The Runs of Diarrhea

In Health Tips on March 18, 2013 at 10:42 am

Every pet owner, at some point or another, has encountered the challenge of having an animal with diarrhea. We all now this is an unpleasant experience for both the animal and owner. Your pet has the urgency to always have to “go,” and you have the task of cleanup. But, why do our pets get diarrhea in the first place?



One of the main causes is from eating something your pet shouldn’t. This causes an upset stomach just like we get. Other reasons diarrhea occurs includes:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Toxicities
  • High fat diets
  • Sudden change in diet
  • Reaction to medication or allergens
  • Virus
  • Gastrointestinal disease such as inflammatory bowel disease, liver or kidney disease, cancer, etc.
  • Parasites
  • Poor diet
  • Compromised immune system

As you can see, if your animal begins having diarrhea, there are a number of different causes. When an animal has diarrhea they tend to have a frequency of needing to go out, straining to defecate, they could become dehydrated, lose their appetite, or even develop a fever.

What should you do?

Since diarrhea can be a common theme, I suggest starting with a 12-hour period of no food. This can clear the stomach of any bad foods and helps to start over. After 12 hours is up begin with a bland diet, starting with small portions and working up to a normal meal.

A Bland diet could include lean ground beef, cooked thoroughly making sure to drain out all grease and serve it with cooked rice. Or, cooking a boneless, skinless chicken breast and shredding it over rice. These are some easy to make at home recipes.

Otherwise your veterinarian might be able to provide a few cans of a bland prescription diet such as Science Diet I/D or Royal Canine gastrointestinal. For these food, you need a prescription from your vet. These diets help ease the stomach and hopefully recover your animal’s problem.

After you start feeding your pet a bland diet, continue to do so until their stool looks normal. Also make sure they are only receiving this diet, no treats or table scraps. If the pets stool turns normal within 72 hours, begin slowly transitioning their food back to their normal diet. Do this over the course of 3-4 days.

If their stool does not improve within 72 hours, or your animal begins having blood in their stool you should call your vet and let them know what you have tried. At this point, your pet is probably dehydrated and what you thought was simply a case of an upset stomach, could reveal there is something else going on.

Diarrhea can be more then a simple case of an upset stomach. It might actually be the only sign you get from your pet when something more serious is going on. But if it were my pet, and he was completely healthy, I would start with the bland diet and if that does not work I would talk with my vet and begin running some tests. If you are lucky you might catch a disease or problem before it becomes more serious.

Diarrhea is a common problem but could become serious. Does your pet get diarrhea? What causes it? What do you do to stop or prevent it?

Comment, post, question, and learn. Lets connect!


  1. Hi Lauren! I have a Pyr/Hound mix, and before him, I had a Brittany. In addition to your suggestions, I’ve had good luck with sweet potato or pumpkin and enzymes and probiotics. Oakley gets a probiotic-enzyme capsule and 1/2 of sweet potato or pumpkin a day. I also use a homeopathic remedy, but if he doesn’t respond to that, it’s time to see the vet. Thanks for a timely entry.

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