Dog Gets Diarrhea on Walks: Why + What to Do

Dog owners love taking their furry friends on walks as it offers exercise, helps with mental stimulation and bonding. Nevertheless, some pet parents may, unfortunately, notice that their doggo experiences diarrhea during these outings.

This can be puzzling and concerning, as it raises questions about the cause and how to prevent future episodes. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind this issue and offer tips for managing it on your daily walks.

One possible reason for a dog to develop diarrhea during walks is the excitement and adrenaline associated with exercise. When a dog becomes highly stimulated, their adrenaline levels can increase, which in turn might contribute to runnier poop. Another factor to consider is the speed at which waste travels through a dog’s digestive system.

Diarrhea often occurs when waste moves too quickly through the gastrointestinal tract, preventing the intestines from properly absorbing water, nutrients, and electrolytes. With this understanding, pet owners can be better equipped to address this issue and ensure a more enjoyable walk for both themselves and their canine companions.

Understanding Diarrhea in Dogs

Causes of Diarrhea

Diarrhea in dogs can be triggered by various factors. Some common causes include:

  • Dietary indiscretion: Eating inappropriate food, such as garbage or spoiled food, can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea.
  • Sudden dietary changes: Changing your dog’s diet too quickly can disrupt their digestive system, resulting in loose stools.
  • Stress: Dogs can experience stress due to various reasons, such as a new environment or anxiety during walks, which can cause diarrhea.
  • Infections: Bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections can cause diarrhea in dogs.
  • Underlying health issues: Some diseases, such as kidney or liver problems, can cause diarrhea as a side effect.


When your dog experiences diarrhea, there are some common symptoms to watch for:

  • Loose or watery stools: The primary indicator of diarrhea is unformed, loose or watery stools.
  • Increased frequency: Diarrhea might cause your dog to defecate more often than usual.
  • Urgency: Your dog may appear anxious or agitated and may try to find a place to defecate quickly.
  • Accidents: Diarrhea can make it difficult for your dog to control their bowel movements, leading to accidents in the house or during walks.
  • Vomiting: In some cases, diarrhea can be accompanied by vomiting.

Taking note of these symptoms can help you understand when your dog is experiencing diarrhea and take appropriate steps to address the issue.

Diarrhea During Walks: Causes

Possible Triggers

One possible trigger for diarrhea during walks is a change in your dog’s diet. A sensitive digestive system can be further aggravated during a walk, potentially causing diarrhea.

Another factor could be medical issues, especially if your dog has very runny diarrhea during exercise. Kidney disease, liver disease, and bacterial infections are some examples of medical conditions that may result in diarrhea. It is important to consult a veterinarian if these symptoms persist, to properly diagnose and treat any underlying problems.

Anxiety and Stress Factors

Anxiety and stress can also play a role in causing diarrhea during walks. Dogs may become stressed or anxious in new environments or when encountering other dogs, which can manifest in the form of diarrhea. In order to reduce stress and anxiety, try the following:

  • Establish a consistent walking routine to help your dog feel more relaxed and secure.
  • Gradually expose your dog to new places and situations to help them adapt to changes.
  • Use positive reinforcement and praise during walks to create a positive association with the activity.

To help manage your dog’s diarrhea when it does occur, consider providing probiotics to support their digestive health, and withhold food for 12 to 24 hours, offering water in small amounts frequently. Always consult your veterinarian for specific advice tailored to your dog’s needs.

Preventing Diarrhea on Walks

Dietary Adjustments

Managing your dog’s diet plays a crucial role in preventing diarrhea during walks. Avoid sudden changes in their diet, as this can upset their digestive system. Instead, try to:

  • Feed them consistently: Maintain a consistent feeding schedule and provide the same food on a daily basis.
  • Portion control: Ensure you’re not overfeeding your dog and provide proper portion sizes according to their size, age, and activity level.
  • Slowly introduce new food: When changing your dog’s diet, do so gradually by mixing the new food with their current food, and increasing the new food amount over a week.
  • Avoid human foods: Keep your dog away from garbage or spoiled food, as it may trigger diarrhea and other health issues.

Planning Your Walks

Strategic planning of your walks can help reduce the chances of your dog experiencing diarrhea. Consider the following steps when planning your dog’s walking routine:

  • Walk after meals: Give your dog an appropriate amount of time to digest their meal before taking them for a walk. This allows them to process the food and have bowel movements at home.
  • Monitor water intake: Ensure your dog has access to fresh, clean water both before and after walks to prevent dehydration.
  • Choose the right pace: Avoid excessive exercise that may be triggering diarrhea on walks. Gradually increase your dog’s exercise levels to help them adapt without causing digestive issues.
  • Identify patterns: Keep track of when and where your dog experiences diarrhea during walks. This can help identify underlying issues and develop a more suitable walking routine.

When to Seek Veterinary Help

Sometimes, dog diarrhea can be more than just a simple stomach upset caused by something your dog ate. In certain cases, it might be necessary to seek veterinary help. In this section, we’ll discuss when to consult your veterinarian.

Severe Symptoms

If your dog shows any of the following symptoms along with diarrhea, it’s important to contact your vet immediately:

  • Vomiting: If your dog is vomiting along with diarrhea, it could be a sign of a more serious issue.
  • Blood in the stool: Blood in your dog’s stool is a symptom that should not be overlooked and requires immediate attention from a vet.
  • Lethargy or weakness: If your dog is unusually tired or weak due to diarrhea, it could be a sign of dehydration or another underlying health issue.
  • Fever: A fever along with diarrhea, is a sign that the body is fighting off an infection or inflammation; consult your vet for proper treatment.

Chronic Issues

Sometimes dogs can experience chronic or recurring diarrhea. In these cases, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian as there might be a more serious underlying issue at play, such as:

  • Food allergies or sensitivities: Your dog might be allergic or intolerant to some ingredients in their diet.
  • Gastrointestinal diseases: Chronic diarrhea can be a symptom of various gastrointestinal diseases like inflammatory bowel disease or pancreatitis.
  • Parasites: Intestinal parasites like giardia, roundworms, or hookworms can cause chronic diarrhea in a dog.
  • Stress: Sometimes, stress can cause a dog to experience diarrhea on walks. If you notice a pattern, discuss it with your vet for potential solutions.

Remember, it is always better to err on the side of caution and consult your veterinarian if you’re unsure about your dog’s diarrhea. They can provide expert advice and appropriate treatment options to help your dog feel better.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to handle dog’s diarrhea during walks?

When your dog experiences diarrhea during walks, it’s essential to clean up after them thoroughly and dispose of the waste responsibly. Make sure to bring plastic bags, tissues, or baby wipes to clean the area. It can be helpful to withhold food for 12 to 24 hours and provide water in small amounts frequently to help settle their gastrointestinal tract.

Is exercise a cause for dog’s diarrhea?

Exercise itself does not necessarily cause diarrhea in dogs. However, walking can bring an already sensitive digestive system over the edge, making diarrhea more noticeable during walks.

What to do with dog’s diarrhea at the park?

If your dog has diarrhea at the park, be sure to clean up the mess as best as possible. Use plastic bags or tissues to pick up the waste and dispose of it in designated receptacles. Also, consider seeking veterinary advice if diarrhea persists or worsens.

Why dog poop’s texture changes during walks?

A change in your dog’s poop texture during walks may result from increased movement of fecal material through the intestine and decreased absorption of water, nutrients, and electrolytes. If you notice a consistent change in your dog’s poop texture during walks, consult your veterinarian for guidance.

Does my dog have partial diarrhea?

Partial diarrhea refers to when only portions of the stool are soft or watery, and the rest is solid 4. If your dog is experiencing partial diarrhea, monitor their condition and consult a veterinarian if the issue persists or worsens.

How to stop dog’s multiple poops on walks?

To address multiple bowel movements on walks, ensure a consistent feeding schedule and consider adjusting your dog’s diet if necessary. Keep in mind that some dogs may need more time to adjust to new food or may have sensitive stomachs. If multiple poops on walks persist despite these efforts, consult your veterinarian for further evaluation.