dog diarrhea in boston, ma

Dog Diarrhea: Causes and Treatments

Has your dog been having diarrhea? Are you worried about what could be causing it? Do you want to find out more about potential treatments? If any of this sounds like your situation, don’t worry. You’re not alone!

In the article below, you’ll find out more about some of the most common causes and treatments of dog diarrhea. With the help of this information, you can determine when to try treating your pet’s diarrhea at home, and when you may need to take them to the veterinarian instead. Read on to learn more.

Causes of Dog Diarrhea

There are many different reasons why a dog could have diarrhea.

Bacterial or Viral Infection

Bacterial and viral infections are the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs. Many illnesses can contribute to this symptom.


Intestinal parasites frequently lead to diarrhea in dogs as well. If your dog has an intestinal parasite (commonly referred to as “worms”), these can be easily treated, but may cause a lot of diarrhea in the meantime.

Eating Garbage

Many dogs like to eat food out of the garbage, or they may eat human food items that are not given to them. If your dog is the type to scavenge for any food they can find throughout your home, their diarrhea could be a result of eating something your pet shouldn’t. The good news is that this type of diarrhea often clears up on its own.

Changes in Food

If you have recently changed your dog’s food or started giving them a new type of treat, this could be the cause of the diarrhea. Some dogs are just very sensitive to changes in their food, which means they may have diarrhea easily when these changes occur.

Changes in Medication

If your dog has recently been given a new type of medication or has had a medication dosage changed in some way, this could also be the cause of the diarrhea. These causes usually even out in a short amount of time, although your dog may need to take diarrhea medication in the meantime.


One of the more serious causes of diarrhea in dogs is pancreatitis. This condition can flare up any time but is most commonly linked with dogs eating foods that are high in fat content. Pancreatitis can be potentially fatal if left untreated.

Dog Diarrhea Treatments

If your dog has diarrhea there are many treatment options. Some can be tried at home and others would be best to talk with your veterinarian first.

Bland Diet

A short course of a bland diet is usually enough to help most dogs recover from their diarrhea in just a few days. Most vets will recommend giving a dog plain, cooked white rice with plain, boiled chicken as part of a bland diet.

Probiotic Food

Probiotic food blends can be purchased from your vet. These medicated foods are intended for short-term treatment of digestive problems and are sometimes also given to pets who are chronically ill. Your vet can recommend the best option for your dog.

Deworming Medication

If your dog has intestinal parasites, they will need to be given a dewormer. This medication will work quickly, but the symptoms of parasites may take some time to go away. You may also notice your dog shedding dead parasites in their stool for a while following this medication.

Anti-Diarrhea Medication

Some dogs respond well to anti-diarrheal medication. Your vet will need to prescribe this type of medication for your dog; do not give your dog human medication intended for this purpose. Always follow your vet’s dosing guidelines for your pet.

Probiotic Supplements

Your veterinarian may recommend giving your dog probiotic supplements along with their regular food. This method of diarrhea control works well for dogs who have inflammatory bowel disease as well as dogs who are very sensitive to food changes and medication. Your dog may need to take a probiotic daily to keep the diarrhea at bay.

IV Fluids

In severe instances of diarrhea that has lasted several days without easing up, your dog may need to be given IV fluids. However, if you take your pet to the vet quickly enough following the onset of diarrhea, you can often avoid this treatment requirement by preventing dehydration from setting in.

Talk with Your Boston Veterinary Clinic Team

Most of the time, diarrhea isn’t anything too serious for dogs, and it will usually clear up in a day or two. However, if your dog’s diarrhea doesn’t clear up for some time, you may need to take them to the vet for a more aggressive treatment option.

Your vet will work with you to determine the cause of your dog’s diarrhea based on a stool sample. From there, the vet will explain the treatment and management options to you and can help you better understand your dog’s health as well. Follow the vet’s advice to get your dog back to normal health in no time.

Book an appointment online to talk with a Boston Veterinary Clinic veterinarian about your dog’s diarrhea.