How Do You Stop Diarrhea in Dogs? This Answer May Surprise You!

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Whether its dogs or humans, diarrhea is terrible. For humans, it can be caused by a multitude of things – food that we ate, a stomach bug, medicine, or even our nerves (IBS). Of course, there are other culprits. Did you know that the reasons behind that nasty, runny poo are often (not always, of course) the same in dogs? Not many people do, and they also aren’t aware that there are different ways to help your pup in this situation. So, how do you stop diarrhea in dogs?

What Are Some Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs?
How Do You Stop Diarrhea In Dogs

There are many different things that can cause this problem. Dogs can get different types of parasites, different types of worms. That is why getting your puppy a de-wormer with its first set of shots is so important. This can stop your puppy from getting sick.

Another culprit is food. There are different ways that food can hurt your dog’s tummy. Here are a few of them:

  • Transitioning (changing) foods. The most common time to change food is when your puppy starts growing up. A lot of people unknowingly change from puppy food to adult food. Although there are instructions for how to do this on the back of the bag, not many people are aware of how dangerous it is to just change food all of a sudden.

The best way to stop your dog from getting diarrhea from food changes is to do it a little at a time, over at least a week. Preferably over the course of two weeks. This will allow the stomach to get used to the different ingredients.

The same goes for switching brands of food. There are different ingredients and textures that may upset your dog’s stomach.

When changing food, you should mix 1/4 new food and 3/4 old food. Do this for a few days. After that, adjust it to a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture. As long as your dog is doing well, after a few days you can mix 3/4 new food and 1/4 old food.

Again, as long as your dog is doing good on that level, then you can just give them the new food. Some people say to do this over a week’s time, but I would suggest doing it over a 2-week span. It really depends on how your dog adjusts to the new food.

How Do You Stop Diarrhea In Dogs If They Have Parasites?


  • There are different types of worms that your dog (especially a puppy) can get, even after it has been de-wormed a few times. Some of these can cause diarrhea. So, as disgusting as it is, you should take a sample to the vet. Sometimes you can see the worms yourself, other times they can only be seen under a microscope.
  • One of my dogs had an illness called giardiasis. Humans can get it as well, and it is a very miserable illness. It literally hurts. And it can last for days. I don’t know of any treatments for it, except maybe a round of antibiotics?

When my dog had it, she wouldn’t eat or drink. I had to coax her to drink with soup broth for a while. She also whined a lot, and slept as much as she could. Because I couldn’t figure out what was going on, except the fact that she had diarrhea, I took her (and a stool sample) to the vet.

The results were in – giardiasis. I asked her how a dog could get such an illness and she asked me if there were any puddles of water outside that my dog could have been drinking.

Indeed, there were. I never knew the dangers of a puddle of water! If, it has been there for a couple of days, bacteria start to grow. A type of worm can start to grow, and when an animal drinks that water, they are also introducing that stuff into their bodies.

It makes them ill very quickly. Thankfully, the vet gave her a round of antibiotics and another medicine (that one I can’t recall), and within a few days she was feeling better. Never again have I let any of my pets drink water from the ground outside!

How to Stop Diarrhea in Dogs Caused By Nervousness

Being nervous tends to upset tummies, and dogs are no different. If your fur baby has had something happen that has scared or upset them, they may have an upset stomach. Now, I have no idea what the vets would label this as, but I do know it happens. My own dog gets it, but she is a very anxious girl, and does not adapt to any kind of change in her environment very well.

Those are just a few of the different causes. As you can imagine, there are more, I just can’t think of them off-hand. But this article was meant to tell you how you can HELP your dog, not give you the reasons behind the diarrhea to begin with.

How Do You Stop Diarrhea In Dogs

A Few Ways to Help Your Dog Get Rid of Dog Diarrhea

First and foremost… PLEASE do NOT yell at your dog for being sick! (Yes, I did have to bold that sentence.) I have been guilty of it as well, so I know how extremely easy it is to get upset when you have runny, messy poop all over the house. Yuck.

But it isn’t their fault that they are sick, just like it isn’t your fault when you get sick. It happens. We just have to grin and bear it, make sure we clean it well, and get through it together.

If you have a puppy with it, you may find it best to confine it to a room that is not carpeted. (Believe me, it is MUCH better this way.) Please don’t leave them outside, you don’t want to punish them! They don’t know what’s wrong, they only know that they don’t feel well. If you do decide to leave them in a room by themselves, pay attention to them.

Put some toys in there, and talk to them. Pet them. Hold them in your lap if they want. Remember – YOU are the one that they turn to when they’re not well. YOU are the only one that can help them. If you leave them in a separate room, don’t abandon them!

How to Treat Dog Diarrhea

There are different thoughts and suggestions for how to treat a sick pup. One of these, surprisingly, is a can of pumpkin. Yes, you heard that right, pumpkin. I really don’t know how or why it works so well, I only know that it works for a multitude of doggie stomach problems.

  • You can either get it in a can, (make sure it is pure pumpkin, NOT the pumpkin stuff that you make pies with.) I made that mistake once, it’s easy to do. You can also get a real pumpkin and cook it and puree it. As many people are switching or organic foods, this is proving to be a good alternative to canned.

Just offer a little bit at a time. Some dogs take to it immediately, so it’s important to give it slowly. Other dogs (like mine, of course) will refuse to eat it. (If you have any suggestions for this, please let me know!) Of course, it doesn’t work immediately, but it does work fairly quickly. Make sure that your dog is staying hydrated during this time. That part is the most important. Diarrhea obviously sucks the water out of the body fast, and you have to replenish it as quickly as you can.

  • There are other ways as well. A boiled chicken and rice diet (or just rice, or just chicken) seems to work as well. Again, I don’t know the exact reasoning behind this, I only know that it is another thing that vets recommend. It’s easy to make, just remember not to season the chicken. Also, shred it as much as possible so that the dog’s digestive system doesn’t have to work hard to digest it. You could also puree it, to make it even easier for them.

Talk to a vet. They have other options, and even may have different treatments or medicines to give, depending on how bad the situation is. I would call first, of course, they may tell you to do the things that are listed above before you bring them in to be seen. You just never know. Just be prepared to get a sample to bring with you.

How Do You Stop Diarrhea In Puppies and Elderly Dogs?

I have included this section for a very specific reason – the major health risk that comes with these two age groups. Typically, an adult dog will get sick, but its immune system (if working properly) will help to fight whatever is going on.

On the other hand, when you have a puppy, their digestive systems are just developing (depending, of course, on how old they are). They are at a high risk of dehydration as well as essential vitamin and mineral loss.

I would highly suggest that you contact your vet, as they can give you options that I don’t know of, that can help faster. Or they can maybe give them some type of supplement, depending on the severity of the diarrhea.

For elderly dog, the dire situation is about the same. Depending on the severity of the problem, they can be losing precious amounts of much needed vitamins and minerals that their bodies need to stay healthy.

An excerpt taken from, “Severe or prolonged diarrhea can result in significant dehydration and metabolic disturbances due to fluid loss and your pet may require hospitalization for intravenous fluid therapy.”, shows how dangerous diarrhea can be.

I would contact the vet as soon as possible for elderly dogs, even if it isn’t a very bad case. In older dogs, there are different diseases and disorders that could be causing the problem, and if they go untreated for an extended period of time, it will be detrimental.


Although there is no honest one true answer to your question, ‘how do you stop diarrhea in dogs?’ I hope that you have found at least a few things here that will help you. As always, I recommend that you at least contact a veterinarian for their recommendations.

I wish you the very best, and hope your pup feels better fast!

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