Diarrhea is not uncommon in puppies, especially if you introduce a new brand of dog food or if they get into the garbage. Your puppy's natural defense system rushes the offending substance through his stomach and intestines without stopping to digest, resulting in loose or watery stools. Occasional mild diarrhea may respond to natural remedies.
Wait for 24 hours before feeding your puppy, suggests "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats," to allow his irritated digestive system to heal. (Reference 1, p. 177) However, encourage your puppy to drink lots of water to reduce the risk of dehydration.
When you reintroduce food, start with small amounts of bland, easily digestible fare. Cooked white rice, boiled chicken breasts or boiled hamburger will soothe your puppy's stomach, or choose cooked pasta, canned pumpkin puree or mashed potatoes. Make sure all food items are free from salt, sugar and other seasonings. Avoid feeding your puppy dairy products. (Reference 1, p. 178, 79)
Dietary fiber, such as Metamucil, absorbs water in the stomach and may help firm up your puppy's loose stools. For a medium-size puppy, choose unflavored and unsweetened dietary fiber and add 1 tsp to a small amount of water before pouring it over bland food. For a toy breed, use slightly less, and double the amount for a large- or a giant-breed puppy. (Reference 1, p. 179)
If your puppy is up for it, take him for a short walk once or twice a day. The portion of the nervous system responsible for maintaining normal digestion may be stimulated by mild exercise. However, if your puppy's energy level is low, allow him to rest. (Reference 1, p. 179)
Emotional upheaval can trigger a diarrhea episode. If you just brought your new puppy home or you introduced a new pet to the family, the stress on your puppy could result in loose stools. Take the time to reassure your puppy and help him adjust to the new situation. (Reference 1, p. 180)
Call the vet
While many bouts of puppy diarrhea can be easily treated at home, prolonged diarrhea or the presence of additional symptoms, such as a fever, pain or lethargy should be examined by a veterinarian. (Reference 1, p. 178)
- "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats," the Editors of Prevention Magazine, Amy Marder VDM, Bantam Books, 1996