How to Handle Dog Diarrhea: The #1 Guide for Diarrhea in Dogs

  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • How to Handle Dog Diarrhea: The #1 Guide for Diarrhea in Dogs

By: Simran Mudaliar Updated: June 18, 2020

Dog Diarrhea: The #1 Guide to Handling Diarrhea in DogsDoes your pup have chronic dog diarrhea? Don’t know how your dog has diarrhea or keeps getting it?

Summary VersionWe recommend Vets Preferred Advanced Anti-Diarrhea.

It’s never a fun experience for anyone when your dog has got diarrhea. So, in this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about diarrhea in dogs so that you’re kept prepared when you’re faced with some stinky, loose stool.


Vets Preferred Advanced Anti-Diarrheal
Vets Preferred Anti-Diarrheal with Kaolin & Pectin for Dogs. Relieves Diarrhea & Gastroenteritis within 2-3 Days.
Rated 5.00/5.00 by Certapet
Buy Now on Amazon!


The Four C’s of Dog Poop

Many veterinarians don’t recommend self-diagnosing your pet. However, the one thing veterinarians do recommend is learning the four C’s of dog poop.  Learning and memorizing these 4 C’s will help you as a dog owner, recognize the health status of your dogs’ digestive health.

So, what are the Four C’s of dog poo?

Color! Your dogs’ stool should always be a chocolatey brown color. The color of your dogs’ stool will give you a picture of what’s going on in your dogs’ digestive tract.

  •  If your dogs’ stool happens to be black or tarry, then that could indicate gastric ulcers.
  • If your dogs’ stool is red or has little blood droplets, then this could indicate colitis and other problems
  • Green stool can just be a sign that your dog is eating a lot of grass. But, if you don’t have access to a lot of grass- then green stool may be caused ingestion of poisonous substances.
  •  If your dogs’ stool is purple or slightly pink then this is a medical emergency as it can be a sign of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis

Coating! Your dogs’ stool should be free from any kind of unusual coating.

For example; stool should not have a thick mucus coat that’s slimy. Dog stool should be free from white speckled coating and blood.

Contents! Now, as strange and gross as this might sound going through your dogs’ stool and analyzing the contents of his stool is a great way to see how healthy your doggies gastrointestinal tract is.

What you want to see is well-digested food matter. If you feed your dog healthy vegetables that are high in fiber then its perfectly normal to see small pieces of a carrot etc.

What you don’t want to see is something that shouldn’t be there! For example, if you see thin, white specks that resemble noodles, then this could indicate worms.

Consistency! Your dogs’ stool should always be slightly soft but firm to the touch!

Hard stool can indicate constipation, while soft watery diarrhea can indicate a range of problems.

Sometimes, the diet you feed your dog can influence the consistency of their stool as well! So, it is important to make sure your dog is fed on a high quality, healthy, fibrous diet.

How to Tell If It’s Serious When Your Dog Has Diarrhea

Dog is taking a dump on grass which has canine diarrhea

Your dog has diarrhea, when should you see the vet? Or should you even see the vet, maybe he just ate something bad?

One of the biggest dilemmas pet owners have is knowing and understanding when is it crucial to take their dog to the vet for diarrhea. Here’s what you should consider before you call the vet:

History of your dog. Ask yourself, does your dog get diarrhea when he eats a particular food?

Sometimes certain dogs may find themselves eating things they shouldn’t like garbage etc. Additionally, sometimes dogs may develop food allergies which can cause diarrhea.

How long has it been? Never take diarrhea lightly! Dogs with diarrhea lose a lot of water and can face dehydration which can be lethal.

If your dog has had diarrhea for more than 24 hours and if this diarrhea continues to worsen then call your vet ASAP! chances are they may put your pooch on some fluids to keep them hydrated.

How does diarrhea look? To keep it simple, if you have an older dog with kidney failure, diabetes or liver failure and if their diarrhea is bloody or has a lot of mucus- then call your vet ASAP.

Blood and excessive mucus should never be present in diarrhea.

Any other symptoms. Key things to look for is any other symptoms that may be associated with diarrhea.

If your dog is lethargic, vomiting, anorexia or acting out of his usual self then you should take him to the vet to rule out the possibility of underlying medical issues

The take-home message here is that if your dog has been experiencing diarrhea for more than 24 hours then take him to the vet. If you suspect that your dog has gotten into chemicals or rat poison then take him to the emergency ASAP.


Vets Preferred Advanced Anti-Diarrheal
Vets Preferred Anti-Diarrheal with Kaolin & Pectin for Dogs. Relieves Diarrhea & Gastroenteritis within 2-3 Days.
Rated 5.00/5.00 by Certapet
Buy Now on Amazon!


Dog Vomiting and Diarrhea: What It Means When Dog Diarrhea and Vomiting Collide

Dog Diarrhea: Mucus

Mucus in your dogs’ diarrhea is actually quite normal, but only to a certain extent.

Mucus is produced by the small and large intestine lining in order to lubricate the passageway for food. Mucus in your dogs’ stool only becomes a problem when you notice an excessive amount of slimy mucus.

Poor Dog: Bloody Diarrhea

Bloody diarrhea can be quite concerning for pet owners.

Remember, blood should never be found in stool.

Blood in poo can be caused by colitis, proctitis, trauma, ulcerations and metabolic disorders. Often, bloody diarrhea may be associated with other symptoms like vomiting, inappetence, frequent defecation and diarrhea.

Bloody Diarrhea in Dogs Can Be Serious

If you notice that your dog has bloody diarrhea then call your veterinarian as soon as you can.

Bloody diarrhea can be associated with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE). HGE can be caused by salmonella, bacterial infection, canine distemper and parvovirus.

If your dog has bloody diarrhea or blood in their vomit, then don’t hesitate to take them to the vet.

How to See Whether Your Dog Has Bloody Diarrhea (it might not be red)

It’s quite easy to identify blood in the stool.

When your dog defecates examine the consistency, color, and coating of their stool. For example, dogs with bloody diarrhea will have fairy brown stool. However, the stool may be coated in dark red-brown mucus and blood.

If the stool is completely red then it’s possible that your dog has eaten something with high pigmentation- like beetroots!

Nevertheless, never ignore red stool.

5 Possible Causes of Diarrhea In Dogs

1. Parasites! Intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms can all cause diarrhea in dogs.

2.  Metabolic disorders. Chronic Diarrhea may be commonly caused by Inflammatory Bowel Disease. irritable bowels syndrome, liver disease, kidney failure or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. All these metabolic diseases can be indicative of chronic diarrhea in dogs.

3. Dietary Indiscretion is often referred to as “garbage gut”. Essentially, if you feed your dog a lot of table scraps, indigestible foods or foods that upset their stomach. This can be the cause of acute diarrhea in dogs. Additionally, some dogs may have food intolerances, that is allergies to certain ingredients like chicken or grains, this too can result in diarrhea.

4. Viral infections! Parvovirus, distemper, coronavirus are all viral infections that can cause diarrhea in dogs. However, this can easily be prevented if your dog is vaccinated.

5. Intestinal obstruction. Diarrhea can also be caused by a foreign body obstructing your dog’s intestinal tract.

How to Stop Dog Diarrhea: What to Give Your Dog for Diarrhea

Disclaimer: It’s not with kisses.


Keep your dog’s food simple and bland! stick to white or brown rice,  chicken broth, chicken breast. You can give your dog a mixture of herbs such as fennel or rosemary, probiotics for dogs, plain eggs with rice and boiled potatoes.


Water! Water! Water!

Never restrict water as this is very dangerous. Dogs with diarrhea will consistently lose a lot of water from their body. So, you need to combat the possibility of dehydration.

To do this, make sure you keep plenty of water available for your dog. Alternatively, you can give your dog beef broth, chicken broth or veggie broth to keep them hydrated.


There is some evidence to suggest that the use of probiotics can be beneficial when it comes to improving dog diarrhea.

Probiotics are “good bacteria” that colonize the gut in order to improve your dogs’ colonic health. It’s highly recommended that pet owners keep a few packets of dog-specific probiotics should their dog have a small episode of diarrhea.

 Now, if you don’t have pet probiotics it may be tempting to feed your dog yogurt or kefir designed for human consumption. This is not recommended, dairy from cows milk will not necessarily have the same kind of bacteria your dog needs.

Secondly, dogs are lactose intolerant! So, if you feed your dog dairy products that come from a cow, then chances are your dogs’ diarrhea may worsen or he may develop flatulence.

Vets Preferred Advanced Anti Diarrhea Liquid: The Medicine You’ve Been Looking For

The best of the best! Vets Preferred Advanced Anti Diarrhea helps your pup’s sick lil’ tummy! It works against all the toxins and guides them to a better and fast recovery of 2-3 days.

This works well with all of the other methods above and really pulls your dog into that home stretch of feeling back to his normal happy AND healthy self.


Vets Preferred Advanced Anti-Diarrheal
Vets Preferred Anti-Diarrheal with Kaolin & Pectin for Dogs. Relieves Diarrhea & Gastroenteritis within 2-3 Days.
Rated 5.00/5.00 by Certapet
Buy Now on Amazon!


Give them 24 Hours and Do the Following

If your dog has been experiencing diarrhea, then don’t panic!

Remain calm and do the following things listed below in order to ensure they are on the road to recovery.

Avoid Dehydration, Feed A Bland Diet

First, things first! Keep your dog hydrated and keep their diet simple and bland. Here are some easy DIY diarrhea solution recipes for you to try.

Easy chicken and rice bland diet! Cook half a cup of white rice and chicken in a pot. Serve the chicken-rice stew with a lot of chicken broth.

Chicken, rice and pumpkin bland diet! This is by far a miracle worker!

Pumpkin is rich in fiber and dogs just love it! When you add pumpkin in small amounts to your dogs’ diet, you will not only bulk up your dogs’ stool but you will also ease their digestion.

It’s important to remember that too much pumpkin is not good for dogs, so read the labels before you add pumpkin. Ideally, you should only add anywhere from 1 to 3 tablespoons of cooked pumpkin to your dogs chicken-rice bland diet.

Fasting is Dangerous for some Dogs

In the wild, our dog’s ancestors such as the wolves would normally “fast” throughout the day.

For example, wolves may not catch prey every time they go on a hunt. So, based on this evolutionary adaption it seems quite plausible to say that fasting is okay for dogs.

Now, fasting can have many benefits for an animal’s health, particularly fasting will allow the digestive system to relax. But, it is important to remember that certain dogs should not fast for a long time.

If you have an adult dog with diarrhea then you can fast your dog for 12 to 24 hours. But, make sure you provide plenty of water to keep them hydrated.

If you’ve got a puppy who’s experiencing puppy diarrhea, then simply give them the simple bland diet.

Puppy diarrhea may often be caused by parasites or occurs as a result of changes in diet. You should never fast a young puppy as this could lead to hypoglycemia.

Old and sick dogs should never be placed on any form of fasting without veterinary discretion. This is simply because their bodies may not be able to cope with sudden changes or they may require food in their diet in order to maintain normal metabolic functions.

Talk to your veterinarian to see if fasting is right for your pooch!

Diarrhea in Dogs: What to Feed Your Pup

If you’ve got a puppy with diarrhea then chances are he’s got loose stool because of food intolerance or a change in diet.

Transition your puppy to solid foods slowly, don’t feed him low-quality pet food that contains by-products, unidentified meals or tons of preservatives. Choose foods that contain meat as the first ingredient, vegetables, and fruits.

Dog Diarrhea Medicine: What You Can Give Your Dog for Diarrhea

Dog diarrhea can be treated with medication, however, you should never medicate your pet with prescribed medications which may be meant for humans.

If your dog has diarrhea try the basic home remedies first in order to ensure a speedy recovery! If this does not work then speak to your vet about other options.

Two possible over-the-counter medications for dog diarrhea are slippery elm and pumpkin. Slippery elm can have great soothing properties, it is a natural medication that is used to ease gastrointestinal discomfort, inflammation, and pain.

In contrast, a few tablespoons of pumpkin can be a great way to add bulk and ease digestion for your dog.

Home Remedies for Dog Diarrhea: The Best Dog Diarrhea Treatment

The best home remedy for dog diarrhea is plain and simple white rice balls with cooked pumpkin and chicken.

Plain white rice balls with cooked chicken best food for dogs with diarrhea

You can add natural herbs such as fennel, rosemary and slippery elm to ease your dog’s digestive tracts. Make sure your dog has access to probiotics, prebiotics and electrolyte mixes.

What to Do When Your Dog Has Diarrhea but acts Fine

If your dog has diarrhea but is acting perfectly fine, then wait it out!

There’s no reason to panic for no reason, chances are your doggie has probably just got garbage gut.

The Top FAQs for Diarrhea in Dogs

Understanding why your dog has diarrhea and what could it mean can be quite a difficult concept for pet owners. So, to make things easy we have listed and answered all the top FAQs for diarrhea in dogs.

Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea?

Your dog may have diarrhea for many reasons. Often the most common cause of acute diarrhea in dogs is either a change in diet, they ate something they shouldn’t have or they’ve consumed some kind of toxin.

In contrast, chronic diarrhea is often caused by parasitic infestation, liver failure, kidney failure, intestinal blockage, bacterial infection, viral infection, pancreatic disease, Addison’s disease, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.

What Does the Color of Their Stool Mean?

Think of it like this, the color of your dogs’ stool is like a snapshot of what’s going on in your doggies digestive tract.

Can I give My Dog Imodium for Diarrhea? (Dangerous for Certain Dogs)

Imodium is an opioid that causes constipation.

It’s never recommended that dog owners administer any Imodium for their dog as this can be detrimental to their health.

It’s important to never administer any kind of medication without knowing what the cause of your dog diarrhea is.

What Can I Give My Dog for Diarrhea?

If your dog has diarrhea then take away his kibble! replace his food with a bland diet consisting of cooked rice, a few tablespoons of pumpkin and cooked chicken.

Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water so that he’s kept well hydrated!

My Dog Had Diarrhea After Eating Some Compost. Should I be Worried?

Not necessarily!

Dogs have a pretty solid digestive tract so for the most part, they should have no issue passing through all the garbage they ate. Dogs who have consumed compost often do have diarrhea, but this will subside in less than 24 hours.

You should only be concerned if your dog has consumed something indigestible. For example, corn cobs, animal bones and large fibrous material such as watermelon rinds can cause intestinal blockages. 

How To Prevent Diarrhea In Dogs

While there’s no real way you can completely prevent diarrhea in dogs, you can still take a few steps to ensure your dog does not get diarrhea often!


Vets Preferred Advanced Anti-Diarrheal
Vets Preferred Anti-Diarrheal with Kaolin & Pectin for Dogs. Relieves Diarrhea & Gastroenteritis within 2-3 Days.
Rated 5.00/5.00 by Certapet
Buy Now on Amazon!


Know the Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs and Avoid Them

If you’re trying to prevent diarrhea in your dog, you need to understand the various causes of diarrhea in dogs. Here’s a pawesome list of all the things you can do to prevent diarrhea in dogs.

  1. Deworm your dog on a regular basis.
  2. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on their vaccines. This will prevent your dog from contracting infections such as parvovirus and distemper.
  3. Avoid feeding your dog raw food. Yes, raw food diet has become a new fad in the pet world! In theory, there are many claims suggesting that raw food firms up the stool. But, raw meat can carry many dangerous pathogens that can put your dog at risk of salmonella and e-coli.
  4. Feed your dog high-quality kibble, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
  5. Keep your garbage safe and away from your pups nose!

A Prepared Pet Parent, is a Good Pet Parent

Diarrhea is not a fun job for both pet parents and pooches!

So, make sure you’re well prepared with home remedies, probiotics and our ultimate guide on the prepared pet parent’s guide to dog diarrhea!

You may also like

July 30, 2021

Who Really Has Separation Anxiety: Dogs or Dog Parents? It’s safe to say that ...

Read More

July 23, 2021

It’s no secret that the events of 2020 dredged up a slew of uncomfortable ...

Read More

June 24, 2021

Border Collies are one of the most popular breeds around. In fact, they are ...

Read More

Page [tcb_pagination_current_page] of [tcb_pagination_total_pages]

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

All product and Company names are Trademarks™ or Registered® trademarks of their respective holders.

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase may earn a commission. Keep in mind that we link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission we receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.