Understanding Dog Diarrhea And Anxiety

Dealing with a dog that is suffering from both diarrhea and anxiety can be difficult and stressful. It can be heart-wrenching to watch your dog struggle with these issues.

It is important to understand these conditions and know what to do as well as when to seek professional guidance from a veterinarian to address both issues.

We go into depth on the potential causes of dog diarrhea and anxiety, along with the associated symptoms and what to do. 

Dog Diarrhea And Anxiety

Anxiety and diarrhea in dogs refer to two separate conditions that can occur simultaneously in dogs.

Dog diarrhea is the frequent passage of loose, watery stools. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including dietary issues, infections, and underlying medical conditions. 

Anxiety in dogs refers to a state of emotional distress or unease that can manifest in various ways, such as destructive behavior, excessive barking, panting, and restlessness. 

Anxiety can be caused by various factors, such as changes in a dog’s environment, fear, separation from their owner, or underlying medical conditions.

Dog diarrhea and anxiety

Can anxiety cause diarrhea in dogs?

Anxiety can potentially cause diarrhea in dogs as it can lead to a change in their gastrointestinal motility and secretions. 

When a dog is anxious, it can cause an increase in the release of certain hormones and neurotransmitters, such as cortisol, which can affect the gut’s functions.

For example, cortisol can increase the motility of the colon, leading to diarrhea. 

Anxiety can also cause an increase in the secretions of stomach acid and enzymes which can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea. 

This can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, as well as other digestive issues like loss of appetite, vomiting, and flatulence.

Anxiety-induced diarrhea is usually mild and temporary, but in some cases it can persist or  accompanied by other symptoms.

It is important to note that while anxiety can cause diarrhea, it is not always the case and other factors such as diet, infections, and underlying medical conditions should also be considered. 

Is it normal for dogs to have diarrhea when experiencing anxiety?

It is not uncommon for dogs to experience diarrhea as a symptom of anxiety. Anxiety can cause changes in the gut’s functions and secretions, leading to digestive issues such as diarrhea. 

However, not all dogs experience diarrhea as a symptom of anxiety, because it varies from dog to dog. 

While some dogs may have diarrhea as a symptom of anxiety, others may have different symptoms such as panting, restlessness, or destructive behavior.

See Also: Dog diarrhea and shaking (Explained)

What do I do when my dog has diarrhea and anxiety?

When your dog is experiencing both diarrhea and anxiety, it is important to consult your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause of your dog’s diarrhea and anxiety, and to develop an appropriate treatment plan that addresses both issues.

Here are  other signs that indicate that you should see a veterinarian immediately:

Severe or bloody diarrhea: If your dog’s diarrhea is prolonged or if there is blood or mucus in the stool, this could be a sign of a serious underlying condition and requires immediate veterinary attention.

Diarrhea can be caused by a variety of factors, some of which can be serious and require prompt medical attention.

Other symptoms: Other symptoms may accompany diarrhea and anxiety, such as vomiting. If your dog is vomiting along with diarrhea, this can lead to dehydration and other complications  which require immediate medical attention. 

Other symptoms to look out for include lethargy, lack of appetite, breathing difficulties, signs of pain or discomfort, fever, and signs of dehydration, such as a dry nose or mouth and sunken eyes.

If your dog is a puppy or an older dog: Puppies and older are generally more vulnerable than healthy adult dogs so delaying treatment could result in their condition worsening or becoming more difficult to treat. Therefore, it is essential to seek immediate medical care.

Treatment options for dogs with diarrhea and anxiety

Treatment options for dogs with diarrhea and anxiety depends on the underlying cause of each condition. However, here are some general treatment options that may be recommended by your veterinarian:


Depending on the cause of the diarrhea, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to help regulate the intestinal motility and reduce inflammation. 

For example, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, or anti-diarrheal medication may be prescribed to reduce the frequency of bowel movements.

Depending on the severity of the anxiety, your veterinarian may prescribe medication such as anti-anxiety medication or antidepressants to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety.

Diet modification

If the diarrhea is caused by dietary issues, your veterinarian may recommend a special diet such as a low-fat or hypoallergenic diet.

Behavioral modification therapy

Behavioral modification therapy may be recommended if the cause of the anxiety is identified as behavior-related.

This involves working with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to help your dog learn to manage their anxiety which also stops diarrhea induced by anxiety.

Regular exercise

Providing your dog with plenty of physical and mental stimulation through activities such as training, playtime, and walks can help reduce anxiety and diarrhea induced by anxiety

Regular exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety and also help maintain a healthy gut function.

Key Takeaway

Dealing with a dog that is experiencing both diarrhea and anxiety can be difficult and stressful. 

It is important to understand that these conditions can be caused by a variety of factors and it’s important to seek professional guidance from your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. 

With proper care and management, your dog can regain their health and happiness. 

Dog diarrhea can be a challenging issue for pet owners, but fear not! Our comprehensive guide on dog diarrhea is a must-read resource that provides in-depth guidance on managing this common problem. Discover expert tips and strategies by visiting the full article.