What if My Puppy Has Diarrhea?

There are many causes of diarrhea in puppies…some common, others more serious.

If your puppy has a loose stool or occasional diarrhea:

Common Causes:
•    Stress (new home, children, crate training etc.);
•    Overfeeding or feeding spiced table scraps or gravy;
•    Changing food too rapidly;
•    Eating things like leaves, mulch, snow, poop etc;
•    Giving too many treats
•    Worms
•    Change in water.

What to do:  
•    Give spring or bottled water for a few days and add tap water slowly;
•    Stop all treats;
•    Call your breeder and consult on the type and amount of food and treats;
•    Take a stool sample to your vet.

For severe or bloody diarrhea:

Possible Causes:
•    Worms;
•    Other parasites (coccidia, giardia);
•    Viral or Bacterial Infections (distemper, parvovirus, canine influenza).

What to do: See a veterinarian immediately.  Puppies with vomiting, bloody or projectile diarrhea, or complete loss of appetite can deteriorate rapidly to a life threatening state.  The name, phone number and directions to the nearest emergency veterinary facility should be instantly available to all family members.  

– contributed by GSDCA member Barbara Lopez