What is the Cause of My Dog’s Diarrhea in Ukiah, CA and Should I Call the Vet?

It is never fun to watch your dog suffer from diarrhea. Not only is this type of pet waste gross to clean up after, but it can also be painful for your pet. Usually, dogs with diarrhea are uncomfortable or in pain. So, how do you know when it’s time to take your dog to the vet? Most of the time, you can treat the symptoms of diarrhea at home. However, if your dog’s condition worsens, they will need medical treatment and a proper diagnosis of the underlying cause.

dog diarrhea in ukiah, ca

Causes of Dog Diarrhea

Before you can call your veterinarian for treatment, you need to understand the primary causes of dog diarrhea. There is a long list of potential causes, and however, the most common causes are indigestion, anxiety, a new diet, and consuming a toxic or poisonous item.


Some dogs are allergic or intolerant of food groups, which cause indigestion, gas buildup, and diarrhea. If you notice that your dog’s stomach is making noises, it could be because they are struggling to digest their food. Sometimes, indigestion causes runny diarrhea. Watching your dog’s diarrhea in your home may be frustrating, but sometimes your dog cannot control it or wait.

Your dog can also suffer from indigestion if they eat too quickly. It is common for dogs to try and eat in a hurry. However, this causes indigestion and leads to trouble digesting food.


Anxiety and stress are directly connected to the stomach. It is not uncommon to see a dog with anxiety have stomach troubles. Sometimes the stomach troubles are simply a stomachache.

However, stress can increase the cortisol hormone. This ‘stress’ hormone affects the entire body, including your dog’s bowel movements and digestive system. The physical symptoms of anxiety include throwing up, diarrhea, whining, barking, and aggression.

New Diet

It takes about two weeks for a dog’s stomach and digestive system to get used to new food. Not all dog food is made the same way. It is important to always look at your dog’s food ingredients.

You should always introduce your dog’s new food slowly. Instead of immediately changing their food, sprinkle some new dog food into their old dog food. This can introduce dog food without overwhelming your pet’s stomach.

Non-nutritious dog foods are harmful and can affect your dog’s bowel movement. A lot of common and popular dog foods use starchy roots and vegetables. Although root vegetables are delicious and healthy, they are harder to digest. Starchy foods cause bloating, which can lead to diarrhea.

Consuming a Toxic/Poisonous Item

Another cause of diarrhea and uncomfortable bowel movements is if your dog consumes a toxic or poisonous item. Dogs are curious pets that like to run around and chew on things that are not healthy. For example, some plants are very poisonous. Lily flowers don’t cause severe effects in dogs, but they can cause dehydration and diarrhea. Toxins commonly found in plants are dangerous. You should carefully select where to place your plants as they can cause uncomfortable reactions.

Puppies are curious too and known for placing anything into their mouths. If your dog accidentally eats human food cooked with garlic and seasonings, it can harm their digestive systems, causing a reaction. Garlic is very dangerous, and dogs cannot digest it properly.

Your dog’s body is designed to try and fight foreign objects, which includes poisons and toxins. This is why dogs will throw up or have diarrhea after eating something toxic. It does not belong in their body, and their body is pushing that toxin out.

Treating and Managing a Dog’s Diarrhea

The best way to treat and manage your dog with diarrhea is to give them plenty of water and fluids. One of the most dangerous parts of diarrhea is how easily it can lose hydration and fluids. Give your dog a clean and steady supply of water. However, you should only use room temperature water. Dehydration often leads to overheating, which worsens if you expose your pet to cold and icy temperatures, including drinking water.

Most of the time, you will not need any extra treatments or medications. Diarrhea is common and not usually anything you should be worried about. However, if your dog has bloody stool or does not get better soon, you should take them to their local emergency vet. Always treat the underlying cause after the symptoms are manageable.

Preventing Diarrhea

How do you prevent your dog from having diarrhea? Truthfully, it’s not always possible. There are a few things. However, you can do to your home to prevent your dog from access to toxins and foods that cause indigestion. If you own any plants that are toxic or poisonous, you should place them far away from your dog’s reach. Always make sure your dog has plenty of water and its own comfort corner to decrease stress.

Talk with Mendocino Animal Hospital about Your Dog’s Diarrhea

All in all, diarrhea is a common condition that rarely needs extra medical attention. While this is true, always trust your instincts. If you notice that your dog is reacting negatively to a new food, the reaction is likely because of the food. However, if your dog is throwing up, dehydrated, and bleeding, it’s time to call a vet.

Call (707) 462-8833 or use the online form to book an appointment with Mendocino Animal Hospital for your dog’s diarrhea!

Recent Posts

dog scratching

7 Tips for Helping Your Dog with Their Allergies

Allergies can be as uncomfortable for our dogs as they are for us. Watching your dog scratch,…

Read More
cat sneezing

My Cat Keeps Sneezing, Is This Normal?

Have you noticed your cat sneezing more than what seems usual? It’s common to feel a bit…

Read More
dehydrated dog

Dog Dehydration: Signs to Watch for and How to Protect Your Pet

When our pets aren’t feeling their best, they rely on us to notice the signs and get…

Read More
dog with respiratory virus

Canine Respiratory Virus: What Every Pet Parent Should Know

Welcome to our blog at Mendocino Animal Hospital, where we’re committed to keeping your pets healthy and…

Read More
a dog coughing

Why is My Dog Coughing?

Hearing your dog cough can be worrying. You might wonder if it’s a sign of something serious…

Read More

About Mendocino Animal Hospital

At Mendocino Animal Hospital, we believe in fostering the human-animal bond with excellent veterinary medicine. Our full-service veterinary practice operates in Ukiah, CA with a team of skilled veterinarians and a passionate, talented support staff who make you feel like a part of the family.

As an AAHA-accredited animal hospital, every service and aspect of our practice meets AAHA’s Standards of Excellence. No matter what your pet comes in for, they’ll receive only the best in care, compassion, and service.