If your Dalmatian has diarrhea it’s normal to be concerned and looking for ways to help. This article will cover the likely causes and solutions to this issue, as well as when to seek veterinary help.
The most common causes of diarrhea in Dalmatians are disagreeing with food or treats, consuming something rotten or toxic, stress, dehydration, or underlying health issues.
Reasons Why Your Dalmatian Has Diarrhea
Let’s run through the most common causes of diarrhea frequently seen in Dalmatians.
1. Not agreeing with his food or has recently changed foods
On paper, you might be feeding your Dalmatian a high-quality diet or a well-trusted kibble. But, that doesn’t mean anything if his body doesn’t fully accept it. And this happens often!
The truth is that all dogs are different, and even premium kibbles don’t always work with every dog out there.
If your Dalmatian has an intolerance to any of the ingredients contained, it could be causing digestive irritation and ultimately leading to loose stools.
There are many culprit ingredients and allergens used all the time in dog food, some of which you’ll be surprised to know: beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, soy, pork, rabbit, and fish.
Yup, chicken and beef are common allergens, yet contained in a lot of dog food.
⭐ How to know?
Usually, if it’s his diet alone that’s giving your Dalmatian diarrhea, he’ll only show negative effects directly after eating. Any signs from vomiting, fatigue, general discomfort, whining, or diarrhea straight after eating all suggest it’s the kibble causing it.
It’s also possible that your dal is experiencing diarrhea shortly after you’ve switched kibbles. Most of the time your dal will take a while to get used to the new food (or it’s not right for him anyway).
I’ll explain a few solutions to this issue in the following section.
2. He’s eaten something rotten (or table scraps)
The second most common cause of diarrhea happens when your Dalmatian eats something rotten OR, he’s reacting badly to an unusual tidbit or table scrap.
The problem here is that it only takes a split second for your Dalmatian to find something and eat it without you knowing. This can happen in your kitchen, yard or when out on walks.
Additionally, table scraps might seem like a good idea but often cause our furry friends diarrhea. Human food has many different ingredients compared to dog food, plus, it’s considerably richer. If your Dal has recently eaten leftovers, this could very well be the cause.
⭐ How to know?
So if he’s eaten something rotten without your knowing, how on earth would you know? Well, good point, you won’t!
Typically, though, diarrhea caused by something rotten will happen suddenly and quickly, and shouldn’t last more than a day. And of course, if you have your suspicions that he rummaged through the garbage, this only helps to piece together sudden diarrhea.
Oh, and be sure to ask your partner or kids about the table scraps. They might have some fessing up to do!
3. Stress or anxiety
If your Dalmatian is experiencing a heightened level of stress and anxiety many side affects can happen, including diarrhea.
Stress and anxiety is just as commonly experienced in dogs as it is in people.
Any kind of big lifestyle changes, not receiving enough exercise, mental stimulation, or attention can cause higher stress levels.
A particularly common cause of stress and anxiety is from leaving your Dalmatian home alone too long, too often. This could be the case if you have long work hours.
⭐ How to know?
Take a moment to consider your Dalmatian’s daily routine and consider whether he’s lacking anything from basic needs or if something is distressing him.
Admittedly, it’s hard to diagnose stress and anxiety yourself, as it could be something that seems to be “normal” for you, but not for your dal.
Dehydration can be both the cause of diarrhea and a symptom of it…
It’s known that our dogs don’t drink as much water as they should do when it’s left to them. This becomes even more of a problem in the summer months when the temperatures are higher.
Remaining hydrated is so important to virtually all bodily functions, it doesn’t take long before side affects happen once dehydrated.
⭐ How to know?
You might be keeping an eye on his water bowl throughout the day, and so you’ll likely know how many times you’ve filled it up.
Additionally, if your dal is experiencing diarrhea for whatever reason, it’s crucial to replace as much of those fluids as possible. The dehydration caused by diarrhea, can itself lead to further diarrhea.
5. Reaction to medications or supplements
If your Dalmatian is currently taking any medication or supplements it could be the cause of his diarrhea.
Certain supplements like Omega 3/fish oil are known to cause diarrhea when given in excess, OR for some dog’s it just causes diarrhea anyway. If your Dal is already eating a diet high in Omega 3 then he might not need additional supplementation of it.
How to know?
If you are currently giving your Dal medication, it’s best to contact your veterinarian to discuss the known side affects and whether or not changes should be made.
If you are giving additional supplements then it best to remove one of them at a time to see when and if the diarrhea stops.
Important Read: Why is my Dalmatian so small?
How To Help Your Dalmatian With Diarrhea?
There are a few well-known solutions to curing diarrhea in dogs. I will cover each solution in detail and when to try it. In the next section, I will discuss when veterinary help is necessary.
One of the oldest methods for curing diarrhea in dogs (and us) is to limit food intake or completely fast for an entire day.
Fasting allows your Dalmatians stomach to rest and recover from whatever has been upsetting it. One of the issues with continuing to consume food is that it doesn’t give the digestive system a break, this is exactly what fasting allows.
⭐ When fasting is not appropriate:
Unfortunately, fasting is not an appropriate solution for every Dalmatian. Fasting is not recommended for puppies, seniors, or if your Dalmatian already has underlying health issues.
Even though fasting for one single day is considered safe, it can still cause too much of a shock for puppies, seniors, or health-impacted dals.
Additionally, if you suspect the diarrhea to be caused by stress, dehydration or medications, fasting will not help.
⭐ When fasting is appropriate:
If your Dalmatian is an otherwise healthy adult (2-8) and you suspect the diarrhea is caused by food intolerances, ingestion of rotten, foul or toxic ingredients, allergies or a change in kibble, then fasting is a good option to try.
2. Feed a bland food diet
If your Dalmatian is able to fast, then it’s best to do that first to give his digestive system a resting period. Then, move to the bland food diet.
The bland food diet consists of completely changing your Dalmatians diet (temporarily) to only bland foods that are known to be very easy on the stomach and digestive system.
This is a very safe method for overcoming diarrhea, and will likely be what you veterinarian will recommend if you were to consult with them.
You can feed your Dalmatian three small meals per day (until the diarrhea stops) consisting of white cooked rice, plain boiled chicken, and cooked pumpkin. There are additional gut-friendly foods like cottage cheese, dairy-free yogurt, or cooked macaroni. Don’t use all the foods together, pick 2 or 3 and stick to those.
⭐ When the bland food diet is appropriate:
Fortunately, the bland food diet is safe and appropriate for all Dalmatians and will be the likely course of action proposed by your veterinarian. Just be sure to avoid any known allergies that your Dalmatian might have.
It’s worth keeping in mind that although this diet works very well to cure diarrhea, it won’t cure underlying causes of diarrhea like stress, anxiety, or certain medication your Dalmatian needs to take. So it’s always necessary to address the cause as well.
4. Use Pedialyte or meat broth in water
As I mentioned previously, dehydration is a serious issue when it comes to diarrhea. It can be the cause of diarrhea, and also the result of diarrhea (which subsequently leads to more diarrhea).
This is why it’s crucial to encourage your Dalmatian to drink as much water as possible, especially if he’s going through a fast.
One way to help with this is by using Pedialyte or meat broth in the water. This will just give the water a slight flavor and make it more palatable.
Pedialyte is an electrolyte drink made for children but is also commonly given to dogs to help with diarrhea.
Hydration is so important and should not be overlooked!
3. Use Pro-Pectalin
Pro-pectalin is one of the most common over-the-counter items you buy to help resolve diarrhea quickly.
This is the official description of Pro Pectalin:
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. Vetoquinol USA – https://www.vetoquinolusa.com/pro-pectalin
Pro-Pectalin is a safe tablet or gel that soothes the digestive system and hardens up your Dalmatian’s stool.
It’s recommended to have some of this in your home medical kit just in case your Dalmatian ever has diarrhea in the future.
Dalmatian Shedding: Everything You Should Know
When To Visit a Veterinarian
There are certainly times when visiting the veterinarian should be your first priority.
⭐ When to seek veterinary help immediately:
If you suspect the diarrhea is being caused by an underlying health issue or due to the consumption of a toxic ingredient, then contact your veterinarian right away.
⭐ When you might not need to contact the veterinarian immediately:
If you suspect the diarrhea is being caused by something more “normal” like eating something from the garbage, or you’ve recently switched kibbles, then you can be more confident that the cause isn’t something sinister or dangerous.
Of course, there is no wrong moment to contact your veterinarian when it’s concerning the health of your Dalmatian. So, if you feel like you should contact the veterinarian regardless of the cause, then that’s absolutely fine!
After all, diarrhea is a common symptom of a lot of underlying health issues. So unless it’s really obvious what the cause is, you might want to consider scheduling a check-up anyway.
Thank you for reading