Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea?

why does my dog have diarrhea

Diarrhea is a common problem in dogs and can be caused by a variety of factors. Understanding the causes of diarrhea in dogs can help you take the appropriate steps to address the issue and prevent it from happening in the future.

Dietary Issues

One of the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs is a change in diet or the consumption of something that doesn’t agree with them. Diarrhea could be from eating a new type of food, table scraps, or even eating too much of something they’re already accustomed to. Dogs can also be sensitive to certain ingredients in their food, such as wheat or corn, which can lead to diarrhea.

Bacterial or Viral Infections

Another common cause of diarrhea in dogs is a bacterial or viral infection. Infections can be spread through contact with other dogs, contaminated food or water, or even from contact with fecal matter in the environment. Common examples of bacterial infections that can cause diarrhea in dogs include salmonella and campylobacter.


Intestinal parasites, such as worms and protozoa, can also cause diarrhea in dogs. Parasites can be contracted through contact with contaminated food, water, or fecal matter. Dangerous parasites can also be spread through fleas and ticks. Common examples of intestinal parasites that can cause diarrhea in dogs include roundworms, tapeworms, and giardia.


Certain medications, such as antibiotics, can cause diarrhea as a side effect. If your dog is on any medications, it is important to speak with your veterinarian to see if the diarrhea could be a side effect.


Stress can also cause diarrhea in dogs. Situations such as moving to a new home, a new pet or family member, or even a loud noise or thunderstorm can cause stress-related diarrhea.

Underlying Health Conditions

Diarrhea can also be a symptom of an underlying health condition such as inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, or liver disease.


Dogs can be exposed to toxins in many different ways, including ingesting something toxic, such as cleaning products, chocolate or plants. These toxins can cause severe diarrhea and other symptoms.

It is important to note that diarrhea can be a symptom of a serious underlying condition. Remember to take your dog to the vet if their diarrhea persists or is accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, or lethargy. Your veterinarian will be able to help determine the cause of your dog’s diarrhea and recommend the appropriate course of treatment. Those treatments may include dietary changes, medication, or even surgery in some cases.

To prevent diarrhea in dogs, it is important to provide them with a well-balanced diet and clean, fresh water. It’s also important to keep their environment clean and free of contaminants, such as feces and garbage. If your dog does develop diarrhea, it’s important to keep them hydrated and avoid feeding them until the diarrhea has subsided.

The Bottom Line:

There are many different causes of diarrhea in dogs and it is important to understand the specific cause in order to provide the best treatment. Some common causes include dietary issues, bacterial or viral infections, parasites, medications, stress, underlying health conditions, and poisoning. If your dog has diarrhea, it is important to take them to the veterinarian to determine the cause and provide the appropriate treatment. Taking steps to prevent diarrhea in dogs, such as providing a well-balanced diet and keeping their environment clean, can also help to reduce the risk of diarrhea in the future.