Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea?

You probably see your dog nibbling on various things. Moreover, puppies are also predisposed to biting behavior as their teeth slowly grow. But, you might sometimes notice a change in your dog’s stool which might be a cause of concern. You are probably wondering, “Why does my dog have diarrhea?” when this happens. Let’s find out more about diarrhea in dogs.


What causes diarrhea in dogs?

Diarrhea has many causes. However, you have to identify the cause before you can provide a home remedy. Better yet, you can take your dog to the vet for the proper laboratory analysis. Dog diarrhea may be caused by a lot of things from very simple diet problems to life-threatening diseases. Let’s find out about the causes of diarrheas in dogs.

Poor diet

A poor diet may often lead to stomach upset and diarrhea in dogs. Moreover, you are probably feeding human food to your dog that is upsetting their digestive system. If you feed your dog with unhealthy food regularly, then it may lead to diarrhea, too. High-quality dog food might be the best staple food for your dog and some safe human food for dogs as occasional treats.

a sick dog

Sensitive stomach

Some dogs have sensitive stomachs. Also, some breeds are predisposed to have sensitive stomachs as they grow older. When a dog has a sensitive stomach, it is important to provide the right foods to avoid digestive problems. Moreover, sensitive stomachs may also be characterized by having an allergy to certain foods which includes some grains that can trigger diarrhea.


Overfeeding may cause your puppy or dog to poop so much. However, even though your dog may poop more frequently than normal, it might not really be diarrhea. On the other hand, if the poop is formed and not very watery, it is probably not diarrhea. But, if you overfeed your dog or puppy then they begin pooping with irregular forms, then you might want to lessen its food intake to prevent diarrhea.

An abrupt change in diet

A sudden change in diet may cause changes in the digestive tract of your dog. This sudden change in diet may trigger regurgitation or diarrhea. If you plan to change the diet of your dog, it is best to introduce the new diet slowly before feeding your dog exclusively on the new diet. It might be a new brand or type of food, but your dog needs some time to adjust to it to avoid digestive problems.


Stress induces various physiological responses in dogs. Moreover, it can be caused by a lot of things ranging from the environment to food. Also, improper handling of your dog or the presence of hostile dogs may cause stress to any dog. Once stressed, this may lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and other physiological responses in an attempt to adapt to the condition or situation.

Other health issues

There are plenty of dog illnesses with diarrhea as a symptom. However, it might be difficult to tell one illness apart from the other without the appropriate laboratory analysis of what caused your dog’s illness. Also, diarrhea might be accompanied by vomiting or foaming at the mouth which might threaten the life of your dog if left untreated. Here are some of the health problems in dogs that may cause diarrhea:

  • Nutrient imbalance or failure to metabolize certain nutrients
  • Idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Intestinal motility disorder
  • Food allergy
  • Poisoning
  • Pancreatitis
  • Parvovirus infection
  • Intestinal parasite infestation
  • Heartworm infestation
  • Blockage in the digestive tract
  • Other viral and bacterial infection
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Side effects of medications or drug interactions

Why does my dog have diarrhea?

Dog diarrhea may be caused by a lot of things. However, diarrhea is the response of your dog’s body to various things. Furthermore, it might be an indicator of more serious illnesses. Diarrhea is an attempt to excrete substances that are irritating the digestive tract of your dog. That is why diarrhea also occurs in various infections and infestations.

If diarrhea is caused by a change in diet, then your dog’s intestinal motility is increased in an attempt to get rid of this new food that suddenly entered your dog’s system. On the other hand, infections in the digestive tract cause irritations and motility that also leads to dog diarrhea. Furthermore, some viruses, bacteria, and parasites directly attack the digestive tract of your dog which leads to diarrhea.

Once you notice that your dog’s poop suddenly changed in form and color, observe your dog closely in the next few hours to determine any other signs and symptoms that may arise soon after. Also, diarrhea and the type of poop that your dog excretes is also a sign of their overall health. So, when you notice signs of diarrhea, it is best to consult a vet immediately or at least provide home remedies during observation.

a cute white puppy

First aid for dog diarrhea

Once you notice initial signs of diarrhea, do not ignore it for it might get worse, depending on what caused it. There are ways on how you can manage dog diarrhea at home before it becomes life-threatening to your dog. However, you still need to seek the help of a veterinarian if your dog’s diarrhea persists. Here are some ways that you can provide first aid to your dog that is experiencing diarrhea:

  • Give enough water and electrolytes to prevent dehydration
  • Provide food that is easy to digest
  • Remove your dog from stressful living conditions


Why does my dog have diarrhea? Diarrhea may be caused by a lot of things and only a lab test can surely tell the real cause of your dog’s diarrhea. However, not all dog diarrheas are life-threatening to your dogs and require medical attention. It might also be that your dog is simply adjusting to a new food or is stressed about the new environment. Nevertheless, give first aid to any dog experiencing diarrhea immediately.

About the author

Sarah Andrews

Hi I'm Sarah, dog lover and blogger. I was born into a dog-loving family and have been a proud doggy mommy ever since I can remember. I love sharing my dog knowledge and love being an active part of the dog-loving community.