Loose Stool

Information to help with canine and feline symptoms of soft, loose or runny stools in cats and dogs

    causes of loose, soft or runny stools in cats & dogs

    Select a Topic

    1. What are Loose Stools?
    2. What Causes Loose Stools?
    3. Diagnosing Loose Stools
    4. Help for Loose Stools
    5. More Information on Loose Stools

    What are Loose Stools?

    When your pet’s stomach is upset, he will pass loose, runny, watery stools frequently. Both dogs and cats are prone to having loose stools, leaving them feeling very uncomfortable.

    What Causes Loose Stools?

    Loose stools usually occur when something does not agree with or irritates your dog or cat’s stomach. A sudden change in pet food, food allergies, eating garbage, rotten or spoiled food, ingesting poisons and chemicals as well as overeating may all play a role in loose stools in your pet.

    Certain types of drugs, and diseases such as bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic infections, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, Addison’s disease, hypo-adreno-corticism and liver disease can also cause loose stools.

    Diagnosing Loose Stools

    If loose stools are excessive, frequent, and repetitive, then your pet may be suffering from diarrhea. Your dog or cat will show signs of loss of appetite and sometimes blood may be present in the stool. Loose stools usually last less than 48 hours. If loose stools persist, consult your vet immediately, as this may be a cause for concern.

    Help for Loose Stools

    If stools are mild, put your dog or cat on an immediate fast. Refrain from feeding him for at least 24 hours and then gradually return to his normal diet. Feed him a bland diet initially of cooked rice, chicken, burger meat or cottage cheese to soothe the stomach lining. Avoid foods containing lactose, sugar or bran. Be sure to monitor your pet and inspect his stools.

    More Information on Loose Stools

    There are certain things that you can do to prevent and relieve
    loose stools in your pet and these include:
    • Feed your pet high quality, commercial pet food or a well balanced all natural diet that contains all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients
    • If your pet has loose stools, give his stomach a rest by withholding food for at least 24 hours and water for 12 hours (unless the weather is very warm – in this case give him small amounts of water often, to prevent dehydration)– this will help to ease an irritated stomach
    • After your pet’s fast, feed him a bland diet of cooked rice with skinless chicken and follow with a small amount of plain yogurt which contains natural bacterial cultures and soothes the bowel
    • Try not to make any sudden changes to your pet’s diet – introduce new foods gradually by adding it to old food – a change of diet should take about 3 – 5 days
    • Ensure that your pet is de-wormed regularly
    • Keep your pet away from spoilt food and garbage cans
    • Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are updated