Let's Talk... About Puppy Diarrhea

Puppy diarrhea is VERY common, and there are a ton of different things that can cause it.  If the diarrhea is pudding like, it is likely not life threatening.

But if it's very watery then it's likely a symptom of a more serious illness (usually a parasite of some sort), and a trip to the vet may be in order.

Note: If you are seriously concerned about your puppy, or know that he's eaten something poisonous, please contact your veterinarian, or the emergency hot line (In the U.S.) immediately!  1-800-213-6680

Regardless of the reason a puppy has diarrhea, it can cause them to get dehydrated which can be life-threatening.

If your puppy's stool is pudding like, especially if you've just brought the little one home, it is probably due to one of these common causes.

Common causes of puppy diarrhea

  • Stress:  When puppies leave their mother and litter mates and enter a new home, it can be very stressful, and can upset their delicate digestive system. Just like when people get a little nervous, and tend to get a tummy ache, puppies need time to adjust to their new surroundings.The best thing you can do for your little one is to make your home as quiet and comfortable an environment as possible. If you're crate training, then make sure the crate is in a quiet place and even put something familiar from your puppies mom and/or siblings in the crate too. This can really help them feel more relaxed and less nervous.

  • Food Change:  Besides stress, changing food is the most common reason for diarrhea in puppies, as well as adult dogs. Quite often, the stress of coming to a new home is combined with changing the puppies food, and loose stool is what you get.Depending on what brand of food the puppy was eating before you brought her home, you're likely going to need to change it to a higher quality puppy kibble. It is best to make any food change very slowly to keep from upsetting your puppies tummy. Continue to feed your puppy the original food, and add in the new food a little bit at a time.If you feed one cup at each feeding, then start making it 3/4 of a cup of the original food and a 1/4 cup of the new food. Gradually increase the new and decrease the old each day over a one to two week period.  Click here for detailed help switching your dog's food

  • Eating Foreign Objects:  Puppies can and will get into everything, and eat things they're not supposed to. It's your job as a responsible puppy parent to puppy-proof your house, much like you would child-proof your home for a toddler.That being said, no matter how careful you are, your little one is likely to get into something sooner or later. If you actually see your puppy ingest something she shouldn't, then inducing vomiting quickly is the best course of action.

For the most part, puppies will eat things like grass, shoe laces, slippers, other shoe parts, rubber and plastic from toy's, etc. that isn't necessarily life-threatening, but will cause diarrhea and an upset tummy.

More serious causes of puppy diarrhea

If your little one's stool is between pudding-like and very watery, then there's something more serious causing it, and you should seek medical attention from your vet. If there is blood in it, you need to see your vet IMMEDIATELY!

Other than the above common reasons, one of the parasites that cause diarrhea in puppies the most often is called Coccidia. These parasites live in the intestines of dogs, and are contracted through contact with contaminated fecal matter. It is often found in kennels, shelters and the like where dogs live in close quarters.

Your veterinarian can give your puppy specific medication that will help stop the diarrhea, and inhibit the growth of the organisms, so that your little one can build up a natural immunity to them.

The second most common parasite that causes diarrhea in puppies is Giardia, which is usually contracted from drinking water that has been contaminated by feces. The parasites are found in many lakes, rivers and streams that have been contaminated with animal feces (a common occurrence in the woods, etc.)

Your vet will treat your little one with a common anti parasitic medication. Unfortunately, the standard treatments don't always kill ALL of the parasites in the intestines, so your puppy can get to feeling better, and have no more symptoms, but still be a carrier and have the symptoms show up again at a later date.

Diarrhea is a symptom in many many illnesses, some of which are very life-threatening like Parvo or distemper. Again, if your puppies stool is watery then you need to seek medical assistance from your vet IMMEDIATELY! Please don't wait, as it may be too late by then. . .

The best thing to do for your puppy, is to keep him or her on an immune system boosting supplement, and an occasional treatment with an herbal parasite formula.

Treatment for Puppy diarrhea

For those occasions that your puppy gets loose stool for one of the common, non life-threatening reasons, especially if it's because of a food change, it's actually quite simple to help harden them back up.

Simply cook up some rice to add to your puppies food. Actually over cook the rice to a sludgy consistency, and even add some cooked ground beef to the rice with a little bit of puppy kibble mixed in.

Adding a bit of canned pumpkin will also help puppy diarrhea. Once the diarrhea subsides, start backing off the rice / hamburger mixture each day until you're back to kibble only.

Common Spelling errors & Synonyms

When you're searching for information it will help to know these common spelling errors such as Rotweiler, Rottweiller, or Rotwiler. Some common synonyms are Rottie and Rott

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