Dogs are prone to digestive problems such as Diarrhea. Sometimes, it can be caused by a more severe health issue, some requires close attention.
The seriousness of your dog’s diarrhea actually depends on how long it has persisted. You can also get an idea of how serious it is based on the signs. If let’s say your dog’s feces has blood in it, then the cause might be more serious. Diarrhea can be a sign for underlying disorders such as bacterial infections, allergies, viral infections, inflammatory intestinal disease and more.
Diarrhea by definition is having frequent loose, watery stools in a day. It could vary depending on the size and breed of the dog. Diarrhea in dogs is very common mainly because they will ingest mostly anything, including their own poop.
You can’t really prevent diarrhea on dogs, but knowing about it though may help limit the number of times you deal with these unpleasant episodes.
Similarities and differences with humans
A Dog’s digestion is different to that of us humans. We start digesting food through the salivary enzymes found in the mouth. Dogs on the other hand tears and wolf down the food and start digesting it in the stomach. Their salivary enzymes are used mostly for fighting bacteria that enters their mouth and for releasing off heat (it is how they “sweat”).
Just like us though, dogs also need different types of food and nutrients to stay fit and healthy. The differences between us are the anatomies and bodily processes which should be the main factors in choosing the food we give them.
How long does it take for a dog to digest food?
It takes eight to ten hours for dogs to finish digesting what they ingested. The digestive system of a dog has the shortest total processing cycle time of any mammal.
Dog chewing process
Unlike humans, dogs can’t chew side to side. A dog’s jaw only allows up and down motion when chewing. This limits them from grinding the food further.
Watery, loose stool
Frequent potty breaks
Increased volume of feces
Straining to defecate
Loss of appetite
Lack of energy
Stool sometimes comes with blood
Sudden change in diet
Bad eating habits
Ingested foreign object
Toxic ingestion (includes poisonous plants, chemicals, toxic foods)
Parasites (hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, coccidia, giardia)
Infections from common viruses (parvovirus, distemper, coronavirus)
Bacterial infections (salmonella)
Illnesses (kidney and liver diseases, colitis, enteritis, inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut syndrome, cancer)
Ingested antibiotics or other medicines
– For puppies, feed them with a bland diet that consists of white rice and boiled chicken. This tends to work most of the time when it comes to stopping diarrhea
– For adult dogs, 12-24 hours fasting to give the digestive tract a chance to rest
– Offer some pumpkin and apples. These are great at soothing upset stomachs. Pumpkin has a low glycemic index which helps your dog absorb it slowly in the body. While apples contain pectin, which helps bulk up the stool. These are good remedies for both diarrhea and constipation
– Offer some bone broth. This will help ease up your dogs’ upset stomach while simultaneously hydrating them. Bone broth can be frozen. Buying in advance is a good idea in case of emergency situations
– Probiotics can help restore gut flora of your dog. You can give some yogurt, kefir, Erceflora, kaolin/pectin
– Make sure that your dog is hydrated, you can mix in dextrose powder
– Some dogs can tolerate medicines such as Imodium but it’s best and safest to ask your vet before giving it to your dog
– If there’s too much blood in the poop, you can ask your vet about giving hemostan to control bleeding
– If your dog is diagnosed with any gastrointestinal problem, follow the prescription given by the vet
- Prescription diet or elimination diet (gradually remove all current food and introduce single ingredient diet to determine possible cause of food intolerance)
- If the cause is allergies, your vet might advise giving your dog steroids to stop the immune system from reacting
When to call the vet
Diarrhea can be a huge mess which could lead to a more serious health problem to your dog. You need to make sure that your dog doesn’t eat anything that you’re unsure if it’s safe to consume. Assess your dog’s poop from time to time. If you notice something different, immediately seek medical help from your vet. Remember also the last couple of meals you gave your dog or if there’s a history of any digestive problems. Your vet will most likely ask for these kinds of information.