What To Do If Your Dog Has the Runs

If you constantly check and worry about your dog’s potty habits, don’t feel ashamed--it is one of the most important hallmarks of a responsible pet owner! Your dog’s stool says a lot about their health, so changes in the frequency, amount, and appearance are definitely worth taking note of. 

Among the most obvious signs that something is wrong is when your dog develops diarrhea. If their stool suddenly becomes pasty, soft, or even liquid in consistency, your fur parent senses should already be tingling.

So, what’s a pet owner to do if your dog has diarrhea?


Determine if it’s an emergency. 

There are many causes of diarrhea--some much more dangerous than others. To know the difference, it’s important to check two things: hydration status and behavior.  

If your dog has multiple episodes of diarrhea within a short period of time, or else expelling explosive amounts of it, they are likely losing fluids faster than they are getting it. This is made even worse if accompanied by vomiting. In these cases, giving your dog water won’t correct the imbalance fast enough. It is crucial that you get to the vet for emergency fluid therapy. 

Another tell-tale sign that you need to visit the vet ASAP is if you notice changes in your dog’s behavior. If they do something they don’t normally do, or don’t do something they normally do, then you might have a problem in your hands. Loss of appetite or energy, vomiting, seizures, bleeding, inability to stand, or any other symptoms of disease should also be taken as a green light to go to the vet--and fast! 


Check your dog’s food. 

One of the most common reasons a dog is pooping abnormally is if they’ve eaten something that does not agree with them. Take a good look at their diet. Did you recently change their dog food? It may be that their stomach is having a hard time adjusting to it. Did they just wolf down a big meal? The sudden increase in food volume might have surprised their gastrointestinal tract. 

In these cases, it is important to continue to monitor your dog’s stool. If the diarrhea goes away after a potty session or two, you should be good. But if it continues to stay, you may need to reassess their dog food. Poor storage conditions can negatively affect the quality of the food, leading to spoilage or contamination.  


Check what else your dog is eating. 

There are very few dog owners in the world who have not caught their dog eating something they’re not supposed to be eating. Their indiscriminate need to put random things in their mouth can lead to diarrhea. Your dog might have gotten into the trash, swiped human food off the table, or chewed random household items. All of these could cause a case of the loose bowels. 

If you’ve found evidence that your dog has eaten something they’re not allowed to, take steps to prevent it from happening in the future. Doggy-proofing your home, training your dog to “drop it”, and getting everyone in your household on-board with these new rules can help minimize tummy upset (and the veterinary bills that come with it). 


Deworm your dog. 

Presence of parasites in the gastrointestinal tract could cause diarrhea. These freeloaders often damage the mucosa and steal nutrients from your dog. They impair the digestive process, leading to changes in the stool. If you haven’t dewormed your dog in a while, they might be harboring creepy crawlies within their bodies. 

In heavy loads, these may present as acute onset diarrhea that comes with a whole bunch of clinical signs which require immediate veterinary attention. Other times, it could be a chronic case that can be solved by administering a dewormer. The best way to find out is to go to the vet for a fecalysis. They’ll check your dog’s stool under a microscope and find out if there is something in there that shouldn’t be. 


Consider food allergies. 

Food allergies can cause loose bowel movement, but definitive diagnosis of this condition is notoriously difficult. It often involves lots of testing and the administration of an elimination diet. However, supplementation may help prevent regular occurrences. alchemypet’s Immune Booster, a natural mushroom supplement, has anti-inflammatory properties that can help control the symptoms of allergies, including those caused by food.