Diarrhoea in dogs

sleeping dog on a bed
Written by: Sam Webster (BVetMed MRCVS) Head Vet at Joii

There are all sorts of things that can cause diarrhoea in dogs, and while most mild cases will clear up within a day or two, sometimes it can be a sign of something more serious that needs veterinary treatment.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the different causes of dog diarrhoea, when you should take them to the vet and how to best treat and care for them while they get better.  

Causes of diarrhoea in dogs


The main cause for diarrhoea in dogs is usually an upset tummy from eating something they shouldn’t have. Sometimes it could also be caused by a food allergy or an intolerance to a certain ingredient. Dogs can be sensitive to dietary changes too, so if there’s a sudden change in the food they eat this may also result in diarrhoea.


Other reasons for diarrhoea in dogs can include gut infections such as parvovirus, worms, giardia or bacteria, or more serious illnesses and conditions including pancreatitis, liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease, although these are less likely.

When should I take my dog to the vets?

If the diarrhoea is accompanied by other symptoms and has lasted for more than 24 hours, the best thing to do is to get them checked out at the vets. More severe symptoms to look out for include blood and/or mucus in their diarrhoea, severe or constant watery diarrhoea, inappetance, vomiting and a lack of energy.


If your dog is either very young or elderly and seems to be unwell in general, or is taking any sort of medication for other issues, it would be best to get them checked out at the vets when you notice the diarrhoea.

What to give dogs for diarrhoea


In most mild cases where the diarrhoea lasts for less than 24 hours, and your dog seems otherwise well, just make sure they drink fluids and feed a simple food such as plain cooked chicken and boiled rice and ideally a special gastrointestinal dog diet to help replace all the nutrients they are losing and to firm up their faeces.

You could also buy some probiotics which are friendly bacteria for the gut and can help with diarrhoea. It’s also important to give your dog plenty of time to rest and avoid any energetic activities until they have fully recovered.


You can get access to a 24-hour Vet Advice Line when you take out Asda Pet Insurance, as well as enjoy the peace of mind that your dog is covered for those unexpected illnesses.

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