What Causes Dog Diarrhea At Night?

As a dog owner, there is nothing more annoying and frustrating than if you have to clean up dog diarrhea after you wake up in the morning. In fact, it’s never good for your dog to have diarrhea; however, diarrhea at night is a worse scenario. Diarrhea is an indication of many (mild to serious) medical conditions. Let’s have a look at various reasons that can cause dog diarrhea at night and when it is imperative to contact a veterinarian. 

9 Reasons Why Dog Has Diarrhea At Night

Changes In Diet

A sudden change in diet is the most common cause of diarrhea at night in dogs. Our canine friends have a sensitive stomach and can get upset if you suddenly change the diet. For instance if you are shifting from a puppy diet to an adult diet or your dog regular brand of dog food is not available Therefore experts recommend that if you are introducing a new food brand or transitioning from a puppy to an adult diet, do it gradually over seven to ten days because their digestive tract are used to particular combination or formula This gradual change will allow your dog’s stomach to get accustomed to the new formula or combination of nutrients.

Table Scrape Or Spoiled Food

Most dog owners consider sharing their food or table scrap with their dogs as an act of love and care; however, experts strongly discourage this practice. Because most ingredients in human food are not good for dogs and can cause loose motions. In addition to this, make sure that your dog doesn’t eat from garbage or dustbin. Eating table scrap or kitchen waste can generally cause mild to severe diarrhea; however, it can also lead to serious medical conditions like pancreatitis. 

Anxiety Or Stress 

If your canine friend is stressed or anxious for any reason, it affects their digestive system, and diarrhea can occur. Dogs are intelligent creatures and have emotions, too. They can get stressed or develop anxiety due to following reasons

  • there is a sudden change in their daily routine and surrounding environment, 
  • travel
  • fear
  • separation anxiety when left alone for a longer duration.

A stressed or anxious dog is more attracted to eat things that he is not supposed to eat. So, in addition to medicines, it is necessary to carefully find and eliminate the root cause of stress or anxiety to avoid diarrhea at night.

Virus Or Bacteria

Diarrhea is a common symptom of many viral and bacterial diseases like rotaviruses, parvovirus, coronavirus, canine distemper, salmonella, gastroenteritis, colitis, pancreatitis, etc. So if there is recurrent diarrhea, you can suspect your furry friend suffers from some infectious problem. In this case, you need to look for other signs and contact your vet immediately to get them treated properly.

Internal Worms & Parasites 

Another very common reason for nighttime diarrhea is internal worms or parasites. If your dog is drinking outside water (from ponds, puddles, or stagnant water), he is more likely to have heavy worms load and suffer from diarrhea. Pinworms, roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms, are some of the most prevalent parasites in dogs. To avoid worms and related issues, it’s necessary to focus on cleanliness and sanitation and always provide fresh, clean food and water in clean bowls.

Ate Something Toxic

When selecting the plants for your lawn, it’s compulsory for a dog owner to select only dog-friendly plants. Because many plants commonly found in our backyard lawns are toxic for dogs, similarly, keep medicines, paint, lotions, charcoal, chalks, other chemicals, etc., out of the reach of your canine friend. When going out for a walk, don’t allow your dog to eat anything from the ground. 

Allergy And Food Intolerance

Food allergy and intolerance are also one of the main causes of diarrhea in dogs. Allergy is the response of the immune system of your dog’s body against one or more ingredients of the food or something present in the surrounding environment. In contrast, food intolerance means your canine friend can simply not digest food. Like us, all dogs can develop allergies from anything, and it can be challenging to identify the exact ingredient triggering the allergic response. 

On the other hand, dogs are intolerant to many plants, wild mushrooms, and ingredients in human food (like chocolate, mushrooms, coffee beans, onions, bell peppers, garlic, raisins, grapes, etc.). If they ingest any of such things, their digestive system will be unable to handle them, and they are more likely to suffer from diarrhea.

In addition to diarrhea, the allergies may produce symptoms like sneezing, chewing on paws, and runny eyes, while food intolerance can induce vomiting. 

Related Article Dog Friendly Vegetables

Side Effects Of Medicines

There are certain medicines that can induce diarrhea in dogs. Generally, the medicines given to treat pain, inflammation, internal worms, some steroids, and antibiotics can induce diarrhea. So every time you get a prescription for your dog, always ask your vet about the possible side effects.

Chronic Diseases

If there is recurrent diarrhea and medicines give temporary relief, it is possible that your canine friend may be suffering from some chronic issue. IBD (Irritable bowel disease), Nephritis (and other kidney issues), and liver issues are common examples of chronic issues responsible for recurrent diarrhea in dogs.

How To Avoid

To avoid diarrhea at night, 

  • Don’t change your dog’s diet; if necessary, do it gradually.
  • Don’t overfeed.
  • Don’t allow to eat any human food or something from outside.
  • Always use clean utensils and offer clean water and food.
  • Vaccinate and deworm your dog regularly.
  • You must know the ingredients or food items your dog is allergic to. 

How To Deal With Diarrhea At Night

  • Don’t give anything to eat for 12 to 24 hours. The fasting duration depends on your dog’s age, size, and breed. Older dogs and dogs of large breeds can last longer than young dogs or toy breeds. However, don’t restrict the water. 
  • It’s a great idea to switch to a bland diet. A bland diet consists of fiber, a sufficient amount of protein, and is easily digestible.
  • After a couple of days, gradually introduce the regular diet.
  • Adding probiotics to the food can also help to control diarrhea at night. Probiotics are known to have beneficial bacteria and yeast that aid in the process of digestion and alleviate the symptoms of diarrhea and other gastric issues, especially IBD.

When To Call A Vet?

Mostly, diarrhea usually goes away on its own when the cause is removed. However, you need to call a vet.

  • When home remedies and the above tips are not working.
  • if your dog is unable to recover from diarrhea even after three days
  • If there is recurrent diarrhea for more than three weeks. As it indicates some chronic problems.
  • If you observe mucus, blood streaks or spots along with the stool, or green or black color diarrhea. 
  • If some other symptoms (like abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, weakness, hyperthermia, and weight loss) are also observed.
  • In case of severe diarrhea, your dog can get dehydrated quickly, so move to the vet clinic immediately, where the vet can provide intravenous hydration. 


It’s common for dogs (especially puppies) to suffer from diarrhea at night and other digestive issues. In such a case, as a dog owner, there are two things to worry about; first, the health of your canine friend is being compromised, and second, you have another task to do “cleaning diarrhea. However, if you know the common causes and basic tips to handle diarrhea at night, you can help your dog avoid diarrhea or help him recover more quickly. We have tried to cover all aspects of diarrhea at night, and we are sure this post will make you and your dog sleep soundly and woke up happily.