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Why Is My Dog Having Diarrhea At Night?

The honest truth is that there is never a good time for your dog to have diarrhea, but at night is probably the worst time. Wondering why this is a problem for your dog, in particular? Read on!

A sudden change in their food routine or content is the most common reason for your dog’s nighttime diarrhea. Other reasons could be a reaction to a new medication, allergies to their food’s ingredients, a parasite problem, or even anxiety or emotional distress.

Why Is My Dog Having Diarrhea Every Night?

To get a better understanding of loose bowels and what the cause could be for your dog’s tract, let’s focus on the most likely scenario of a sudden change of food. For example, you realize at supper time that you’ve completely run out of food for your dog and the corner store doesn’t have your brand, so you just select what looks best.

Your dog’s digestive tract is used to having a very certain kind of food with certain ratios of fat, protein, and nutrients. When it suddenly changes to something else entirely, the stomach and digestive tract are going to have a shock and it’ll start to evacuate the body because it hasn’t had time to learn how to digest this new kind of food. It’d be like switching from health food to takeout only, for humans (or vice versa). It may continue for a few nights until the body adjusts.

Medications And Treatments

If your dog has started on medication, such as a dewormer, you can also expect diarrhea for a few nights as the body puts it to work. This is considered normal and most often, your vet will warn you about it for that reason! This could also be the case if he is taking an antibiotic or anything else where it is working through his system.

Allergies And Sensitivities

Allergies are common in many breeds, and a lot of them are common ingredients in your dog’s food! If you discover our dog having diarrhea in the evening and has his main meal at supper time, this is a (not-so) solid sign that it could be directly due to his food and its ingredients. It can help to (gently) transition him to an allergy-friendly food and see if that helps.

Parasites Or Illnesses

Other than food-related issues, many dog owners find that an undetected parasite problem is the most common cause of diarrhea at night time specifically. Parasites cause a lot of problems in the digestive tract of your dog, and fast-paced bouts of it, especially in the evening and overnight hours, is a pretty common problem! Roundworm, coccidia, and giardia, for example, are all known for causing nighttime diarrhea!

As well, if he’s eaten something he shouldn’t (chocolate, pesticides, etc), diarrhea is a common symptom to notice. This is often paired with other problems, too, such as panting, discomfort, and lack of appetite.

Anxiety And/Or Emotional Distress

An anxious or emotional dog can also be prone to diarrhea, and this can often set in at night when he’s eaten and has been exercised out. Just like humans, the body physically responds when there is a sudden change in their life, including a move or a change of family status, etc. Even something as simple as bringing home another dog or pet could give him or her the runs as he adjusts.

What To Do If Your Dog Has Diarrhea At Night

Struggling through diarrhea and wondering how to help your dog feel better, as well as get some rest? Help is here.

First off, do whatever you can to help him stay as resistant as possible by paying attention to food changes. Since this is the most common cause, this is important. Transition him from one type of food to the other gradually. The same goes for treats and anything else that he may eat. This will help minimize the shock and keep his bowel movements normal (or, slightly runny.

If he is dewormed or given medication for another issue, you’ll want to make sure that you check with your vet about any kind of side effects, including diarrhea. Quite a few will be able to help you treat it at home, too (more on that next).

In terms of allergies, it’s more about making sure that you are aware of any new additions to the dog’s food and making sure that you watch for other signs of allergies (such as hives).

Nighttime Diarrhea Happens

Although diarrhea at night is normal and typically nothing to be worried about, if you suspect a deeper issue, take your dog to the vet for a check-up. Any diarrhea accompanied by vomiting, blood, or mucus requires an immediate trip to the vet. Look for warning signs such as a loss of appetite, lethargy, fever, and dehydration.

What Can I Do If My Dog Has Had Diarrhea For 4 Days Straight?

If you see diarrhea continuing for more than 4 days even after providing the right diet, you must pay a visit to the vet. Consult the vet and ask for the remedies. There’s no other option.

What Should I Do If My Dog Has Bloody Diarrhea?

Although diarrhea at night isn’t a red signal for dogs, bloody diarrhea could be. When you see blood coming out with poops or stools, you must take immediate action.

When you see blood in the dog’s stool, observe it properly, even if it seems awkward to you. Check whether the stool is bright bloody colored, or darken.  It will help you better to describe it to the vet instead of calling him to inspect the poop physically.

When you consult the vet, follow his medication and diet chart until the dog comes round. You need to act fast to save the health of the dog during the bloody diarrhea occurrence.


Nighttime diarrhea is often caused by a sudden change in diet, allergies, or a parasite infection. While normal in all dogs from time to time, it can sometimes be a serious issue if it is ongoing. Try at-home remedies such as ride or bread, and check with your vet if any other symptoms pop up, or it doesn’t stop.

Like what you’ve learned? Share this with your fellow dog-owning friends and family so that you can all have a pantry stocked with stomach-friendly foods in case their dog gets the runs!

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