It is a well-known fact that owning a pet comes with its fair share of challenges for a responsible owner. Your dog is exposed to a wide range of risks, including accidental poisoning, breed-specific ailments or parasitic infections. No matter which threat your dog has been exposed to, it is important to know how to effectively manage an emergency and what to feed a dog with diarrhea.
Diarrhea is one of the most common conditions affecting your dog’s health status. You should always be aware of your pet’s symptoms and be able to distinguish between possible causes which may have triggered them, so as to follow the best course of action and choose a suitable dog diarrhea remedy. Do keep your calm and offer your dog the soothing he needs, while implementing a number of measures meant to restore the wellbeing of his digestive system.
It may be difficult to identify the specific cause and figure out how to cure dog diarrhea without a veterinarian’s advice. However, in most cases you can save a visit to the doctor’s office and treat minor problems at home with no safety concerns. Staying alert and monitoring your pet’s symptoms is therefore of paramount importance in order to prevent diarrhea in dogs and ease their discomfort when digestive issues occur.
Possible causes of diarrhea in dogs
Prevention is better than cure and this is equally true when it comes to your pet’s health. Being informed about the factors which can make your dog’s stool soft is the first step you can take towards a better health routine for your pet. However, diarrhea in dogs can sometimes occur without any apparent trigger and despite a healthy, nutritious diet.
Pretty much like in humans, your dog’s digestive system can become the host of unwanted parasites. If you are the happy owner of a little puppy you are more likely to encounter this issue with your pet, as it is most common for small dogs to develop intestinal worms. In addition to parasites, infections with bacteria (such as salmonella) or viruses can often be the culprits for your dog’s diarrhea.
Among the top causes of soft stool in dogs are changes in diet or food-related indiscretions, such as overeating, scavenging behavior or eating spoiled food. This can irritate the dog’s digestive system. Allergies and intolerance to certain substances may further aggravate watery diarrhea in dogs. Once you have identified the allergens and adapted your dog’s diet to his or her particular needs, the problem should be solved without requiring a doctor’s intervention.
Further complications arise when the diarrhea is a symptom of a more complex health condition. Inflammatory disorders are sometimes to blame for your dog’s soft stool, pretty much the same as inflammatory bowel disease does in humans. Likewise, this may be induced by metabolism-related issues when the dog’s liver or pancreas does not function properly.
When is your dog’s diarrhea a cause for concern?
Now that we have gone through the most common causes of dog diarrhea, it is important to know when a visit to the doctor’s is essential for your pet’s wellbeing. Although most situations can be successfully dealt with at home, there are others which require special care and possibly dog diarrhea medicine.
If you notice mucus in dog poop diarrhea and the stool has a watery consistency it may be a case of coccidiosis. The parasite which causes it predominantly affects young dogs whose immune systems are not yet fully developed and if left untreated, it can traumatize the lining of the intestinal tract. In time it can lead to bloody stool and incontinence, as well as inducing a state of lethargy.
But there is hope! A non-invasive fecal examination at the veterinarian’s office should be enough to diagnose the condition and you will be prescribed a medication plan to get rid of the parasite. What helps dogs with diarrhea also includes disinfecting your dog’s environment. This may prove extremely beneficial, as re-infection with the virus is possible.
Also, if the signs seem alarming pay special attention to the possibility of your dog having swallowed a foreign object such as a bone or a toy which may be obstructing his digestive tract. Watery stool tinged with blood, vomiting and visible abdominal pain could indicate that something may be causing an intestinal obstruction. This calls for an immediate visit to the doctor’s so that the object can be removed before further damage is done internally.
What to do if your dog has diarrhea?
Leaving aside the more severe cases where a doctor’s appointment is vital, there are a number of measures you can take in order to improve your dog’s condition if the diarrhea doesn’t resolve on its own. Watch out for the symptoms and give your dog the care that he or she deserves.
First things first. Because a lot of body fluids are lost through diarrhea, make sure to rehydrate your pet by giving him plenty of water. Should your dog refuse to drink, encourage him by diluting chicken or beef soup in the water. This is an easy way to avoid dehydration which can lead to fatalities if left untreated.
Diet is another essential aspect to keep in mind when caring for your dog if he has diarrhea. While some voices recommend fasting for a faster settling of the intestinal lining, this may not always be the best way to go about the issue of chronic diarrhea in dogs. Young puppies do not dispose of the same nutrient reserves as older dogs do; therefore, they may not be able to go through long periods of fasting.
A safer method is following a dog diarrhea diet which includes bland food consisting of broth, white rice, boiled chicken or yoghurt. The probiotics in the yogurt will speed up the regeneration of the healthy bacteria along the digestive tract, while at the same time protecting them against the possible side effects of antibiotics.
If, in addition to diarrhea, your dog has also vomited, prohibiting food for 12 hours would be a good idea. Do, however, feed him small amounts of bland food every few hours, checking for improvements or the consistency of his stool. If the symptoms worsen, though, pay an urgent visit to the veterinarian.