What To Do If Your Dog Has Diarrhea But Acts Fine

November 1, 2019

Diarrhea is never fun, and it’s always a symptom of something that’s not quite right with the intestinal tract. Your pup may act completely normal. When your dog has a bout of diarrhea, your antenna should go up. You should watch him closely to see if it’s a one-off or something that continues for days.

Is Your Dog Suffering From Chronic or Acute Diarrhea?

dog with diarrhea but acting fine

Diarrhea is a fairly common occurrence but frequent bouts may signs of an underlying medical problem.

It’s named chronic diarrhea when it’s a condition that occurs regularly. If your dog experiences frequent bouts of diarrhea he may have an underlying medical problem. If so, he needs a veterinarian’s expertise to diagnose.

Acute diarrhea is a fairly common occurrence. It is caused by something introduced into your dog’s intestinal tract. Your pooch might eat or taste something smelly or half-rotten that he finds outside. It’s not unusual for him to have a gastrointestinal upset. Most of the time, the symptoms will go away on their own and the stool will return to normal. But sometimes it’s necessary to get a vet’s input.

Dog Diarrhea Symptoms

Well, you THINK you know what diarrhea is, but it’s not always as obvious as you imagine:

  • Explosive, frequent, loose, watery stools are the most common signs for your dog.
  • Straining can be a sign, too. It’s not constipation. It may look like it as he continues to try to defecate after the initial flow of diarrhea. Diarrhea disrupts your dog’s gastrointestinal system. He may feel like he needs to constantly go. Even when there’s nothing left in the system to eliminate. And straining is the result.
  • Other symptoms that can accompany diarrhea include fever, loss of appetite, dehydration and lethargy.

Dog Diarrhea Causes

dog allergies of the skin

There are many possible culprits that lead to dog diarrhea from parasites to food allergies.

Here are some of the possible culprits:

  • Your dog eats something she shouldn’t and it upsets her small or large intestines.
  • Parasites can easily get into your dog’s intestinal tract
  • Food allergies can cause stomach aches and other problems for your dog, even developing into inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • A bad reaction to a particular food item – especially a new food that has been introduced suddenly into his diet
  • Accidental poisoning can occur when your dog gets into chemicals or foods that are poisonous to canines.
  • Bacterial or viral infections can invade your dog’s system and keep him from absorbing nutrients properly
  • A blockage can happen if your dog eats something that gets lodged in her intestinal tract and causes diarrhea
  • Chronic illness, such as issues with the kidneys or liver, stomach or intestinal ulcers, colitis or hormonal imbalance
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Drug side effects from some canine medications
  • Stress. Just think about what happens to YOU when you have to speak in front of an audience! ‘Nuff said.  This an often overlooked source of diarrhea.  A difference in schedule or longer absences on the part of the owner can be a cause.  An environmental change, whether it be  your pup’s living area or, new companions…canine, feline or human!!

When To Start Worrying About Your Dog’s Diarrhea

cure for dog diarrhea

Monitor your dog for other symptoms and see your vet if your dog is having recurrent bouts and worsens.

In most cases, a healthy dog that has diarrhea will have one “event” and then be done with it. If your dog seems fine afterward, simply keep a close watch to make sure the diarrhea goes away without any issues.

But if it goes on for longer, your dog may start showing other signs that things are not right. If your dog is small in size, old or a puppy, he is more at risk of becoming dehydrated after several bouts of diarrhea. If your dog acts fine but the diarrhea continues in recurrent bouts, see the vet about it. Take along a fecal sample so the vet doesn’t have to extract it; your dog will need a  sample in order to determine if there is a bacterial or viral infection involved.

Even if he acts normally and doesn’t seem bothered by it, he may have an underlying condition that you should get checked out by your veterinarian.

And if your dog is passing blood in the stool, the stool is yellow or green, or if you notice weakness or lethargy along with the diarrhea, it’s time to go to the vet immediately.

What Can I Give My Dog For Diarrhea?

There are a few things you can do help your dog get back to normal. Make sure you consult with your vet before making major changes to your dog’s diet, and if your dog has a medical condition that’s causing the diarrhea, he/she may have some specific treatments to recommend.

  • Fast for 12-24 hours. If your dog got diarrhea from something she ate, this treatment gives your dog’s stomach a chance to rest and eliminate whatever bad stuff she ingested. Make sure you provide plenty of fresh water to prevent dehydration.
  • Bland diet. After that brief fasting period, feed your dog foods that don’t have any upsetting ingredients, such as commercially available bland dog foods, or your own concoction of boiled chicken, beef or turkey with white or brown rice. (Note that a change in diet can sometimes make the diarrhea come back, especially if a food allergy caused it in the first place). Offer the food slowly – divide the meal into four parts and feed your dog every 4-6 hours to avoid stomach upsets. If your dog’s stool improves, you can feed him two meals a day; keep that up until the stools are back to normal, then transition back to normal food.
  • Introduce probiotics and fiber. Talk to your vet about supplements that help generate healthy bacteria in your dog’s gut to promote good digestion. There are a number of over-the-counter probiotics. And, don’t forget to take a second look at your dog’s diet.  Pumpkin, can do wonders for a dog that experiences either too dry a stool (problem defecating) or too loose a stool.  Check out our blog, Pumpkin-Super Food for Dogs.  It did Wonders for our pup! Along with pumpkin, there are other natural ingredients that you can add to your dog’s diet for tummy upset or diarrhea.  Cinnamon, for example, was recommended as early as 2700 BC for nausea and diarrhea.  Another not so common item is Carob;  it’s great for calming the tummy and for use as a cure for diarrhea.  Ginger additionally has many healing properties including protecting the gastric system by supporting digestive enzyme activity.
  • Along with the probiotics and fiber, you’ll likely need to give your dog a bath!  Banixx Medicated Shampoo is just the job for this.  It has no harsh detergents to dry out or cause pain to your pup’s skin, but, instead has sudsy surfactants that easily release any “accidents” from your dog’s hair.  Additionally, it contains moisturizing, replenishing marine collagen (the most pure collagen) that will leave your dog’s coat soft as silk and unbelievably shiny! Sometimes  your dog will just end up with a messy “behind” that doesn’t need a bath.  In this case, you’ll be able to simply clean him up using our Banixx Pet Care


To conclude, diarrhea is a common problem but not one that you should ignore. If it doesn’t go away quickly by itself and persists more than a few days – even if your dog “acts fine’ – get to the vet. And don’t wait around to go to the doc if you start to notice other symptoms, such as loss of appetite, energy or other “sick” behavior. Your dog’s health and life could be at stake!

If you enjoyed this article, you can learn more about taking care of other small pets by reading another blog;  such as rabbit care. Or if you have ever wondered about something more frivolous such as how long can my dog go without peeing or, more seriously, what to do if your dog eats a grape.

dog hot spots treatment


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