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Gastroenteritis in dogs: What is it and how to treat it? Common causes and symptoms


Gastroenteritis in dogs is a fairly common problem that can affect both adult animals and puppies. Its causes are very diverse, as are the consequences it can have on your dog's health.

For your peace of mind, with good treatment, a proper diet and, if necessary, the support of vitamins and supplements for dogs specially designed to look after their intestinal health, gastroenteritis won't mean more than a few bad days for your pet.

However, it is essential that if you notice your dog has diarrhoea, vomiting or any other symptoms of persistent gastroenteritis, you see your vet immediately so that they can determine the source of the problem and tell you what to do to avoid serious consequences.

Perro Falto de Apetito por diarrea

At Kunkay we help you take care of your four-legged companion by offering you the best natural supplementation for iron health. We design specific solutions to give your dog that extra boost it needs to enjoy being with you for many years to come. In addition, in our blog we tell you how you can act against the main problems that threaten your pet's health. This time, we explain everything you need to know about gastroenteritis in dogs and answer some common questions about this problem. Also, to help you, we have prepared this guide on "What can dogs eat?" Stay with us and take note of all the key points!

1. What is gastroenteritis? Most common symptoms

Gastroenteritis is an inflammation or irritation of the internal membranes of the digestive tract (small and large intestine and/or stomach) that mainly affects the gastric and intestinal mucosa, altering its function.

It can occur in both adult animals and puppies, although puppies are more prone to it because their immune system is still developing. There are also breeds more predisposed to this type of problem such as German Shepherds, Shar peis, Rottweilers and Boxers.

Diarrhoea and vomiting are the most common symptoms of gastroenteritis in dogs, although the following can also occur:


  1. Loss of appetite and thirst.
  2. Dehydration, you will notice that their mucous membranes are dry.
  3. Apathy and listlessness. 
  4. Abdominal cramps.
  5. Will not allow itself to be touched in the abdominal area and hindquarters.
  6. Fever.

 2. Should I always go to the vet?

Mild gastroenteritis can be treated at home but at the slightest sign of alarm and whenever the problem lasts longer than usual, it is essential to visit the vet. In the case of puppies, it is always advisable to visit the vet as there is a greater risk of dehydration due to their small size.

In adult dogs, these are some warning signs that indicate that you should take your dog to the vet:

  1. If vomiting or diarrhoea is very frequent even after withdrawal of food or if it continues for more than two days and you detect no improvement.
  2. If you notice fever or excessive pain.
  3. If there are traces of blood in your stools or vomit. 
  4. If on the third or fourth day he/she still does not eat normally.

Of course, you should also see a vet immediately if you have detected that your pet may have ingested a dangerous food or substance.

3. How long does it last?

Acute gastroenteritis, the most common, usually lasts two to three days. If it lasts longer without improvement, it is persistent gastroenteritis or chronic gastroenteritis if it lasts longer than three to four weeks.

Of course, in the case of persistent or chronic gastroenteritis in dogs, veterinary attention is essential. Therefore, if after a couple of days you do not notice that your dog is feeling better, it is important to see a vet.

4. Most common causes

As mentioned above, gastroenteritis in dogs can occur for a number of reasons. Although it is common to think that our pet has vomited or has diarrhoea because it has eaten something bad, these problems can also be due to other reasons.

Here are the most common causes of gastroenteritis in dogs.

1. Bacteria

Bacteria can cause diarrhoea and vomiting in dogs in two ways: by producing toxins or by invading and damaging cells.

2. Viruses

In this case the viruses attack the cells of the animal's intestine causing gastroenteritis with symptoms including watery diarrhoea, pain or cramps in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting and sometimes fever.

3.  Intestinal parasites

They are one of the most common causes of diarrhoea in dogs and cats as they cause damage to the intestinal mucosa, which can even lead to perforation. In addition, intestinal parasites can cause ulcers, inflammation and obstructions.

4.  Spoiled food or contaminated water

The most common and harmless source of gastroenteritis in dogs is the consumption of spoiled food. Dogs are not usually very selective and tend to eat anything and everything as soon as they get the chance, which sometimes leads them to eat rubbish and other discarded food that causes an upset stomach.

In relation to this cause we can also mention other associated causes such as giving the dog a homemade diet without taking into account its needs (dogs that eat ‘human food’, for example) or when sudden changes are made to the diet, changing the brand or type of feed all at once, for example.

5. Intestinal obstructions

Intestinal obstructions can lead to partial or total blockage and can be life-threatening if not diagnosed in time. In many cases emergency surgery is necessary.

Obstructions can be caused by ingestion of foreign bodies that the dog is unable to digest, the presence of intestinal parasites or the presence of a tumour, among other causes.

6. Fungal Infection

Fungal infections are those caused by fungi. Normally, fungi tend to cause infections of the dog's skin and mucous membranes - they are one of the most common causes of dermatitis in dogs, for example - although they can also affect the digestive system, but this is not the most common.

7. Prolonged stress

Stress is fatal for dogs and can seriously affect their health and well-being, both emotionally and physically. Sudden changes or lack of routine, lack of rest or socialisation, long hours alone at home, moving house, the arrival of a new addition to the family or a death are just some of the things that can stress your pet.

Dogs under stress can manifest many different symptoms such as hair loss, compulsive barking or behavioural problems. In particularly stressful situations for them they may even have diarrhoea and vomiting, giving them a really hard time.

To help you take care of your pet's mental health, Kunkay has developed Mindkun, a food supplement that will help them in those moments when they inevitably have to go through moments that disturb their calm. Mindkun helps your pet to relax so that it can adapt more easily to any changes and be much happier.

5. Correct feeding to prevent gastroenteritis in dogs

The key to preventing gastroenteritis in dogs is to provide them with a healthy, balanced diet that gives them all the nutrients and vitamins they need to grow up healthy and happy.

Your dog needs a diet designed specifically for him or, if you prepare his food yourself, an appropriate supplement to complement it.

It is also important to avoid sudden changes in their diet. For example, if you want to change feed, don't wait until you have finished one before starting the new one, mix them together so that your pet's stomach can get used to it.

6. Are you really affected by seasonal changes?

It depends on the dog and how abrupt the change is. It is common for many dogs to suffer from diarrhoea in hot weather and some are affected by the change from spring to summer, especially in areas where there is a change from a wet spring to a hot summer.

7.  Tratamientos recomendados

If your dog has diarrhoea, it's important to know what you can do to help. We propose some treatments and solutions to alleviate this problem and speed up his recovery including some of our dog supplements specially designed to take care of his intestinal health. Take note!

1. Hydration

Very important! If your dog has gastroenteritis he will lose a lot of fluids and mineral salts so make sure he always has fresh water nearby. Encourage him to drink to avoid dehydration, it is important that he drinks as much as possible.

2. Nutraceuticals

Nutraceuticals are natural alternatives to traditional drugs that are used to help balance your dog's intestinal flora. They have the advantage of avoiding the side effects that some drugs can have as they are natural in origin.

3.  Contribution of fibre

Enterokun Mild and Enterokun Severe are two supplements specially designed to support your pet's intestinal health


  1. Enterokun Mild is perfect for preventive use in dogs with a tendency to suffer from this problem and during recovery.

  2. Enterokun Severe is recommended for animals with severe diarrhoea and is focused on your furry friend's recovery. It counteracts stomach imbalance, helps them stay hydrated and balances their intestinal microbiota.


5.  Superyellowkun

Superyellowkun is a supplement to help support your pet's digestive wellbeing. It can be used to reduce digestive discomfort and prevent its onset and is recommended if your pet has stomach and intestinal discomfort such as nausea, vomiting, gastritis, constipation (Constipation in dogs), anal gland discomfort or mild diarrhoea.

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