Dogs frequently experience diarrhea, which can be caused by a variety of factors, most often a dietary one. When, though, is canine diarrhea an emergency?

Go to the veterinarian right away if you suspect anything is amiss with your four-legged buddy because you are the one who knows them best. Having said that, diarrhea usually escalates to an emergency when your dog has repeated, watery stools that last longer than a day or are bloody, loses their appetite, gets lethargic, is in pain, or vomits. Take your dog to the vet as soon as you can if they exhibit these symptoms because they run the risk of dehydrating, and dehydration can be fatal if it is not treated in time.

What Are the Reasons Dogs Get Diarrhea?

It might be claimed that your dog has diarrhea if they pass three or more watery stools per day. It is a clinical indicator of other disorders that frequently need treatment rather than being a disease in and of itself. The following are the main reasons why dogs experience diarrhea:

  • Food allergies or food poisoning (due to a poor diet, eating foods that are too old or inappropriate)
  • Vaccination (possible side effect: diarrhea; usually goes away in a day)
  • A microbial imbalance is caused by certain medicines, such as antibiotics (dogs might be susceptible to some antibiotics and experience diarrhea; these drugs also destroy the healthy gut bacteria).
  • Infectious disorders caused by bacteria or viruses (such parvovirus, distemper, 
  • Salmonellosis, helicobacteremia, campylobacteriosis, etc.)
  • Problems with the liver

When Does Canine Diarrhea Become an Emergency?

Dogs occasionally have diarrheal stools, but they usually get well on their own. Diarrhea turns into a medical emergency and necessitates a trip to the vet when it persists or other clinical indications appear.

  1. Diarrhea That Is Bloody

There are numerous causes of bloody diarrhea in dogs, the majority of which are emergencies. The most typical examples are:

  • external  bodies
  • consuming toxins
  • infectious illnesses, such as the parvovirus
  • gastrointestinal parasites
  • Anal gland dysfunction

Bright red (fresh blood) or dark red (aged or digested blood) blood can be found in the diarrheal stools. Bright red, streaked blood indicates a bleeding injury somewhere in the terminal portion of your dog’s intestine. Bright red bloody diarrhea can be caused by the parvovirus, foreign objects, hemorrhoids, anal gland issues, etc.

Dark red blood indicates that it is old or digested and that there has been bleeding in the closest area of the digestive tract. When your dog’s bowel is blocked or if they have a stomach ulcer (which also occurs to be accompanied by diarrhea), they may experience diarrhea with dark blood. In any case, get your dog to a veterinarian right away.

  1. Continuous Diarrhea for More Than 24 Hours

Stools with brief diarrhea typically disappear on their own in a day. Your dog will start to dehydrate (since they lost fluids) and get malnourished if the diarrhea persists for more than a day. It is advised to call the vet for this reason even if your dog exhibits no other clinical symptoms.

Dehydration is a medical emergency because your dog could die if it is not addressed right away. Clinical indicators of canine dehydration include:

  • Lethargy (your dog lacks enthusiasm and seems uninterested)
  • more sleep than normal
  • Having no appetite
  • recessed eyes
  • Dry and feverish lips with a warm nose
  • unpleasant mucous membranes
  • Panting
  • higher heart rate
  1. Prolonged Diarrhea

When your dog’s diarrhea is out of control, they can no longer wait to go outdoors and will relieve themselves anywhere they can. It could be an indication that they consumed an inappropriate food, but it could also be a symptom of an infectious digestive ailment. Make an appointment with the vet as soon as you can.

  1. A Day with Several Diarrheal Stools

It’s necessary to call the vet if your dog gets more than two episodes of diarrhea every day. When they only pass a small amount that is watery, they may have swallowed something foreign that obstructed their bowel. You must call the veterinarian right away because this situation is an emergency.

  1. Vomiting and Diarrhea

Vomiting along with diarrhea immediately causes dehydration. Even if your dog only had two episodes of diarrhea and vomiting, you still need to take them to the doctor because these two clinical indications typically do not go away on their own.

Going to the vet is crucial for the right therapy, which is intravenous fluid rehydration, as dehydration will quickly develop up in this situation.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens If My Dog Throws Up for Three Days?

You must call the vet if your dog has had diarrhea for three days. If your dog has experienced diarrhea for more than 24 hours, you must always call the vet. Dehydration can result from ongoing diarrhea and is a medical emergency. The veterinarian will also identify the root cause of the diarrheal episodes and put in place the necessary treatments.

Should I Allow My Dog’s Diarrhea to Finish Its Course?

In brief instances, diarrhea will go away on its own in a day. Take your dog to the vet as soon as you can if the diarrhea lasts longer than 24 hours. Diarrhea that doesn’t stop can cause malnutrition and dehydration. Dehydration will undoubtedly occur considerably more quickly if diarrhea is followed by vomiting. Dehydration is a medical emergency because if it is not treated right away, your dog could die. Therefore, if the diarrhea persists for longer than 24 hours, don’t let it continue.


It is probably not a medical emergency to have one or two watery stools each day or occasionally. However, if your dog passes several watery stools in a single day, the diarrhea lasts more than 24 hours, is bloody, or is accompanied by vomiting or other clinical indications, it is a medical emergency and you need to call the doctor right once. If the diarrhea persists for more than a day, it is advised against waiting for it to stop on its own since you run the danger of your dog getting very dehydrated, which can be fatal. The most frequent causes of diarrhea are dietary mistakes, infectious disorders, ingesting poisonous substances or foreign objects, and intestinal parasites.