Having a puppy is an incredibly joyful experience, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility and care. Diarrhea is quite common when it comes to puppies and it’s one of the most frustrating things for owners because it can mean that your puppy has anything from a potentially lethal virus to simple indigestion. In this blog, you will find out what could be the reason for puppy diarrhea, how to help your pup get better, and when to go to the vet.
Why does your dog have diarrhea?
There are several reasons for puppies to develop diarrhea and some of them are more serious than others. The most common are:
- Internal Parasites
One of the most common reasons is parasites within the gastrointestinal tract (GI). You may notice them as worms or worms’ eggs in the stool. But not all parasites are noticeable, for example, protozoa and coccidia can only be seen with a microscope. Puppies are generally more prone to intestinal parasites because they haven’t developed some natural resistance to them, which comes with age. Parasites draining nutrition from a puppy can cause slow growth, poor-quality coat, pot-bellied appearance, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- Food Reactions
Your puppy might get diarrhea from unusual food. So, think about what your pup has eaten for the past day or two, did you just start giving him new treats or food, did you give him something from your own plate or did you have any guests that might give him something he shouldn’t eat?
Dogs can feel stress and anxiety in their gut. Puppies don’t like changes, but they thrive on routine. So, it’s important to get puppies into a routine to make them comfortable and make changes only if they are really necessary. If the stress is the reason for diarrhea, it should resolve within 24 to 48 hours.
- Eating Something Dangerous or Toxic
Puppies love to explore with their mouths. Therefore, they are quick to eat something dangerous or toxic by accident. If you think your pup ate something he shouldn’t or has an intestinal blockage, take him to the vet immediately.
- Infections and viruses
Because puppies haven’t received all their vaccines yet, they are more vulnerable to infections and viruses than grown dogs. Symptoms of infections and viruses, such as parvovirus, distemper, and coronavirus include fever, lethargy, low appetite, and diarrhea.
What To Do If Your Dog Has Diarrhea?
Help your dog feel better by keeping your dog hydrated, giving him bland and fiber-rich foods (white rice, boiled chicken, vegetables, cooked sweet potato, or canned pumpkin), giving him probiotics to replenish your puppy’s gut health and prebiotic foods to nourish and promote the growth of good bacteria living in the colon.
If you decide to go to the veterinarian’s office, try to bring a stool sample with you. Place it inside a plastic baggie and give it to your veterinarian as a fecal sample. Don’t bathe your pup, so they don’t get cold. Just wipe off the worst of the mess with a dry towel before leaving for the clinic.
When to go to the vet?
It’s important to monitor your puppy when he has diarrhea, so you know how long it lasts and how he feels. If it occurs multiple times in a day and your puppy doesn’t seem well go to your vet immediately. But if it only happens once within a 24-hour period, and then they act normal, all is likely well. But if you are still worried call your vet and explain your puppy’s symptoms, and let your vet decide if your pup needs to come in for a visit.