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Diarrhoea in Dogs and Cats

Diarrhoea in Dogs and Cats

At some stage in your pet-owning life, you will have to deal with your cat or dog having Diarrhoea. Unpleasant as it is, we explain why it happens, how serious it can be and what you can do to help. 

What is Diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea is when your cat or dog passes large and frequent amounts of unformed or liquid poo. It is when digested food moves too fast through the digestive tract, decreasing the absorption of fluids, nutrients or electrolytes.

It can come in many forms, from very soft, to runny, to water consistency. It can change colour, have blood or mucus, and smell offensively.  

Diarrhoea isn't a disease but a condition with symptoms indicating other problems, illnesses or health issues that should not be ignored.

What causes diarrhoea in dogs and cats?

Many things upset a well-balanced gut.

  • Dietary indiscretions – your pet has eaten something they shouldn't have, getting into the rubbish, finding a dead animal.
  • Dietary change – sometimes, a change in diet can upset the stomach.
  • Food intolerances – some pets get an upset stomach when they eat a particular food.
  • Parasites – such as worms, coccidia, giardia
  • Indigestible items – swallowing toys, rocks, wood
  • Poison – a plant or substance
  • Infection from virus – Parvo, Distemper
  • Bacterial Infections - E. coli, Salmonella
  • Medication – antibiotics
  • Diseases – kidney or liver disorders, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease IBD
  • Emotional upset and stress – travel, change of environment

If your pet has diarrhoea for more than two days, you should take them for a check-up. 

So, what is your pet's poop telling you?

The colour, shape, smell and consistency of your pet's poo can tell you much about what is happening in the body. You will know what is normal for your pet, so take notice of any changes that may occur. For example, staining of poo or your pet's rear end smelling of poo are indicators of diarrhoea. Below we give you some points on what the issues could mean.


A healthy pet's poop should be log shaped, come out easily, be able to be picked up, and not too dry or wet. If your pet has diarrhoea, it will vary from not well formed, mushy, really soft, runny or like water.


  • Chocolate Brown is a normal dog and cat poop colour
  • Green can be from eating too much grass or there is a gallbladder issue
  • Orange or Yellow can be a sign of liver or biliary issues
  • Bright red streaks, which are blood, can mean an injury to the rectum or anal glands
  • Black can indicate ulcers and/or bleeding in your pet's gastrointestinal tract. It can also be a tar-like consistency
  • Grey and greasy may signify pancreas or biliary issues, as your pet struggles to break down fats.  
  • White specks, which indicate worms

What can you do at home?

Fasting. One of the first steps to help your pet when they develop diarrhoea is to do fasting for 12-24 hours, but no longer. Fasting will give the gastrointestinal tract time to settle. Monitor and adjust how long you will do this, as each pet will be different in handling this, taking into account their age, weight and health.

Food. Once you have done the fast, you can slowly introduce food again. The food needs to be bland. A good dish is cooked white rice and chicken. Give small amounts to start. You can even add a bit of mashed pumpkin to it.

Probiotics. Introducing the good bacteria into the gut is essential, as the diarrhoea would have disrupted this. Feeding your pet yoghurts with live cultures will do this. Also, our Poly Bowel Plus remedy is excellent for balancing, soothing and calming the gut and educating it on how the gut environment should be.  

Hydrate. A considerable risk with diarrhoea is that your pet will become dehydrated, which can be life-threatening. Therefore, ensuring your pet has access to water and is drinking it is essential. You could also give them electrolytes to help. 

What can you do naturally?

Here at Natural Pet, in our Tagiwig range, we have several remedies that can help. From our Stomach Tonic to deal with the immediate diarrhoea to remedy to help store balance. 

Stomach Tonic to help with acute diarrhoea and vomiting. It can also be used as a general gut health tonic. 

Gut Support, to help seal, soothe and repair the gut, can be used after Stomach Tonic once the diarrhoea has passed. 

Poly Bowel Plus is a remedy full of gut nosodes. Great for balancing the gut and encouraging good bacteria to thrive.

We also offer a consultation service, where we can develop a plan individualised for your animal and help to get their health back on track. We can do this via phone or zoom as we help pets in NZ and worldwide. 

Tags: Dogs  Cats  Tagiwig  

Posted: Wednesday 18 January 2023