By The Farmer's Dog | August 9, 2016

We’ve all been there. You take your dog out for a walk, he squats to do his business, and it happens: diarrhea. There’s nothing worse than seeing your pup squirm in discomfort — except for the part where you have to clean up the aftermath. If your dog is having diarrhea on a regular basis, there may be something bigger brewing than just an upset stomach. Not sure what’s plaguing your pup’s poop? Here are some of the most common causes of dog diarrhea.

Garbage, Not Goodies

Eating junk food makes humans feel sick, and dogs are no different. You may be a pro at keeping the chocolate and alcohol out of sight, but a snatched morsel of garbage or scrap of spoiled food can cause digestive problems, too. Keep an eye on your dog’s path on walks to avoid sidewalk snacking and tummy troubles.

Diet Changes

It can take a few days for your dog’s digestive system to adapt to a new protein, so always allow for a healthy transition period when switching to a new brand of food. Gradually decrease old dog food while increasing the amount of new food over a 7 day period. Pause in the presence of diarrhea and continue serving old food until stool resumes a normal appearance.

Times of Stress

A dog’s life may seem consistently carefree, but our pups experience stressful periods just like we do. Changes in routine, a lack of stimulation, or interactions with aggressive playmates could all contribute to your dog’s stress levels — and stomach problems.

Food Intolerance

You aren’t the only one who feels sick after eating too much ice cream. Some dogs also have trouble digesting ingredients like dairy and wheat, which can creep into many dog food brands. Read your labels closely or switch to fresh meals without any hidden traces of dairy or wheat.


As seen in puppies or adult dogs with weaker immune systems, parasites like roundworms and hookworms can cause serious diarrhea. Kind of like that time on spring break when you caught something that kept you running to the bathroom, your dog can catch a parasite that keeps them cramped and uncomfortable.

Poisonous Plants

All natural is all good for your dog, except when it comes to seeds and pits from certain fruits. Ingesting poisonous plants like daffodils, tulips, and azaleas can irritate the stomach and lead to diarrhea. As a rule, flowers should be reserved for human love interests only — even if your canine soulmate is who really keeps you warm at night.


Infections are also a common cause of diarrhea in dogs and can stem from common viruses such as parvovirus, distemper, or coronavirus. Diarrhea can also be triggered by bacterial infections from salmonella, which can be found in raw and undercooked meat.

Image: @pugloulou