Puppy Diarrhea Archives

Bringing Home a New Puppy with Diarrhea

A reader asked me how to deal with a new puppy with diarrhea that they just brought home. If you get your puppy from a reputable breeder, or from a rescue or shelter, they should not allow anyone to bring home a puppy that has diarrhea. If you get your puppy from a pet store, or a backyard breeder, then they are just in it for the money and they don’t care if you have a sick puppy.

Sorry for that little rant. Anyway, even before you bring your puppy home, you should set up a place for them to go potty. Whether this is your back yard, or if it’s potty pads or paper set up on a balcony/deck, or in your home in your puppy’s confined area is up to you.

With that done, the very first thing you do when you get your puppy home is take him immediately to his potty spot. Start right away with your potty training. This goes for any new puppy, whether or not they have diarrhea, but especially if they do.

Then, follow my guidelines in house training a puppy with diarrhea.

Make Sure Your Puppy’s Diarrhea Isn’t More Serious

In each of my posts about puppy diarrhea, you will notice that I always will tell you to make sure you consult your vet to make sure your puppy doesn’t have anything more serious than just simple diarrhea. Several causes of diarrhea show the same symptoms.

I am writing about one of those serious causes of loose bowels, but this does have a good ending.

Some Causes of Puppy Diarrhea

There are several things that could cause diarrhea, such as eating something your puppy shouldn’t, being overheated, change in diet, eating a foreign object, ingesting a toxic substance, Colitis, bacterial or viral infection, and more.

They all seem to have the same general symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, decreased appetite, and other symptoms. However, some cases of puppy diarrhea are much more serious than a small bout of loose stools caused by an upset stomach.

I came across a couple posts about a new puppy that a family brought home, and they noticed their pup had diarrhea, was vomiting, and was lethargic. The symptoms continued, however. Luckily, they realized that this was not right and they took their puppy to the vet.

It turned out that the puppy had parvovirus. This can be a very deadly virus, especially if not caught in time. Luckily, Bosco received the care he needed and is now a very happy and healthy dog. Read about Bosco’s fight with parvo at the Common Craft blog.

After you click on that link I just gave you, scroll down and read the entire page to get the whole story and see all the pictures.

Should I Crate My Puppy With Diarrhea?

This is a tough question. When your puppy has diarrhea, if you put him back into his dog crate, will he make a mess inside? This could be a very real possibility.

When your puppy has diarrhea, you need to be diligent in getting him out very often to relieve his bowels. The first thing you want to do is to care for your puppy with diarrhea. Once he has loose stools, you will need to treat him so he gets over it quickly.

When you have your treatment under way, you need to remember this. You may need to get your puppy out to go potty every hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, or even sooner depending on how bad your puppy’s diarrhea condition is.

Your puppy is just learning his potty training. When he has diarrhea, you should think that all bets are off. It is your responsibility to get him out often. So, if you keep him out of the crate and loose in the house in between taking him out to go potty, then you need to watch his every move. When you see the slightest hint that he needs to have a bowel movement, get him out right then and there.

The same goes for putting your puppy in his dog crate in between potty. When he is feeling well and he goes in his crate after doing potty, you know he has several hours before he will have to go back out, depending on his age.

However, when he has diarrhea, he may need to go back out in just five minutes. Again, you will need to watch his every move. Once you see any hint that he needs to relieve himself, get him out right away or he may go in his crate.

If you have a plastic dog crate, it may be more difficult to watch his body language. If you are using a wire crate, it will be easier to watch him and see if he has to go potty again.

Whatever you decide, if you leave your puppy in or out of his crate when he has diarrhea, you MUST WATCH YOUR PUPPY CLOSELY and get your puppy out when he tells you he needs to go potty.

Caring for a Puppy With Diarrhea

I have had quite a few puppy owners ask me what to do when their puppy has diarrhea. You are trying to potty train your puppy, and a sick pup with diarrhea does not help matters. Your puppy cannot hold their bladder or bowel movements very long as it is, and now they may have to go out every few minutes because of an upset tummy.

First things first. Puppies like to get into things, and they often get into things that they shouldn’t. This is usually what causes the diarrhea, in most cases. With that said, it is always best to consult your vet, especially if you are not sure why your dog is sick. You must be aware that your puppy could have more than an upset stomach. Your puppy could also have giardia, worms, or other virus or infection.

Tips for Your Dog’s Diarrhea

Once you see that your dog has diarrhea, here are some helpful tips.  If you have already trained your puppy to tell you when he needs to go potty, take him out when he tells you he needs to go. If you have not trained him to do this, you must watch him at all times to read his body language. You will know when he needs to go potty.

A puppy with diarrhea may need to go out to go potty every few minutes. Be prepared for this. If you don’t want your dog to have an accident in the house, when they act like they need to go, get them out right away. When a puppy has diarrhea they have almost no control whatsoever. Don’t delay.

When you take your puppy out, examine what comes out of your dog. Look to see if there is anything in your dog’s stool that may tell you why he has diarrhea. I know this is a little gross, but you need to be a detective so you can help your puppy. The more you know, the better you can help him.

You might notice some blood in your puppy’s bowel movements. After many bowel movements, his insides will be irritated and may slough off some blood. If there are just traces of blood this usually means his bowels are just irritated. If you see a lot of blood, then you should contact your vet. They will most likely have you bring your dog in.

Another telling sign is your puppy’s attitude. If he is still alert and energetic, then he probably just has an upset stomach. If your pup seems overly depressed and is very lethargic, then it may be more than an upset stomach. All dogs are different and have their own characteristics when they don’t feel well. Since you and your puppy are still getting to know each other, you may or may not know how he acts when not feeling well.

Keeping Your Puppy Hydrated

Probably the most important thing is to make sure your puppy is drinking plenty of water. When a dog has diarrhea, he will lose a lot of fluids. You must make sure he always has fresh, clean water. Keep an eye on how much water he is drinking. Just watch the level in his water bowl. Your puppy should be drinking at least as much as he usually does, and possibly more. You can also add electrolytes to your puppy’s water to help keep him hydrated.

If you are worried that your puppy is getting dehydrated, then take a pinch of skin on his side, and make sure that it springs back within a second. If your dog is hairy, pinch the skin where there is not a lot of hair. If your puppy’s skin does not spring back, and just sits there in the pinch form, then check other areas too, just to make sure. If you determine that he is dehydrated, call your vet.

Fast Your Puppy

If your puppy has diarrhea, then the last thing you want to do is keep putting food back into him. You will want to let his system clear itself out completely. Stop feeding your puppy, and don’t give him anything for six to 10 hours. This means don’t give him food, treats, or anything except water.

Once your puppy has expelled most of his diarrhea, and you notice that not much is coming out anymore, you can feed him plain white rice, or plain pumpkin. Just make sure you get plain pumpkin. Don’t use any type of pumpkin pie mix, or any pumpkin with any sugar or anything else added. You can also add some hamburger meat or boilded chicken to the rice. Make sure it is lean meat, and drain all fat.

When you begin feeding him this diet, feed him in small portions. Feed a small portion and wait an hour or so to see how his stomach reacts to it. If he seems fine, then you can feed him another small portion. Do not feed more than his normal portion of food in total. Remember, this bland food is still richer than his dry kibble and can cause upset stomach if given too much.

This usually does the trick, and his stools should return to normal the next day. Once he is back to normal you can resume your regular feeding routine.

Your puppy’s attitude and keeping him hydrated are important guages to your dog’s health when he has diarrhea. Also, if your puppy’s upset stomach persists, then you want to call your vet. They can help you  from start to finish.

I will talk about crate training a puppy with diarrhea in my next post.