Eww! What is that smell? Let’s just say that if your new puppy has diarrhea, you will know and you will know quickly. But what should you do and how can you help?
If you find yourself in this all-too-real situation, don’t fret. We’ve got your back and can help with a solution to get your puppy (and yourself!) out of trouble.
To start, it’s important to know what causes diarrhea in puppies.
A few common causes of diarrhea in puppies include:
- Ingestion of toxins, garbage, or foreign bodies
- Bacterial or viral infection
- Change of diet or food intolerance
- Developing GI tract
Let’s discuss each of these causes individually and how to get your puppy’s digestive system back on track.
Your puppy ate what??
Puppies are notorious for eating things that they shouldn’t. Things puppies shouldn’t eat (but could easily get into) include chocolate, grapes, gum (especially sugar free gum that includes Xylitol), cleaning products, fertilizers, automobile fluids, essential oils, and batteries. All of these household toxins can affect your puppies metabolic, gastrointestinal (GI), musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems.
Garbage should not be ingested by puppies for many reasons. There is the chance of spoiled food having an adverse effect on a puppy's gastrointestinal system and may include other toxic items or foreign bodies.
Foreign bodies are objects that should not be eaten by puppies that can get stuck in their digestive tract. This includes anything from socks, to soap bars, to jewelry, chicken bones, etc.
In addition, some plants, flowers, and vegetation can be poisonous for dogs. You can find more information about these in the links below.
Of course, you will do your best to prevent all of this, but in the event that your puppy has ingested something they shouldn’t have, it is important to call your vet immediately. If it seems like there is lack of time, call an emergency vet so they can walk you through the appropriate at-home procedures.
Puppies and parasites seem to be attracted to each other. Puppies can contract parasites in utero or from their environment. An example of some common parasites in puppies include roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia, and giardia. These are all serious infestations and require veterinary attention.
Bacterial and viral infections
Puppies’ immune systems are still developing, which means that they are more susceptible to getting infections. Examples of some bacterial infections include Salmonella, E. coli, and Clostridium. Some common viral infections include: parvovirus, distemper virus, and coronavirus.
Any of these infections require veterinarian attention. Some infections can be milder than others, but if your puppy has a bacterial or viral infection, they will usually have more symptoms beyond diarrhea including vomiting, bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, and general lethargy.
Change of diet or food intolerance
Changes in diet can cause a puppy to have diarrhea, which is why it is always recommended to slowly change your puppy’s food over a one-week period.
Puppies can also have food allergies and intolerance. If your puppy’s diarrhea started after a change in diet, your veterinarian may recommend a diet test to help rule out which ingredients are causing a problem for the puppy’s GI tract.
Are you stressed about having a new puppy? Remember that your puppy is likely stressed too after moving to a new home away from its mama!
An upset stomach due to stress can lead to diarrhea in puppies, just like it can in humans. In this case it is important to monitor your puppy and provide supportive supplements. It is likely not an emergency unless it does not resolve and the puppy becomes dehydrated.
Developing GI tract
The simple fact that puppies’ digestive systems are still developing makes them more susceptible to gastrointestinal irritation. They are born with a naive gut and rely on their mother’s colostrum to gain maternal antibodies that help fight infections. They do not have the immunity or tolerance that adult dogs do and may be more sensitive until they mature.
Preventing puppy diarrhea with probiotics
Help your puppy and their developing gastrointestinal tract start life off strong by providing them with probiotics. A good, healthy gut early in life can help prevent and treat cases of puppy diarrhea.
FullBucket is the first company to create an all-natural, veterinarian-approved probiotic for puppies under high-risk for digestive disease, diarrhea, parvovirus, and general stomach upset.
This probiotic paste for puppies was specially designed to support the balance of beneficial bacteria in the puppy digestive tract and aid in immune defense, as it includes parvovirus antibodies and the yeast-based powerhouse, Saccharomyces boulardii.
Administer this probiotic paste in 2-4 cc increments twice daily for 4-8 days, or as recommended by your veterinarian and your puppy’s diarrhea will be gone in no time.