Saturday, July 20, 2013

How to Prevent Diarrhea in Dogs

What Causes Diarrhea in Dogs?

Nearly every dog owner has experienced the joy of cleaning up the mess left behind by an ill pet with a good case of diarrhea. It always seems to happen at the most inconvenient times, when you are in a hurry or trying to get something done. But, what causes a dog to get diarrhea in the first place? Just like with humans, any number of things can cause your pup to have loose stools. The main culprit is usually diet. Dogs are natural scavengers and gorgers and will eat just about anything put in front of them. They don't know that they will get sick from eating certain things or too much of anything. They just know that it tastes good and they want more!

Diarrhea usually develops when the dog has been naughty and gotten into the garbage or an unmonitored dinner plate. A dog's digestive system does not process certain foods the way we can, and as a result, develop diarrhea. Most dogs lack the enzymes needed to digest certain things properly like dairy products and milk. Some foods such as grapes and chocolate can actually be fatal, especially to smaller dogs. Diarrhea in dogs can also be the result of a change in diet as their system gets used to a new dog food. Also, when dogs and puppies receive their preventive shots and medications they can develop diarrhea as their system processes the antibiotics.

How to Stop Diarrhea in Dogs

In most cases, a dog will usually have diarrhea for only about 24 hours and their system will get back to normal. One thing dog's do well is get over sickness. If a dog is sick for more than a day at a time, it is usually a sign of something very seriously wrong and it should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible. If your dog has a case of diarrhea, then withhold food from it for about twelve hours to rest the gastro system. However, dehydration can quickly develop in dogs with diarrhea so make sure they have plenty of water on hand. If diarrhea persists for more than 24 hours, then your dog needs to see a veterinarian for treatment.

The best prevention against diarrhea in dogs is to closely monitor diet and keep all food waste in an area where the dog can't get to it. This will prevent the dog from eating too much and potentially eating something that could be fatal. As a general rule, dogs should only be fed a couple of times a day and they don't need as much food as you may think. For smaller dogs, a cup of dry dog food twice a day is more than enough to maintain good health, Larger dog breeds need around 2-3 cups twice a day.

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