should you starve a puppy with diarrhea

Mariah Brown

written by

Mariah Brown

update on


Welcome to this informative article on the topic of whether you should starve a puppy with diarrhea. If you’re here, it’s likely that you’re seeking answers and guidance on how to handle this common and concerning issue. Diarrhea in puppies can be a cause for worry, but with the right knowledge and approach, you can help your furry friend get back on track to good health and happiness. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind puppy diarrhea and discuss the best course of action to alleviate their discomfort and promote recovery.

should you starve a puppy with diarrhea

As a passionate dog owner myself, I understand the concern and responsibility that comes with caring for a puppy. I have personally dealt with the issue of diarrhea in puppies and have gathered a wealth of knowledge from reputable sources and experienced professionals. You can trust that the information provided here is accurate, reliable, and tailored to be easily understood, even for those new to the world of dog care and grooming.

Causes of Puppy Diarrhea

Understanding the Source

Before we delve into whether or not you should starve a puppy with diarrhea, it’s crucial to understand the common causes of this condition. Diarrhea is not a disease itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying issue.

Some common causes of diarrhea in puppies include:

  • Change in Diet: Switching a puppy’s food abruptly or introducing new treats can upset their digestive system, leading to diarrhea.
  • Food Intolerance or Allergy: Puppies, like humans, can have sensitivities to certain ingredients in their food, which can cause digestive upset and diarrhea.
  • Intestinal Parasites: Worms and other parasites can irritate the intestinal lining, resulting in diarrhea.
  • Infection: Viral or bacterial infections can lead to gastrointestinal issues and diarrhea in puppies.
  • Stress and Anxiety: Puppies may experience diarrhea as a response to stress or anxiety, such as during travel or during a change in their environment.

It is important to identify the underlying cause of your puppy’s diarrhea in order to provide the most effective treatment and care.

Should You Starve a Puppy with Diarrhea?

Now that we have a basic understanding of the causes of puppy diarrhea, the question of whether to starve a puppy with diarrhea arises. In the past, it was common practice to withhold food for a period of time to allow the dog’s digestive system to rest. However, current veterinary recommendations have shifted away from this approach. Starving a puppy with diarrhea can actually do more harm than good.

When a puppy has diarrhea, it is important to focus on hydration and nutrition. Dehydration can quickly become a concern, especially in young puppies, so it is crucial to ensure they are drinking enough water. Instead of completely withholding food, a more beneficial approach is to provide easily digestible and bland food options.

Hydration and Nutrition for Puppies with Diarrhea

Keeping Your Puppy Hydrated

One of the key concerns when dealing with a puppy experiencing diarrhea is dehydration. Diarrhea can cause rapid fluid loss, which can be dangerous, especially in young puppies. Encourage your puppy to drink water frequently, offering it in smaller quantities throughout the day. You can also try offering diluted chicken broth or pediatric electrolyte solutions, but always consult with your veterinarian for specific recommendations.

If you notice signs of severe dehydration, such as sunken eyes, dry gums, or lethargy, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary attention.

Nutrition for Puppies with Diarrhea

Feeding your puppy a bland diet can help soothe their upset stomach and provide essential nutrients. A bland diet consists of easily digestible ingredients that do not further irritate the gastrointestinal tract. Common options include boiled chicken, white rice, and pumpkin puree.

It is important to feed your puppy small and frequent meals to avoid overwhelming their digestive system. Gradually reintroduce their regular food once their stools begin to firm up. If you notice any worsening of symptoms or persistent diarrhea, consult your veterinarian for further guidance.

Table Breakdown: Foods to Include and Avoid

Foods to Include Foods to Avoid
Boiled chicken Spicy or heavily seasoned foods
White rice Dairy products
Pumpkin puree Fatty or greasy foods
Plain yogurt (without additives) Treats and snacks

FAQs: Common Questions About Should You Starve a Puppy with Diarrhea

Q: How long should I wait before reintroducing my puppy’s regular food?

A: Each puppy is different, but it is generally recommended to slowly reintroduce their regular food once their stools have consistently firmed up for 24-48 hours.

Q: Should I give my puppy medication for diarrhea?

A: It is best to consult with your veterinarian before administering any medication to your puppy. They will be able to determine if medication is necessary and provide the appropriate recommendation based on the underlying cause of the diarrhea.

Q: Can I use over-the-counter remedies for my puppy’s diarrhea?

A: Over-the-counter remedies should be used with caution, as they may not be suitable for puppies or the underlying cause of the diarrhea. Always consult with your veterinarian before administering any medications or remedies to your puppy.

Q: How can I prevent diarrhea in puppies?

A: Providing a healthy and balanced diet, avoiding sudden food changes, keeping your puppy’s environment clean, and ensuring their vaccinations are up-to-date can help prevent diarrhea in puppies. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are also important for maintaining your puppy’s overall health and well-being.

Q: When should I be concerned about my puppy’s diarrhea?

A: If your puppy is experiencing severe diarrhea, has bloody or black stools, shows signs of dehydration, or if the diarrhea persists for more than 24 hours, it is important to seek veterinary attention.

Q: Can stress cause diarrhea in puppies?

A: Yes, stress can be a contributing factor to diarrhea in puppies. Changes in environment, separation anxiety, or other stressful situations can upset their digestive system and lead to diarrhea.

Q: Is pumpkin good for puppies with diarrhea?

A: Yes, pumpkin puree can be beneficial for puppies with diarrhea. It contains fiber that can help firm up their stools. However, always consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods or remedies.

Q: How long does diarrhea usually last in puppies?

A: The duration of diarrhea in puppies can vary depending on the underlying cause. In most cases, diarrhea improves within a few days with proper care and management. If the diarrhea persists or worsens, consult your veterinarian.

Q: Can I give my puppy probiotics for diarrhea?

A: Probiotics can be beneficial for puppies with diarrhea, as they help restore the balance of good bacteria in the gut. However, it is important to consult with your veterinarian for the appropriate probiotic for your puppy’s specific needs.

Q: Are there any home remedies for puppy diarrhea?

A: While there are some home remedies that may help alleviate puppy diarrhea, such as a bland diet and ensuring hydration, it is always essential to consult with your veterinarian for accurate guidance and recommendations.


Dealing with diarrhea in a puppy can be worrisome, but with the right knowledge and approach, you can help your furry companion overcome this common issue. Remember, starving a puppy with diarrhea is not recommended. Instead, focus on keeping them hydrated and provide a bland diet to soothe their upset stomach. If the diarrhea persists or worsens, it is important to consult with your veterinarian for further evaluation and guidance. By staying informed and proactive, you can ensure the well-being and health of your beloved puppy.

For more information about dog care and grooming, feel free to explore our other helpful articles!

External Links and Sources:


Leave a Comment