My Puppy has Diarrhea

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puppy diarrhea
Diarrhea can be caused by food issues, your puppy eating something he shouldn’t have or it can be a sign of something serious.

Puppies have sensitive tummies and at some point your puppy is going to have diarrhea. Diarrhea can be caused by switching your puppy’s food too quickly, an intolerance of a new food or a sign of something more serious. It is possible that your puppy has also eaten something he shouldn’t have eaten. You should always consult with your vet if your puppy has diarrhea lasting more than a couple of days, is accompanied by vomiting or retching, he’s restless, lethargic and/or becomes dehydrated. Diarrhea can be a symptom of something very serious with your puppy.


The Pumpkin Fix

If you are in the process of switching your puppy’s food, you may have switched too fast. Scale back on the newer food and add a tablespoon of canned, pure pumpkin puree to his food. Make sure it is pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling has milk, sugar and spices added to it which aren’t good for a tummy that is already upset. Once his stools are back to normal, you can stop adding the pumpkin to his food and continue with the switch, slowing down the rate at which you add the new food.


The Bland Diet Fix

If you stop adding the pumpkin to his food and the diarrhea returns, fast your puppy for one meal. This will allow everything to empty out of his tummy. Feed him a bland diet of rice and boiled chicken. You can make this by poaching a chicken breast in four cups of water. Don’t add anything to it. No salt, pepper, oil, butter or spices. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and add two cups of uncooked white rice. Cook as usual. The broth will add flavor to the rice for your puppy. Cool and feed approximately one cup of rice, with approximately a quarter of the chicken shredded and mixed into it. If your puppy’s stools return to normal, then gradually add back his dry kibble.

You can also include a tablespoon of pumpkin puree in the bland diet to help firm things up.


Try a Different Food or Protein Source

If you continue switching your puppy’s food and the diarrhea returns, it could be that the food you are switching him to doesn’t agree with him. Discontinue the transition to the new food. Put puppy back on his old food, adding pumpkin to each meal for the next couple of meals. Once he is fine and eating his old food, give him about a week and you can try switching him to a new food. Try a food that has a lower protein content. The first food may have been too rich for his tummy. Also try different protein sources to rule out an allergy to any particular one. For example, if the food you tried him on had chicken as its main protein source, look for something that contains no chicken and has another meat or fish as it’s main protein.


I’m not switching my dog’s food and he has diarrhea

Puppies and dogs at some point get into something they shouldn’t have and it will upset their tummies. Again, you can add a tablespoon of pumpkin puree for puppies and two tablespoons for adult dogs to their kibble to help firm up their stools and settle their tummies. If it hasn’t worked after a day, fast your dog for one meal and follow the bland diet as above.

Not Sure? Get Your Puppy to a Vet

Because puppies are still growing and developing, they have less tolerance than an adult dog. Puppies with serious issues can go downhill fast. If your dog’s diarrhea is accompanied by any behavior out of the ordinary for him or any other symptoms, get him to the vet immediately as it may be a sign of a serious issue. Other symptoms include vomiting or retching, if he is lethargic, is restless and/or becomes dehydrated. If you have any doubts as to the cause of your puppy’s diarrhea, you should have him seen by a vet.


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