Knowing what to do and how to help your poodle when she has diarrhea isn’t exactly common knowledge, but when the time comes, it’s important.
This article is here to explain the reasons why your poodle has diarrhea and the best ways to help her.
Reasons Why Your Poodle Has Diarrhea
Knowing the cause of diarrhea will allow you to act in the most appropriate way. Unfortunately, there are many causes, and narrowing it down will certainly require some pondering.
I’ve grouped the causes into two lists, one being causes that you are likely aware of, and another for those that often fly under the radar.
Common causes of poodle diarrhea:
- Consuming rotten or spoiled food
- A change of food or new treats
- Food intolerances
- Reaction to medication
- Ingestion of toxic substances (plants, insects, ingredients)
The list above are common causes of diarrhea that you would likely be aware of. Perhaps you witnessed your poodle rummaging through the trash before getting diarrhea, or you’ve recently switched kibbles or taken a new medication?
Causes that you might not be aware of:
- Kidney or liver issues
- Bacterial infections
- IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Additional underlying health conditions
Some causes of diarrhea, like the ones just above, can be undiscovered health issues.
When your poodle develops diarrhea, have a good think about the very recent events leading up to this point. Have you changed kibbles? introduced a new treat? tried new medication? Have there been any traumatic events happen?
If you can’t explain diarrhea easily, it’s advised to schedule a check-up with your veterinarian to rule out underlying health conditions. You should also visit your veterinarian anyway if diarrhea doesn’t improve after 24 hours.
How To Help a Poodle With Diarrhea
Let’s run through the appropriate steps to take when you first notice your poodle is suffering from diarrhea. I will explain when each solution is and is not appropriate.
1. Try Fasting
Fasting is one of the oldest methods for overcoming diarrhea. But it’s not recommended for every situation.
✅ When fasting is appropriate:
Suppose your poodle is an otherwise healthy adult and you suspect that diarrhea has been caused specifically by food intolerances, allergies, or anything dietary-related. In that case, fasting is the first step to take.
❌ When fasting should not be tried:
Fasting is not appropriate for puppies or seniors. Puppies and seniors depend heavily on consistent nutrition so fasting would shock their system. Fasting is only suitable for otherwise healthy adults. Additionally, diarrhea caused by stress or other underlying conditions would likely not improve by fasting.
How does fasting help?
For those poodles that can fast, it will surely help a lot. Fasting works so well because it allows the digestive system to rest and regain strength. Diarrhea puts a lot of strain on the digestive system and effectively makes it weak. The best way to overcome this is to simply let it rest without consuming food.
It’s absolutely vital that your poodle continues to drink plenty of water when fasting. Due to a lot of their daily water coming from food, it’s extra important to consume even more. Preventing dehydration is key.
2. Follow a Bland-Food Diet
After fasting, or if fasting is not appropriate for your situation, the bland-food diet is the next step to take. This is another very safe and time-proven way to overcome diarrhea.
When to try the bland food diet:
Temporarily switching to bland foods is very safe and will likely be the course of action given to you by a veterinarian. If your poodle can fast first, try that for one day, before switching over to the bland-food diet. If your poodle cannot fast, start with this straight away. It’s safe to follow this diet until diarrhea improves.
How do bland food diets help?
Consuming a bland-food diet is a way for your poodle to continue receiving essential nutrition while not putting too much stress on the digestive system. The whole point of only consuming bland foods is that they are easily digestible and will not irritate the stomach.
What are bland foods?
A bland food diet would consist of giving your poodle three small meals per day consisting of things like plain boiled chicken breast, white potato or rice, cottage cheese, or pumpkin. You don’t need to add ALL of these ingredients, just pick a few, and stick to them. I will cover the full list of bland foods further below.
Bland food diets are known to be extremely effective and will likely help your poodle recover. But what they won’t do, is solve underlying health issues, so it’s crucial to still visit your veterinarian if the cause of diarrhea isn’t clear to you.
3. Keep Your Poodle Hydrated
Dehydration is the true enemy of everything. Dehydration can both cause diarrhea and be the result of diarrhea. So avoiding it is crucial.
Keeping sufficiently hydrated will be the key to a quick recovery aside from the additional tips above. Practically ALL bodily processes and functions work properly when hydrated, and improperly when dehydrated.
Ways to keep your poodle drinking enough:
Unfortunately, your furry friend probably isn’t drinking enough on her own accord, so it’s up to you to encourage further fluid intake.
Try adding a small amount of chicken stock (sodium-free) to her water. Even just a tiny amount should get her drinking a lot more, and that’s crucial.
Another known way to encourage drinking is to add Pedialyte to your poodle’s water. This is an electrolyte drink made for children, but it is also used for helping dogs recover from diarrhea. To be on the safe side, though, I would speak to your veterinarian about this first.
4. Use Pro-Pectalin
Pro-Pectalin is an over-the-counter medication that’s frequently used as a way to stop diarrhea in dogs.
Here’s a description of Pro-Pectalin from Vetoquinol USA:
“Pro–Pectalin is formulated to help maintain a balanced microbial flora and promote intestinal health. Pro–Pectalin helps maintain proper gut pH, supports normal digestive function and aids in reducing occasional loose stools due to environmental stress or changes in diet.”
This is not a new medication and has been around for some time. It’s considered very safe, but like with all medications, It’s best to speak to your veterinarian first about giving this to your poodle.
Many pet parents keep Pet-Pectalin in their pet first aid kit for instances of bad diarrhea that requires quick help.
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When Should You Visit The Veterinarian?
Contacting your veterinarian is certainly something you might have to do.
⭐ When your poodle’s diarrhea can’t be explained.
If you have no idea as to why your poodle is experiencing diarrhea, then you should call your veterinarian as soon as you can to schedule an appointment. If you can’t easily link a cause to diarrhea it could suggest an underlying health issue.
⭐ If diarrhea doesn’t improve after 24 hours of trying something.
Whether you try fasting or the bland-food diet, if no improvement is made at all in 24 hours, then it’s time to contact your veterinarian for further assistance. In MOST cases, fasting or the bland-food diet should see fairly quick results. If diarrhea remains bad, it could indicate an underlying health issue.
As my friend always reminds me… “There’s never a wrong moment to call your veterinarian, other than when it’s too late.” It’s a morbid thing to say, but it’s totally true.
The reason I say this is because many owners hesitate to contact their vet in case what they are calling about isn’t “important enough”. I’m here to remind you that anything to do with your furry friend’s health is important.
Preventing Your Poodle From Getting Diarrhea
A lot of instances of diarrhea can actually be prevented in the first place. By following some of the tips and healthy habits below, your poodle should experience diarrhea far less often.
⭐ Habits to prevent your poodle from experiencing diarrhea:
- Keep trash cans and garbage completely inaccessible from your poodle
- When changing kibbles, make it a slow and gradual transition
- Don’t feed your poodle untrusted treats or chews
- Avoid giving your poodle table scraps
- Keep a close eye on what your poodle does when in public places/dog park
- Keep her water bowl refreshed with clean cold water
- Be aware of any personal food intolerances she has
- Be aware of any allergies she has and reduce household allergens
- Keep upto date with jabs
- Keep upto date with an annual health check-up
Additional Bland Foods To Help With Diarrhea
When following a bland-food diet, you don’t need to use all of these ingredients. Pick 2 or 3 and stick to them. If you keep changing, that alone might further irritate your poodle’s stomach.
⭐ Bland foods that will help your poodle when experiencing diarrhea:
● White potato
● Apple sauce
● Watermelon (no seeds or pips)
● Boiled egg
● Cooked carrots (mashed)
● Boiled chicken breast
● Dairy-free yogurt
● Cottage cheese
● Cooked macaroni
● White rice
Thank you for reading!