As dog owners, we have to pay attention to our dogs bowel movements. It’s one of the things no one really wants to do, but it’s important for their health.
However, this can be scary when you notice your dog is pooping a clear liquid. Is this normal for dogs, or should you be concerned?
Why is my dog pooping a clear liquid?
Basically, your dog can poop a clear liquid for many reasons. Nearly anything that can upset the digestive tract or balance can cause clear poop. It’s usually nothing to be alarmed about, but it can be a sign of a serious issue.
What is the Clear Liquid?
First, it’s important for you to know what the clear liquid is. This liquid is simply mucus. It’s produced by your dog’s body to lubricate the poop as it passes through their system and out of their body.
It’s normal to notice a light coating of mucus on your dog’s poop. Occasionally, this mucus can build up causing them to poop the substance by itself, or have a heavy coating of it on their poop.
If it happens often, or its accompanied by other symptoms, then there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
One of the most common reasons dogs poop clear liquid is simply stress. Have you ever been very stressed or anxious, and found your stomach in knots? Perhaps you had a stomachache or diarrhea due to the stress.
Our brains and stomachs are so closely connected the stomach is known as the second brain. This is also true for dogs. If your pooch is stressed, it can cause digestive issues, which lead to clear poop.
Other signs of stress include pacing, panting, shaking, excessive licking, hiding, and clinginess. Your stressed pooch may also bark or whine excessively.
Food Intolerances or Allergies
Just like humans, food intolerances or allergies are common in dogs. A food intolerance and a food allergy are technically different, but they cause the same symptoms for your dog.
Beef, dairy, and wheat are the most common allergens that affect dogs. However, it’s possible to have an allergy or intolerance to nearly any ingredient in their diet.
Signs of a food allergy include diarrhea, vomiting, poor coat condition, skin problems, and sneezing, in addition to clear poop.
Food poisoning can cause your dog to poop clear liquid. Dogs are not nearly as prone to food poisoning as humans, because they have a more acidic stomach. This is why they can eat things like dead mice and be just fine.
This built in protection is not foolproof, however. Dogs can get food poisoning from spoiled food, dead animals, and scavenging through trash cans.
Raw meat can also be the culprit, particularly if it is handled or stored incorrectly.
Other signs of food poisoning include severe vomiting or diarrhea, gas, bloating, and lethargy.
Dietary Changes or Indiscretion
Despite dogs’ strong stomachs, dietary changes or eating nonfood items can trigger digestive problems. If you begin feeding them a new food, you should transition them slowly.
They may also eat things they shouldn’t. Some dogs suffer from pica, which causes them to eat nonfood items. Your pooch may be driven to eat objects, or may simply be curious.
Regardless of the cause, eating something that doesn’t belong in their diet, from human food to plastic bags, can cause them to poop clear liquid.
They may only have excess mucus in their poop, or they may have a bout of vomiting or diarrhea as well.
Parvo is a deadly disease that is highly contagious. Vaccines are available. If your pooch isn’t vaccinated, they are at a risk of getting parvo. The bacteria can live for about a month indoors, and up to a year outside. It’s most often passed through the feces of infected dogs, or objects that come into contact with their feces.
The signs of parvo can begin with clear poop. However, they quickly become much more severe. Vomitting, bloody diarrhea, fever, dehydration, weight loss, and weakness are all symptoms of the disease.
IBD or IBS
IBD and IBS are fairly similar conditons, even though they have different causes. IBD is caused by abnormal cells in the large and small intestine.
IBS is often triggered by stress or dietary factors, while IBD is a lifelong condition.
Diarrhea and constipation are the common symptoms of these disorders. Excessive mucus in the poop or pooping only mucus is also common.
An infection of the digestive tract can also cause your dog to poop clear liquid. This can be caused by a fungal, viral, or bacterial infection.
Your pooch may also experience vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or lethargy depending on the type of infection.
Parasites can cause irritation of the digestive tract, which leads to your dog pooping clear liquid. You may notice white spots in your dog’s poop upon close inspection.
Depending on the parasite and severity, weight loss, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and coughing can all be signs of a parasite infection.
What to do if my dog is pooping a clear liquid?
If your dog is pooping a clear liquid, there are some actions you should take. In most cases, you’ll need to work with your vet to determine the cause and treatments.
One thing you can do is begin keeping a diary of your dog’s diet and bowel movements. Sure, it’s not the most glamorous thing, but this can be invaluable if your pooch needs to see the vet.
They may be able to identify the likely cause based on the patterns they see. It’s also important that you are very observant of your dog’s bowel movements. Keep an eye out for anything they eat, even non-food items.
Visiting the Vet
One round of clear poop isn’t a cause for alarm. However, if its an ongoing problem, or your dog has other symptoms, they need to be evaluated by the vet.
Don’t attempt to determine the cause and treat them for it at home. If you get it wrong, the real condition may get worse in the meantime. Vets have the knowledge and diagnostic equipment to make an accurate diagnosis.
If your pooch has stomach upset or is pooping mucus, they will benefit from a bland diet. You’ll feed them two parts rice, preferably brown rice, to one part boiled chicken.
If they eat one cup of food, they would have 2/3 of a cup rice and 1/3 of a cup of chicken. Once their stomach is settled, you can begin transitioning them back to their regular diet.
Start by giving them 1/4 of their regular food and 3/4 bland food. Increase the amount of regular food by 1/4 every 1 to 2 days. If stomach upset returns, increase the bland food again.
This isn’t a replacement for a veterinary diagnosis and treatment. It can help your pooch to feel better. If the issue is something that will clear on its own, a bland diet can speed healing. However, it will not treat other issues, including infection, parasites, or food poisoning.
Probiotics can be beneficial for many stomach issues in dogs. It’s best to speak with your vet, particularly if your pooch has an underlying condition. However, probiotics can help, and aren’t known to cause any harm, as long as they aren’t a substitute for veterinary treatment.