Dealing with dog diarrhea is not much fun, for pet or owner. Luckily, your veterinarian can get your four-legged friend ready to play fetch again.
Soft, liquid or bloody stools are a sure sign that your dog is experiencing digestive problems. There is a variety of factors that could be causing your dog’s diarrhea, including food, bacteria, parasites or even a virus.
Acute or chronic dog diarrhea?
Diarrhea can either be acute or chronic. Acute dog diarrhea is a sudden attack that may last for a few days. It is fairly common in pets, and it is often caused by dirt or an impurity the animal may have ingested outdoors, such as garbage or rotten meat. Chronic dog diarrhea is recurrent and my last more than two weeks. This type of dog diarrhea is more worrisome, especially when there are signs of bleeding. A consultation with a veterinarian is advisable in this case.
Is it my animal’s diet?
In many instances, the culprit behind dog diarrhea is food. Here are the most easily identifiable food-related causes:
- A radical change in the animal’s diet, such as during weaning or the introduction of a new kibble
- Overfeeding, which can bring about indigestion
- An excess of carbohydrates or indigestible proteins
- Contaminated raw food
Are there other risk factors?
In addition to diet, certain other factors can also be catalysts for dog diarrhea, including:
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Viral infections
- Intestinal parasites
What measures should be taken to treat dog diarrhea?
- To help ease the symptoms of acute dog diarrhea, give your pet a liquid diet for approximately 24 to 48 hours, or as required. To avoid dehydration, encourage him to drink as much water as he wants. The use of an electrolyte solution, available at a drug store, is recommended.
- Resume feeding very slowly, and break down the daily ration into small portions. The cooking water made from boiling rice may be used as drinking water or to hydrate his food.
- If the dog shows no improvement after this period, have him examined by your veterinarian right away.
Protect yourself with good hygiene
Because it is common for dogs to suffer from human infections, it is essential that you maintain good hygiene in your home. All family members should wash their hands frequently, and clean your dog’s food and water dishes often. Keep the dog’s bed or pillow clean as well. Avoid giving your dog raw foods, which increase the risks of transmission of contagious bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli.