Getting the runs is usually a symptom of something gone awry in your puppy's intestines and could be a sign of coccidia, a parasite that commonly infects puppies and kittens. If your baby has loose stools for more than a day or two, take him to the vet for treatment. You'll also need to adjust his diet to cater to his tender tummy while he is recuperating.
It's common for vets to advise withholding food for 24 hours from a dog who has diarrhea. Puppies don't have the store of calories that adult dogs do, though, so you shouldn't withhold food from Winston if he has coccidia-induced diarrhea. Instead, take him off his usual kibble and feed him something that will soothe his sensitive stomach.
Substituting cottage cheese for Winston's regular food for a day or two will give him a tasty treat that is easy on the tummy, and it may actually help him get rid of coccidia. In the 2011 book "Veterinary Guide for Animal Owners" authors C. E. Spaulding and Jackie Clay write that cottage cheese given as the sole diet changes the pH in puppies' intestines. This creates an altered environment that kills the coccidia.
You'll keep your pup's digestive system calm if you feed him an easily digestible, bland diet for a few days. A mild meal of boiled chicken or hamburger mixed with boiled rice is an easy and effective recipe. Feed your puppy in smaller portions for about five days, feeding him more frequently than usual, about four or five times a day.
Moisture and Electrolytes
If your darling young dog gets coccidia resulting in diarrhea, he could become dehydrated from fluid loss. Along with bland food, provide him with an ample supply of water and check to be sure he is drinking it. You could even try giving him a sports drink that contains electrolytes, but no caffeine. This will replenish the minerals that his little body may lose when diarrhea strikes.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.