Diarrhea or soft feces in dogs are very common. In most cases, diarrhea is the body’s reaction to stress or unfamiliar food. Then home remedies help against diarrhea in dogs. In a few cases, however, the veterinarian should be consulted. Here you can find out how to recognize what needs to be done.
What is Diarrhea in Dogs?
Definition of diarrhea
In dogs, diarrhea is defined as the passing of soft, mushy, liquid feces. The droppings are often uncontrolled. The dog has to go out more often than usual. In addition, stopping diarrhea is often painful or simply impossible. Undigested food residues, mucus, or even blood are often mixed with the feces.
Side effects of diarrhea in dogs
In addition to the frequent passing of soft to liquid stools, there are some symptoms that occur together with diarrhea. This includes, for example, flatulence, which occurs during defecation, but also in between. This can cause severe pain to the dog. In addition, restlessness can occur due to the general feeling of being unwell. But fatigue due to exertion and increased water loss can also be observed. Rarely, fever or apathy and vomiting occur at the same time as diarrhea. In these cases, the dog should be presented to the veterinarian. You can read more about this below.
The right consistency of dog waste
In order to be able to judge whether a dog has diarrhea, it is of course also important to know the nature of the feces in a healthy state. The attentive dog owner knows the normal state of his own dog’s excrement well since he always clears away the residues and in doing so inevitably looks at them and feels them (through the bag). If you don’t do this, for example, because your own dog is only running free, you should still look at the legacies of your own dog from time to time. Because even if these are not soft or liquid, you can tell a lot from the consistency.
For example, a healthy dog’s perfect droppings are relatively firm and easy to grab in one piece. Softer droppings occur when the nutrients are not completely removed from the food pulp. For example, permanently soft stool in the dog can indicate that the food being fed is not of high quality, or that the dog does not tolerate an ingredient in the food.
How Does Diarrhea Occur in Dogs?
Dog diarrhea is a sign that something is wrong. The dog’s body tries to get rid of the intestinal contents quickly. This can happen for a variety of reasons. These reasons can range from quite harmless to extremely worrying and should be treated accordingly.
A fairly harmless reason, for example, is stress. When there is a lot of stress, the body decides to get rid of excess ballast – for example in the form of diarrhea. This is intended by nature to make the dog lighter and therefore faster, for example, to be able to cover longer distances or to be able to sprint faster. If this is the case with your dog, it is worth considering ways to reduce the stress your dog is experiencing. For example, you can think about the situations in which your dog has diarrhea or what preceded these situations.
Digestive problems after changing the diet
A change in feed or too many different types of feed can also lead to diarrhea in your dog. The gastrointestinal tract gets used to one type of food if it is fed regularly. Everything is adjusted to this feed: the right amount of saliva is produced, splitting enzymes are added and the bowel movement is adjusted. If a different food is simply fed, the entire digestive tract is “messed up”. The mechanisms, which are otherwise so finely tuned to one another, no longer fit together, and problems arise in the digestive process – constipation or diarrhea are the results. To avoid this, you can change the food gradually or clean the intestines in between.
Incorrect intestinal flora
Diarrhea can also occur as a result of digestive problems caused by an incorrect intestinal flora. The intestinal flora is the composition of the bacteria in the intestine. A healthy dog has a lot of good bacteria in its gut. Dogs need these bacteria because they help with digestion and even make some important nutrients usable in the first place. After treatment with antibiotics, in particular, the good bacteria in the intestine can die off. Instead, bacteria then grow, which can harm the dog. If this is the case, the body is trying to get rid of these bacteria or their harmful metabolites – the dog has diarrhea.
In order to avoid the formation of a bad intestinal flora, an intestinal cleansing and a subsequent rehabilitation treatment are recommended. For example, by giving dairy products such as yogurt, the good bacteria in the dog’s intestines are promoted and your dog’s digestion is balanced again.
Dogs cannot tolerate many foods that we humans can. It can quickly happen that the dog eats something wrong, which it then has to get rid of quickly. Especially when feeding leftovers, care should be taken that no ingredients that are toxic to dogs are used. Examples include grapes and onions. Spoiled food or old water can also lead to diarrhea in your dog.
If you suspect your dog may have eaten poisoned bait, you should take him to the vet immediately!