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Puppy Diarrhea and Vomiting: Causes, Care, and When to Seek Help

Welcome to our puppy care blog! If you’ve found yourself here, there’s a good chance your pet is having some tummy troubles. Puppy diarrhea and vomiting can be worrying, but with the right knowledge and care, you can help your puppy feel better.

This guide will explain everything you need to know about puppy diarrhea and vomiting, from common causes to effective home care tips. Plus, we’ll discuss the important signs that indicate it’s time to seek professional help from a veterinarian. Let’s dive in!

Common Causes of Puppy Diarrhea and Vomiting

Dogs often have tummy troubles because of their adventurous spirit and boundless energy. If you want to provide the best care for your furry friend, it’s important to understand the reasons behind puppy diarrhea and vomiting. 

Let’s explore the various factors that can contribute to these digestive issues and learn how to help your puppy feel better:

1. Dietary Indiscretions

Puppies are curious and they love to sniff and taste everything they find. Sometimes, they eat things that aren’t good for them, like old food, garbage, or too many treats from our plates. When we eat something bad, it gives us a tummy ache. Well, it’s the same for puppies. When they eat food they shouldn’t, it can upset their bellies. They might end up throwing up or having diarrhea, which means runny poops that make them feel sick. So, it’s important to keep an eye on what your puppy tries to eat to keep their tummies happy and healthy!

2. Infections

Puppies can get sick just like we do. There are these tiny, invisible germs called viruses, bacteria, and parasites that can make them feel bad. One example is parvovirus, which is a really serious sickness that can give them bad diarrhea and make them throw up a lot. Another one is giardia, which can make their tummy hurt and give them diarrhea. So, it’s important to protect puppies from these germs and keep them healthy. 

3. Stress

Puppies can feel stressed just like us. Imagine if you had to move to a new house where everything looked different, or if you had to meet new people or pets all at once. It might make you feel a bit worried or nervous. Puppies feel the same way! Even loud noises like thunderstorms or fireworks can make them feel scared. When they’re stressed, it can upset their stomachs, and they could end up throwing up or having runny poops. So, it’s important to help them feel safe and calm, especially during new or noisy situations.

4. Swallowing Foreign Objects

Puppies sometimes chew on stuff that’s not food, like toys or socks. If they accidentally swallow these things, they can get stuck in their belly or intestines. This makes it hard for food to pass through, and it can make them feel sick. They might throw up, have messy poops, or feel uncomfortable in their tummy. So, it’s important to keep small objects out of their reach and give them safe toys to chew on instead.

5. Dietary Changes

Just like we need time to adjust to new foods, puppies do too. If you suddenly change what they eat, it can mess up their tummy. It’s like if you’re used to eating pizza all the time, and suddenly you start eating only salad – your stomach might feel weird, right? Well, it’s the same for puppies. If their food changes too fast, it can make them sick. That’s why it’s best to introduce new foods slowly to avoid upsetting their stomachs.

6. Food Allergies or Intolerances

Some puppies are sensitive to certain foods, kind of like how some people can’t eat peanuts or dairy. For puppies, it might be things like grains or certain proteins in their food that make them feel sick. When they eat these foods, it can give them diarrhea or make them throw up. Pay attention to what they eat and look out for any signs that certain foods might be causing problems.

7. Underlying Health Issues

Sometimes, diarrhea and throwing up can be signs that something more serious is going on inside your puppy’s body. For example, their pancreas (which helps digest food) might be swollen, or they might have a problem with their intestines. Even issues with their organs like the liver or kidneys can make them feel sick. If your puppy keeps having diarrhea or throwing up, it’s important to take them to the vet to find out what’s wrong and help them feel better.

Recognizing Symptoms 

When our puppies aren’t feeling their best, they can’t tell us what’s wrong in words. That’s why we need to pay attention to the signs they give us, especially when they’re having symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms can be concerning, but they often come with other signs that can help us understand how serious the situation might be. 

In this section, we’ll explore additional signs that might accompany diarrhea and vomiting in puppies, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, and dehydration. We can better treat our puppies if we recognize these symptoms and give them the care they need to recover. Let’s dive in! 

– Lethargy

When a puppy is feeling lethargic, it means they’re unusually tired and lack energy. They could sleep more than usual, seem uninterested in playing or going for walks, or struggle to get up or move around. Lethargy is an important sign that your puppy isn’t feeling well and may indicate that their body is using all its energy to fight off whatever is causing the diarrhea and vomiting. It’s important to take lethargy seriously, as it can be a sign of a more severe underlying condition.

– Loss of Appetite

Puppies usually like to eat a lot, so a sudden loss of appetite can be a cause for concern. If your puppy refuses to eat their regular meals or treats, it could mean that they’re feeling nauseous, uncomfortable, or in pain. When they lose their appetite, it can worsen their weakness and dehydration, so it’s important to encourage them to eat or consult a vet for other feeding options.

Ignoring food for too long can lead to more serious health issues, so it’s important to address loss of appetite quickly.

– Dehydration

Diarrhea and vomiting can quickly cause dehydration in puppies, particularly if they can’t replace lost fluids. Signs of dehydration are dry or sticky gums, sunken eyes, reduced skin elasticity (meaning when you gently pinch their skin, it doesn’t bounce back quickly), and increased lethargy. Severe dehydration can be life-threatening, so it’s crucial to act fast if you suspect your puppy is dehydrated. Offering them fresh water and seeking veterinary care are crucial steps in preventing further complications.

Immediate Steps to Take if Your Puppy is Vomiting and Has Diarrhea

If your puppy is vomiting and having diarrhea, it’s important to take immediate action to help them feel better. However, it’s important to avoid giving them any over-the-counter medications without consulting a veterinarian, as these can sometimes do more harm than good in puppies. Let’s go through some immediate steps you can take:

  • Withhold Food- When your puppy is vomiting and having diarrhea, giving their digestive system a break can be helpful. Withholding food for a short period, typically around 12 to 24 hours, allows their stomach and intestines to recover. During this time, avoid giving them any treats. However, if your puppy is very young or small, or if they have underlying health conditions, it’s important to follow your veterinarian’s guidance, because they may recommend a different approach that fits your puppy’s specific needs. 
  • Offer Small Amounts of Water Frequently- Although it’s important to withhold food temporarily, making sure your puppy stays hydrated is critical. As we mentioned before, vomiting and diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration, especially in young puppies. Offer small amounts of fresh, clean water frequently throughout the day, encouraging your puppy to drink. You can use a shallow bowl or a syringe or dropper to give water if your puppy isn’t drinking on their own. Be patient and gentle, as they may not feel like drinking much if they’re not feeling well.
  • Monitor Symptoms- Watch your puppy’s symptoms carefully to see how they’re doing and understand how serious their condition is. Pay attention to how often and how badly they throw up or have diarrhea, and look for other signs like lethargy, loss of appetite, or belly pain. Keeping an eye on their symptoms will help you decide if they’re getting better or if they need to see a vet. If you notice any concerning changes or if your puppy’s condition becomes worse, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian for advice.

When to See a Veterinarian

When your puppy is throwing up and having diarrhea, it’s important to know when to go to the vet. While some belly troubles can be fixed at home, some signs mean your puppy needs the vet’s help right away. Here are some signs:

  • Symptoms Last More Than 24 Hours- If your puppy’s tummy troubles don’t get better after a day, or if they seem to be getting worse, it’s time to see the vet. This means if your puppy keeps throwing up or having diarrhea for more than a whole day, it’s a sign that something serious might be going on, and they need the vet’s help.
  • Blood in Vomit or Poop- If you see blood in your puppy’s throw-up or poop, that’s a big red flag. It means something serious might be going on, and they need to see the vet as soon as possible. Blood in the throw-up or poop is not normal.
  • Your Puppy is Very Tired- If your puppy is extra sleepy and doesn’t want to move or play at all, it could mean they’re sick. If they seem very weak and can’t even lift their head, it’s time for a vet visit. Just like when you’re sick and all you want to do is sleep, if your puppy is too tired to do anything, it’s a sign they need the vet’s help.
  • Your Puppy Looks Like They’re in Pain-  If your puppy is acting like they’re hurting, like whimpering, or if they seem uncomfortable when you touch their tummy, it’s important to see the vet to find out what’s wrong. Puppies can’t tell us they are in pain, but if they’re acting like they’re hurting, it’s time to see the vet.

What Happens at the Vet Visit:

When you take your puppy to the vet, the vet will check them thoroughly. They’ll look at your puppy from head to tail, gently touch their tummy, and check their temperature. The vet wants to find out if there’s anything wrong with your puppy’s body. 

Sometimes, the vet needs to do some tests to figure out what’s causing the problem. They might need to take a little bit of blood or poop from your puppy or do X-rays to see inside their tummy. These tests help the vet know what’s wrong with your puppy so they can give them the right medicine.

After the vet figures out what’s wrong, they’ll give your puppy medicine or other things to help them feel better. Your puppy might get special food or fluids if they’re not drinking enough. 

Before you leave, the vet will tell you what to do at home to help your puppy get better. They’ll explain how to give your puppy any medicine they need and what to feed them. They’ll also tell you when to come back for another check-up. The vet will give you all the information you need to help your puppy get better at home.

Home Care Solutions

Taking care of common puppy health problems like diarrhea and vomiting requires careful home care. You can use easy methods to help them feel better and stay healthy. Let’s look at some simple ways to help your puppy when they’re sick:

I. Dietary Management

After your puppy has taken a short break from eating to let their stomach rest, it’s time to start giving them food again. But you need to be careful not to upset their stomach, so give them something easy to digest. Boiled chicken and rice is a good choice. Just boil chicken without bones or skin and cook some plain rice. Mix them and let them cool before giving them to your puppy. 

Start with a little bit of this plain food and slowly give them more over a few days. 

But remember, this type of feeding should only be temporary because it doesn’t have all the nutrients your puppy needs to stay healthy in the long run.

II. Hydration Tips

When your puppy is sick, remember- it’s super important to make sure they drink enough water. Vomiting and diarrhea can make them lose a lot of fluids, and we don’t want them to get dehydrated. You can help them drink by giving them water often throughout the day.

If your vet says it’s okay, you can also give them a special drink called an electrolyte solution. This helps replace the minerals and salts they lose when they’re sick. You can usually get electrolyte solutions at the pet store or your vet’s office. Just follow the instructions on the package or what your vet tells you about how much to give your puppy.


Before you move on from our guides, make sure to read about why your dog may not be eating but is still drinking water. Discover key insights into canine appetite loss in our detailed article.

When your puppy vomits and has diarrhea, it’s important to know when they need the vet’s help. If their symptoms don’t get better after a day or if there’s blood in their vomit or poop, it means it’s time to go to the vet. The vet will check your puppy to see what’s wrong. Once the vet knows what’s wrong, they’ll give your puppy medicine or other treatments to help them feel better. 

At home, you can help your puppy feel better by feeding them bland food like boiled chicken and rice and ensuring they drink enough water. 

Taking care of a sick puppy at home can be scary, but if you listen to the vet and give your puppy lots of love and attention, they’ll recover quickly.

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