Preventing Puppy Diarrhea Through Diet

Puppy diarrhea can have many causes, and it isn't always due to sickness. Puppies have sensitive digestive tracts, so it's important to manage a puppy's diet carefully to prevent diarrhea. Change Foods Slowly All dogs are sensitive to sudden changes in diet, and puppies are no exception. When you acquire your new puppy, ask the breeder or shelter staff about your puppy's diet. Find out what brand of food your puppy has been eating and what dog food supplements he may be on. If you're interested in changing your puppy's diet, you'll want to do so slowly to prevent puppy diarrhea. Changing your puppy's diet should take seven to ten days. Start with a mixture that is 25% new food to 75% old food; after a few days, you can increase the ratio of new food to half, then to three quarters after a few more days. Finally, you'll have changed your puppy's diet without shocking his digestive system. Carry Your Own Water Strange water can cause puppy diarrhea. Water from puddles and streams may contain chemical contaminants, or infectious agents such as Giardia. When away from home, carry a bottle of drinking water for your puppy. Keep An Eye Out Your puppy may eat things that could cause diarrhea, if you don't watch him carefully. Things that might look tasty to your puppy include: * Dead animals * Garbage or compost * Sticks, grass, or insects * Small rocks * Rugs, blankets, or clothing Toxic substances that might seem tasty to your puppy include: * Antifreeze * Gasoline * Insecticides * Household cleaners * Rat Poison * Paint Consider Possible Allergens If you've been doing all these things and your puppy still suffers from diarrhea, but isn't sick with an infectious disease, then he may have allergies. Some puppies may be allergic to milk, eggs, corn, wheat, rice, chicken, or beef. Some puppies may even be allergic to the chemical preservatives used in dog food. Food allergies such as these cause an inflammation of the bowel and can lead to puppy diarrhea. Your puppy may also display itching and hair loss as a result of a food allergy. Such allergies can be difficult to manage, and you may have to change your puppy's diet frequently as he could develop new allergic sensibilities. Many owners find that the best way to manage puppy food allergies is to prepare home-cooked meals for their puppy themselves.