When Dogs Have a Stomachache: Causes, Treatment, and Tips

Every dog owner sooner or later gets into the situation that their dog has diarrhea. Correct treatment of the animal is important, but not complicated.

However, this is not always a cause for concern. Diarrhea can occur as a result of small changes in feeding, intolerance, or simply stress.

Of course, owners ask when a visit to the vet is necessary and how best to deal with the situation. How can diarrhea be eliminated and when does it become dangerous? We have summarized all the information below and give tips for treatment in acute cases.


What Exactly is Diarrhea and How Does It Happen?

Just because a dog has a slightly thinner stool doesn’t mean it has diarrhea. One speaks of diarrhea only when the faeces are mushy or even liquid for one or more days. A typical feature, which unfortunately sometimes belongs to it, is the sudden discontinuation of big business. To the regret of the owner, this can also happen in the apartment because the dog can no longer hold his chair.

Basically, diarrhea is not primarily a cause for concern. Because it is actually a detoxification reaction of the body. By means of the quick removal of feces, the latter tries to get rid of intestinal-stressing poisons or substances that it cannot tolerate as quickly as possible.

For the owner, however, diarrhea in the dog is always a matter that he should watch closely.

What is the Possible Cause?

When a dog suffers from diarrhea, it can be due to different causes. This includes:

  • Intolerances
  • Allergies
  • Parasite infestation
  • Infections
  • Stressful situations
  • Response to certain medications
  • Diet change

So it is not uncommon for a dog to develop diarrhea shortly after the owner has given it a chemical wormer. Some dogs react to a tick spot-on with thin stools or because they have been given a completely different food for a short time.

In addition to these rather harmless issues, which can usually be remedied by a diet lasting several days, there are unfortunately also causes. This includes, for example, poisoning, or the disease of internal organs.

Diarrhea From Unfamiliar Food

Regardless of whether it is a puppy or an adult dog: If the owner intends to give the dog a completely different food than what he is used to, this plan should be implemented with care.

For example, if a puppy was barked at the breeder’s (i.e. fed with raw meat) and is later to be switched to dry food, this must always be done gradually. This is the only way for him to slowly get used to the new food. In this case, the stomach reacts with diarrhea as a result of a protective mechanism that only tries to get rid of the unfamiliar food as quickly as possible.

A gentle change in diet usually takes place over several days, with the proportion of the new feed increasing day by day until it completely replaces the original one. In this way, the intestinal flora can get used to the change step by step.

Allergies and Intolerances

In recent years in particular, it has become more and more common that some dogs can no longer tolerate various ingredients in industrially produced food. Whether this is caused by grain, the composition of several protein sources, or the addition of synthetic vitamins or additives is very different.

There are dogs that get along wonderfully with ready-made food, while others can only tolerate food that has been prepared by them. Especially when it comes to allergies, it is not always easy to feed the dog appropriately and according to its intolerances.

Fortunately, especially in the area of feed intolerance and allergies, there are more and more alternatives on the market that make it relatively easy for the owner. The only important thing about the selected feed is that it is free of any additives and that it fits the dog’s allergy profile.

Response to Certain Medications

If a dog has diarrhea, the owner should consider whether any medication has recently been necessary. Especially with antibiotics, it can happen that the dog develops diarrhea because the active ingredient attacks the intestinal flora. Basically, it is therefore advisable to rehabilitate the intestines after completion of the therapy in order to support the intestinal flora during regeneration.

A spot-on that was dropped into the neck a few days earlier or given in the form of tablets can also be responsible for diarrhea. Such preparations help well against uninvited guests such as fleas or ticks, but they put a strain on the dog’s stomach and intestines.

Usually, however, with such causes, diarrhea disappears on its own within a few days.

Diarrhea as a Side Effect of Other Illnesses

In some cases, diarrhea can also occur as a side effect. This is the case, for example, when the liver is no longer working properly and is burdened with too many toxins. Since this is responsible for general detoxification in the body, in addition to the intestines and kidneys, it can possibly be overwhelmed.

The toxins that are normally expelled by the liver end up in the intestines and the dog reacts with diarrhea. In this case, it is advisable to take measures that relieve the liver. Of course, this should only be done with the help of a qualified veterinarian.

Likewise, diarrhea can also indicate diseases that also require veterinary treatment. This includes, for example, a disease of the pancreas or chronic inflammation of the small intestine.

How Do I Recognize a Parasite Infestation?

Although there are many parasites that cannot be seen in dog excrement with the naked eye, it is worthwhile to take a closer look at what your dog has left behind if you have diarrhea. In some cases, worms can be identified quite well. If, on the other hand, it is a question of so-called Giardia, the situation looks different again.

Regardless of whether you recognize something in the faeces or not: If the diarrhea persists, but the dog otherwise behaves safely and also eats normally, care is required. It helps to weigh him regularly. If he loses weight despite normal feeding, the owner should be alerted and consult a veterinarian and, if possible, take a sample of the faeces with him. The doctor can use this to determine whether parasites are responsible for diarrhea.

Dog Has Diarrhea – Initial Measures

If a dog suffers from diarrhea, the owner can always take a few first steps to help the animal get the problem under control. At this point, the owner benefits from these tips.

Complete withdrawal of food: First of all, it makes sense not to give the dog any food for 24 to 48 hours. This will help the stomach calm down and remove any remaining toxins. Only then should you

Feeding light food: The best way to do this is to use soft-boiled rice, grated carrots, and boiled chicken, which is offered to the dog in small portions.

Morosche carrot soup helps: It is one of the best home remedies for diarrhea and is therefore even given to young children to treat the problem. For this, half a kilogram of carrots is boiled in one liter of water for at least 90 minutes. If necessary, the rest of the soft carrots are pureed, the full liter is filled with water and the soup is then offered to the dog in small portions. The sugar molecules it contains help the intestine to regenerate and fight off harmful bacteria.

Refill water reserves: Owners should always offer their dog fresh drinking water, as he loses a lot of electrolytes through diarrhea. At the same time, you can try to encourage the animal to drink so that it does not become dehydrated in the long run.

Allow the animal rest: We know from ourselves that significant diarrhea can exhaust us. A diarrhea dog feels the same way in this case. It can happen that the regular walk is skipped or the appointment for dog sports is canceled.

When Is a Visit to the Vet Necessary?

First and foremost, it should be worrying if diarrhea lasts longer than three days and cannot be eliminated with the tips mentioned. Still, there are a few more features that indicate a must to see the vet:

  • the animal has a fever (from 40 degrees Celsius)
  • the dog looks exhausted and only sleeps
  • its mucous membranes are pale
  • he no longer eats anything
  • he is panting all the time and is restless
  • there are traces of blood in the feces
  • In addition to diarrhea, there is also vomiting

It makes sense for the owner to collect a sample of feces that the veterinarian can check for worms or other causes during the examination. An urgent visit to the doctor is necessary, especially if the mucous membranes look pale. In this case, poisoning could be the problem, and quick action is always required.

Incidentally, puppies should be presented to the vet on the same day as they dehydrate much faster than adult dogs. Basically, every minute counts here.

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