Table of Contents
8 Reasons Why Your Dog Might Have Diarrhea At Night
Dogs often have diarrhea for an extended period of time. A common cause of this is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS occurs due to stress which can be traumatic or chronic, but it’s most commonly caused by dietary changes. Many dogs will eat the same food they’ve eaten their entire life and suddenly refuse it. This change in diet can cause gastrointestinal upset.
There are other gastrointestinal problems which can affect dogs during the night including hairballs, parasites, food allergies and more. Any number of these issues could cause diarrhea at night for a dog.
Mild cases of these conditions usually only change the frequency of bowel movements but more severe cases can make a dog severely uncomfortable and dehydrated. Any dog having diarrhea at night should be examined by a veterinarian.
Here are the 8 top reasons for dogs having diarrhea at night:
- Stress – Stress is a common cause of gastrointestinal issues in dogs. Whether it be big-time stress like moving to a new house or day-to-day stress like being at home alone all day, there are many things that can cause your dog’s body to become stressed.
- Food allergies – If your dog suddenly stops eating his or her favorite food it could be an indication that they are having a bad reaction to the ingredients. Dogs’ body chemistry can change over time, reach out to your vet if you have any questions on what food to feed your dog.
- Acute pancreatitis – Acute pancreatitis is when the pancreas becomes inflamed due to toxins in the body such as preservatives or high-fat foods. If a dog has acute pancreatitis it could be due to a food allergy or other reason. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.
- Intestinal parasites – There are many intestinal parasites which can be passed between dogs through contact with feces. Most of these are transmitted by fleas but some are also carried by other parasites. Examples of intestinal parasites include roundworms, whipworms and hookworms.
- Lymphocytic-plasmacytic enteritis – This is inflammation of the intestinal tract. It’s often caused by food allergies or stress to the animal’s nervous system, but it can also just come on for no reason.
- Gastrointestinal lymphoma – This is a type of cancer that causes changes in the intestinal tract as well as diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss. Dogs can be tested for gastrointestinal lymphoma by looking at their blood in a microscope.
- Inflammatory bowel disease – IBD can be very severe and even life threatening if left untreated. It causes inflammation of the intestines which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. IBD in dogs is caused by allergies or an autoimmune reaction.
- Acute hemorrhagic gastroenteritis – This is a life-threatening inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It’s most often caused by a bacterial toxin but can sometimes be triggered by dietary changes.
There are many things that could cause your dog to have diarrhea at night. If the diarrhea has been occurring for more than two or three days in a row, it’s best to consult a professional immediately to evaluate your dog.
If your dog has diarrhea at night then it’s best to have them examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible to determine the cause of the issue.
Some issues which can be causing diarrhea at night are mild and temporary, but other issues could be very severe and even life-threatening and only your vet can make the decision on how sever your dog’s issues are.
What About Constipation in Dogs?
If a dog is unable to maintain regular bowel movements, he or she may be suffering from the opposite problem: constipation. Constipation occurs when stools become too dry and hard to pass along the digestive tract. This is often tied back to diet as well. If a dog stops eating, it will stop having bowel movements. Once it resumes eating, the stool will usually return to normal.
One effective way of treating constipation in dogs is to include some canned pumpkin in their diet. Canned pumpkin contains fiber, which can help regulate stool consistency. You should also consult with your vet about the best food for constipation treatment.
How to Treat Diarrhea in Dogs
While you are trying to figure out why your dog keeps having diarrhea at night, there are a few things that you can do to make him or her more comfortable. For one thing, although it may be difficult for you to prepare two different diets, you should give your dog both wet and dry foods on alternating days so that they keep getting the proper nutrients even while suffering from diarrhea.
If this becomes impossible then at least try switching them to another brand of food instead of just removing them completely from their current food until the problem has passed.
One meal that is easy on dogs’ stomachs and intestines is plain boiled chicken and rice. This is always a safe meal to feed your dog when he or she is sick.
Conclusion: Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea at Night?
Lastly, it’s very important not to miss any scheduled visits with your vet. The issues that cause diarrhea at night can be serious and you will want to get help from a professional as soon as possible because these issues could even kill your dog if left untreated.
Diarrhea in dogs is usually caused by dietary changes, parasites, food allergies and stress. If after changing their diets and trying home remedies for a few days the problem still persists then it might be time to consult a veterinarian.
Constipation is the opposite of diarrhea in dogs and when present needs to be addressed so they can return to normal bowel movements again which should lessen the diarrhea problems in dogs over time.