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Understanding Canine Diarrhea: Causes and Effective Solutions

Canine diarrhea is a common concern among dog owners and can arise due to various factors, ranging from dietary indiscretion to underlying health issues. Recognizing the causes behind your dog's diarrhea and implementing appropriate remedies can alleviate discomfort and promote your pet's overall well-being.

Why Do Dogs Get Diarrhea?

Ingestion of Non-food Items:

Usually the biggest culprit of diarrhea is when a dog or cat consumes non-food items like garbage, plants, toxic substances, or foreign objects can irritate the digestive tract and lead to diarrhea. Or the pet may have eaten something outside that isn't agreeing with their stomach. Some toxic foods include Alcoholic drinks and food products containing alcohol, Avocado, Caffeine, Chocolate, Fatty foods, Garlic, Grapes and raisins, Macadamia nuts, Marijuana, Medicine intended for people or another pet, Onions, Salt.
Stress or Anxiety:

Stressful situations, anxiety, or changes in routine can affect a dog's digestive system and result in diarrhea. This includes a change of environment when a puppy is settling into their new home, or something changes in their home environment.

Dietary Changes:

Abrupt changes in your dog's diet or consuming unfamiliar food can upset their digestive system, leading to diarrhea. This includes scavenging for food or sudden changes in their regular diet. Read our blog "How to Correctly Switch Pet Foods" to learn how to properly changes your pet diet. Normally if food is the issue the pet should have Diarrhea within 24 hours of starting the food and it should occur everyday.

Food Allergies or Intolerances:

Some dogs might experience diarrhea as a result of allergies or intolerances to certain ingredients in their food, such as grains, proteins, or additives. Common food allergens encompass chicken, beef, soy, corn, dairy and wheat. Read our blog "The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Dog Allergies" to learn more about dog allergies. Again normally if food is the issue the pet should have Diarrhea within 24 hours of starting the food and it should occur everyday.

Bacterial or Viral Infections:

Infections caused by bacteria (such as Salmonella or E. coli) or viruses (like Parvovirus or Canine Distemper) can trigger gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea in dogs.

Over Feeding:

Overfeeding your dog, albeit done with the best intentions, can inadvertently lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea. Dogs, like humans, have specific dietary needs, and exceeding their daily food intake can overwhelm their digestive system. When a dog consumes an excessive amount of food, their digestive tract may struggle to process and absorb it efficiently. This overload can result in an imbalance within the gut, leading to diarrhea as the body attempts to expel the excess nutrients or cope with the sudden influx of food. Additionally, an abrupt increase in portion sizes or feeding rich, high-fat foods can disrupt the delicate balance of the digestive enzymes, causing gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea.

Solutions to Address Canine Diarrhea

Monitor and Hydrate:

Keep a close eye on your dog's condition and ensure they stay hydrated. Provide access to clean water and consider offering ice chips if your dog refuses to drink.

Bland Diet:

Prepare a bland diet comprising boiled white rice and plain Greek yogurt. You may add some chicken broth to add some flavour. This can help soothe the digestive system.

Probiotics and Pumpkin:

Probiotics and pumpkin can be valuable allies in resolving diarrhea in dogs. Probiotics, containing beneficial bacteria, help restore the natural balance of the gut flora, aiding digestion and strengthening the immune system. These supplements can replenish the gut with healthy microbes, enhancing the digestive process and reducing inflammation, which can contribute to diarrhea relief. A great probiotic is the NOVAnimal Probiotics 100g Maintenance. Pumpkin, a fiber-rich and easily digestible food, acts as a natural remedy for diarrhea in dogs. Its soluble fiber content absorbs excess water in the digestive tract, firming up loose stools. Moreover, pumpkin contains nutrients that support digestive health, making it an excellent choice for alleviating mild cases of diarrhea in dogs. The Nummy Tum Tum 374g Organic Pumpkin is a great organic option for adding pumpkin to their diet. When used appropriately, both probiotics and pumpkin can play a supportive role in managing and resolving diarrhea in dogs by promoting gut health and restoring normal bowel movements.


Maintain a consistent and balanced diet, avoid sudden dietary changes, keep hazardous substances out of reach, and minimize stressors to prevent future episodes of diarrhea.


Canine diarrhea can stem from various causes, and resolving it often involves a combination of home care and professional guidance. Monitoring your dog's diet, providing hydration, offering a bland diet, and seeking veterinary advice when needed are essential steps in managing diarrhea in dogs. Remember, prompt attention and appropriate care are crucial for your dog's comfort and health during episodes of gastrointestinal upset.