Relocating, separating, introducing new surroundings? Stress-related diarrhoea in puppies and kittens

25. May 2020 — von Sara Roller

Relocating to a new home, separating the puppies or kittens from some family members and introducing new surrounds can be quite stressful. In sensitive puppies and kittens, this type of separation and familiarisation stress can lead to digestive problems with flatulence or diarrhoea.

The puppy says goodbye to its familiar surroundings, its mother, and its siblings. They get to know new people and an unfamiliar household. Initially, these new experiences are rather stressful.

Some puppies are more anxious than others or, rather, become overstrained easier in stressful situations. Digestive problems such as diarrhoea or flatulence can be a result of transitional stress to a new home. To ensure that a change of food does not put additional strain on the puppy’s digestive system, it is best to continue with the same food the first few days of arriving at a new place, before slowly changing over to an appropriate breed specific diet.

We can tell whether a dog is stressed by different signs.

Some of our four-legged friends become restless when stressed, do not want to stay alone or do not leave their humans' side. Others retreat or hide in a supposedly "safe" place. When dogs and cats find themselves in acute stress situations, you can notice salivation, panting and/or vocalisations. Such situations include, for example, visits to the vet or car trips. So don't try too many new things at once! Let the puppy first arrive in their new home in peace and quiet, give it time to build up trust in their humans before letting them face further challenges.

Not only puppies and dogs get stressed by change. In fact, cats are the pets that are particularly sensitive to change. If a new kitten is withdrawn at the beginning and only comes out of hiding shyly, it is important to give them enough time, even though it is difficult! Never force or pressure your kitten to come out. At some point curiosity will prevail and the kitten will dare to go out on their own to explore the new surroundings and meet you.

For sensitive puppies, the stress of transition can literally spoil their appetite.

Loss of appetite can also be a result of stress from getting used to the new environment. In this case it helps to offer something particularly tasty or to feed them from your hand for a while. At the same time, the puppy will learn that their new humans are trustworthy people who will give them food, attention and love.
If you notice that digestive disorders or recurrent diarrhoea persist, a parasite check should be considered even if the puppy has just been introduced to a new environment. You see, transmission of worms and other parasites from mother to puppies is quite possible (for example through the mother's milk). Because of this, puppies and kittens need to be dewormed at regular intervals until they are 3 months old. A faecal analysis at the vet can reveal the presence of parasites or other gastrointestinal problems.

Professional intestinal sanitation through a high concentration of probiotic intestinal cultures.

Persistent gastrointestinal problems and even to help relieve the stress of the unknown environment, can be calmed with probiotics. FloraComplex, with its high concentration of probiotic cultures (Enterococcus faecium), is ideally suited to stabilise the intestinal flora of puppies, kittens and grown cats and dogs. It ensures that the probiotic cultures survive the stomach passage and arrive where they are supposed to: in the intestine. The inulin in FloraComplex also makes sure that the probiotic cultures can effectively accumulate in the gut.
In addition to the probiotic cultures, this supplement also contains immune-strengthening substances such as Echinacea purpurea herba (purple coneflower extract), helping to build up the immune system. As the body's protective shield, the immune system is particularly important to build up for puppies and kittens in this phase of life. FloraComplex comes in tablet and powder form, making it easy for you to give it to your new furry friends and make sure their move into a new home is as smooth as possible.