Is your pup having loose stools at night? What’s wrong? For how many days have you been noticing it? What to do about it?
Having loose stools at night can be distressing not only for your puppy but also for you. This is because dealing with this health condition can be messy.
Generally, a puppy can suffer from loose stools at night due to allergies, some medications, food intolerances, or a change in diet. On the other hand, it can also indicate an illness, stress, or a parasite infection.
If your puppy suffers from it occasionally, it’s normal. But repeated or continued diarrhea might signal something severe. You must take your buddy to the vet.
A dog can experience this discomfort for various reasons. Some of the most common symptoms of diarrhea include an increased volume of feces, watery stools, blood or mucus in the feces, and straining to excrete.
Take a look at your dog’s poop, and then notice his behavior in general. Is he behaving normally? Do you see any change in their attitude?
If you find any behavioral changes along with loose stool in your pup, take them straight to the vet and identify the real cause. Well, let’s take a look at the possible causes behind loose stools in puppies, what to expect, and what you can do to help your pup.
Why Does Your Puppy Have Diarrhea At Night?
Nighttime diarrhea usually indicates that your puppy is suffering from imbalanced digestion. It results in loose bowels. Many reasons can contribute to this medical condition. However, the most common one is sudden dietary changes.
In your busy lifestyle, you may sometimes forget your buddy’s favorite kibble. Or the dog food you ordered will arrive late. Whatever the reason is, you may eventually rush to the nearby store to purchase whatever appears best to feed your canine.
But the fact is that a dog gets adapted to a specific ratio of nutrients, fat, and protein with regular intake. So a sudden change in this ratio can lead to diarrhea at night.
6 Other Common Causes Of Loose Stools In Puppies
Firstly, remember that your pup can normally have loose poop because of several potential causes. Puppies are more susceptible to dietary and environmental changes.
Let’s find out the most probable reasons behind-
1. Changes in your pup’s diet
You may have to purchase a different food item for your pup as the usual one was unavailable. Or your pup’s vet may have suggested that you add to or improve the quality of your canine buddy’s food.
But a simple change in your puppy’s diet can cause diarrhea.
Another possibility is that your dog is intolerant to or sensitive to a specific food or ingredient. If that’s the case, you should immediately consult your vet to identify the issue. And they can suggest that the best way to manage it is by changing your pup’s diet.
However, you can generally consider buying high-quality, nutrient-dense dog foods that are free from allergens.
2. Parasitic infection
Puppies are vulnerable to parasitic infection. The fact is that dogs are born with some parasites and acquire others from their environment.
Your puppy can have loose stools if they are infected by parasites like:
This single-celled parasite lives in the walls of a dog’s intestines. Coccidial infection is more common in puppies. However adult dogs can even get this parasite, but it’s rare.
Symptoms of a coccidial infection include:
- A large amount of mucous
- Stomach pain
Hookworms stay hooked on the walls of the small intestine. These parasites have mouths. If your puppy has hookworms, it can suffer from diarrhea.
However, other potential symptoms include:
- Bloody stool
- Weight loss
- Low appetite
- Low coat luster.
Your vet can only treat your puppy’s hookworm infection. Take him immediately to the veterinarian.
Puppies get infected with roundworms more than hookworms. Among the two roundworm types found, Toxocara canis is more severe than Toxascaris leonina.
Symptoms of roundworm infection include:
- Weight loss
- Stomach pain
- Low coat luster
3. Viral Infection
Another probable cause of loose stools is a viral infection. Puppies are vulnerable to viral infections like parvovirus or distemper. And they can result in severe consequences like diarrhea.
Both partially vaccinated and unvaccinated puppies can get infected with a virus. And in the case of a viral infection, your only option is to take your pup to the vet right away. Otherwise, it can be fatal.
4. Bacterial Infection
Puppies can often pick up bacterial infections like E. coli or salmonella. The immune systems of puppies are more intolerant or insensitive than those of adult dogs. Eventually, puppies are more susceptible to bacterial infection.
Bacterial infections can cause symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, fever, loss of appetite, and bloody stools. However, these infections can cause severe conditions. So consult your vet immediately for medical attention.
Your puppy’s loose stool could also be caused by stress. Your buddy might not have yet adapted to his new environment and thus be very stressed.
This condition will resolve while your dog gets adjusted to its new home or ambiance. You can help your buddy resolve it by offering extra comfort and love. Always monitor their behavior and activities. Their loose stool will get firm automatically within a few days.
One of the best ways to deal with stress is by exercising. Take your pup for daily walks or play fetch in your yard. This will let your dog release tension, release energy, and boost endorphins.
On the other hand, ensure that you provide your puppy with a separate, safe, and special place in your house. Puppies are undoubtedly full of energy. But yet, they prefer having a place to rest quietly and peacefully.
Some severe health conditions can cause loose stools or diarrhea in puppies. It includes liver disease, colitis, kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and even, cancer.
What Is The Normal Poop of a Puppy?
The ideal or normal puppy poop is relatively firm. The poop is excreted in segments that are nearly 2 inches long. In addition, the healthy poop color is chocolate brown.
So if you notice one soft piece of poop, it can indicate insufficient moisture in your pup’s body. On the other hand, small pellets are an indication of constipation.
Dogs can poop once, twice, or even four times a day. However, they will usually poop the same number of times daily. If there are any changes in the time and consistency, your canine might be suffering from some health issues.
Also, check the poop’s size to see if it is relative to your pup’s weight and size. However, if the poop’s size is smaller than usual, your dog might be having constipation. On the contrary, large poop sizes can indicate improper digestion of food.
What Should You Do If Your Pup Has Loose Stools?
In most instances, loose stools in puppies are normal. So don’t fret! To be on the safe side, you can talk to your vet about it.
Here are some of the symptoms that can be alarming signs.
- Loose stools with blood or tar-like texture
- Discomfort or pain.
Notice whether your puppy is continuing to have loose stools. Tell your vet any of the symptoms you notice. Considering all the symptoms, they can give you the best advice.
Should You Take Your Puppy To The Vet?
If you notice your pup having loose stools for over a day, immediately take your dog to the vet for detection and treatment.
Diarrhea is a serious ailment. And chronic diarrhea can affect your dog’s health dangerously, causing dehydration.
How To Treat Loose Stools In A Puppy?
Don’t worry if your pup is having loose stools at night. You can help your pet deal with it in different ways. However, you must make sure that your dog is drinking enough water. Otherwise, it can cause dehydration.
1. Bacterial or viral infection
If your puppy is having loose poop due to a bacterial or viral infection, your vet can only treat it. They may provide some intravenous fluids and prescribe antibiotics. Moreover, your dog may be even hospitalized for proper treatment, medications, and recovery.
2. Dietary change or stress
If the problem lies in diet or stress, you can help your buddy resolve it by including a bland diet in the routine.
Consult your vet regarding your pet’s diet or food. You can then try offering them easy-to-digest foods like white rice, oatmeal, or macaroni. High-protein foods like skinless eggs or chicken are also good choices.
3. Swallowed Undesirable Elements
In case your puppy has swallowed something undesirable, you must take them to the vet to address it right away. However, the treatment will vary depending on the component ingested.
4. Parasitic Infection
Your vet will prescribe treatment based on the type and degree of the parasite infection. Interestingly, medication can deal with some parasites quickly, but a detailed approach will be required to treat others.
5 Best Ways To Prevent Your Puppy From Having Loose Stools
Below are some of the best ways to help your buddy deal with loose stools:
1. Change the diet gradually
You can add new foods or make changes to your puppy’s diet. But do it gradually. Eventually, you can monitor any issues resulting from diet changes and prevent severe consequences like diarrhea.
2. Deworm your puppy
Getting your dog dewormed is an important part of veterinary care. So make sure to bring your buddy regularly to the vet for deworming. If your puppy is having loose stools due to worms, deworming will solve the issue.
3. Vaccinate your dog
Your puppy must be vaccinated as required. However, don’t bring unvaccinated puppies into public areas or get too close to unvaccinated dogs.
4. Keep your dog clean
Keep your puppy and all its belongings clean with proper dog disinfectants. On the other hand, consult with your vet about how to prevent parasites.
5. Prevent your dog from eating undesirable things
Try to keep an eye on your puppy at all times to ensure they aren’t ingesting undesirable things. Most dogs chew on everything around them. So the chances are always high that they will eat unwanted things.
Ans: The most common illness that causes loose stools in your puppy is a parasitic infection. Parasites that lead to diarrhea include roundworm, coccidian, hookworm, and giardia. However, the best course of action is to consult your vet immediately.
Ans: You must keep an eye on your puppy’s stool regularly. Its consistency, color, and quality indicate the health condition of a dog. If the stool appears different than normal, it can signal a health concern. You must act on it immediately before it becomes more serious. The best choice is to take your dog to the vet.
Ans: Yes. Puppies often suffer from diarrhea. Mild diarrhea resolves automatically with time. However, repeated or continued loose stools will need immediate medical attention. Look for other associated symptoms like bloody stools, fever, lethargy, pale gums, or mood swings. If you notice any such symptoms, it’s a matter of concern.
Now you already know that loose stool is a clear symptom of something wrong. But in most cases, it’s not a matter to be too concerned about. Loose stools can occur for many reasons. You need to determine the exact problem so that it becomes easy to solve.
However, diarrhea can turn out to be a serious medical problem. Don’t neglect it! This is because diarrhea can eventually lead to dehydration in your puppy. After all, you won’t compromise anything for your dog’s health.
If you notice your puppy having loose stools at night, just be vigilant. Get your buddy checked on time. If it continues for over a day, take him to the vet immediately. It’s always better to be on the safe side.
Meet Madison Phillips, your compassionate guide to pet well-being. With experience from VCA Animal Hospitals and Laxton Vet Clinics Bellaire Inc. Madison honed her skills and embraced the balance of medical expertise and compassion, through her articles, she simplifies pet care, whether you’re a newbie or an experienced pet parent.