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New Puppies and Diarrhea

Bringing home a new puppy can be joyful but also challenging. There are so many things to consider. Where will the puppy sleep, where will they spend most of their time, what toys do they need? The list of questions is endless. The challenge is magnified if your puppy has diarrhea.

Toilet paper puppy
It's not uncommon for a new puppy to get diarrhea. Here's what you can do about it.

Different causes

Puppies can have diarrhea for a variety of reasons. Sometimes just being taken from the litter and put into a new home can be stressful enough to trigger puppy diarrhea. In this case the symptoms may disappear after only a day or two without any intervention on your part.

Don't wait too long

However, if the puppy diarrhea persists, action needs to be taken to keep the puppy from becoming dangerously ill. Diarrhea can dehydrate a puppy and can become a big problem if not dealt with quickly. Be particularly aggressive if the puppy isn’t eating or drinking normal amounts of food and water.

Food changes

Sometimes a puppy will develop diarrhea due to a food change. Perhaps the breeder used a food that’s different than what you feed the dog. This change can adversely affect a puppies’ young digestive system. Usually the diarrhea will disappear after a day or two, once the puppy gets used to the new food.

Many breeders will give the puppy a shot of anti-diarrhea medicine when they send them to their new home, just in case. But if your puppy has diarrhea there are some things you can do to help them get through it naturally.

Natural ways to help your puppy

Give the pup a small bowl of plain yogurt once a day. The live cultures in the yogurt help the puppies’ digestive system and can clear up the diarrhea. Puppies seem to love yogurt but if they don’t eat it, add some flavor, like a ground up puppy treat.

Another thing to check is whether or not your puppy food has any soybean products in it. Some puppies’ digestive systems don’t deal well with soy. Switch foods and the diarrhea may disappear. This simple cure has helped me on more than one occasion.

Puppy at the vet
If diarrhea persists more than 2 or 3 days, it's time to go to the vet.

When a trip to the vet is called for

If the puppy diarrhea doesn’t go away after 2 or 3 days, it’s time to take the pup to the Veterinarian. Usually the Veterinarian will want a sample of the diarrhea. They will analyze it, looking for any kind of virus or bug that may need to be dealt with.

If nothing adverse is found the Veterinarian will probably give the puppy some anti-diarrhea medicine, which should clear things up. If there is a virus involved, a course of anti-biotic may be indicated. It is rare that any surgeries are required.

Having a new puppy or dog is challenging enough without complicating things with uncontrollable diarrhea. Dealing with this problem head on, will make your early days with your new companion much more pleasant, and may even save you from having to replace your carpet.