Nothing can be worse than when your new puppy has diarrhea. When all you want to do is play, cuddle, and nap with your new dog, but instead you are stuck searching for a puppy diarrhea treatment, your day can go from good to bad very quickly.
There are a number of remedies and treatments you can give your pup, which are listed below along with the typical causes of diarrhea.
Causes of Diarrhea in Puppies
Puppies are like children in many ways: they need to be potty trained, they sometimes don’t listen, they provide unconditional love, and they occasionally get sick for seemingly no reason.
Diarrhea in puppies has many causes, and finding out exactly which one is afflicting your pet can be tough. However, knowing the risk factors can also help you prevent bouts of diarrhea in the future.
Perhaps one of the most common causes of diarrhea in puppies and dogs alike is stress. Changes in routine, introduction of a new family member, moving to a new home, or a chaotic day can all cause your puppy to have the runs.
Switching to a new food is another common risk factor for the development of diarrhea in puppies.
When weaning a puppy or switching food brands, do so slowly over the course of 1 – 2 weeks. Gradually incorporate small amounts of the new food daily so as not to shock their digestive system.
Changing to a new food all at once should definitely be avoided.
Some dogs have food allergies that may cause them to develop diarrhea.
Common triggers are wheat, corn, rice, soy, and preservatives. Ground whole wheat may sound like a healthy ingredient, but it is merely a carbohydrate filler and unnecessary for canine health.
Another ingredient commonly seen in dog food is corn gluten meal. Gluten is highly allergenic and causes gastrintestinal fermentation . . . definitely not good for your puppy.
Feed your dog the highest quality food that you can afford and avoid ingredients labeled “by product,” “hulls,” “bran,” or “meal.”
Puppies are especially susceptible to parasites such as whipworm, roundworm, and tapeworm.
These insects live in the digestive tract and can wreak havoc with your dog’s nutrition, causing upset stomach, dehydration, and weight loss among other symptoms.
Consult with your veterinarian to be sure your puppy follows the appropriate worming schedule.
Indigestion is one of the most common health problems in canines. Puppies use their mouths to explore their world and often eat foods or other things that they shouldn’t.
Non-digestible items such as tree bark, chewed up socks, toy stuffing, and grass all my cause an upset stomach. Other causes of indigestion in puppies are overeating, anxiety and stress.
Treatment for Puppies with Diarrhea
There are many puppy diarrhea remedies that can relieve your pet’s symptoms.
While diarrhea can be serious, there is no need to panic at the initial signs. If pet owners called the veterinarian crying, “Help! My puppy has diarrhea!” every time an incident occurred, phone lines would constantly be busy.
Before resorting to medical interventions, listed below are treatments that can be administered at home.
If your dog is older than 6 months of age, let your puppy’s digestive tract settle on its own by having your dog fast for 12 – 24 hours.
Don’t worry, you’re not starving your puppy and he will be just fine. While your puppy is fasting, be sure that he or she drinks plenty of water.
This fasting period will be beneficial in cleaning out his system.
Diarrhea can quickly cause your pet to become dehydrated, which only exacerbates diarrhea.
Make sure your dog is getting plenty of liquids and electrolytes, such as Pedialyte.
You can also give your pet lightly salted chicken broth, or you can purchase electrolyte replenishing drinks that are specifically designed for dogs and puppies from pet stores.
One product that comes to mind is Rehydrate Canine Hydration Tabs. This isn’t exactly a drink but a package of effervescent tablets you dissolve in water. Developed by a vet, it’s an excellent way to replenish electrolytes lost from a bout with diarrhea.
Some human remedies, such as Pepto Bismol, work just as well in dogs.
The correct dosage of Pepto Bismol for puppies is 1 teaspoon per 5 lbs of body weight, and it can be administered every two hours.
However, there is a word of caution to heed if you’re considering this method.
Since Pepto Bismol comes in many different formulations and generic brands may not have the same ingredients, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian before using and for the proper dosage.
What to Feed a Puppy with Diarrhea
Along with the options mentioned above, you can also treat diarrhea with foods that are commonly found in the kitchen.
The best food for puppies with diarrhea is food that is plain (no extra spices or added seasoning) and easily digestible.
When feeding your puppy, keep portion sizes small. Your goal is to feed your pet multiple small meals throughout the day, rather than 2 – 3 large ones.
White rice is perhaps the most ubiquitous tummy-healing food for puppies.
According to the AKC, you can even save the rice water and feed that to your puppy to soothe his or her stomach. The rice water is also a great option if your dog is having trouble keeping down solid foods.
The probiotics in yogurt can help your puppy replenish good bacteria in his or her digestive tract.
Feed 1 – 2 tablespoons of the plain variety to your dog, and avoid anything with added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or fruit.
Canned pumpkin is a superfood when it comes to healing a dog’s digestive tract.
It is commonly prescribed for dogs with constipation and diarrhea alike, and can even help a dog naturally express his or her anal glands.
A great option is to mix 1 – 2 tablespoons of pumpkin (be sure it is not the pumpkin pie variety, which will be sweetened and contain potentially toxic spices) with plain yogurt for a nutritious, tummy-healing snack.
Just as tea can have calming digestive benefits for humans, it has the same effect on dogs.
Brew herbs in a pot on the stove such as chamomile, peppermint, or fennel and then let the tea chill in the refrigerator. Offer the tea to your dog (perhaps with a little bit of rice or baby food mixed in) for digestive relief.
Remove the skin from 1 – 2 white potatoes and boil them without salt until they are soft. After the potatoes have cooled, feed them to your pup.
The starch in the potatoes will help firm up your dog’s stools.
When to See a Veterinarian
If your puppy with diarrhea does not start to feel better within a day, it is wise to call a veterinarian.
Your puppy may be experiencing an underlying condition, such as parasites or a serious illness.
If your puppy becomes weak, begins vomiting, develops pale gums, has a fever, or has an existing medical condition, you should seek help from a veterinarian immediately.