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Can Overfeeding a Dog Cause Diarrhea?



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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Overfeeding your dog can lead to a variety of health problems, including diarrhea.

In this article, we’ll explore the connection between overfeeding and diarrhea in dogs, discuss the symptoms and potential risks, and provide tips on how to prevent this common issue.

Keeping your furry friend healthy and happy starts with understanding the importance of proper nutrition and portion control.

So, let’s dive in and learn more about the consequences of overfeeding and how to maintain a balanced diet for your canine companion.

Key Takeaway

  • Overfeeding a dog can cause diarrhea as it can lead to digestive issues and an imbalance in the gastrointestinal system.
  • Whether a puppy will stop eating when it’s full depends on the individual puppy, as some puppies may stop eating after they’ve had enough while others may continue to eat.
  • If a dog has soft stools, feeding them easily digestible and high-fiber foods such as boiled chicken and rice can help firm up their stool.

What is Diarrhea Due to Diet?

Can Overfeeding a Dog Cause Diarrhea

Diarrhea due to diet is a common health issue that occurs when certain foods or food ingredients irritate the digestive system.

This condition is prevalent, particularly in individuals with sensitive stomachs and those who consume a high amount of processed foods.

Diarrhea can occur due to the consumption of fatty and oily foods since they are difficult to digest and may cause inflammation of the gut.

Similarly, consuming large quantities of fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, can lead to diarrhea in some individuals.

Additionally, consuming food or drinks with lactose can cause diarrhea in people who are lactose intolerant.

Other factors that can lead to diarrhea due to diet include dehydration, changes in diet, food allergies, and excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeine.

In most cases, diarrhea due to diet can be managed by identifying the trigger foods and avoiding them.

It is also vital to maintain proper hydration by drinking plenty of fluids and consuming a balanced diet with a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

In severe cases, medical attention may be necessary to manage ongoing diarrhea symptoms.

Can Overfeeding a Dog Cause Diarrhea?

Yes, overfeeding a dog can cause diarrhea. If a pet is given more food than it needs for its size and activity level, the resulting excessive calorie intake leads to an imbalance in the digestive system.

This results in loose stools or diarrhea as well as other gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, flatulence, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite.

Dogs may also suffer from food allergies and sensitivities that are triggered by overeating certain types of food.

When this occurs, the animal’s body struggles to digest the excess amount of food which causes digestive tract inflammation leading to episodes of diarrhea.

Will a Puppy Stop Eating When It’s Full?

While some puppies may instinctively stop eating when they’re full, others can overeat due to various factors such as competition with littermates, stress, or simply enjoying the taste of the food.

Puppies are still learning their limits and may not always recognize when they’ve had enough to eat.

This is why it’s essential for pet owners to monitor their puppy’s food intake and follow guidelines based on the puppy’s age, size, and activity level.

Consult with your veterinarian for personalized recommendations on portion sizes and feeding schedules to ensure your puppy maintains a healthy growth rate and doesn’t consume more food than necessary.

What To Feed Dogs With Soft Stools?

Here is what to feed dogs with soft stools:

Boiled Chicken

Boiled, skinless, and boneless chicken is an easily digestible protein source that can help soothe your dog’s digestive system while providing essential nutrients.

White Rice

Cooked white rice is gentle on your dog’s stomach and can help firm up soft stools due to its binding properties.


Plain canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) is rich in fiber, which can help regulate your dog’s bowel movements and improve stool consistency.

Boiled or Steamed Vegetables

Certain boiled or steamed vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, or sweet potatoes, can provide essential nutrients and fiber without irritating your dog’s digestive system.

Plain Yogurt

Adding a small amount of plain yogurt (without added sugars or artificial sweeteners) to your dog’s food can provide probiotics, which may help improve gut health and digestion.

Cottage Cheese

A small portion of cottage cheese can be a gentle source of protein and calcium for dogs with soft stools. However, use caution if your dog is lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy products.

Is Spit-up a Sign of Overfeeding In Dogs?

Yes. If your dog is spitting up after meals, it could be a sign of overfeeding. Vomiting can occur when a dog eats too quickly or consumes too much food in one sitting. It is important to monitor your dog’s eating habits and make sure they are not overeating.

When dogs eat too much, their stomachs become bloated and full of air, which can cause them to vomit.

If you notice that your pup is vomiting after meals, try feeding them smaller portions more frequently throughout the day. Additionally, avoid giving them table scraps as this can lead to an upset stomach and vomiting.

It is also important to note that vomiting can be caused by other factors such as illness or disease.

If your pup continues to vomit for more than 24 hours or if they show signs of distress, contact your veterinarian immediately for further advice and treatment options.

Why Does My Dog Get Diarrhea After Eating Wet Food?

There could be several reasons why your dog gets diarrhea after eating wet food:

  1. Sudden change in diet: If your dog is used to eating dry kibble and you suddenly introduce wet food, it can cause digestive upset, resulting in diarrhea. It’s important to transition your dog to the new food gradually by mixing small amounts of the new food with their current food and increasing the new food’s proportion over several days.
  2. Food sensitivity or allergy: Some dogs may have a sensitivity or allergy to specific ingredients in wet food, such as certain proteins, grains, or additives. This can cause an adverse reaction, including diarrhea. If you suspect a food allergy or sensitivity, consult your veterinarian for guidance on identifying the problematic ingredient(s) and finding suitable alternatives.
  3. Spoiled or contaminated food: Wet food has a shorter shelf life than dry kibble, particularly once opened. If the food is spoiled or contaminated, it can cause gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea. Always check the expiration date and store wet food according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Overfeeding: Feeding your dog too much-wet food at once can lead to overeating and gastrointestinal upset. Make sure to follow the feeding guidelines based on your dog’s weight, age, and activity level.

If your dog consistently experiences diarrhea after eating wet food, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian to identify the underlying cause and determine the best course of action for your dog’s health.

What If My Puppy Ate Too Much And Is Now Bloated?

If your puppy has eaten too much and is now bloated, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) complex, is a medical and surgical emergency that occurs when your puppy’s stomach rapidly expands with gas and fluid before rotating on itself, twisting off both ends of the stomach.

This can cause severe pain in the abdomen, retching or vomiting, salivation, restlessness, and a full and distended belly.


Q: What are the symptoms of overfeeding a dog?

A: Some common symptoms of overfeeding a dog include weight gain, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and bloating.

Q: How much should I feed my puppy?

A: The amount of food a puppy should be fed depends on its breed, size, and age. It’s important to consult your veterinarian for guidance on feeding the correct amount.

Q: Can feeding a new food cause diarrhea in dogs?

A: Yes. Introducing a new food into a dog’s diet too quickly can cause digestive upset and lead to diarrhea. It’s best to gradually introduce new food over a period of several days.

Q: Is diarrhea a common symptom of overfeeding?

A: Yes, diarrhea is a common symptom of overfeeding. When a dog eats too much, their digestive system may not be able to handle it which can cause loose stools or diarrhea.

Q: Can human food cause diarrhea in dogs?

A: Yes. Human food can be difficult for dogs to digest and may cause digestive upset and diarrhea. It’s best to stick to a regular diet of dog food.

Q: What should I do if my dog has diarrhea?

A: If your dog has diarrhea, it’s important to keep them hydrated and monitor their bowel movements. If the diarrhea persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s best to consult your veterinarian.

Q: How can I prevent overfeeding my dog?

A: To prevent overfeeding, measure out the appropriate amount of food for your dog and avoid offering table scraps or too many treats. Consulting with your veterinarian about feeding guidelines is also recommended.

Q: Can food bloat cause diarrhea in dogs?

A: Yes. Overeating or consuming a large amount of food quickly can cause food bloat which can lead to digestive upset and diarrhea.

Q: What should I do if my puppy eats too much food?

A: If your puppy eats too much food, it’s important to monitor their behavior and bowel movements. If they are experiencing diarrhea but are still acting normal, try adjusting their diet and feeding them smaller meals throughout the day.

If the diarrhea persists or your puppy is showing signs of an underlying health condition, it’s best to consult your veterinarian.

In Conclusion

Overfeeding a dog can indeed cause diarrhea, along with other potential health problems.

Monitoring your dog’s diet and ensuring they receive the right amount of nutrients and calories is crucial for their overall well-being.

By being mindful of portion sizes, avoiding table scraps, and consulting with your veterinarian about your dog’s dietary needs, you can prevent overfeeding-related issues like diarrhea and keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

Remember, moderation and balance are key when it comes to maintaining your dog’s optimal health.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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