A dog’s stool can be an inside look into their general health. When a dog is experiencing loose stool, it can be the result of a number of different causes. In this article, we will discuss some possible reasons behind your pup's loose stool, and some at-home remedies you can try before visiting the vet.
A sudden change in your dog’s stool can be an indicator of something going on in their lives. Some of these causes include:
Intestinal parasites can wreak havoc on your pet's gut health. They can inherit these parasites from their mother in the womb, the soil, being around other dogs who are infected, and even fleas. Some of the common intestinal parasites are roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. Luckily with deworming medications from your vet upon adopting your pup, you can easily kill these dangerous intestinal invaders. Along with monthly heartworm prevention that also prevents the common intestinal worms, you can keep your pet protected for life. Protection from parasites is extremely important, as they can cause severe diarrhea, weight loss, dehydration, and even anemia.
One of the most common reasons behind a change in a dog’s stool is some kind of dietary indiscretion. Eating from the trash or eating any kind of fattening food can lead to loose stool, as well as other intestinal upset. When a dog eats food that they are not used to it can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and even medical conditions affecting the pancreas. A sudden change in diet can truly shock the system and cause serious issues.
When a dog is stressed, they can experience a condition called stress colitis. This can be the result of a sudden change of environment of any kind, or any stress factor in your pup’s life. Stress colitis can cause diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and dehydration if left untreated.
Improper diet can lead to many health problems. Whether this means a dog is eating table scraps, eating poor quality food, or eating a food that doesn’t tailor to their specific needs. If a dog is lacking proper nutrients in their diet, the loose stool can be a result.
When a dog is having loose stool, you may also see other signs of intestinal upset. Some of these signs include:
Though it may seem like a loose stool in a dog is harmless, it can lead to a deterioration in health if left untreated. If loose stool worsens, this can lead to severe dehydration. Loose stool and diarrhea can dehydrate your pup due to the fluid loss with each bowel movement. If the loose stool is not resolved quickly, the dehydration can come to a dangerous point. It’s important to be aware of your dog’s loose stool, and act quickly when you notice any changes.
If you notice any changes in your furry friend’s stool, there are a few ways that you can intervene at home.
Rice is a great option for a carb choice when dog’s are experiencing an upset stomach. It is extremely bland, so when boiled in water only, it’s a great option to help settle your pup's stomach. Rice is often paired with a plain protein source for a balanced meal.
Even when your pup is experiencing gastrointestinal upset, they still need some kind of protein source. Cooking a low-fat meat option is a great way to offer your dog protein, without upsetting their stomach even more. Plain proteins include skinless and boneless chicken, lean turkey meat, or eggs.
Pumpkin is used in dogs in both diarrhea and constipation. The fiber in the pumpkin can help regulate their bowel movements, as well as absorb extra water in loose stool. Absorbing extra water in the stool can help to firm your pup's bowel movements.
Plain Greek yogurt can be a great option for an intestinal upset, as it contains live cultures of bacteria that can promote a healthy gut.
Probiotics are great for restoring healthy flora in the intestinal tract, as well as being a great addition to your pet's normal diet. When a dog has loose stool, their bacteria in their intestinal tract can become unbalanced. Probiotics can help to restore this balance and help to firm the stool.
Coconut oil can be helpful in digestive disorders since it is directly absorbed in the GI tract. Similar to pumpkin, it can help to firm the stool when used in the right amount.
Cottage cheese is another great low-fat carb option for dogs with loose stool. As long as the dog is not lactose intolerant, this can be used the same way as rice.
When your dog starts to have loose stool, it’s understandable to want to find an at-home solution. If their loose stool resolves quickly with home management, then it is very possible that their change in stool was a minor issue, and there is not much reason for concern.
If your pups’ loose stool persists for 24 hours without any change with at-home care, then it is recommended to see your vet ASAP. Due to possible dehydration from diarrhea and loose stool, it’s better to see your vet sooner than later. Fast action can shorten your fur babies sick time, and prevent any further health complications.
If your pet has not had a physical exam from a veterinarian at any point in their life, it’s recommended to make an appointment with any changes in their stool. Without knowing their medical history, it’s best to make an appointment with a vet before going any further.
Dogs can experience minor gastrointestinal upset throughout their lives. It’s important to educate yourself on healthy bland diet options if they ever experience loose stool, and know when to seek further help when at-home care is not resolving the issue.
Amber is a Licensed Vet Tech with a degree in Veterinary Technology. Recently she has specialized in veterinary and animal-related content creation and social media management. When she is not working she loves spending time with her furry friends exploring the outdoors.