Diarrhea is an annoying, inconvenient, and sometimes severe condition for anybody. When diarrhea hits, you feel like it’s risky just to leave the house at all. Now, imagine that you are a dog. You can’t use the toilet. You can’t even open doors. So, anytime you need to go out, you have to somehow let your owner know without using words. If you can’t make it in time, you find yourself in big trouble.
Now that we have sympathized a little, let’s figure out what could be causing it. There are several reasons your dog could have diarrhea. Some are pretty typical, while others can be very serious. A general rule of thumb, if your dog’s diarrhea lasts longer than a couple of days, you should schedule an appointment with your vet.
Below we will be going over a list of things that could cause your dog’s recent case of diarrhea.
Changes to the Diet
Anytime your dog gets diarrhea, you should first look at what you have been feeding them. Have you given them anything they haven’t had before? Has the brand of dog food you buy made any changes to their ingredients recently? Any changes to the diet could cause your dog to have diarrhea. Maybe some of the treats you are giving them caused some type of adverse reaction in their stomach.
If you have recently changed brands, it may take a couple of days for your dog’s digestive system to get used to the new diet. If you started feeding him more food than usual or giving him an excessive amount of treats, this could also cause your dog to have some diarrhea issues.
As a dog owner, there must have been a time when you went through a scenario like this. You leave your dog at home for an extended period of time only to come back to a disaster. The garbage is completely ripped apart, and there are bits of your leftover take-out scattered along your kitchen floor. Your dog got into the candy wrappers, old napkins and paper towels, and anything else you threw away over the last few days. This is probably one of the most common ways your dog can get diarrhea.
As we talked about with new diets, sudden changes in food can cause your dog to have diarrhea. Mix in other substances and materials and your dog is bound to have an adverse reaction. But don’t be mad for too long, old spike couldn’t help himself.
Stress can be a major reason why your dog gets diarrhea. If your dog is feeling stressed, it can trigger some gastrointestinal issues that will upset your dog’s stomach. There are many reasons why a dog is feeling stressed, and some dogs feel it more than others.
If you adopted a rescue dog, bringing them home for the first time can be a stressful situation. You are a stranger to them and they have never been to your home before. So have patience with them if they have a small case of diarrhea at first. You would be a little nervous too.
Separation anxiety is another cause of stress. Some dogs don’t do well when they are alone. They get really anxious and chew up the furniture, pee on the rug, and even get diarrhea. This can be challenging, however, there are plenty of methods and techniques that can help overcome separation anxiety.
There are plenty of other reasons dogs could be stressed out like bringing home a new baby, new pets, moving to a new house, and thunderstorms or other loud noises. But the point is, dogs can get stressed, and stress can cause diarrhea.
So far, the causes of diarrhea we have talked about are a slight cause for concern and can be a major inconvenience in your life. However, this next possibility on the list is far more severe. If you encounter this issue, it is crucial you take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
Intestinal parasites, similar external parasites like fleas and ticks, can cause serious health issues. These parasites live inside the gastrointestinal tract of your dog and cause a variety of different problems. Diarrhea is one of them. Some examples of intestinal parasites include:
Your dog can ingest these parasites in a couple of different ways. He could eat them accidentally while digging through some dirt, drinking dirty water, eating the feces of another dog with the parasite, or eating contaminated food. Puppies can get intestinal parasites during pregnancy from their mothers. This is why one of the first things breeders do is de-worm them.
Some forms of intestinal parasites can be seen in the stool of your dog. Often, it is impossible to tell from the naked eye. That is why it is important to take your dog to the veterinarian should their diarrhea last for an extended period of time. Tests will show whether your dog is carrying these parasites, and steps can be taken to eliminate them.
Other serious issues that could lead to diarrhea are metabolic disease and endocrine disorder. Along with diarrhea, if your dog is showing signs of fatigue, dehydration, hair loss, and vomiting, it could be a sign they have an endocrine disorder. Metabolic disease is a little harder to spot but can be caused by obesity or diabetes. While addressing any weight or diet issues can help, it is still important to have a chat with your vet if your dog is showing signs.
Recognize The Problems Early
While it is common for dogs to get diarrhea, monitoring the issue is extremely important. It could be something that needs immediate attention and dangerous to your dog. Or, he could have just rooted through the trash.
Either way, you have to be prepared to recognize if there is a serious problem. When dealing with health problems, addressing them early could save you from a lot of stress and heartache. It could even save your dog’s life.
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