Most Common Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs


Dogs are often affected by diarrhea and different dog breeds may experience it in a different way. Sometimes it may last a short while, requiring an easy self-recovery and other times, it can lead to serious complications. If you notice frequent watery stools or accidents in the house, it may indicate that your dog is suffering from diarrhoea. If it lasts longer, then there may be an underlying problem. It may not be prevented altogether, but knowing the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs may help you in taking necessary caution.

what are the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs

Common causes of diarrhea

Diet change

Switching to a new dog food brand suddenly, can irritate the stomach lining of dogs and cause an upset stomach. It is recommended not to replace the current brand entirely and to introduce the new food, along with the old one, gradually increasing the quantity.

Eating garbage

If your dog eats from the trash or spoiled food, it can cause diarrhea. This may not be very severe, but it depends on what substance has been consumed.


Certain bacterial or viral infections may also cause diarrhea in dogs. Bacterial infections such as salmonella may occur due to the consumption of undercooked or raw meats or decaying foods. Viral infections caused by rotavirus, parvovirus or coronavirus may lead to a severe case of diarrhea, along with other issues, which maybe be fatal to the dog, if not treated immediately.


Your dog’s eating habits may lead to the infestation of parasites in the intestines, causing  diarrhea. Cysts of parasites such as whipworms, coccidia, roundworms are likely to enter the dog’s body, when it consumes stools or contaminated water.

Poisonous substances

Diarrhea causing poisonous plants include ivy, holly, daffodils, honeysuckle, mushrooms and others. Some human products such as medicines, sunscreens, charcoal, vitamin supplements or antibiotics can be harmful to the dogs.

Swallowing an indigestible object

Dogs may consume foreign objects such as toys, stones or fabrics either by accident or by curiosity. This may cause diarrhea and serious illness, if not diagnosed properly.

Serious diseases

Sometimes diarrhea may be due to serious underlying conditions such as cancer, liver ailment or kidney disease. These can pose a threat to life, if not diagnosed and treated properly.

Other causes

Sometimes dogs maybe going through a hard time following trauma and in such stressful conditions may develop an upset stomach. Diarrhea may also be caused as a result of an allergy. Know more about how to tell if your dog is sick here.


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