A puppy with diarrhoea can be due to many things, which makes knowing how to help them sometimes tricky…especially when it comes to what is the best puppy food for diarrhoea. 

Leaving diarrhoea untreated can cause problems for puppies as they can become dehydrated very quickly. It can also be a sign of other illnesses, or problems such as ingesting the wrong things or colitis. Not fun. 

At Zigzag, we try our best to be helpful – especially with poop-related topics as most of the time, they’re rather urgent wouldn’t you say? Carry on reading to know the main causes of diarrhoea in puppies, suggestions for what the best food is if your puppy has diarrhoea, and how you can prevent diarrhoea in puppies. 

Zigzag is a puppy training app that knows how puppy parenthood can sometimes feel chaotic. Our puppy training programme deals with much more than toilet training; also other important life skills from socialisation and habituation, to alone time training, to teaching your puppy how to walk nicely on a lead. We also have a team of puppy coaches available ready at any time to help you with any puppy training and behaviour questions you have along the way.  

long haired brown dog in grass
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

What causes diarrhoea in puppies?

Puppy diarrhoea can be caused by a food intolerance or an allergy, stress or anxiety just like in humans. For example, when their kibble doesn’t agree with their stomach, or when your puppy has a change in routine, environment, or they’ve come into a new home.

Symptoms of diarrhoea are all associated with the following:

  • Viral infections such as Parvovirus or Distemper
  • Parasites such as worms or Giardia
  • Salmonella
  • E-coli

Another cause of puppy diarrhoea can actually be from overfeeding. Yep, if you feed your puppy too much then their body can’t process that volume of food…and we all know it has to come out somewhere. Check out our article on how much to feed a puppy based on age and weight for more info,

Is puppy green diarrhoea making an appearance? It’s probably a question you never thought you’d see, but it can happen with a puppy. Green diarrhoea in puppies can be caused by overeating vegetation or plants. They usually do this when they get an upset stomach or just fancy a chew out of boredom. But it can also be caused by the above-mentioned parasites or diseases which make the stool green and mucusy. So delicious, right?

Best puppy food for diarrhoea?

Here’s some suggestions on how to best feed a puppy with diarrhoea. You’ll definitely want to know these when the time comes:

Choose bland puppy food for diarrhoea

You can buy specifically formulated food from your vet if your puppy has the sh*ts. It will be gentle on their tummy by containing less fat so that it’s easy for them to digest. They also contain other good ingredients like electrolytes, prebiotics and B vitamins to help with dehydration and repairing your puppy’s gut. 

Home cooked food can help puppy diarrhoea

A home-cooked diet of chicken or fish and sweet potato are gentle foods that can be easy to make at home and are very tasty for dogs. Even with diarrhoea they’ll swallow it whole. Sweet potato in particular helps with constipation and diarrhoea due to its high fibre content – they’ll want an extra serving of those. 

Add a spoonful of cottage cheese or yoghurt

This won’t only be a tasty treat for them. Yoghurt is actually very helpful in adding the good kind of bacteria to your puppy’s digestive system. The best food for puppies with diarrhoea will always be the one they want to eat, so feed them something they are interested in.

Feed small meals 

When they have diarrhoea, your puppy may not cope well with eating their usual schedule of meals, so it’s wise to feed smaller meals more often throughout the day to avoid overloading them. 

Consider using a probiotic if your puppy has diarrhoea

Your vet may suggest a probiotic if your puppy has diarrhoea. These can be bought over the counter too so there’s no trouble in finding them.

small short hair brown puppy
Photo by Matthew Alexander on Unsplash

How to prevent diarrhoea in puppies?

All puppies will likely develop diarrhoea at some stage either because they’ve picked up a tummy bug, sniffed a poorly dog’s butt or eaten something they shouldn’t. It’s just a matter of time before they surprise you with a brown splat.

Of course, there are ways you can make diarrhoea less likely. Here’s how to prevent diarrhoea in puppies:

Choose a quality puppy food to prevent puppy diarrhoea

There isn’t one diet or food that suits all puppies. Some people like to feed commercial dry or wet puppy food, some people like to feed a raw or BARF diet, and some people like to go all out and cook a homemade meal for their dog. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you feed them, provided it meets your puppy’s nutritional needs.

Try out an elimination diet if your puppy has recurrent diarrhoea

If you’re wondering whether your pup’s food really is the best food for a puppy with diarrhoea, try an elimination diet. Some puppies will have allergies or intolerances, chicken is a common culprit. Stick to one protein at a time, and see which one stops the diarrhoea from coming back.

Teach your puppy to leave and not eat everything

Puppies put everything in their mouths! Some will wave whatever it is around and spit it out, but others will often eat it too. Teaching your puppy a reliable ‘’leave’’ will help prevent them from picking up things in the street that can cause them diarrhoea. Like a week-old burrito, for instance.

Puppy proof your home

If your puppy is eating lots of things they shouldn’t around the house, then it’s worth reading our article on puppy-proofing your home so that they don’t. Pretty self-explanatory, right? 

Make sure to worm your puppy regularly too.

Worms can cause your puppy diarrhoea. Squirmy little things that are up to no good. Ask your vet about what schedule you should worm your puppy on, or read our article on when to worm your dog for more information. 

Give your puppy their own water bowl when out and about

You wouldn’t share drinking glasses with strangers would you? Yet, we let our puppies drink out of communal water bowls without batting an eyelid. Kinda gross. Carry fresh water for your puppy to prevent them picking up any nasties from a communal bowl and releasing them in a big brown pile in the middle of your living room.

Pick up poo before your puppy eats it

This can be another cause for puppy diarrhoea, a puppy who eats their own poo or someone else’s! It’s just a thing puppies do, okay? It’s just never a good idea to let them do that. 

If your puppy experiences diarrhoea, you should probably visit your vet. They’ll definitely know best from taking a closer look at them, and they’ll be able to give you the best advice.

puppy sat on grass
Photo by Overture Creations on Unsplash

While you’re here can we suggest you get some info on another delightful topic: puppy vomiting. Happy reading! 

Download a free trial of the Zigzag app today and get started on your puppy’s journey. They have a lot to learn and we can’t wait to help you teach them about the world. Don’t forget about our wonderful team of expert puppy coaches available 7 days a week to answer any questions you may have about your puppy’s journey!