Diarrhea in Dogs – The Typical Causes

diarrhea in dogsPREFACE:
On the subject of ‘diarrhea in dogs’, it would be normal to assume that every dog is going to have diarrhea sometimes, right? This issue is not a shocker – but it can sometimes become a problem. Diarrhea in dogs can range from slightly loose stools to very runny/watery stools. Depending on the severity of this digestive problem, diarrhea can also be accompanied by other symptoms like gas, strong odor, straining and blood in the stools. Just like with humans, diarrhea in dogs isn’t always a huge cause for concern – but it is good to know what can cause this digestive disorder.

Eating Inappropriate Things

No surprise here – dogs will eat the strangest things sometimes. Everything from toilet paper to shoes, feces to deceased small rodents. This is one of the MOST common causes of diarrhea in dogs. The digestive system isn’t designed to even recognize these types eaten objects, so they will understandably cause digestive upset – usually in the form of diarrhea. Do your best to keep your dog from indulging in these strange things and consider checking with your vet if you are concerned about this un-food getting stuck.

Medical Treatments – Including Vaccinations and Antibiotics

Dogs digestive systems are very basic – just like ours – and can become confused when the body is pumped full of irregular substances or chemicals. If your dog gets diarrhea after a vet treatment, keep him hydrated and let your vet know. Maybe they can change the meds or suggest alternative routes of treatment for your dog in the future.

Changing Dog Foods

We all like to give our dogs a variety of choices in food, but we must be careful when switching foods – especially if you are changing them from one brand to the next. Different foods are prepared and/or processed in different plants, so abruptly switching dog foods can cause a toxic build up and upset normal digestion – often times causing diarrhea in dogs. If you plan to switch diets, be sure to transition your dog to the new food by blending both foods over a 1-2 week period.

Storing Dog Food in a Plastic Container can Cause Diarrhea in Dogs

This may come as a shock to many dog owners, as many major pet stores promote doggy food storage containers that are made of plastic. Plastic is a breeding place for bacteria. Storing food in plastic can cause a bacteria build-up in the dog food – which most definitely can lead to an upset digestive system and diarrhea. If bacteria manages to contaminate your storage container, it will continue to proliferate into new batches of food, each time you add a new bag of food to the container – if not cleaned out properly. Therefore, if you must use a plastic storage container, be sure that it has a tight seal each time new food is to be added, be sure to wash out the container thoroughly with an anti-bacterial soap.  Then refill with food.

Poor Quality Dog Food

Dogs are often unable to digest many of the ingredients in the average chain store dog foods. Ingredients such as corn and certain additives, preservatives and coloring’s are not good for a dog’s digestive system. Don’t be fooled by major brand name dog foods that promote themselves as “natural” and “well balanced.” If you see that your dog often has runny stools, first take a look at the ingredients in his food. You may want to take some time to research premium and holistic dog foods that will promote healthy digestive functions.

Diarrhea in dogs may not always be a cause for concern but it should never be overlooked. If your dog has diarrhea it is good to know why. These are just a few of the more common and yet less severe. causes of diarrhea in dogs. If you see that the problem is happening frequently or coupled with other symptoms, get him checked out as soon as possible.


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