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Dog Has Diarrhea At Night

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Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea At Night

Pet ownership comes with its fair share of concerns, and digestive issues are among the most common. At some point, almost every dog owner will be confronted with the unsettling issue and find themselves asking, “Why does my dog have diarrhea at night ?” This unpleasant condition can be caused by a range of factors, from dietary indiscretions and infections to more chronic underlying health issues. Understanding the potential causes and seeking timely veterinary advice are essential to ensure the well-being and comfort of our canine companions.

My Dog Has Diarrhea But Is Acting Fine

Observing a pet’s behavior can offer insights into their overall health. When faced with the situation where “my dog has diarrhea but is acting fine,” it’s vital to remain vigilant. Although they might seem cheerful, other subtle signs might emerge. Watch for symptoms like vomiting, increased thirst, or blood in the stool. Prompt veterinary consultation is wise if any such indications appear.

When Should Worry?

When your dog experiences diarrhea, especially diarrhea at night, it’s crucial to know not only the steps to take for relief but also what actions to avoid. Prioritizing your dog’s health and well-being is paramount. Being aware of the “don’ts” when your dog is going through this can prevent making the situation worse and pave the way for a swifter recovery. Here’s a list of things you shouldn’t do when your dog has diarrhea


Frequent or severe vomiting can be a sign of more serious issues.


If your dog is unusually tired or unresponsive, it might indicate a more severe condition.


Symptoms include dry nose, sunken eyes, and sticky or dry gums.

Blood In The Stool

This can be bright red or look like coffee grounds.

Mucus In The Stool

A jelly-like substance covering the stool.

Loss Of Appetite

Refusing to eat or showing a decreased interest in food.

Weight Loss

Rapid or progressive weight loss can be concerning.


Elevated body temperature can indicate an infection or other illness.

Bloating or distended abdomen

This can be a sign of more serious conditions like GDV in dogs.

Increased thirst and urination

Changes in drinking or urinating habits can be indicative of other health issues.

Pain or discomfort

Whining, shaking, or changes in behavior when trying to defecate.

Foul-smelling stool

Especially pungent or unusual odors can suggest specific infections or diseases.

Unusual Drooling

Excessive salivation can be a sign of nausea or other internal issues.

Sunken Eyes

This is another sign of dehydration or potential illness.

Gums not pink when pushed

A lack of color return in the gums after being pressed suggests poor blood circulation, which can indicate shock or other serious conditions.

7 causes to diarrhea in dogs

7 Reasons Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea At Night?

ogs are beloved pets, often considered part of the family, and their well-being is a top priority for many pet owners. However, a concerning scenario many dog owners have encountered is when their furry friend seems fine during the day, but suddenly starts experiencing diarrhea at night. Understanding why dogs have diarrhea at night can be crucial to ensuring their health and comfort. In this article, we will delve into the seven reasons why your dog might be facing this nocturnal disturbance and illuminate the factors contributing to instances where dogs have diarrhea at night.

1. Prescription

Some medications can have side effects that lead to gastrointestinal upset. Always monitor your dog after administering new medication and consult with your vet about potential reactions.

2. Dietary

Rapid changes in your dog’s diet, food allergies, or consuming inappropriate or spoiled food can be culprits. Certain foods or ingredients may not sit well with every dog, especially if they have a sensitive stomach.

3. Environmental

Changes in living conditions, exposure to unfamiliar settings, or even alterations in daily routines can be stressful for dogs, leading to digestive upsets. Factors like new household members, a move, or noisy surroundings can impact them.

4. Diseases

Certain illnesses, like inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, or liver disease, can manifest with symptoms of diarrhea

5. Parasites

Intestinal worms like tapeworms, roundworms, or giardia can cause diarrhea in dogs. Regular deworming and fecal checks can help in prevention.

6. Viral Infection

Canine parvovirus and distemper are examples of viral infections that lead to severe diarrhea. It’s essential to keep up with your dog’s vaccinations to protect them from these ailments.

7. Bacterial Infection

Harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella or E. coli, can infect the gastrointestinal tract, leading to diarrhea. This can result from contaminated food, water, or environments.

Common Prescription Problems

While heartworm prevention pills, antibiotics, and other medications are vital for safeguarding a dog’s health, they can sometimes lead to side effects, such as gastrointestinal disturbances. One such side effect that pet owners might notice is dog diarrhea at night, particularly after the administration of these medicines. This nighttime discomfort can stem from the body’s reaction to certain active ingredients or from shifts in the gut’s microbial composition, especially in the case of antibiotics. Given these potential reactions, it’s imperative for dog owners to keep a close watch on their pets and seek veterinarian advice if any concerns arise.

1. Heartworm Prevention

This is the most common reason dogs have diarrhea at night. This is because most people give their dog their pills at dinner time. The medicine purges the system which causes diarrhea  at night. 

2. Antibiotics

Antibiotics kills good and bad bacteria. If your dog is coming off antibiotics, they may not have the proper stomach flora to fight off bacteria. Therefore, vets prescribe probiotics with antibiotics.

3. Other Medication

Is your dog on medication? The most common cause of diarrhea in dogs at night is when they have medication in their system. This medicine purges the system at night.

Common Dietary Issues

A sudden change in a dog’s diet can disrupt its digestive system, often leading to gastrointestinal issues. In some cases, a dog only has diarrhea at night following such dietary shifts. Recognizing and managing this nocturnal pattern is vital for the pet’s well-being.

Abrupt Changes In Food

Changing your dog’s food brand can cause diarrhea. A change in the dog’s diet can influence their digestion. Make gradual changes to your dog’s diet and not switch foods all at once. This helps the dog’s digestive system adjust. It reduces the likelihood of your dog having diarrhea. If you would like to change food brands, it is best to do so over 7 – 10 days.

Protein Content Of Food

Food containing high protein causes diarrhea. Some dogs do not digest foods with high amounts of protein very well.

Food Intolerances

Food intolerances is when a dog cannot digest certain foods. Certain foods like dairy, beef, and eggs can cause dogs to have diarrhea at night. Some dogs are even intolerant to gluten. Are you feeding your dog any cow’s milk based dairy products? This can include treats. If you do feed the dog dairy products, stop giving and see if it improves. If it does get better your dog is could be lactose intolerant.

Food Allergy

Food allergies are an immune response to food. The most common food allergy is chicken. You will notice some type of tick or skin condition if your dog has an allergy to chicken. Symptoms for this may include hair loss and red rashes.

Human Food

Many of the food we eat daily are not healthy. This is because the human body has not adapted to the amount of sugar and carbs we consume daily. This is true for dogs as well. Giving your dog something as small as pizza crust can cause diarrhea.

Toxic Food

Toxic substances can cause nighttime diarrhea. Watch out for chocolate, grapes, avocado, medications, detergents, antifreeze, and plants. 

Food Poisoning

Dogs can get food poisoning. Eating raw or undercooked animal products can cause infection by parasites or bacteria. Check to see if your food brand has had a recent recall at this website.

Common Enviromental Factors

Environmental factors play a significant role in a dog’s overall health and well-being. Stress, fear, and the challenges of old age can manifest in various physical symptoms, including digestive disturbances. In certain situations, a dog has diarrhea at night as a result of these external influences, emphasizing the importance of understanding and addressing the root causes to ensure their comfort and health.


Stress is one of the most common reasons for diarrhea in dogs. When a dog is stressed, it can lead to an upset stomach and cause your dog to have diarrhea. Common causes of stress include loud noises, changes in schedule, new animals, and separation anxiety.

Old Age

A dog who had the ability to regulate their bowel motions before may begin having unwanted ones. This occurs late at night when their body has not digested their food completely. While it isn’t an emergency, it is something to keep an eye on since it might be something more serious.


Fear-induced diarrhea in dogs is primarily a result of the body’s “fight or flight” response. When a dog experiences fear or extreme stress, the body releases various stress hormones, including adrenaline. This rush of adrenaline can lead to increased activity in the digestive system.

Common Diseases

If your dog has diarrhea at night, the cause of it may not be food related. A change in diet can impact a dogs digestive system, but illness can also lead to diarrhea. 


This is when your dog is unable to absorb nutrients from their food. The food will run through their system faster causing diarrhea. These dogs are always hungry.


This is the inflammation of the large intestine. This is more common in older dogs than younger ones


This is a sudden disorder of dogs. It is characterized by vomiting and bloody diarrhea. According to the VCA, there is no exact cause of this.


This is the inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Usually caused from bacterial or viral infection

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

This disorder is a condition in which the bowel doesn’t function normally.


Cancer of the bowels or spread of cancer to this area from other parts of the body

Kidney disease

Kidney disease is common in older dogs.

Liver dysfunction

There are many causes to this. One is from cysts or gallstones, which can obstruct the bile duct. Endocrine diseases including diabetes, Cushing’s Disease, or hyperthyroidism. Trauma to the liver due to an accident or heatstroke. Lastly, ingestion of a toxic substance.


This is the swelling of the pancreas caused from an array of diseases.

Common Parasite Infections

Parasites are a common culprit behind gastrointestinal issues in canines. When a dog becomes infested, its digestive system can be disrupted, leading to various symptoms. Notably, a dog has diarrhea at night as these parasites interfere with the gut’s normal functioning, emphasizing the need for regular check-ups and preventive measures to safeguard the pet’s health.


How Do They Get It: They are commonly found in puppies, very young animals, and outdoor dogs. This is because they are exposed to eggs in their environment. They can come in through the mouth or through ingestion of an infected animal.

Prevention: Use a monthly heartworm preventative for your dog year-round.

Symptoms: Diarrhea (which may contain blood), vomiting, lack of appetite, coughing, wheezing, stunted growth, weight loss.

Treatment: Dewormed medicine


How They Get It: Dogs can become infected by ingesting hookworm eggs in their environment

Prevention: Use a monthly heartworm preventative for your dog year-round.

Symptoms: Diarrhea, appetite loss, poor energy level

Treatment: Dewormed medicine


How Do They Get It: These worms are found in moist soil

Symptoms: Chronic diarrhea with blood

Prevention: Use a monthly heartworm preventative for your dog year-round.

Treatment: Dewormed medicine


How Do They Get It: This can occur through ingesting another infected animal.

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss.

Prevention: Doggy flea and tick preventative

Treatment: Treatment is difficult because it involves flushing out the intestines. This flushing out is uncomfortable. The tapeworm segments will sometimes go through a bowel movement.


How Do They Get It: Dogs get coccidia from contact with the feces of an infected dog. Dogs in areas with poor sanitation or hygiene are most at risk for contracting coccidia. This is common in shelters, rescues, and puppy mills.

Prevention: It is important to always clean up after your dog. Prevent them from eating poop and vaccinate them against intestinal parasites like coccidia. The vaccines protect the dog from coccidia for a period of six months to a year.

Symptoms: Chronic diarrhea with blood or mucus in it, loss of appetite, weight loss, dehydration, and vomiting

Treatment: Antibiotics


How Do They Get It: Contaminated water

Prevention: Don’t let your dog drink dirty water

Symptoms: diarrhea, fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and dehydration

Treatment: Antibiotics

Common Viral Infections

Viral infections can pose significant threats to canine health, often targeting the digestive system. As the virus compromises gut functionality, a concerning symptom emerges where a dog has diarrhea at night. Recognizing this pattern can be crucial in seeking timely medical intervention and ensuring the overall well-being of the affected pet.


How Do They Get It: Weak immune systems, overcrowding, poor hygiene.

Prevention: Vaccination

Symptoms: Watery diarrhea, Mucus in the feces, Low-grade fever, Nausea or vomiting, Poor appetite, Low energy.

Treatment: Resolves on its own in 8-10 days. Antibiotics are not effective because its a virus.


How Do They Get It: Dogs get parvovirus by ingesting the virus through feces of an infected animal.

Prevention: Vaccination

Symptoms: Diarrhea, Vomiting, Loss of appetite, Lethargy, Depression.

Treatment: Intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration. It is a virus so antibiotics are not helpful

Coronavirus (NOT COVID19)

How Do They Get It: Through contact or ingestion of feces and vomit from another infected animal. This is very common in shelters, rescues, and puppy mills.

Prevention: Vaccines

Symptoms: Diarrhea, Fever, Vomiting, Lethargy.

Treatment: Coronavirus does not have a cure and most dogs recover on their own.


How Do They Get It: Dogs get distemper by encountering another infected dog. like another dog. The virus can be present in the air or on a surface like soil or grass. The dog can also get it by eating food or drinking contaminated water.

Prevention: Vaccination

Symptoms: Early symptoms include fever, runny nose, and a hacking cough. In some cases, the dog will vomit or have diarrhea early on as well

Treatment: There is no treatment for distemper. It is a very serious disease and most dogs who get it die from complications of the virus. It can take up to 2 months to recover.


How Do They Get It: Dogs can get herpesvirus by encountering another dog that has it. It spreads through saliva and respiratory secretions. A dog can also get it from a person who has been in contact with an infected dog.

Prevention: Vaccination

Symptoms: Herpesvirus symptoms in dogs can include fever, lack of appetite, and lethargy. The virus can also cause sores in or around the dog’s mouth, and lesions on the genitals.

Treatment: Antibiotics and probiotics

Common Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections in dogs can lead to a range of gastrointestinal disturbances. When harmful bacteria overpopulate the gut, it disrupts the balance, often causing digestive issues. A prominent sign of such an imbalance is when a dog has diarrhea at night, highlighting the importance of prompt medical attention and proper care to restore the pet’s health.


How Do They Get It: Dogs can get salmonella infections from eating contaminated food. They can also get it by encountering feces from infected animal (reptiles, birds, and cats). Dogs that eat raw meat or eggs are more likely to have a salmonella infection because these types of foods

Prevention: Prevent poop eating

Symptoms: Diarrhea, Fever, Loss of appetite, Dehydration

Treatment: Antibiotics


How Do They Get It: Listeria is in contaminated food and feces from animals that carry the bacteria.

Prevention: Prevent poop eating

Symptoms: Diarrhea, Fever, Loss of appetite

Treatment: Antibiotics


How Do They Get It: Dogs can get Clostridium from ingesting it. They can also get it by encountering contaminated objects.

Prevention: Prevent poop eating. Wash hands after handling pet food and stool, and thaw and wash vegetables before feeding

Symptoms: Diarrhea, Loss of appetite, Vomiting, Lethargy, Fever

Treatment: Antibiotics if the infection is severe


How Do They Get It: Dogs can get Campylobacter from eating raw meat, eggs, and poop

Prevention: Prevent poop eating

Symptoms: Diarrhea, Vomiting, Fever. Last: 1-7 days

Treatment: Ginger for upset stomach. Imodium (over-the-counter medication for diarrhea). Chicken and rice diet. Avoid raw meat, eggs, and poop during treatment.

10 Ways To Manage A Dog Who Has Diarrhea At Night

Managing a dog’s health requires vigilance and timely action, especially when it comes to digestive disturbances. Diarrhea in dogs, whether due to dietary indiscretions, stress, or more serious health conditions, demands careful handling. For pet owners encountering puppy diarrhea at night, the situation can be especially concerning. It’s crucial to understand the root causes and appropriate interventions to ensure the well-being and comfort of the young canine.

1. Limit Food Intake

If your dog has just started experiencing diarrhea, consider fasting them for 12-24 hours (but ensure they have access to plenty of water). This can give the digestive system a chance to reset.

2. Diapers

Consider using dog-specific diapers for the night. These can help manage the mess and protect your home. Make sure to choose the right size for your dog and check the diaper frequently to prevent rashes or discomfort.

3. Frequent Potty Breaks

Before bedtime, give your dog multiple opportunities to relieve themselves. This might reduce the chances of accidents during the night.

4. Hydration

Diarrhea can cause dehydration. Ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times. If they seem particularly dehydrated, consider offering an electrolyte solution specifically designed for pets.

5. Confine the Area

If you’re worried about accidents throughout the house, consider confining your dog to a smaller, easy-to-clean area or using a crate. Place pee pads or newspapers down to simplify clean-up.

6. Probiotics

Probiotic supplements for dogs can help balance gut flora. Consult your vet for recommendations.

7. Monitor for Other Symptoms

If diarrhea is accompanied by other symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, blood in the stool, or any other concerning signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

8. Grooming and Cleanliness

After an episode of diarrhea, it’s important to wipe your dog’s rear end to prevent residue and odor. Furthermore, for long-haired breeds, check for mats around the tail or hindquarters. Brushing out any mats and keeping the area trimmed can prevent messes from sticking to the fur.

9. Create a Stress-Free Environment

Stress or anxiety can exacerbate diarrhea. Create a calm environment by minimizing loud noises, providing a comfortable resting place, and using tools like calming sprays or anxiety wraps if needed.

10. Goat Milk

Raw goat milk is a preferred option for pets suffering from gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, colitis, IBS, and pancreatitis, owing to its gentle nature on the stomach and fast absorption, typically around 20 minutes.

12 Things You Should Not Do When Your Dog Has Diarrhea At Night

When your dog experiences diarrhea, especially diarrhea at night, it’s crucial to know not only the steps to take for relief but also what actions to avoid. Prioritizing your dog’s health and well-being is paramount. Being aware of the “don’ts” when your dog is going through this can prevent making the situation worse and pave the way for a swifter recovery. Here’s a list of things you shouldn’t do when your dog has diarrhea

1. Do Not Panic

While diarrhea can be distressing, panicking won’t help the situation. Stay calm and assess the severity before determining the next steps.

2. Avoid Over-the-Counter Medications

Never give your dog human medications unless explicitly directed by a veterinarian. Many over-the-counter drugs can be harmful or even fatal to dogs.

3. Do Not Continue Feeding Their Regular Diet

Avoid feeding them as usual. Instead, consider a short fasting period followed by a bland diet to soothe their stomach.

4. Avoid Giving Dairy

Some dogs are lactose intolerant, so giving them dairy products like milk can exacerbate diarrhea.

5. Do Not Neglect Hydration

While you may be concerned about fluid intake causing more diarrhea, dehydration is a significant risk. Always ensure your dog has access to fresh water.

6. Avoid Sudden Diet Changes

If you’re introducing a bland diet, do so gradually. Similarly, when reintroducing their regular food, ensure it’s done over several days to avoid further upsetting their stomach.

7. Do Not Punish

If your dog has an accident inside due to diarrhea, never punish them. They’re already feeling unwell and didn’t do it intentionally.

8. Avoid Delaying Veterinary Care

If the diarrhea is persistent, bloody, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms (like vomiting, lethargy, or dehydration), do not delay seeking veterinary attention.

9. Do Not Allow Access to Toxins

Ensure that your dog cannot access potential toxins in your home or yard that might exacerbate or cause diarrhea, such as certain plants, chemicals, or spoiled foods.

10. Do Not Over-Exercise

While light movement can help with digestion, strenuous activity can exacerbate gastrointestinal distress.

11. Avoid Giving Bones or Fatty Foods

These can further irritate the digestive system when it’s already sensitive.

12. Do Not Ignore Repeated Episodes

If your dog keeps getting diarrhea, it’s not something to brush off as a minor issue. It could be indicative of a more severe underlying condition.

Age Matters With Dogs Who Have Diarrhea At Night

Experiencing nighttime diarrhea in your dog can be alarming. Firstly, it’s essential to recognize that dietary changes and stress are often the primary culprits behind dogs’ diarrhea. While various ailments can lead to diarrhea, they usually don’t distinguish between day and night. Notably, diarrhea occurring at night can often be a side effect of certain medications. Heartworm medicine stands out in this regard, as it cleanses the system, potentially causing such digestive disturbances after administration.

Adult Dog Diarrhea At Night​​

Nighttime diarrhea in an otherwise healthy adult dog is a clear indication of an underlying issue. Make your next appointment and look below at how to deal with it until then. 

Puppy Diarrhea At Night

Puppy diarrhea at night is often due to their sensitive digestive systems adjusting to dietary changes or environmental stress. Additionally, puppies are prone to intestinal parasites and infections, which can exacerbate these symptoms. Monitoring and timely veterinary consultation are crucial for their well-being.

Dog Diarrhea Only At Night​​

Nighttime-specific symptoms in dogs often hint at particular triggers. These might encompass reactions to evening meals, treats, or the effects of certain medications administered at night. When dealing with dog diarrhea only at night, it’s vital to recognize these unique contributing factors. Addressing them is essential to determine the underlying cause and ensure the dog’s health and comfort.

Dog Having Diarrhea Every 2 Hours At Night​​

Frequent episodes, especially during nocturnal hours, may arise from reasons such as dietary indiscretions, ingestion of foreign objects, infections, or certain medications. When a situation involves a dog having diarrhea every 2 hours at night, it underscores the need for prompt veterinary assessment to pinpoint the exact cause and offer appropriate intervention.

Call A Vet If Your Dog Has Diarrhea At Night For Longer Than 48 Hours

Chronic Diarrhea In Dogs

Chronic diarrhea in dogs can be distressing for both the pet and the owner. While there are numerous potential causes for this prolonged digestive upset, it’s particularly puzzling and concerning when a dog has diarrhea at night, even if they seem well during the day. Understanding this nocturnal ailment can provide insight into the broader issue of chronic diarrhea and its management.

Inspect it

A dog who has diarrhea might have it for various reasons. Later in this article we explain all the reasons a dog has diarrhea at night. However, this check list below is a quick guide to helping your dog. Some of the tips only apply to certain circumstances. 

Wear Gloves

Wear disposable gloves to ensure you don’t directly touch the feces. If you’re collecting a sample for the vet, use a clean plastic bag or container.

Look at the Color

  • Brown: Normal. The exact shade can vary depending on the dog’s diet.
  • Black or Tar-like: Might indicate bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract.
  • Red Streaks: Blood from the lower intestines or anal area.
  • Yellow or Gray: Could indicate issues with the liver, gallbladder, or pancreas.
  • Green: Can indicate that the dog has eaten a significant amount of grass or that bile is passing too quickly through the system.

Assess the Consistency

  • Firm and segmented: Ideal consistency.
  • Soft Serve to Liquid: Diarrhea, which might be caused by dietary indiscretion, infections, parasites, or more serious diseases.
  • Hard and Dry: Constipation or dehydration.

Frequency & Volume

Note if your dog is defecating more or less frequently than usual and if the amount is typical for their size and diet.

Observe the Coating

Mucus on the outside of the stool can indicate large bowel inflammation. If there’s a greasy coat, it might suggest malabsorption.

Look for Parasites

Worms or other parasites might be visible in the stool. They can look like small white grains (similar to rice) or actual moving worms.

Check for Foreign Object

Bits of plastic, metal, or bone can indicate the dog has eaten something harmful. String or long hair can be especially concerning, as it might lead to blockages.


While dog poop isn’t expected to smell pleasant, an unusually foul odor can be a sign of an infection or other health issues.

Now What

If your dog has diarrhea at night that persists, it’s essential to take proactive measures. Continuous episodes can lead to dehydration and other complications. Always ensure your dog has access to clean water to prevent dehydration. Document the frequency, consistency, and any other notable changes in your dog’s stool to provide a clear picture for the vet. As a pet owner, you know your dog best, and if something feels amiss, trust your instincts. Prioritize seeking the advice of a veterinarian, who can provide guidance tailored to your pet’s specific needs. Addressing the root cause of nighttime diarrhea will ensure your dog’s comfort, health, and overall well-being.

Consult with a Veterinarian of 48+ diarrhea

If the diarrhea persists for more than 48 hours or is accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, or blood in the stool, it’s crucial to seek professional advice. Prolonged diarrhea can lead to dehydration and other health complications.

Review Medications (heartworm included)

If your dog is currently on any medication, review the list of potential side effects. Some drugs might cause digestive disturbances as a side effect. If you suspect the medicine might be the culprit, discuss this with your veterinarian before making any changes.


Holding off food for 12-24 hours allows the digestive system a chance to recover. However, ensure your dog still has access to plenty of fresh water to stay hydrated.

Simple Diet

After the fasting period, reintroduce food slowly. Start with a bland diet like boiled chicken and plain white rice. This simple combination is easy on their stomach and can help firm up stools. You can gradually reintroduce their regular food over a few days.

Canine Massage

Gentle massage can help soothe an upset digestive tract. Using gentle, circular motions on your dog’s abdomen can promote relaxation and aid digestion. However, always be gentle and watch for signs of discomfort.

Create a Calming Environment

Stress can exacerbate diarrhea in some dogs. Make sure their environment is quiet, familiar, and stress-free. Playing soft music or using products designed to calm dogs (like pheromone sprays) can also be beneficial.

What To Expect At The Vet

Medical History

The vet will start by asking about your dog’s medical history. This includes questions about the onset and duration of the diarrhea, diet, any recent changes in food or environment, and any other symptoms you’ve noticed. They may also inquire about vaccination status and any current or recent medications.

Physical Examination

A thorough physical examination will be conducted to check for any signs of illness or discomfort. This might involve palpating the abdomen to check for bloating, pain, or masses, examining the anus for signs of inflammation, and evaluating the overall condition and hydration status of the dog.

Blood Work

Blood tests can provide valuable information about the overall health of your dog. A complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel can help detect infections, inflammation, organ dysfunction, and other possible causes of diarrhea.

Fecal Test

A fecal examination will determine if parasites, bacteria, or other pathogens cause the diarrhea. You might be asked to bring in a recent stool sample, or one may be taken during the visit.

Radiographs (X-rays)

If the vet suspects blockages, tumors, or other internal abnormalities, they may order radiographs. X-rays can provide a clear picture of the digestive tract and other internal organs.


An ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging technique that can offer a more detailed view of the dog’s internal organs. It can identify issues like tumors, inflammation, or other abnormalities in the stomach, intestines, and other organs.

15 Common Veterinarian Questions

When a veterinarian is trying to diagnose the cause of a dog’s diarrhea, they ask specific questions to gather as much information as possible about the situation. Each question helps narrow down potential causes and directs the course of treatment. Each of these questions helps the veterinarian build a comprehensive picture of the dog’s health and habits, which aids in arriving at an accurate diagnosis and prescribing the best course of treatment. Here’s why they ask each of these questions:

How long has your dog had diarrhea?

Duration helps determine if it’s an acute or chronic issue and can indicate the potential seriousness.

How frequent is the diarrhea?

Frequency can help gauge the severity of the digestive upset and can hint at the cause.

What color is the diarrhea?

Color can provide clues about where in the digestive system the issue originates and what might be causing it.

Is there any blood in the poop?

Blood might indicate injuries, infections, or more serious conditions like certain diseases or tumors.

What does the diarrhea look like?

Consistency and appearance can hint at different causes, such as infections, dietary indiscretions, or other illnesses.

Are they having a hard time pooping?

Struggling can indicate blockages or other physical ailments.

Is your dog on any medications?

Some medications have side effects that can cause diarrhea.

Are they lethargic?

Lethargy combined with diarrhea can indicate a systemic issue or a more serious underlying condition.

Do they have an appetite?

Loss of appetite can hint at nausea or other gastrointestinal issues.

What brand and quantity does your dog eat?

Specific brands or types of dog food might be linked to digestive issues, or there could be concerns about overfeeding.

Have there been any dietary modifications?

Sudden changes in a dog’s diet can lead to diarrhea.

Has there been a shift in food brand or flavor?

Even a slight change in ingredients can affect a dog’s digestive system.

Did they eat people food, new goodies, or chews?

Human food and some dog treats can be too rich or contain ingredients that upset a dog’s stomach.

Is there a chance they might have ingested something they weren't supposed to?

Foreign objects or toxic substances can cause blockages or poisoning, leading to diarrhea.

5 tips to prevent diarrhea

How To Prevent Diarrhea In Dogs

Ensuring the health and well-being of our canine companions involves proactive measures, especially concerning their digestive health. One of the critical aspects of pet care is understanding how to prevent gastrointestinal disturbances. When a dog has diarrhea at night, it disrupts the pet’s comfort and raises concerns for the owner. It’s crucial to delve into preventive strategies and dietary guidelines tailored to individual dogs to minimize such occurrences.

Environmental Check

Ensure there’s nothing in your home or yard that could upset your dog’s stomach, like trash, toxic plants, or old food.

Avoid Sudden Dietary Changes

To prevent future occurrences, avoid changing your dog’s diet abruptly. If switching foods, do it gradually over several days.

Leash Them Outside

This prevents them from eating something they should not. 

Don't Let Them Eat Poop

Contaimanted poop consumption is the number one reason for diarrhea. 

Avoid Stagnant Water

Bacteria can grow in puddles but not so much in streams or rivers that are moving. 

Don't Be Afraid To Change Food

Some ingredients in foods can cause diarrhea if the dog is sensitive. 

Dog Has Diarrhea At Night-Don't Panic

If your dog has diarrhea at night, it will most likely go away after 24 hours. However, if it does not, take your dog to the vet. If no medical issues are found then it is most likely stress. Hire a professional trainer who uses positive training to help your dog. In addition, you can hire a canine massage therapist. Massage not only helps digestive tract functionality but it also activates the calming hormones. 

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