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Help, Help! My Dog Has Diarrhea at Night Only – What Causes and How To Stop It

You must be upset that what was supposed to be a long and enjoyable day with your healthy and happy pup unexpectedly turned into a night of distress and runny poop. While there is no single cause of midnight diarrhea in dogs, educating yourself on the potential causes is crucial.

Your dog may have nighttime diarrhea due to garbage toxicosis, rapid diet changes, microbial illness, intestinal inflammation, or even leaky intestines. Allergies, stress, fear, and anxiety are potential causes of canine nighttime diarrhea.

When this occurs, your canine companion will be in pain, causing his sleep and overall quality of life to suffer.

On the other hand, diarrhea, whether during the day or at night, is a “gift in disguise” because it can indicate more serious underlying health concerns. However, it is usually moderate and resolves spontaneously in a few days without any underlying sickness.

If your dog trots or squirts at night, keep an eye out for additional signs such as weight loss, fever, vomiting, lethargy, etc.

Your veterinarian will be able to narrow down the potential reasons based on the color, shape, and consistency of the fecal discharge.

Red streaks suggest the presence of blood, but white rice-like specks could indicate the presence of tapeworm.

Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea In The Middle Of The Night?

The numerous causes of midnight diarrhea in dogs are listed below.

1. Dietary Indiscretion

Dietary indiscretion refers to a shift in feeding patterns that causes your dog to become less selective about its foods.

In such a circumstance, your canine companion may consume substances that its body cannot take, such as raw or spoiled food, waste, table scraps, pebbles, carcasses, toxic plants, etc.

Furthermore, dietary indiscretion may be caused by your dog’s feeding habits (self-inflicted), in which case he roams around eating irritating things, waste, feces, or carcasses.

On the other hand, owners might be equally careless when it comes to the food they offer their canine pets. They may feed their dog improper foods ranging from table scraps to harmful dog food to kitchen leftovers.

In either scenario, nutritional indiscretion causes germs and harmful chemicals to enter the bloodstream, resulting in a disease known as “trash toxicosis” or “garbage gut” by veterinarians.

Dietary indiscretion is a typical cause of nighttime diarrhea, and it can be accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, fatigue, and loss of appetite.

2. Abrupt Change in Diet

Changing your dog’s nutrition is not something you should undertake lightly. It is recommended that you gradually adapt to a new diet over 1 to 2 weeks.

As the owner of the dog, you should be aware that a sudden change in your pet’s diet can cause digestive issues, which can lead to midnight diarrhea and vomiting. Vets recommend starting the diet changeover by adding a little bit of the new diet to their meals, then gradually increasing the amount each day until the transition is complete.

While transitioning to a new diet, it is critical to keep an eye on your dog to ensure he remains healthy throughout the process.

If you acquired a puppy, switching from the low-quality dog food provided by the shelter maybe your top priority. It appears to be a good idea, but make sure you allow your dog enough time to adjust to the new diet.

3. Microbial Infection and Intestinal Parasites

Microbes can be found everywhere, and dogs are susceptible to a wide range of bacterial and viral illnesses.

Diseases emerge whenever there is a breakdown in the body’s defense mechanisms, whether due to reduced immunity or an increased microbial burden.

Eating contaminated food, raw meat, feces, or rubbish can expose your dog to disease-causing bacteria and viruses such as clostridia, salmonella, campylobacter, and parvoviruses (particularly in puppies).

In the same way, intestinal parasites can be contracted by polluted water and vegetables, infected stool, or soil that may contain the infective cyst that frequently sheds in the intestine. Roundworms, hookworms, coccidia, and giardia are some of the most prevalent intestinal parasites that cause sickness in dogs.

Any infectious agent, including bacteria, viruses, and viral parasites, has the potential to produce nighttime diarrhea, and puppies are particularly vulnerable to these organisms because of their weakened immune systems.

4. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

IBD is a syndrome in which an aberrant immune response leads the gastrointestinal system to become inflamed, impairing digestion and nutrient absorption. If left untreated, this might have a negative impact on your dog’s health.

The etiology of IBD is unknown to veterinarians; however, a multitude of variables may contribute to this chronic condition. This might also be a sign of various underlying health issues such as bacterial infection, parasite infestation, or immune system overactivity.

IBD can cause nocturnal diarrhea and bloody steaks in the stool in dogs. It is something to be aware of if your canine companion is having these awful trot episodes.

5. Extraintestinal Disorders

Problems outside of the gastrointestinal tract can cause nighttime diarrhea. Pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas that affects digestion and sugar management, is a prevalent ailment on this list. Dehydration is common in severe circumstances due to significant fluid loss.

When the kidneys or liver fail, waste products and harmful compounds that should have been eliminated accumulate in the bloodstream, causing tissue damage.

These are possible reasons for nighttime diarrhea in dogs; after all, diarrhea, like any other symptom, is the body’s method of alerting the outside world to the presence of more severe disorders.

6. Foods and Drugs

Dogs, like humans, can develop severe allergies to food and medications. It is linked to heredity, and some dog breeds are genetically predisposed to specific allergies more than others.

Allergy is an inappropriate immunological reaction to substances that the body perceives as alien (allergens). There is usually no reaction when exposed to an allergen for the first time, but the immune system gets sensitized. As a result, repeated interaction with the allergen will result in a severe immunological reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Allergic responses can also cause gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and vomiting. Dairy, beef, poultry, egg, and maize are prominent foods that might cause allergic responses in dogs.

Food intolerance differs from food allergies, and there is no immunological response. Simply put, your dog is unable to digest food adequately.

To keep your dog’s health in check, keep them away from any known allergen, whether food or drug.

7. Stress and Phobias

Many dog owners express concern about stress. It could be the result of long-distance travel, rehoming, or separation.

Canines are especially afraid of sudden loud noises, and some varieties are more reserved and often avoid strangers or new owners.

Also, suppose you leave your dog alone for an extended period of time after they have formed a close attachment with you. In that case, they may develop separation anxiety, causing them to become a disruptive nuisance.

Travel, rehoming, and separation anxiety can all disrupt your dog’s hormonal balance, resulting in decreased immunity. As a consequence, the door is opened for disease-causing organisms, which frequently cause health problems with a variety of symptoms, including diarrhea.

How to Stop Nighttime Diarrhea in Dogs

Stop Giving Food to your Dog

Yes, depending on their size and age, you should fast your dog for 12 to 24 hours.

Older canines can normally fast for extended periods of time.

The cause for this is to allow your dog’s GI tract to rest and recover. During the fast, make sure they drink enough fresh water.

Switch to a Bland diet

Veterinarians frequently recommend a bland diet as an excellent home treatment for dogs suffering from diarrhea and other GI issues.

A bland diet consists of low-fiber starchy foods (such as plained boiled white rice) and a protein source (like beef mince or shredded chicken breast). Some people may substitute rice water, cottage cheese, or shredded turkey for this.

The bland diet should contain the same amount of calories as their regular diet.

Gradually Reintroduce Their Normal Food

After a day of bland diets, they gradually return to their regular diet. Mix half of the bland diet and half of the usual diet, then gradually increase the amount of their regular diet until the transition is complete.


If your dog experiences diarrhea at night, his gut’s regular flora has most likely been altered, affecting digestion and absorption.

Probiotics have been shown and proven to be beneficial in the treatment of gastrointestinal illnesses such as diarrhea and IBD. They are high in beneficial bacteria found in the typical gut microbiome, such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.

Yogurt and kefir are two commercially available probiotic supplements.

Probiotics are also known to strengthen the immune system while also boosting and nourishing the bacterial community in the gut.

Pepto-Bismol / Kaopectate

Pepto-Bismol is a well-known over-the-counter drug that has been shown to be beneficial in treating gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea.

A more contemporary medication, Kaopectate, is also used to treat canine diarrhea and vomiting. Before administering any drugs to your dog, consult with your veterinarian.

Peppermint Tea

Giving your dog a measured dose of peppermint tea is another effective home cure for midnight diarrhea.

It helps treat gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, flatulence, and cramping. It is recommended to take 25mg of dry herb per pound of body weight twice a day.

When Should You Consult The Vet

Diarrhea normally resolves on its own, but in more severe cases, it does not. The conditions listed below will necessitate a visit to your veterinarian.

When Home Cures Fail: If your dog’s diarrhea persists after trying numerous home remedies.

The Stool’s Appearance: Consult your veterinarian if you observe a crimson streak or mucous in your dog’s stool sample. A black or green stool may potentially indicate an underlying disease.

Associated Signs and Symptoms: Other symptoms like discomfort, vomiting, tiredness, fever, or weight loss may be present.

Long time span: Diarrhea usually lasts no more than three days. So, if this is the case, there is only one solution: go to the vet.

Dehydration: Severe diarrhea that causes dehydration is regarded a medical emergency, and you should take your dog to the doctor right once to receive appropriate treatment for this illness.

The Bottom Line

We now have a plethora of reasons why dogs may have diarrhea at night. We may not be able to stop diarrhea completely, but dietary control can lower the chances of infections and toxins that might cause diarrhea.

Simply said, by guaranteeing a gradual change in diet and good hygiene in your pet food handling, you may protect your furry friend’s health.

You can readily detect when the color and consistency of your dog’s feces varies from usual by observing them.

If your dog is experiencing nighttime diarrhea, it is best to get guidance from your local veterinarian to ensure that he heals as quickly as possible.