Caring for puppies can be nerve-wracking at most. There are many things to consider, such as keeping them vaccinated to removing a lone pair of socks and other objects in your puppy’s mouth. Most puppies experience something more displeasing than chewing on some random sock, which you call nighttime puppy diarrhea.
Any fur parent who has searched about puppy diarrhea is aware that many illnesses range from the most severe down to the simplest list diarrhea as one of the observable symptoms. The American Kennel Club lists diarrhea as one of the most frustrating symptoms because it can mean that your puppy has a potentially lethal illness or just simple indigestion.
Why does your puppy get diarrhea at night? Puppies getting diarrhea at night can be caused by several reasons. Reasons for nighttime diarrhea can include sudden food changes, parasites, medication, food allergies, and even anxiety. Do not panic since dogs sometimes suffer from diarrhea or loose bowels during the night. However, although it is uncommon for them, it could be a sign of something more deadly.
Why is My Dog Having Diarrhea at Night?
Why is your dog having diarrhea at night? The most common of the reasons for nighttime diarrhea in dogs are sudden dietary changes. When you changed your puppy’s kibble recently, their stomach might have a bit of trouble adjusting. While food allergies, parasites, and bacterial and viral infections are other reasons.
Abrupt Change in Diet
Sudden dietary changes are the most common reason for diarrhea, as mentioned earlier. Even though the food transitioning might be hard, it is not always good to feed them the same kibble brand for the dog’s entire life. However, it can be much more problematic, especially when changing from puppy food to dry kibble. It will be chaos in your puppy’s digestive system.
Your puppy has eaten the same food in their entire life, so their digestive system needs time to adjust to absorb a diverse variety of nutrients. One solution to this would be to introduce them to the new food gradually. You can do this by adding the new food to their old one, integrating it slowly into their diet. Gradually increase the serving of the new food until the transition is finished.
Eventually, your puppy’s digestive system will become habituated to the new food, making it the primary food source. Your puppy’s stools will tighten and will stop causing alarm through the night.
Allergens in Food
When your puppy is suffering from nighttime diarrhea, it can also be caused by food allergens‘ ingestion. Just like humans, puppies can also suffer from food allergies and intolerance. They might be intolerant to food that contains vast amounts of dairy, gluten, and fat. When puppies consume these kinds of food, it may cause gas and diarrhea.
To avoid this, you can do some research on the best diet for a specific dog breed. This will help you avoid feeding your puppy food that contains ingredients that clash with their digestive system. However, avoiding a particular food ingredient is sometimes easier said than done. If your puppy has a hypersensitive digestive system, it may be best to give them food supplements with high amounts of probiotics and fiber to ease their digestion.
Food allergens that are common for dogs, such as dairy, wheat, eggs, soy, and fish, may cause diarrhea at night. When dogs experience food allergies, you can also see them excessively scratching or licking their bodies. If you suspect your dog is experiencing food allergies, your veterinarian may tell you to eliminate food from their diet until the exact allergen is found.
Puppies are susceptible to parasites. They can be born with it, or they pick it up from their environment. Parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, coccidia, giardia, and whipworms can cause diarrhea in puppies and may need medical intervention.
Puppies have a much more fragile immune system, making them more prone to bacterial infection, which can be lethal if left unattended. Clostridium, E.coli, and Salmonella may cause diarrhea in puppies. They are usually hand in hand with other symptoms such as no appetite, vomiting, and fever.
Viral infections are also quite common in puppies. One of the most severe is the Parvo Virus. The Parvo Virus can cause gastrointestinal disease in unvaccinated puppies requiring an immediate medical response. It can be transmitted through direct contact via the mouth and nose with an infected poop since puppies like to explore the world by sniffing and licking. It is also transmitted through indirect communication when the virus clings and survives on equipment, human skin, clothing, and other surfaces. When a puppy interacts with the contaminated object, person, or environment, it can get infected.
It is essential to know the symptoms of the Parvo Virus, which includes lethargy, reduced appetite, weight loss, fever, vomiting, weakness, dehydration, depression, and lastly, as we mentioned earlier, severe bloody diarrhea.
What Do I Give My Puppy for Diarrhea?
Most cases of diarrhea are just mild and can be treated at home with your vet’s advice. Your puppy may respond to basic home treatments such as fasts and food remedies.
The first thing you should try is fasting or holding back food for twelve to twenty-four hours, and giving water in frequent but small amounts can help clear the upset stomach and allow the puppies’ digestive system to settle. However, it is crucial to make sure that your puppy is healthy enough to endure the fast. This remedy may not be suitable for small dogs who do not have enough physical reserves compared to larger dogs. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, so it is so essential to make sure that your puppies have access to water at all times.
After doing fasting, you can now introduce particular types of food gradually. You may start feeding your puppies binder food that normalizes their stool consistency. Below are tried and recommended binders by the experts of the American Kennel Club for your puppies:
- White rice
- Rice water – boil rice in a large amount of water, remove the rice grains, and give your puppy the remaining liquids. You can add a bit of broth or baby food to taste. If your puppy is not drinking water, rice water with a bit of broth is the best substitute for liquids.
- Plain mashed pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber and helps relieve your puppy’s stomach quickly. You can also freeze them in ice cubes to use the next time you face the same puppy dilemma.
- A bland diet may consist of boiled chicken and white rice. Feed this to your dogs in a gradual manner until he or she can keep the food down.
- Dog probiotics
- Skinned boiled potatoes
- Fennel herbs
- Specially-formulated food for dogs
These methods may work for one puppy and may not work for another, so you may need to do some trial and error to know what works best for your puppy. Listing what works for your puppy may help you the next time you find yourself cleaning up the mess.
Once you figure out the best recovery diet for your puppy that does not cause relapse, you can now gradually increase their food portions. Then start adding small quantities of typical food to your dog’s diet until everything goes back to normal.
When Should I Be Concerned About My Puppy’s Diarrhea?
There is a long list of reasons why your puppy has diarrhea, so you may ask when is too much, too much? A general rule to follow is to play it safe. It is best to consult your puppy’s vet, explain their symptoms, and let the expert decide whether your puppy needs to visit for a check-up.
Most diarrhea in puppies is not deadly. However, according to the American Kennel Club, if your puppy is exhibiting the symptoms below, call your veterinary doctor immediately:
- Tarry, black stools
- Pale gums
- Bloody diarrhea does not stop despite the use of the home remedies that worked for your puppy before.
- Pain or discomfort
- If you think the puppy have ingested a foreign material or deadly substance
- When your puppy has an existing medical condition such as diabetes and cancer or any medical issues
- When things do not seem normal anymore, you know your dog and the subtle hints that something is not right. Believe in your gut feeling and call your doctor.
It is vital to contact your veterinarian, especially if your puppy has not received the critical vaccinations and suffering from diarrhea.
Nighttime diarrhea in puppies can be quite common. It can be caused by varying reasons that range from the most simple to the most severe. There are available home remedies you can do for your puppy when they are suffering from diarrhea, which includes fasting and giving them the right food that normalizes stool consistency.
However, there are things to look for, such as bloody stool, fever, pain or discomfort, etc., to make sure it is not something deadly. When you encounter diarrhea in your puppies, make sure to get them as hydrated as you can as it takes away the body water content. It is important to contact your veterinarian immediately to avoid irreparable damage.