Gastroenteritis in Dogs

Updated: July 09, 2024

Gastroenteritis in dogs is a common condition that happens to your furbaby when his gastrointestinal tract gets inflamed, involving the intestines and the stomach.

Dog gastroenteritis can be caused by a variety of different reasons and it can also be one of the most terrible illnesses your furbaby can acquire as it often causes diarrhea and yes, messy cleanups!

So how long does gastroenteritis last? How can you prevent and treat it? Let us help you.

gastroenteritis in dogs, gastroenteritis dog poop

"Gastroenteritis in dogs can result in diarrhea alone, or it can be diarrhea accompanied by vomiting."

Types of Gastroenteritis in Dogs

There are many kinds of gastroenteritis in dogs and symptoms may vary in one dog to another. Gastroenteritis in dogs can either come as diarrhea alone or diarrhea accompanied by vomiting. With this being said, it can be hemorrhagic - diarrhea or diarrhea vomiting with blood.

It is also being further categorized as chronic or acute. Chronic gastroenteritis is a long-term condition and happens over the span of weeks to months and even years! Acute gastroenteritis happens very suddenly, lasts for a very short time, and may also go away on its own or worsen.

How Dog Gastroenteritis Happens

How do dogs get gastroenteritis? And how can you prevent it? Gastroenteritis in dogs is an illness that has a lot of possible causes. This is because your furbaby's gastrointestinal tract (or gut) is the foundation of his health. It contains a lot of good and living microorganisms known as microbiome that blocks foreign bodies, bacteria, and all those bad stuff from getting into your dog's bloodstream.

If the gut and the microbiome in it is altered or changed significantly, that's when gastroenteritis happens. The following are what can possibly cause those alterations:

  • Ingestion of spoiled and contaminated food
  • Ingestion of non-food items
  • Food intolerance, sensitivity or allergies
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Viruses (parvo, distemper, etc)
  • Underlying health conditions that can predispose a dog e.g. cancer
  • Other factors e.g. genes

It can be extremely hard to know what the exact causes are in any given case, but it doesn't mean your furbaby can't get treatment for dog gastroenteritis. In fact, gastroenteritis is curable and most treatments given are successful.

How Will You Know if Your Dog Suffers from Gastroenteritis?

Commonly, this usually begins with a soft poop that aggressively turns more watery as it progresses. Soon enough, diarrhea sets in and you may be able to notice some mucus in your dog's poop and he may even create accidents around the house. Here are other common signs of dog gastroenteritis you can watch out for:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Presence of blood in your dog's poop
  • 'Explosive' and very watery stools in large extents
  • Weakness, lethargy
  • Skin scalding around the anus area because of the repeated contact of poop to the skin
  • Signs of discomfort like whining, crying, restlessness, etc.
  • Abdominal pain

Helping Your Dog Deal with Gastroenteritis

Keeping your furbaby's gastrointestinal tract healthy is important, especially when gastroenteritis sets in. Some dogs recover while being treated at home, the others have cases that have worsened. We can never know what the outcomes are that's why considering these approaches will help you stay away from trouble.

The vet knows best. If you notice the above mentioned symptoms in your dog, then what are you waiting for? Consult your veterinarian immediately. Avoid the guessing games that maybe your dog is just having a bad tummy ache and that it will eventually go away on its own. It is much better to be safe, rather than sorry. Your vet will perform exams and tests if needed on your dog to determine and confirm whether it is gastroenteritis or not. And what's even better is that your vet will also prescribe you treatment for gastroenteritis in dogs and management plans that are well-suited according to your dog's age, lifestyle, health history, etc.

Your vet will also advise you if these things below are good for your dog:

Give a bland diet for a few days. As pet parents, we always want to go all out whenever our dogs are sick. We want to give them our best care and of course, the best food to make them feel a whole lot better. But for dogs with gastroenteritis, this isn't the case. Giving your dog a heavy meal that's full of flavors will upset his stomach even more. Give him a bland and light diet for a few days (can be rice and any protein source), given in small amounts in scheduled times every day while they aren't feeling well.

Enhance hydration. Diarrhea and vomiting can easily dehydrate your furbaby. Keeping your dog hydrated all the time is a must when overcoming gastroenteritis in dogs. You should be able to provide a bowl of fresh water that's easily accessible by your dog. You can also level it up by providing electrolyte drinks or electrolyte supplements to improve hydration and replace what the body has lost if approved by your vet. Note: Your vet may suggest giving him intravenous fluids.

Keep the gut healthy through probiotics. Introducing probiotics into your dog's meals will help build good bacteria in the gut.

How Can Pet Parents® Help?

Pet Parents® Probiotic SoftSupps® for dogs contains minerals, vitamins, soluble fibers and beneficial enzymes that are greatly absorbed by your pet. It does not only strengthen your furbaby's gut health but also boosts the immune system to resist harmful elements that go inside the body and provides support for proper nutrition.

It also contains pumpkin that's loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals that support the digestive tract, helping relieve an upset stomach treat diarrhea.

"Introducing probiotics into your dog's diet will help build good bacteria in the gut."

Avoid messy cleanups. With gastroenteritis, your furbaby will probably create accidents and the even harder part is you have to go clean up after it all the time. This can be avoided. By letting your furbaby wear washable dog diapers, he can poop wherever and whenever he wants without having to be upset about you getting angry. Just make sure you change the diapers regularly and clean the anus area thoroughly to prevent any diaper burns.

Pet Parents® washable diapers for dogs were designed to prevent accidents from turning into messes. These diapers are quick and easy to put on, and the several different color combinations mean you can get dog diapers that fit your pet with the colors you want.

Gastroenteritis in dogs is a common illness that happens in almost all dogs at one point in their lives. Early diagnosis and treatment are the bases for helping your furbaby return to his healthy and happy disposition as soon as possible. You can make your life easier when dealing with dog gastroenteritis by using washable dog diapers.