Five common causes of canine diarrhea

There are many different diseases and conditions that can cause canine diarrhea. It isn’t a disease unto itself, but simply a symptom of an underlying problem. If left untreated, diarrhea can lead to dehydration and eventually death. Let’s take a look at some of the things that can cause it.


Food is one of the main ways that your dog can develop diarrhea. It can occur because of a sudden change in diet or just eating too much table food. The good news is that diarrhea caused by food can usually be resolved within a day. You simply have to allow your dog’s digestive system to settle down for a day by withholding food but giving plenty of water.


An infection by roundworms or hookworms can also lead to a bout of canine diarrhea. Roundworms are intestinal parasites that usually infect puppies. In addition to diarrhea, your dog will also have vomiting, poor growth, dull hair, and a pot-belly. If not treated, roundworms can cause an intestinal obstruction, pneumonia, or even death.

Hookworms affect dogs of any age. When fully mature, these parasites attach to the lining of your dog’s intestinal tract and feed on blood. They can also infect puppies before they are even born. These parasites cause a range of other symptoms such as weakness, bloody diarrhea, and severe anemia due to their feeding on the blood supply.


One of the next causes of canine diarrhea is parvovirus, a virus that usually affects younger dogs. The virus damages the intestinal lining so your dog’s body can’t absorb liquids and nutrients. This disease is often fatal. It causes severe dehydration, bloody stool, and bad breath. Adult dogs are rarely affected thanks to vaccination.


Distemper can also lead to diarrhea in dogs. This is an extremely serious disease that is highly contagious. The virus attacks the upper respiratory tract, intestinal tract, and brain. When the intestinal tract is affect, your dog will experience vomiting, dark diarrhea, coughing, and green discharge from the nose. The brain is affected in the final stages which leads to seizures. In the rare case where the dog survives, he will be prone to various nervous system disorders such as seizures.


Giardia is also an intestinal parasite that can cause diarrhea. Dogs can be infected with this parasite through contaminated water, food, or soil. Giardia can also be transmitted via direct contact. Many dogs that are infected won’t show any symptoms. However, the main symptom if diarrhea which can range from mild to severe.