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What Is the Most Common Cause of Diarrhea in Dogs?

Dogs are just as susceptible to humans when it comes to health. We must help these animals when they are suffering from a disease or have health problems since they cannot self-medicate or go to the vet on their own. We must be responsible for the welfare of our pets.

One of the most common problems in these animals is diarrhea. It can be very worrying that our dogs have diarrhea, so we must know well what is causing this problem and, based on that, act correctly to help them.

What Is the Most Common Cause of Diarrhea in Dogs

This intestinal discomfort may be more common than other health problems since it can appear as a symptom of many diseases. Mild diarrhea should not be a cause for concern, but you must visit a veterinarian when it is more intense.

Although a dog could have diarrhea due to some disease, it is most commonly generated after the canine consumes unhealthy or spoiled food. The stomach and intestines of these animals are susceptible, so anything they eat outside their diet could cause these types of problems.

What Are the Causes of Diarrhoea in Dogs?

As we have said, several things can cause a dog to have diarrhea. Some will make this intestinal problem more severe than others.

The most common causes are:

Unhealthy Food

Food is one of the fundamental pillars of a good quality of life for these animals. Just like humans, dogs should be fed healthy food that is rich in nutrients and vitamins.

People often get a stomach ache when they eat something they don’t like, such as junk food. The same thing can happen in dogs, which is usually more common in these animals.

Since they can also rummage through the garbage and eat it, they can find not only garbage but also spoiled food, which is very harmful to their organisms.

Garbage or food could certainly cause your dog to have diarrhea and even other health problems.

Also, keep in mind that the change in diet could affect the stomach and intestines of these dogs. If you feed your canine the same foods every day but change its diet drastically from one moment to the next, it will present intestinal problems since its body is not used to these new foods.

Stress or Anxiety

Many people think that dogs do not suffer from anxiety or stress, but they are wrong. These animals are very similar to humans in terms of their emotions and feelings.

Canines can easily become anxious in certain situations, especially when they are scared or have been left home alone for several hours.

Therefore, any type of stressful situation in these animals will cause them to have diarrhea. Fortunately, this type of diarrhea is mild and will go away in a couple of days.


As we have said above, diarrhea can also be caused by some health problems. In this case, bacterial or viral infections could cause certain intestinal issues in these animals.

Some infections that cause diarrhea in dogs are:

  • Coronavirus
  • Salmonella
  • Canine distemper
  • Parvovirus

Bowel Cancer

This terrible disease directly affects the intestines of these animals, causing a series of problems that will gradually deteriorate their body. Like any type of cancer, this one could bring your pet to the brink of death if it is not detected early.

Apart from diarrhea, bowel cancer can also cause:

  • Vomiting blood
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Bloody stools
  • Abdominal pain

Ingestion of Objects and Toxins

Dogs love to eat everything their owners serve them and also what they find on their way. If you leave the garbage in your pet’s sight, it will undoubtedly come to rummage there and eat anything it sees.

This is a negative as your dog could ingest cloth, plastic, bones, toys, or other objects that can block its intestines and cause bowel problems and diarrhea.

The same thing happens in case these dogs ingest toxins. Many foods are toxic to these animals’ bodies, leading to serious health problems.

Other Diseases and Health Problems

The following diseases or health problems (some of which we have already mentioned above) can cause diarrhea in dogs:

  • Colitis
  • Coronavirus
  • Parvovirus
  • Pancreatitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Canine distemper
  • Salmonella
  • Bowel cancer
  • Liver or kidney disease

When Does Diarrhea Become Dangerous?

Diarrhea is a common symptom of many diseases and health problems, so it is usually nothing to worry about. Now, if your dog has been pooping for several days with diarrhea, then it’s a good idea to call the vet immediately to make an appointment.

The situation becomes more urgent when diarrhea is caused due to obstruction from an accidentally ingested object. We should not take this serious problem lightly, so we must contact the veterinarian immediately.

In addition, a weak immune system or deadly infections can cause a series of diarrhea episodes in a short time. The canine will require immediate attention to prevent its life from being in danger.

What Other Symptoms Can a Dog with Diarrhea Present?

As we have already said, diarrhea is a common symptom of many diseases (mild and severe). However, a dog that has diarrhea due to a specific health problem could also exhibit other symptoms that are concerning and dangerous to the dog’s body.

Some of them are:

  • Vomiting
  • Bloody stools
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dehydration

How to Treat Diarrhoea in Dogs?

Depending on the severity of the problem, your dog may need quick attention. Generally, diarrhea in dogs is not a cause for concern unless this symptom is due to a serious health problem.

In any case, knowing how to help our canines with diarrhea is good. Giving it medications can be a good option if the veterinarian prescribes them.

We should never give them human medications without the consent of a veterinarian, as many of them could be toxic to these animals.

It is essential that the professional fully examine the dog, and once he identifies the problem, he will prescribe the most appropriate medication for it.

Now, we can prevent the situation from getting worse as soon as we notice that the feces of our dogs are liquid. A soft diet will help improve the stomach upset of these animals. 

Once we notice an improvement, we can gradually start feeding them their usual diet foods.

Some foods that can help calm your dog’s diarrhea are:

  • Cooked rice
  • Natural yogurt
  • Chicken
  • Boiled vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, etc.
  • Formulated dog food

Finding loose, liquid stools around the house can be a bit unpleasant, and this could annoy many owners who will end up physically and verbally punishing their pets. However, that is something inhuman.

Human beings can also have diarrhea, and it is something that we cannot control. It is vital never to mistreat a dog when it has this type of problem, as this could only make the situation worse. The last thing we should do is create a stressful situation for our pets.