Help! My Puppy Has Diarrhea! 

Just as human children are prone to developing digestive upset, so are our furry babies, our puppies.  Diarrhea in puppies can be quite stressful for us, as pet parents.  While an occasional bout of diarrhea is usually nothing to be alarmed about, more frequent bouts of diarrhea in puppies can signal that something is seriously wrong.  Whether your puppy is suffering from acute or chronic diarrhea, you might be wondering why.

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One reason puppies may suffer from diarrhea is diet. Are you planning to switch your puppy to a different brand of puppy food? Not so fast!  A sudden change in diet is a very common cause of diarrhea.  There are often many good reasons to switch up your puppy’s diet but you must do so gradually.  It is suggested that you combine the new food with the old food.  Start with about one quarter of the new food combined with three quarters of the old food.  Over the span of one week, slowly increase the amount of the new food that you are feeding to your puppy.  This will allow your puppy’s sensitive tummy to get used to the new food thereby decreasing the chances of diarrhea and other forms of digestive upset. You should also be sure to monitor the amount of food your puppy eats!  Overeating may also cause bouts of diarrhea.

Another reason that puppies may suffer from occasional bouts of diarrhea is stress.  Are you surprised by this one?  You shouldn’t be.  We often fail to realize that our puppies are susceptible to stress too, especially when there are changes to their environment or routine.  Puppies are creatures of habit and even excitement and positive changes can result in diarrhea.  So whether you’re having visitors over, going on vacation, or taking a trip to the vet or the dog park be aware that the stress of environment change may cause a little digestive upset. While many of these situations can’t be avoided, provide your puppy with plenty of fresh clean water as well as sustained periods of rest to avoid dehydration.

One final reason puppies may suffer from diarrhea is vaccinations. Some puppies are allergic to vaccinations and may experience an adverse reaction which may include diarrhea and/or vomiting. It is suggested that you only subject your puppy to vaccinations that are safe and known to prevent disease, especially life threatening diseases.  If your puppy does experience diarrhea or any other reaction to being vaccinated, please promptly call your vet.

In closing, we’d like to mention that there are more serious diseases and conditions related to chronic diarrhea.  If diarrhea lasts more than one or two days, your puppy may have a case of the parvo virus, worms or other parasites or even distemper.  A prompt trip to the vet will always leave your puppy with the best prognosis and may even spare his life.  As always, it’s better to be safe than sorry!  Now go cuddle that puppy of yours!