with healthy alternatives to his regular food helps loads.

If you know the best dog food for an upset stomach, and also the ideal dietary habits for your puppy’s condition it can really speed along his recovery.

So let’s get into it:

1. Fasting to Stabilize the Gut

This is probably the most widely accepted first step when battling diarrhea – doggy or otherwise.

Diarrhea essentially involves abnormal bowel movement.

And what triggers bowel movement?

Food is what.

Fasting drastically cuts down on the strain on your puppy’s digestive system as the first step to recovery.

Usually, 12-24 hours of fasting is recommended upon the onset of dog diarrhea.

But do note, however, that making sure your puppy is drinking plenty of water to rehydrate after all the purging is crucial – fasting doesn’t mean any water!

With little to no food, your puppy’s bowel contractions will calm down and there’ll be fewer messes to clean-up too.

2. Gradually Switch to a More Stomach-Friendly Diet

Put your puppy on an uncompromisingly super-healthy diet after the fasting. You really should speak to your vet as to the variety of food and portions to serve your puppy.

But generally, a good, gut-friendly doggy diet or dog food for sensitive stomachs would include light meat like chicken, boiled rice or pasta, mashed potatoes, and so on.

And remember:

You should totally avoid red meat and dairy as they require some relatively heavy work to break-down.

Also, as we mentioned earlier, your puppy will need lots of freshwaters and/or something like an oral rehydration solution that also replaces essential salts and minerals that are lost to diarrhea.

But hang on,

It’s really important that you don’t switch back to your puppy’s regular diet immediately when he recovers.

Why? Because such sudden changes can cause a relapse!

Start with only a small fraction of his meal as his regular food and gradually increase its portion in each meal over 3-4 days until he’s back on his normal diet.

3. Spread Out the Meals

This is more common sense than advice nowadays, isn’t it?

Fitness enthusiasts, especially, would know well that eating 4-5 meals a day instead of the 2-3 big ones is healthier.

Well, it’s pretty much the same with dogs.

Lower the portion of each meal and feed your puppy 4-5 times a day. And do this forevermore, not just during his recovery.

4. Fortify the Diet with Vet-Recommended Probiotics and Supplements

This is something you shouldn’t try and figure out for yourself. And this goes for medication too, not just dietary supplements.

Diarrhea also ejects large portions of healthy – and essential – gut bacteria from your puppy’s body.

These bacteria are crucial for healthy bowel movement and good, efficient digestion, and replenishing them can take some time during recovery.

Also, there are certain doggy-specific diets or diet-supplements that are specially designed to help their digestive tracts to heal and recover.

And this is important:

Make sure you speak to your vet and get prescribed supplements for your puppy.

Don’t even consider giving your pup human supplements or probiotics! They can be harmful to your puppy!

Please check the dog probiotic article out first before you decide to add probiotics into your dog diet.

5. Don’t Forget Precautionary Measures Post-Recovery!

Once all the drama subsides, and your puppy is back to frolicking about happily and gorging on his regular diet, you will probably relax and eventually dismiss the incident from your mind.

But to make sure you and your puppy don’t go through the same nightmare again, it’s best to take some precautions.

You can do bunch of things that includes regular deworming, vaccinations and monitoring your puppy’s diet with your vet.

There’s a good list of preventive steps provided here on WebMD that you really should implement as rule.

But that’s not all:

One can’t underestimate how handy a stack of quality puppy pads when your puppy has diarrhea and can’t control it at home. Keep some in stock in case your puppy suffers another bout in future!

Did you find these tips and suggestions helpful to treat your puppy’s upset stomach? If you have some other methods you’ve found helpful yourself, do share them with us in the comments section below!

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