I receive calls from a lot of new puppy owners who are concerned because their new baby has come up with a case of the runs.
Why does my puppy have diarrhea?
Is it something I should be concerned about?
What can I do to clear it up?
Most likely, it's nothing serious. The stress of going to a new home has probably upset the puppy's bowls and the diarrhea will clear up on it's own in a day or so. If you choose a different brand of food to feed your puppy, that could also cause the runs, even when you try to transition them to the new food gradually.
When should I be concerned?
Most diarrhea is nothing to bother calling a veterinarian about. However, it is smart to keep an eye on your dog and watch for any sign that something is wrong. If your dog displays any of the following symptoms along with the diarrhea, then it is time to be concerned:
• Black, tar-like stool, or bloody, bright red stool
• Loss of appetite
• Noticeable lethargy
• Frequent vomiting
• Signs of abdominal pain (bloating, groaning, panting rapidly or avoidance response when belly is touched)
• Lasts longer than 48 hours
Helpful ideas and tips
I like to suggest to new puppy owners that they add probiotics to their puppy's food for a week or two, even if the puppy has no bowl problems. Probiotics naturally help the gut clean itself and increases the number of good bacteria that it has. This strengthens the immune system! Probiotics can be found in plain yogurt, which is good for dogs, or it can be purchased from the health food store (and some veterinarians) in powdered acidophilus form, which can then be sprinkled on top of dog food. The powdered form is what I use, because it is easier to keep.
Next, I suggest mixing the puppy's food with plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling). Pumpkin is really good for dogs, is gentle on puppy tummies, and clears up diarrhea OR constipation. I regularly add pumpkin to all my dog's food, especially my puppies. I find that it keeps their poop consistent, their tummies happy, and fewer new owners call me about their puppy having diarrhea.