Can Dog Treats Cause Diarrhoea? Understanding the Connection

Can dog treats cause diarrhoea in your beloved pet? This query is not unusual, and the response can be complicated. Our pet's digestive systems are delicate!

In this article, we'll delve deep into understanding the causes of diarrhoea and how the ingredients in dog treats can impact your pup's digestion.

We'll also explore the symptoms associated with diarrhoea so you know what signs to look out for if your canine companion starts experiencing such issues. You’ll also learn about diagnosing treat-related diarrhoea and effective strategies for preventing it from recurring.

This comprehensive guide aims at helping you ensure that snack time remains a joyous occasion without causing any undue distress for your four-legged family member. 

Table of Contents:


Identifying the Causes of Diarrhoea in Dogs

Diarrhoea is a common issue for dogs, with various potential triggers:

  • Changes In Diet: Dogs have sensitive digestive systems, and introducing new foods or treats can sometimes lead to an upset stomach. If you're introducing new foods or transitioning between brands, do so gradually over a week or two rather than all at once.
  • Low-Quality Treats: Low-quality treats containing high fat and sugar levels may cause diarrhoea in dogs.
  • Overfeeding Treats: Treats should make up no more than 10% of your pet's daily caloric intake as overfeeding them might not only result in obesity but also diarrhoea due to excessive consumption of unfamiliar food items.
  • Allergies: Your dog may develop an allergy or intolerance to specific foods or ingredients included in treats.
  • Anxiety: If your dog is suddenly anxious or stressed, this can impact how its gastrointestinal tract functions.
  • Illness: Pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease and parasites (such as roundworm) can all cause diarrhoea. Certain medications also can such as antibiotics. 

To help identify whether certain treats are causing digestive upset for your furry friend, consider keeping a food diary noting what they eat each day along with any changes in their stools. This information will prove invaluable when discussing their condition with a veterinarian.


Understanding the Ingredients in Dog Treats

Not all dog treats are created equal! The ingredients used can significantly impact your pet's digestion and well-being.


Many cheaper treats contain fillers like corn, wheat, or rice that some dogs may find difficult to digest. These can lead to upset stomachs and allergic reactions. Additionally, artificial flavours, colours or preservatives might be included which could potentially cause digestive issues.

High-Quality Ingredients

Australian pet owners should look for high-quality ingredients when choosing dog treats. This means opting for natural products with minimal processing where possible. Single-ingredient protein-based snacks such as freeze dried chicken necks or kangaroo fillets can be excellent choices.

Reading Labels Carefully

Becoming familiar with reading labels is crucial too. Look out for any unfamiliar terms - if you don't recognise it or cannot pronounce it easily then it's likely best avoided.

Remember, your pup's well-being is in your hands; thus, make a wise decision when it comes to their treats. 

Read dog treat labels carefully


Symptoms of Diarrhoea in Dogs

The most obvious symptom of diarrhoea is frequent bowel movements that are loose or watery. 

Your dog may also show these potential symptoms:

  • Lethargy or decreased energy levels
  • Abdominal discomfort such as bloating or tenderness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Blood in the stool (a serious symptom requiring immediate veterinary attention).

The severity and duration of these symptoms can vary greatly depending on the cause.

In some cases, diarrhoea might just be a one-off incident caused by something they've eaten - like an inappropriate treat - but if it persists for more than 24 hours, contact your local vet. Chronic diarrhoea could indicate a more serious underlying health issue that needs addressing promptly.


Diagnosing Dog Treat-Related Diarrhoea

If your dogs experience diarrhoea regularly, you must take steps to treat the issue properly. These may include:

Consultation with Veterinarian

The first step to work out what is causing diarrhoea is to consult your vet. It is helpful to keep a food diary for your dog before the appointment, as they will likely ask about recent changes in diet or new treats introduced into your pet's routine.


Your vet may recommend a stool sample analysis to check for any other possible causes of diarrhoea, such as parasites or bacterial infections. They may also conduct a blood or skin test to check for allergies.

Treatment Plan Development

Once you have worked out what is causing diarrhoea, your vet will formulate a tailored treatment plan that could encompass dietary changes and medication if required.

In addition to seeking veterinary care, you should temporarily stop giving your dog any treats until the exact cause of their symptoms has been determined.

This helps prevent further discomfort while ensuring that no additional triggers are being added to their system during this sensitive time.

Remember - always prioritise quality when choosing dog treats. Not only does this keep them happy, but it also contributes significantly to maintaining good health.

Preventing Dog Treat-Related Diarrhoea

Don't let your furry friend experience diarrhoea caused by dog treats. Follow these tips:

  • Choose High-Quality Ingredients: Opt for dog treats made with natural ingredients. Avoid products with artificial additives or preservatives that can upset your pet's stomach.
  • Select Age-Appropriate Treats: Puppies have different dietary needs than adult dogs. Make sure the treats you choose are suitable for your dog's age group, such as DoggieBalm Puppy Chews.
  • Mind Portion Sizes: Even healthy snacks can cause problems if given in excess. Stick to recommended serving sizes based on your pet's size and weight.

If certain types of treats consistently cause diarrhoea, it is best to avoid them altogether. Your vet may also recommend hypoallergenic treats as an alternative.

So next time you're shopping for doggy delights at Zach's Pet Shop, remember these tips. Your pooch deserves the best - not just for their main meals but their little indulgences too. 


FAQs in Relation to Can Dog Treats Cause Diarrhoea

Can certain dog treats cause diarrhoea?

Yes, some low-quality dog treats with artificial additives and fillers can potentially cause diarrhoea in dogs.

What treats don't cause diarrhoea in dogs?

High-quality, natural dog treats suitable for your pet's size and age generally do not cause diarrhoea. We highly recommend treats made by Freeze Dry Australia.

What ingredient causes diarrhoea in dogs?

Ingredients such as lactose, gluten, artificial sweeteners, grains, and excessive fats are known to potentially trigger diarrhoea in dogs.


Ian's Wrap

I get asked this question every now and then, can dog treats cause diarrhoea?

And my answer is yes, sometimes they can cause diarrhoea!

But it's usually low-quality dog treats that will upset your dog's stomach and lead to bowel issues.

So, I always say to all pet owners, that It's important to be mindful of the treats you give your furry friends, especially if they have a sensitive stomach or allergies.

However, there can be other causes of diarrhoea too so it is important to consult with your veterinarian if symptoms persist.

To prevent diarrhoea, opt for treats made with natural, wholesome ingredients from reputable brands, like those sold at Zach's Pet Shop.



Pet Expert - Ian Hamblin

About Ian

Ian Hamblin is a renowned pet enthusiast and the driving force behind Zach's Pet Shop, a trusted name in the Australian pet industry.

With an impressive track record of nearly 15 years, Ian has been supplying high-quality pet products to Australians, earning their trust and loyalty.

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