Puppy Diarrhea

Puppy Diarrhea: What Is It? What do You Need to Know?

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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What Is Puppy Diarrhea?

Puppy Diarrhea: What Is It? What do You Need to Know?

Puppy diarrhea is a symptom of poor intestinal health that causes loose stools and dehydration. In puppies, diarrhea can be a common issue. Sometimes, it is benign and transient, and other times it is more severe and due to a serious underlying condition.

Is it Normal for Puppies to Have Diarrhea?

Yes, it is fairly normal for young puppies to have short bouts of diarrhea.

The gastrointestinal tract of puppies is often disrupted, resulting in puppy diarrhea. Plus, puppies have underdeveloped immune systems and are susceptible to infectious diseases that can lead to diarrhea.

What Are the Symptoms of Diarrhea in Puppies?

Same as diarrhea in adult dogs, puppy diarrhea manifests with:

  • Loss of Appetite. Many dogs will not eat when they have diarrhea because of their upset stomach. However, they should be encouraged to eat as this symptom can cause weight loss.
  • Vomiting. Vomiting and nausea are symptoms of issues in the digestive system, which can also cause diarrhea. Be extra attentive to your new puppy if they are vomiting.
  • Increased Bowel Movements Frequency. Even if your dog or young puppy doesn’t have loose stools, if they are going outside to poop more frequently than normal, this may be a sign of a problem in their digestive tract.
  • Painful Abdomen. Abdominal pain may be a bit tough to spot, but is an important warning sign of viral infections or bacterial infections.
  • Weakness/Lethargy. After cases of diarrhea, adult dogs and young puppies may want to sleep more. If your dog is sleeping more often than usual, start paying attention to their bowel movements.
  • Dehydration. Dog diarrhea leads to dehydration through loss of fluids. Be sure to rehydrate your puppy with lots of water and liquids with electrolytes.
  • Fever or Hypothermia. The rapid loss of water and food can often lead to other symptoms. If your new puppy has a fever or hypothermia (decreased body temperature), seek veterinary care immediately.
  • Black or Tarry Stools. Puppy poop should be brown. If you notice that your puppy’s poop is black, tarry, or discolored at all, there may be a serious problem with your puppy’s health.
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  • Specially formulated with both dog probiotics and prebiotics.
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What Is the Common Cause of Diarrhea in Puppies?

According to veterinarians, the most common causes of diarrhea are:

  • Stress or Anxiety. Stress and anxiety are often caused by moving to a new home or too much kennel time and negatively affect puppy health.
  • Diet Changes. Dietary changes, such as switching dog foods suddenly, are a common cause of puppy diarrhea. All puppy food changes should be done gradually.
  • Dietary Indiscretions. Another likely cause of puppy diarrhea is eating garbage, which often causes an imbalance in the digestive tract. Table scraps and human foods cause diarrhea too.
  • Ingestion of Foreign Objects. If a foreign body, such as toys, bones, or fabric, enters your dog’s digestive tract, it can cause a blockage which in turn causes diarrhea.
  • Toxins or Poisons. If a dog has ingested something that is toxic or poisonous, even if from innocent table scraps, their immune system response will likely involve diarrhea.
  • Bacterial Infections. Bacteria can cause diarrhea, among other symptoms. The most common diarrhea-causing bacteria in dogs are Salmonella, E. coli, and Clostridium spp.
  • Viral Infections. Puppy diarrhea is the main sign of several viral infections, such as parvovirus, distemper, or coronavirus. These viruses can be life-threatening, and veterinary care is vital.
  • Intestinal Parasites. Puppies are prone to parasites like roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms, hookworms, Coccidia, or Giardia, which can wreak havoc on the digestive system.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This disease causes repeat bouts of diarrhea in young puppies and adult dogs. Veterinary care can help manage the symptoms.
  • Pancreatitis. Pancreatitis or, simply put, pancreatic inflammation manifests with appetite loss, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Intestinal Cancer. While there are many other symptoms of intestinal cancer, if your dog has unexplained bouts of diarrhea often, it may be a sign of a bigger issue.
  • Medication Side Effect. Some medications have diarrhea as one of the side effects. If your dog’s medication is causing diarrhea, ask your vet about other options.

What Are Some Things I Can Give My Puppy to Help with the Diarrhea?

Puppy Diarrhea: What Is It? What do You Need to Know?

Here are some over-the-counter medications you can use for puppy diarrhea.

Vets Preferred Dog Diarrhea Medication with Pectin and Kaolin

This simple and affordable anti-dog diarrhea solution is a great way to treat your dog’s symptoms. The liquid formula can be given to young puppies or picky adult dogs through a syringe, or it can simply be mixed in with any dog food.

Using high-quality sources of fiber, this veterinarian-backed solution is effective and highly rated by pet parents. The formula acts fast to treat dog diarrhea, reduce abdominal pain, and get your pet back in good health.

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Honest Paws Probiotics for Dogs

For dogs with regular bouts of diarrhea, dietary changes can make the difference. This healthy powder formula offers lasting intestinal relief through the use of prebiotic and probiotic bacteria.

This mix is perfect as a long-term solution to dog diarrhea and includes additional ingredients to boost the immune system and provide seasonal allergy relief.

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Vets Preferred Probiotic Supplements Dog Digestive Support

Another option for dogs with regular bouts of diarrhea, this veterinarian-grade powder formula is meant to help balance digestion. Containing both prebiotic and probiotic bacteria, this solution helps dogs with sensitive stomachs finally stop dealing with loose stools.

Other ingredients further help to reduce health issues by boosting the immune system and protecting the health of the entire digestive tract. This premium formula is perfect for pet parents that have tried other long-term solutions with no luck.

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DrFormulas Probiotics for Dogs & Puppies Diarrhea Treatment

This treatment option is best for new puppies or adult dogs that need stronger intestinal health. Pre-dosed into individual pills that can be easily given to any dog, this solution uses probiotics to reduce dog diarrhea and loose stools.

The good bacteria work to give pets regular bowel movements while also preventing the growth of bad bacteria. Made in the USA with human-grade ingredients, this solution is highly rated by pet owners.

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Dog Probiotics Chews – Digestive Enzymes + Prebiotics

If your dog’s intestinal health needs help, this easy-to-serve supplement is perfect. Packed with digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics, this formula takes the health of your pet’s digestive tract seriously.

Each serving is baked into a soft, chewable treat that dogs love, making it easy to use. The formula reduces the frequency of dog diarrhea and boosts the immune systems of young puppies.

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WNz Diarrhea Canine Probiotic Powder

Another probiotic solution, this powder formula, helps prevent the causes of diarrhea. The powder is easy to serve and can be used with dog food. The probiotics and other ingredients not only help to support the health of the digestive tract but offers many other benefits.

Regular use of this solution can prevent itching, bad breath, constipation, and even some side effects of antibiotics such as yeast infections. This veterinarian-approved formula is perfect for adult dogs needing extra help with regular bowel movements.

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Coprophagia Poop Eating Deterrent & Prevention

This probiotic supplement combines natural ingredients with digestive enzymes to relieve dog diarrhea. Made with seven strains of beneficial bacteria, digestive enzymes, and natural pumpkin fiber, this solution helps prevent bad breath, diarrhea, and other intestinal health issues.

It’s easy to serve and can be simply sprinkled on top of any dog food, plus each container comes with up to 240 servings. This affordable solution is perfect for helping puppies, and adult dogs manage their bowel movements and overall digestive health.

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Active Chews Probiotics for Dogs Soft Chews

This chewy probiotic supplement doubles as a tasty treat for your dog. Using both natural, plant-based fiber and six strains of probiotics, this formula is ideal for young puppies or adult dogs with imbalanced digestion.

The solution not only helps to regulate bowel movements but also strengthens immune systems. Very affordable and made with high-quality ingredients, this formula is a great long-term solution for your dog’s intestinal health.

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How Long Does a Puppy Diarrhea Last?

Puppy Diarrhea: What Is It? What do You Need to Know?

Puppy diarrhea can last between a couple of hours to several days.

The exact duration of puppy diarrhea depends on the underlying cause and the promptness as well as effectiveness of the treatment.

If puppy diarrhea lasts longer than two days, seek veterinary care.

What Are Common Treatments for Diarrhea in Puppies?

The above products are great solutions for resolving puppy diarrhea.

Most other common treatments for puppy diarrhea revolve around serving puppies a bland diet. Puppy owners can give their pets plain white rice or canned pumpkin to help provide extra fiber and solidify loose stools.

For puppies with food allergies, owners may need to consult a vet to choose a new food to deal with any health issues caused by food intolerance.