Caring for puppies is a rewarding experience, but can also be a difficult one. The health of your puppy can be fragile, especially in their first weeks. One of the most common health problems that can appear in puppies is diarrhea. Diarrhea is, of course, strongly connected to your puppy’s diet, but can also be indicative of other health problems. Although it is not always cause for alarm, it should be taken seriously, as it may mean that your puppy is not getting or not able to properly digest the nutrients it needs to grow up strong and healthy.
The first thing to consider is that your puppy’s stool can vary in appearance from completely liquid to completely solid, and anywhere in between. If the stool is simply soft, but not watery, it may not be a serious. This can occur from improper digestion caused by poor diet, change in diet, stress or over-feeding. While it is most commonly not serious, you should monitor your puppy closely until it’s stool returns to normal consistency.
If the stool is liquid and quite watery, it is a much more serious problem. Firstly, watery diarrhea can cause dehydration. In puppies, dehydration can become life-threatening in as little as 24 hours. A puppy can survive a day without solid food, which may be beneficial in that it helps give the digestive track a rest, but it is absolutely imperative that you give your puppy lots of water. If your puppy will not drink, or has had continued diarrhea for more then 24 hours, you must take it to the vet. Be sure to monitor any diarrhea for signs of blood, as blood is a key indicator that your puppy could be very sick. Do not hesitate for a second to take your puppy to the vet if you see even a tiny drop of blood in the stool. Watery diarrhea and blood in the stool can both be caused by intestinal parasites, or other serious digestive problems. This should not, under any circumstances, be taken lightly.
The majority of dogs will experience some kind of diarrhea at least once in their lives. It’s up to you to know what to do, and when to take your puppy to the vet. Keeping a close eye on your puppy’s health is necessary to ensure that your German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd or Belgian Malinois will grow up to be both strong and healthy.