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What To Do When Your Puppy Has Diarrhea: Causes & Solutions

What To Do When Your Puppy Has Diarrhea: Causes & Solutions

There are a lot of exciting things about owning a new puppy. There are also some more difficult situations you’ll have to deal with as a pet owner. One of them is when your pet isn’t feeling well.

If you’ve noticed that your puppy has diarrhea, you might start to panic. After all, it’s upsetting to see your new pet feeling under the weather. But before you do that, Pawp encourages you to take a read and figure out why your puppy might have diarrhea

Of course, there’s no substitute for consulting a vet if you’re concerned about your pet’s health. Nevertheless, hopefully, this article can give you a good starting point for handling your puppy’s diarrhea situation.

Today, you’ll be getting some pointers on what to do if your puppy is experiencing diarrhea. First, Pawp will provide you with some insight as to why your puppy might be experiencing this. 

Next, you’ll learn what you should do when your puppy has diarrhea. Afterward, the article will discuss how you can treat your puppy's diarrhea. Prevention is important, so you learn how you can prevent puppy diarrhea moving forward. 

Why your puppy might have diarrhea

First, let’s run through some reasons why your puppy might be suffering from diarrhea. While this is a relatively common problem to run into, there are some puppy diarrhea causes that are more serious than others. 

In order to figure out why your dog has diarrhea officially, you should speak to a trusted vet. At Pawp, the team knows how important it is for your vet to be accessible to you the moment you need them. And that’s why their vets offer 24-hour, around-the-clock care for your pet.

If your puppy has diarrhea, there’s no reason to wait until your local vet’s office opens up the next day. Instead, talk to a vet through Pawp and get the answers you deserve.

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Infections and viruses

Unfortunately, if your puppy is getting diarrhea, you should look into viruses and infections as potential causes. There’s a very simple reason for this. Your pup’s immune system isn’t entirely developed.

In addition, they typically do not have all of their vaccinations. In other words, they’re more vulnerable to certain illnesses than older dogs might be.

If one of these is the cause, you will probably also see other changes and symptoms. Some dogs get fevers; others become lethargic and have a loss of appetite. Whatever the case may be, these are dangerous illnesses. It’s best to treat them as soon as possible. 

Internal parasites

Internal parasites are also sometimes to blame for your dog’s diarrhea. Some of these include giardia or roundworms. These can be acquired from a pup’s mother right after birth. In addition, your puppy might have picked these up from infected water or even the ground while walking around outside. 

If you fear these are the culprit, you should reach out to your vet. Most of these are able to be treated with medication, but if you don’t treat them, there could be serious health repercussions. 

Stress or anxiety

If you recently got your puppy home and they were separated from their littermates and mother, they are likely experiencing stress. This can be intensified due to unexpected smells, sounds, new foods, schedules, or other pets in their home.

One way that you can help your pet is by providing them with a predictable, regular schedule. This should include feedings, exercise, and lots of love. 


Lastly, your puppy's diet might be why they are experiencing diarrhea. Your dog’s digestive system is still developing at their young age, and a lot of times, puppies have sensitive bellies. They might even have a difficult time with a certain brand of food. 

Oftentimes, a quick dietary change could also be attributed to diarrhea. You should also consider the fact that your new dog might have allergies. These could potentially cause belly aches. You can reach out to a vet to get their opinion on the dog food that you’ve selected for your pet. If it’s not the right match, they can advise on some better dog foods

Also, consider the fact that your new puppy could have gotten a hold of something they weren’t supposed to. Puppies can be rather curious and, therefore, apt to ingest something that seems fascinating to them. 

This can mean that your puppy will eat almost anything. This could become dangerous, as your pet could accidentally eat something that’s toxic to dogs. In addition, some items can cause internal blockages. Heads up: this can also be expensive! That’s just another reason why keeping a watchful eye on your dog is so important.

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What to do when your puppy has diarrhea

If your puppy has diarrhea, the first thing that you should do is reach out to a trusted vet. The way to treat diarrhea depends on what has caused it, so it’s essential that you get to the bottom of that, first and foremost. 

In addition, you should also clarify that it’s not a more severe problem that you’re dealing with. Since some of these potential causes are more dangerous than others, getting help immediately can be the difference between your pet being OK and your puppy getting seriously hurt.

But what if it’s urgent and your vet isn’t open? At Pawp, you can talk to a trusted veterinarian no matter what time it is. Think of it as telehealth visits for your animal. 

Once your vet has determined what the cause of your puppy's diarrhea is, you can take an appropriate course of action. For dogs that are dealing with parasites, you might need to give them medication. For others whose diarrhea was caused by diet, simple changes in food could help rectify the issue. 

How to help treat your puppy with diarrhea

Of course, it’s important to check in with a vet about your dog’s diarrhea. This ensures that if there’s something seriously wrong, it will be caught. Nevertheless, sometimes home care is appropriate for treating diarrhea. 

For example, if your pet is acting normally and their diarrhea has been occurring for under three days, and it looks pudding-like, you can probably treat your pet’s illness at home.

Withhold food

You can withhold food from your pet for 12 to 24 hours. This is to give your dog’s gut an opportunity to rest. The irritation can even potentially heal in this time. It’s essential that you don’t do this for more than 24 hours, though. In addition, you should always ensure that your dog has water. 

Give lots of water

One way to ensure that your dog doesn’t get dehydrated — which is extremely easy for a dog with diarrhea — is to offer them some ice cubes. Diarrhea can remove a large amount of fluid and electrolytes from your puppy’s body, so you should be sure to replenish that. You could even offer them Pedialyte or Gatorade that’s half diluted with water. 

Try Pepto Bismol

In some cases, Pepto Bismol could be appropriate. Your vet would let you know if this is the case, and the proper dosage, so never attempt this on your own. You can use a turkey baster or syringe to administer this to your pet.

Feed your puppy a bland diet

Keeping a bland diet for the next few days is a good way to ensure that your dog’s belly has a chance to go back to normal. You can give them some plain food, such as white rice or soft macaroni in a no-salt chicken broth. You can even stir some low-fat cottage cheese or plain yogurt into the mix. 

A tip from Pawp veterinarian

When discussing the causes of puppy diarrhea, Pawp veterinarian Dr. Laura Robinson has this important note, “Diarrhea is never normal for a puppy, just like it is never normal for us. There are many causes for diarrhea in puppies, but... If you are worried about your puppy’s bowel movements, then we advise making an appointment with your veterinarian. If in doubt, it is always worth a visit to your veterinarian, especially if your dog is also exhibiting other symptoms such as vomiting, not eating, or acting lethargic.”

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How to prevent your puppy from getting diarrhea

Unfortunately, there sometimes isn’t a way to prevent your puppy from getting diarrhea. Sometimes it’s a result of an external factor, like something they ate or picked up from the world beyond your home. Other times you can work to ensure it doesn’t happen. Let’s talk about those instances now. 

The best way to help prevent diarrhea is to give your puppy balanced food and to provide them with exercise on the regular. You should transition your pet to a new diet slowly, especially when puppies are very young. 

You can also look into the fact your dog might be getting spoiled food in the garbage can, so be mindful of that. You should also never give your dog any human foods that are toxic, and be sure to be attentive to vaccinations your puppy might need. 

A stress-free, clean environment is also key to your dog’s health. You should be sure that you’re providing your dog with that. In addition, a regular schedule could help ensure that your dog isn’t nervous and stressed. 

Your puppy will feel better soon

Your puppy feeling sick can be extremely anxiety-inducing, but with luck, this guide will help you know how to handle this situation next time it arises. Remember: reach out to a vet, don’t panic, and your puppy will be on the road to recovery soon.


What to Do if Your Puppy Has Diarrhea | The Spruce Pets

Signs Your Dog is Stressed and How to Relieve It | VCA

Bland Diets for Dogs: A Comprehensive Guide | The Spruce Pets

Puppy Schedule: Daily Routine for New Puppies | AKC 

​​Diarrhea in Dogs | VCA Animal Hospital 

Is Pepto-Bismol Safe for Dogs (Along with Other OTC Medications)? | AKC

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