Puppy Has Diarrhea But Still Playful: Understanding and Managing Canine Health

icon August 18, 2023

A sunny morning, a charming backyard, and a delightful bundle of fur named Max, who happens to be a puppy on a mission. Oh, what a mission, you ask? Well, the pup had diarrhea but remained as playful as a rubber ball at a carnival! 
However, it can be concerning for pet owners when their puppy displays signs of an upset stomach, such as diarrhea, yet continues to be playful. This situation raises questions about the puppy's health, proper care, and when it's time to seek professional veterinary assistance. In this article, we'll explore why a puppy might have diarrhea but still remain playful, and what steps you can take to ensure your furry friend's well-being.

Why My Puppy Has Diarrhea But Still Playful?

Hey there! It's not uncommon for puppies to have a bout of diarrhea while still being their playful selves. While it might seem a bit odd, there could be a few reasons for this. Just like humans, dogs can have tummy troubles from time to time, and it doesn't always mean they're feeling awful.

One possibility is that your puppy might have eaten something they shouldn't have – you know how curious those little furballs can be! This could upset their stomach temporarily and lead to diarrhea. But the good news is, if they're still bouncing around and playing, it might just be a passing thing.

Another possibility is a mild stomach bug or a sudden change in their diet. Puppies have pretty sensitive tummies, and even a small change in what they eat can cause a bit of gastrointestinal chaos.

Remember, puppies are full of energy and enthusiasm, so they might not let a little diarrhea slow them down. 

So, for now, just keep an eye on your playful pup, offer them some gentle comfort, and things should hopefully get back to normal soon.

Is it Normal for My Puppy to Get Diarrhoea?

Diarrhea is a prevalent issue in both puppies and adult dogs, signaling an underlying concern. Puppies with developing immune systems are prone to occasional bouts of diarrhea due to their heightened sensitivity to changes and potential infections compared to mature dogs. The range of diarrhea in severity spans from a couple of mild occurrences to more significant gastrointestinal symptoms that could point to a more critical problem. Generally, mild episodes of diarrhea are not a cause for major concern and can be resolved with appropriate care within a few days.

How Long Does Diarrhea Last in Puppies?

The duration of diarrhea in puppies can vary depending on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. In many cases, mild cases of diarrhea in puppies might resolve on their own within a day or two. 

If the diarrhea lasts more than two days or is accompanied by other related symptoms, it may be due to a parasitic infection, microvirus, bacterial infection or a more serious illness, so be sure to consult your veterinarian!

What Causes Diarrhea in Puppies?

Here are some common causes of diarrhea in dogs:

  • Dietary Changes

Puppies have sensitive digestive systems, and abrupt changes in their diet can lead to diarrhea. Switching to a new type of food or giving them table scraps can upset their stomachs. Just like humans, puppies can develop intolerances or allergies to certain ingredients in their food, leading to gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea.

  • Parasites

Puppies can experience diarrhea due to intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, giardia, and coccidia. These parasites are often spread through sources like tainted water, food, or from the mother during birthing or nursing.

  • Bacterial Infections

Salmonella: This type of bacteria can be found in contaminated food, water, or environments. Puppies can contract salmonella through ingestion of infected materials, leading to symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and lethargy.
E. coli (Escherichia coli): Certain strains of E. coli bacteria can cause gastrointestinal issues in puppies, resulting in symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sometimes even more severe complications.

  • Viral Infections

Parvovirus (Canine Parvovirus): Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that primarily affects young puppies. It can cause severe gastrointestinal distress, leading to vomiting, diarrhea (often bloody), dehydration, and even death if not treated promptly and properly.

Other Viral Infections: There are various other viruses that can cause diarrhea in puppies, such as distemper virus and coronavirus. These viruses can lead to a range of symptoms, including gastrointestinal issues.

  • Stress or Anxiety

Puppies can experience stress due to changes in their environment, such as moving to a new home, being separated from their mother and littermates, or encountering new people or animals. Stress in puppies can manifest in various ways, and one common physical symptom is gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea. This stress-induced diarrhea is often temporary and should resolve as the puppy adjusts to its new circumstances and becomes more comfortable in its environment.

  • Allergies

Food allergies in puppies occur when their immune systems react negatively to certain proteins or ingredients in their diet. Diarrhea is one of the common symptoms of a food allergy or sensitivity in dogs.

When a puppy or dog consumes food they are allergic to, their immune system responds by releasing histamines and other chemicals, leading to inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. This inflammation can result in symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, gas, bloating, and sometimes even skin issues like itching or rashes.

How to Treat Diarrhea in Puppies?

Proper Hydration

Puppies are vulnerable to the dangers of dehydration, especially during episodes of diarrhea. Frequent bouts of diarrhea can lead to water loss and a depletion of vital electrolytes in young dogs. Providing ample water is of utmost importance in these cases. This action aids in replenishing the fluids and electrolytes lost during bowel movements. If your puppy appears disinterested in drinking water, you can consider administering an electrolyte solution or freezing water into small cubes for gradual consumption by licking. Maintaining your puppy's hydration is pivotal for their recovery. By offering water or alternative options such as electrolyte solutions or frozen cubes, you play a crucial role in averting dehydration and bolstering their overall well-being.


Probiotics are advantageous microorganisms that contribute to maintaining a harmonious equilibrium within your puppy's or dog's gastrointestinal tract. They work to regulate the proliferation of harmful bacteria, ensuring a healthy system. Striking a balance between beneficial and detrimental bacteria is vital for your puppy's general health. Yogurt or Yakult can serve as safe and wholesome sources of probiotics for your puppy. Introducing a tablespoon of yogurt or Yakult to their meals can facilitate the growth of beneficial bacteria in their stomach.

Bland Diet

Offer a bland diet to your puppy. This usually consists of boiled rice and boiled, plain chicken (without bones or skin). This can be gentler on the stomach and help firm up stools.

As a general guideline, here’s a rough estimate of how much food puppies may need each day based on their age and size:

6-12 weeks old:

  • Small breeds: 1/2 to 1 cup of food, divided into 3-4 meals per day
  • Medium breeds: 1 to 2 cups of food, divided into 3-4 meals per day
  • Large breeds: 2 to 4 cups of food, divided into 3-4 meals per day

3-6 months old:

  • Small breeds: 1/2 to 1 cup of food, divided into 3 meals per day
  • Medium breeds: 1 to 2 cups of food, divided into 3 meals per day
  • Large breeds: 2 to 4 cups of food, divided into 3 meals per day

6-12 months old:

  • Small breeds: 1/2 to 1 cup of food, divided into 2 meals per day
  • Medium breeds: 1 to 2 cups of food, divided into 2 meals per day
  • Large breeds: 2 to 4 cups of food, divided into 2 meals per day


Depending on the cause of the diarrhea, your vet might prescribe medications to address the underlying issue. Antibiotics might be prescribed for bacterial infections and anti-parasitic medications for parasites.

Diarrhea Bundle

Diarrhea Bundle-Compound amoxicillin powder+Neomycin sulfate talets+IG

Roundworm/tapeworm/nematode Bundle

Roundworm/tapeworm/nematode Bundle

Fiber-rich foods

Incorporating fiber-rich and binding foods into your puppy's diet can have a positive impact on their stool consistency. Fiber plays a crucial role in maintaining digestive health and regulating bowel movements in both humans and animals. Opt for easily digestible fiber sources that are safe for puppies. Sweet potatoes and pumpkin are good choices as they are not only high in fiber but also contain beneficial nutrients. Brussels sprouts can also be added in moderation.

When to Call Your Vet?

While occasional bouts of diarrhea can be relatively common in puppies, persistent or severe diarrhea can indicate an underlying issue that requires medical attention. Here are some guidelines on when to call your vet:

  • Persistent Diarrhea
  • Blood or a reddish tinge in your puppy's stool
  • Lethargic, not drinking water, and having dry or tacky gums
  • Vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, or unusual behavior
  • Worms in the stool
  • Poop clear liquid
  • Black or tarry stools

What is the Normal Color of a Dog's Stool?

The normal color of a dog's stool can vary depending on factors such as diet, hydration, and overall health. However, in general, the normal color of a dog's stool is usually a shade of brown. This can range from light tan to dark brown.

Related: Dog Pooping Clear Liquid

How To Prevent Puppy Diarrhea?

Mitigating puppy diarrhea requires a harmonious blend of diligent care, appropriate nourishment, meticulous hygiene, and vigilant oversight. To achieve this, it's important to dispense several small meals throughout the day, tailored to your puppy's age and breed. Equally crucial is ensuring an uninterrupted supply of pristine, cool water. Upholding the cleanliness of both food and water receptacles is paramount to stave off potential bacterial contamination.

Adhering to a structured regimen of deworming and proactive flea/tick countermeasures, as recommended by your trusted veterinarian, is another vital facet. Conforming to your veterinarian's established vaccination timetable is indispensable in safeguarding your puppy against prevalent contagious ailments.

Furthermore, it's imperative to curate an environment both indoors and outdoors that is devoid of plants and substances potentially perilous to puppies if ingested. By meticulously implementing these measures, you can significantly minimize the likelihood of puppy diarrhea and foster their overall well-being.

What Are the Plants That Are Safe for Dogs?

There are many plants that are safe for dogs and can be incorporated into your living space or garden without posing a risk to your furry friend. Here's a list of some common plants that are generally considered safe for dogs:

  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  • Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
  • Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
  • Bamboo (Bambusa spp.)
  • African Violet (Saintpaulia)
  • Blue Echeveria (Echeveria spp.)
  • Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
  • Marigold (Tagetes spp.)
  • Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.)
  • Zinnia (Zinnia spp.): Zinnias are safe and come in various vibrant colors.
  • Peperomia (Peperomia spp.)
  • Rose (Rosa spp.)

Deworming Frequency for Puppies

Here's a general deworming schedule for puppies. 

Age of Puppy Deworming Frequency
2 weeks First deworming
4 weeks Second deworming
6 weeks Third deworming
8 weeks Fourth deworming
10 weeks Fifth deworming
12 weeks Sixth deworming
16 weeks Seventh deworming
4 - 6 months Deworming every 4-6 weeks
6 - 12 months Deworming every 2-3 months
After 1 year Regular fecal exams and as needed

Remember, the specific medications and timing might vary based on the region you live in and your puppy's individual needs. 


Why does my puppy have diarrhea only at night?

There are several possible factors that could lead to nighttime diarrhea in puppies:

  1. Feeding Schedule Impact: The timing of a puppy's meals might influence their digestive system. When puppies consume a substantial meal just before bedtime, it could potentially trigger nighttime diarrhea.

  2. Stress and Anxiety: Puppies can undergo stress or anxiety that becomes more prominent during the night. This stress might arise from alterations in their surroundings, daily routine, or other elements, potentially resulting in gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea.

How long will my puppy have diarrhea after deworming?

The duration of diarrhea after deworming in puppies can vary depending on several factors, including the type of dewormer used, the puppy's overall health, the severity of the worm infestation, and how the puppy's digestive system reacts to the treatment. In most cases, mild diarrhea might occur for a day or two after deworming and should gradually improve. 

Should you starve a puppy with diarrhea?

Starving a puppy with diarrhea may not be the best approach, as puppies are more vulnerable to dehydration and nutrient imbalances. Instead, you can feed them some light white rice, which is gentle on their stomachs.


Leave A Comment
All comments are moderated before being published.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Join The Puainta

Become one of pet parents and get professional tips, immediate product info, updated promotions and discounts, and more surprises from us!