Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea?

As a dog owner, you may have experienced a situation where your furry friend has diarrhea. Diarrhea in dogs can be caused by various reasons, ranging from mild to severe. In this blog post, we will explore some common causes of the runs in dogs, symptoms to look out for, and what you can do about it.

Dietary Changes

A sudden change in your dog’s diet, such as switching to a new brand or type of food, can cause diarrhea. Dogs have sensitive digestive systems, and any sudden change in their diet can cause gastrointestinal upset, leading to the runs.

Food Allergies or Intolerances

Just like humans, dogs can also develop food allergies or intolerances to certain types of food. When a dog is allergic or intolerant to a particular food, it can lead to the runs, vomiting, and other digestive issues.


Intestinal parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, and giardia, can cause diarrhea in dogs. These parasites can be contracted by ingesting contaminated food or water or coming into contact with infected feces.

Viral or Bacterial Infections

Dogs can also contract viral or bacterial infections that can cause diarrhea. Some common viral infections that cause diarrhea include parvovirus, distemper, and coronavirus. Bacterial infections, such as Salmonella or E. Coli, can also cause the runs in dogs.


According to Valencia Veterinary Center, some medications, such as antibiotics or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can cause diarrhea in dogs. These medications can disrupt the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut, leading to diarrhea.

Symptoms to Look Out For

In addition to diarrhea, other symptoms to look out for include:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Blood or mucus in stool
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort

What You Can Do About It

If your dog has the runs, there are some steps you can take to alleviate the problem:

  • Provide Plenty of Water: Diarrhea can cause dehydration, so it’s crucial to ensure that your dog has access to plenty of fresh water. You can also offer an electrolyte solution to help replace lost fluids and minerals.
  • Adjust Their Diet: If your dog’s diarrhea is caused by a sudden change in their diet, try switching back to their old food or gradually introducing the new food over several days. If your dog has a food allergy or intolerance, you may need to switch to a hypoallergenic diet recommended by your vet.
  • Visit Your Vet: If your dog’s diarrhea persists for more than 24 hours, or if they are showing other symptoms such as vomiting or lethargy, it’s essential to visit your vet. Your vet can perform tests to determine the underlying cause of your dog’s diarrhea and provide treatment.
  • Medication: Your vet may prescribe medication, such as antibiotics or anti-diarrheal medication, to help treat your dog’s diarrhea.


In conclusion, diarrhea in dogs can be caused by various factors, such as dietary changes, food allergies, parasites, viral or bacterial infections, and medications. Understanding the underlying cause of your dog’s diarrhea is crucial to finding the right treatment. By providing plenty of water, adjusting their diet, and seeking help from your vet, you can help your dog recover from the runs and get back to their happy and healthy self.