Health & Nutrition

What Causes and How to Treat Diarrhea in Dogs!?

What Causes and How to Treat Diarrhea in Dogs!?

Has your Golden Retriever been feeling under the weather?

Diarrhea in dogs is actually a very common issue which brings with it a foul smell and a few accidents that you may need to clean up.

There are a few reasons why your doggy friend may be experiencing diarrhea. Let’s take a look:

  • Oversecretion
  • Osmotic imbalances
  • Motility disorder
  • Intestinal exudation

In this blog post, I will get into detail about what causes and how to treat diarrhea in dogs and will give to you the right and relevant information so you’re prepared for the next time your dog has tummy issues.

So, without any further ado, let’s begin, shall we?

Let’s jump right in!

The Main Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs

As I mentioned in the introduction, there are four major reasons why dogs get diarrhea. Let’s take a closer look at each one to help you determine what the issue is with your dog.

Let’s take a look at each of these reasons:

  • Over Secretion: This is when your dog’s intestine secretes way too much fluid as a result of exposure to toxins or bacteria
  • Osmotic imbalances: These occur due to an extremely high concentration of food molecules on the dog’s intestines because of which a large quantity of water is drawn to the intestine leading to diarrhea
  • Intestinal exudation: This is due to the slow oozing of blood through ulcers which breaks the tissue layers of the intestine–this could be very mild or severe.
  • Motility disorder: This is related to the over-activity of the intestine and the capability of food to go through it.

Golden Retrievers may even get diarrhea due to multiple causes such as intestinal infections couples with a motility disorder of the intestine.

You get the brown and smelly picture, right?


Some of the Common Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs:

So, you feed your dog the best dog food available and must be wondering why he got diarrhea.

In this section of the blog post, we will go through a few common reasons.

Let’s begin.

Following are some of the most common reasons why dogs get diarrhea:

  • Eating garbage, non-food materials or food that is spoiled
  • Systemic illness
  • Hypersensitivity of the digestive tract
  • Changes or new adjustments to diet
  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatic disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Addison’s disease leading to decreased activity of adrenal glands in dogs
  • Ingestion of foreign bodies
  • Blockage of the intestine
  • Infections: Viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic
  • Rickettsial – a bacterial infection which is typically acquired via parasites such as ticks, fleas, etc.
  • Ingestion of drugs and toxins

Keep in mind that these are only a few of the top reasons why pet dogs get diarrhea. I would recommend that you contact your vet asap to get to the root of the problem.

How You Can Treat Diarrhea in Dogs

If you have a young dog, an older dog, or a dog who has a preexisting condition then, you should probably call the vet for the best advice.

Dogs can get severely dehydrated when they have diarrhea—-even if it is mild so, you need to make sure that your dog is getting enough water. Call your vet if the dog’s stool is too frequent or too runny.

Another thing is that if your dog’s stool has even a little streak of blood, you must call your vet.

Other serious things include dark and tarry stool, excessive vomiting, lethargy, depression, and pain. These things could indicate other serious health conditions that need immediate care.


If your dog is pink of health then, you can do the following:

  • Ensure that your dog has access to a lot of clean water
  • Try to give your dog a small meal
  • If the symptoms of diarrhea continue for more than 24 hours, or if the condition of your dog worsens, then, call your vet and book an appointment immediately.

Following are the steps you should follow for dogs that have diarrhea and have vomited once or twice:

  1. Make sure that you remove all food from your dog’s access for 12 hours
  2. Make sure that you offer your dog some small amounts of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration. You may also dilute chicken broth or beef broth as well.
  3. If your doggy friend has not vomited for six hours, then, offer your dog a small amount of boneless and skinless white meat chicken with some white rice
  4. Be patient and wait for at least 2 hours. If your dog doesn’t vomit then, offer your dog another small serving of rice with cooked chicken.
  5. Continue this and keep gradually increasing the amount of food with each meal and try to lengthen the time between the meals until the stool is back to normal again.


Diarrhea in dogs is fairly common and is not usually something to be too worried about.

However, if symptoms such as lethargy, black or tarry stool, blood in stool, etc. occur, be sure to call the vet immediately as they can be symptoms of a serious medical ailment. Other than that, diarrhea is something that fixes itself.

All you need to do is to:

  • Ensure that your dog has access to a lot of clean water
  • Try to give your dog a small meal

Diarrhea is how your dog’s digestive system cleanses itself after your dog has eaten something that didn’t agree with it.

Still have questions? Leave them in the comments section!