What to Feed a Puppy with Diarrhea

What to Feed a Puppy with Diarrhea

Diarrhea is commonly seen in young puppies, but oftentimes there is no sign of why your puppy is having these issues. It can be caused by a multitude of factors, from environmental to viral, some more serious than others. Knowing what to look for and what to feed your puppy with diarrhea is important as a new pet owner, as young puppies are more affected by the water loss that comes with diarrhea.

In this article, we will cover a few of the causes of puppy diarrhea to give you a sense of where it might originate, and then go over foods/substances to feed your puppy when they are feeling sick.

What to Feed a Puppy with Diarrhea

If your puppy has diarrhea, you need to feed him the right kind of food that won’t upset his stomach. This article has compiled a list with a few suggestions that help soothe an upset stomach and restore proper digestion.

**These suggestions are at-home remedies, useful after confirming that diarrhea is not the symptom of a serious underlying illness.**


Bland foods can help an upset stomach. Foods like rice, bread, and chicken-broth are three common foods used to help settle bad digestion. Cooked sweet potatoes and plain pumpkin are also recommended.


Yogurt and kimchi are great sources of probiotics. Probiotics exist in puppies’ bodies to help fight off bad bacteria and allow proper digestion, so supplying your puppy with a little extra will support healthy bowel movements.  


What to Feed a Puppy with DiarrheaFasting is another recommended option for dealing with diarrhea, though it is important to consult with your vet for parameters based on the age and size of your puppy. It allows the digestive system to rest and recuperate, causing inflammation to level out without the ingestion of more food. This is only recommended for short periods of time: 12-24 hours maximum. You can give them something simple and bland afterward that will be easy on their stomachs.

Over-the-counter Medicine

There are a few over the counter medicines that can benefit your puppy with diarrhea. Pepto Bismal, Immodium AD, and Kaopectate are three well-known and widely used brands. If your puppy is under six weeks old, consult your veterinarian for proper dosage and medicines.


Last, but certainly not least, is water. Young puppies can especially become dehydrated during bouts of diarrhea. Make sure your puppy is drinking LOTS of water to replenish his body.

Causes of Puppy Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a symptom of an underlying issue. It could be indicative of many different things: stress, diet, puppy parasites, or more. It can be mild and harmless, or it can be a serious issue since young puppies are more easily prone to dehydration than older dogs. Common advice is to watch your puppy’s stools closely and notice her energy levels. If diarrhea persists further than day two, or you see tar-like diarrhea with blood or your dog is vomiting, stumbling, or has lethargy accompanying the diarrhea, take your puppy immediately to the vet.


Stress is a normal response for a young puppy. Changing environments, even for humans, is something that can cause emotional and psychological disruption and/or confusion. A young puppy has only known the comfort of his mother and the place where he was born, so coming into a new house with different smells and people can cause overstimulation or even puppy anxiety.   


What to Feed a Puppy with Diarrhea Changes in diet can cause diarrhea, especially with puppies that are transitioning from liquids to soft foods to dry foods. The transition should be slow and steady. If possible, try to feed your puppy the same diet she had before you owned her. If your puppy is already used to one dry food and you want to change to another, mix in half and half for a week or two until your puppy gets used to the flavor of the new food.


Puppies can get parasites such as hookworm, roundworm, and tapeworm from birth, from their mother’s milk, and/or from small animals or rodents that they eat.


Puppies with diarrhea are fairly common, but the underlying condition is the most important thing to assess. Remember to give your puppy LOTS of water to combat the dehydration taking place, and see your vet for recommended treatment if symptoms persist.


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