Gastroenteritis and diarrhoea

Our dog’s stools can often look quite different from what we’re used to seeing and, just like humans, will vomit if something disagrees with them. It can be quite worrying to see our dogs unwell, especially because diarrhoea and vomiting are symptoms of so many possible conditions. Some dogs, however, will suffer from a minor stomach upset just like humans and recover in a day or so.

We often see claims for conditions like gastroenteritis, diarrhoea and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in dogs and they can often have similar causes.


If a dog is suffering from diarrhoea or vomiting and they don’t recover after a couple of days, they may need medical treatment. By learning the symptoms of conditions like gastroenteritis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease, you’ll be able to recognise when a dog will need veterinary attention if it’s not just a usual tummy upset.

These symptoms include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry Heaving
  • Gagging
  • Being less active
  • Stomach pain
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Blood in faeces
  • Increased appetite
  • Decreased appetite


There are several possible causes of such conditions in dogs and these include:

Eating something they shouldn’t have

Eating spoiled or unusual food, toxins or poisons can all cause gastroenteritis in dogs.

Food allergies

Some dogs suffer from food allergies, intolerance and sensitivity which can upset a dog’s stomach and lead to gastroenteritis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.


Certain infections like bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic infections can cause these symptoms in dogs and make them susceptible to secondary conditions like IBD.

Other causes of diarrhoea in dogs:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Colitis
  • Cancers
  • Foreign bodies

Prevention and treatment

Because of the number of potential causes of diarrhoea and other related problems in dogs, it’s not completely possible to prevent your dog from developing these conditions. By keeping an eye on them while they’re out and about, stopping them from scavenging, easing them onto a new diet and keeping unsuitable foods and toxins out of reach, can help minimise the risk.

Keeping your dog’s worming treatment up to date can help prevent these parasites from occurring and causing any other health problems in your pet.

If you’re worried about your dog’s diarrhoea and vomiting then why not speak to a Joii vet? This is free for Animal Friends cat and dog policyholders.

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Animal Friends Insurance is a multi-award winning FCA-regulated pet insurer, founded in 1998 to provide industry-leading pet insurance and first-class animal care to create a better life for every animal.
As one of the UK’s largest pet insurance providers, Animal Friends works with vets, veterinary professionals, and partners pioneering the latest veterinary technology & healthcare advancements to achieve our vision.
Our policyholders have helped donate over £7.8 million to more than 700 animal charities worldwide and by educating and inspiring others to act on current events and responsible pet ownership, Animal Friends is driving positive change for animal welfare and conservation.