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What to Do When Your Dog Gets Diarrhea

By Dr. Becker

I think  it’s time for another discussion on how to handle the problem of doggy  diarrhea.

I’ve  talked about this issue in other videos and articles here at Mercola Healthy  Pets, but it’s such a common problem I think a refresher every now and then is  a pretty good idea.

I  decided to make this video in honor of my friends and family who, between  Thanksgiving and Christmas, flooded my email inbox and voicemail with dozens of  calls about this issue.

These are people who are seasoned dog owners, but just  wanted assurance they were doing the right thing.

Since  many of you probably don’t have a vet in the family you can call, this video can  serve a similar purpose.

The content is exactly what I explained to my loved  ones.

And actually, now that I have a video on the subject, I’ll just refer  them here when future calls come in!

If you  own a dog, chances are you’ve lived through at least one bout of doggy  diarrhea.

It’s not a matter of if it  will happen – just when.

When will  your dog get diarrhea?

Knowing  ahead of time the steps to take when your dog develops diarrhea or loose, watery  stools can give you peace of mind when the time comes.

And as we all know, the  time will come!

Causes of Diarrhea

There  are a lot of reasons dogs develop loose stools. The most common reason is dietary  indiscretion, which means your dog ate something she shouldn’t have. This was  the cause of all the phone calls and emails to me over the holidays.

During  the holidays, when people are cooking and hosting a lot of events that involve  food, a really ripe environment is created for the ingestion of new foods dogs  have not consumed before.

Sometimes  it’s leftovers that cause GI upset. And sometimes, owners don’t even know their  dogs have gotten into food.

That was  the situation in my home, actually. My dogs were tearing open the garbage bags  that we had put outside by the garage. They foraged all afternoon and into the  evening on a feast of leftovers and we were clueless until we came upon the  mess.

Many  dogs spend much of their time sniffing around the house for morsels and tidbits  anywhere they can find them, including gas grill grease traps, bathroom garbage  cans, bird feeders, bird baths, ornamental ponds, and certainly the garden.

Another  cause of diarrhea is a sudden change in a dog’s regular food. Also allergies to  certain foods and poor quality dog food in general. I see a lot of  kibble-related diarrhea in dogs.

Parasites  like giardia can cause intermittent diarrhea. This  microscopic parasite causes a wax-and-wane type of diarrhea that just pops up  out of the blue. And about the time you think you should call the vet, the  stool firms up on its own. You assume all is well – until another bout of  diarrhea occurs days or weeks later.

Viral  and bacterial infections in the digestive tract can cause diarrhea. So can  certain medications such as heartworm preventives.

Even  stress can bring about an episode of diarrhea in dogs and puppies. While you  may think nothing very eventful is going on in your world, your dog can  experience stress over even a slight change in routine. Suddenly you’re looking  at a bout of watery doggy poop that seems to have come out of the blue........

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