Puppy Diarrhea: What You Need To Know

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Raising a puppy is a big responsibility. As rewarding as it can be, the mission also tends to be slightly stressful.Puppies require constant supervision and there are so many things you need to keep in mind.

If you already have a puppy or are wanting to get one, you should be aware of puppy diarrhea, what it means, and when to be worried. This is something very common that puppies can experience in the first stages of their life.

puppy has diarrhea

We have rounded up all the information you need, from causes to treatment – so you know exactly what to do and expect if your puppy has this issue.

Causes of Puppy Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a very generic symptom and can be a result of many things, so it is not always easy for owners to establish the cause in puppies. The best thing to do is not to panic!

Although there are several diseases out there, there are five main causes which you may want to think about:

Food Intolerance and Diet Change

It can take a while to find out exactly what food is best for your puppy. You may not always get it right the first time, so you may try different kinds until you discover the one your puppy likes best.

It is also very common for puppies to develop an intolerance for certain foods.

Puppies’ digestive systems are very sensitive, so it is useful to speak to your vet about the best way to manage your puppy’s diet. Your vet can then help you to resolve their diarrhea.

Viral Infection

Sometimes, the cause is not always as simple; an infection could be the culprit. It is very important to ensure that your puppy is vaccinated against all the major viruses, such as parvovirus and distemper virus.

If you suspect that your puppy has a viral infection, you must seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.


Small puppies are prone to parasites: they could already be born with them or they might pick them up from the environment.

Some parasites which can cause diarrhea are roundworms, hookworms, coccidian, and giardia.

These are easily treatable, so it is best to seek advice from your vet on how to remove them from your puppy.


Puppies are known for exploring and trying to get the most obscure things into their mouth. A very common cause of puppy diarrhea could be something they have ingested which they shouldn’t have.

diarrhea in puppies

It is very important to be extra vigilant with your new pet to monitor what goes into their mouth.

Although we can’t always control what our puppies eat, we can help by making sure we keep them away from items that can be harmful when ingested.


Puppyhood can be a very stressful time, as your puppy is constantly trying to adjust to new environments and new people, which then affects their digestive system.

There are many ways to help your puppy remain calm in these stressful situations, such as always giving your puppy plenty of reassurance and love to help them get through rough times.

Puppy Diarrhea Treatment

If you are wondering what to give your puppy for diarrhea, you will be pleased to know that there are many useful and successful methods for treating this problem.

At-Home Treatment

Treatment depends on the cause. Cases of mild diarrhea, which can be due to stress or a dietary transition, will often clear up with the addition of a bland diet.

Make sure you provide your puppy with plenty of fresh water, as even mild diarrhea is dehydrating.

If your puppy’s condition is because of something they have ingested, this could resolve on its own as well and will benefit from a mild change to their eating plan.

However, if you suspect that your puppy has ingested something harmful such as toxin or poison, then you will need to seek immediate veterinary attention.

my puppy has diarrhea

Veterinary Care

If your vet diagnoses your puppy with a bacterial or viral infection, they may have to be hospitalized during their recovery.

Treatments usually include antibiotics, as this helps to cure primary and secondary bacterial infections. Your vet may also give your puppy intravenous fluids to help keep them hydrated during their recovery.

If your puppy has a parasite, treatment will depend on the type of parasite and the severity of the parasitical infection.

Some can be treated with medication, whilst others may require a more in-depth approach.

This video goes into more detail about dealing with diarrhea in pets.

Puppy Diarrhea Prevention

Diarrhea is your puppy’s way of telling you that something is wrong, and in most cases can easily be prevented.

Here are some basic steps you can take to ensure they stay clear of diarrhea:

  • Transition your puppy to a new diet slowly.
  • Talk to your vet about how to prevent parasites
  • If your puppy is with other dogs, keep the area clean and use appropriate disinfectants.
  • Keep your puppy away from anything that be harmful when ingested.

Do you have any tips for puppy diarrhea?

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