Runny Dog Poop

Why is Dog Poop Runny and How Do I Fix It?

Are you dealing with a lot of runny poop in your yard? It’s not uncommon for dogs to start passing runny poop, especially if they’re dealing with a new or low-quality diet or some other intestinal distress. But how do you know what’s causing runny dog poop and how can you fix it?

There are a variety of reasons your dog may be passing runny poop. If you want to know what’s going on with your pup, you’ll need to pay close attention to their diet and lifestyle to narrow down any issues that could be hampering their digestion.

Common Causes of Runny Dog Poop

Before jumping in, let’s make sure we distinguish between runny dog poop and diarrhea. Diarrhea is going to be almost entirely liquid. It may have blood in it or be an odd color due to some kind of internal issue in your dog. It’s almost certain to be the result of an illness or parasite.

If your dog is consistently having diarrhea, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet. Diarrhea can quickly dehydrate a dog and is usually a sign of a deeper issue. Runny dog poop, though, is a little different.

In contrast to diarrhea, runny dog poop will likely still have some form or shape. It will not be entirely liquid and will probably be brown and greasy. Most of the time, runny dog poop in itself is not a cause for serious concern. However, it’s not normal and should be treated as soon as possible to prevent further issues. 

Some of the most common causes of runny dog poop include:

  • Poor diet

  • Digestive issues

  • Stress or adrenaline

Poor Diet 

The first thing you should check if your dog is passing runny poop is their diet. What are they eating? Runny poop can result from a variety of diet issues such as:

  • Indiscretionary eating

  • Poor-quality dog food

  • Lack of nutrition

Indiscretionary eating is very common in dogs. Most pups don’t care what they eat and will spend time digging around in the trash or even eating other dogs’ poop if they find it in the yard or park. Some human foods are bad for dogs’ health and could cause an upset stomach.

It’s important that you keep an eye on what your dog is eating throughout the day. Keep the garbage and dumpster away from your dog, if possible, and provide them enough quality food and entertainment that they don’t get bored and start seeking supplementation in eating trash.

If your dog is lacking nutrition, this is probably due to poor-quality dog food. It’s crucial that you check the ingredients in your dog’s food to be sure they’re getting the best, high-quality meal. The best dog food should be high in protein, good fats, and balanced carbs. It should be made from real ingredients, not processed meats and chemicals. 

If your dog’s food lacks nutritional benefits such as vitamins and minerals your dog needs (Vitamins A, D, E, K, calcium, phosphorous), you may be able to supplement with additional vitamins and minerals. However, it’s usually easiest to start by purchasing higher-quality food

Though it may be more expensive now, remember that this is an investment in your dog’s long-term health and could save you thousands in vet bills in the future. So, don’t hesitate to get your dog high-quality food and any nutritional supplements they may need.

Digestive Issues

If your dog has very consistent runny poop or diarrhea, they may be suffering from an underlying but more serious digestive issue. This type of issue could be caused by:

  • Allergies

  • Parasites

  • Tumors

  • Intestinal blockages

  • Thyroid or pancreas infections/issues

If you suspect that one of these digestive issues is causing your dog’s runny poop problems, get them to a vet as soon as possible. Most of the time, serious issues like this will be accompanied by other symptoms such as:

  • Vomiting

  • Bloating and flatulence

  • Restlessness

  • Lethargy

  • Odd-colored poop (green from excess bile, red or black from blood, etc.)

  • Worms in the poop

Keep an eye on your dog’s poop and attitude to rule out serious infection or illness as the cause of runny dog poop. 

Stress or Adrenaline

Both stress and adrenaline can cause dog poop to be runnier. If, for example, you notice your dog’s poop is runnier right after exercise, this may be the result of adrenaline. It could be that your dog’s excitement and increased movement are moving their food through the digestive tract much more quickly, causing the poop to come out softer and runnier than normal.

Stress can also cause runny poop by messing with a dog’s natural digestive process. If your dog is very stressed by home circumstances, new family members, new activities, or any other unexpected life changes, they may start passing runny poop because their digestive system isn’t coping well.

If you notice that your dog is passing runny poop more regularly after a big life change or another stress-inducing event, you may want to consider changing things around your home or asking your vet about some anti-anxiety medication to help your pup get back to normal.

How To Prevent Runny Dog Poop

If you spend any time picking up after your pet, you’ve probably noticed that not only is runny dog poop an issue for your dog’s tummy, but it also makes clean up a lot harder. Getting runny dog poop off the grass can be quite a nightmare.


Therefore, even if runny dog poop isn’t caused by bad health in your dog, you may still want to prevent it to make it easier to keep your yard and the park clean.


There are a few main ways to prevent runny dog poop, depending on what is causing it in the first place:


  1. Change your dog’s diet. If you suspect that your dog is dealing with allergies, a lack in nutrition, or simply suffering from bad food, change up their diet. You can discuss this with your vet if you need to do some testing to nail down what’s causing the problem.

  2. Try a fast or cleanse. Sometimes, your dog’s digestive system might need a break. Try holding back food for 24 hours to see if this helps. You can also feed them a fibrous meal like plain, boiled chicken with rice or some canned pumpkin to increase fiber and tighten up their poop.

  3. Ease stress. Your dog will react to stress in the home or in your life. Do everything you can to keep things normal for your pet and reduce any unnecessary stress.

  4. Get your dog to exercise. Your dog may have runnier poop when exercising, but this is often because their system isn’t used to it. Getting your dog a moderate amount of exercise every day will help keep their digestion moving swiftly and consistently.


Remember that if your dog seems to be getting worse and suffering from more intense diarrhea accompanied by other symptoms, it could be the result of a more serious intestinal issue. Take your dog to the vet if you notice anything excessively out of the ordinary.

Handling Runny Poop

Dealing with runny dog poop is never fun. If you’ve been struggling to clean runny dog poop 

out of your yard and make sure your dog is doing well, you’re not alone. Do your best to follow these tips and make sure your dog is healthy and getting the nutrition and exercise he needs.

If you’d like extra help picking up your dog’s poop, be sure to reach out to us at Idaho Poop Scoop. We’d love to help you get started cleaning out your lawn and providing your dog with a safer, healthier place to play.