What your dog’s poop means

Dog looks at The Dog Stop staffYour doggy’s poop may come in all forms and colors. Although there’s a bit of an ick-factor when it comes to checking your pup’s poop, it’s crucial that you monitor their stool regularly as this can indicate a lot about their health. Certain colors, sizes, and textures are important factors that you should look for when assessing your furry companion’s stool. Read on to know more about what precisely these characteristics say about their poop and how you can ensure that your Fido has a healthy and smooth potty time.

 

What’s a normal-looking doggy poop?

 

Let us first look at what normal poop in dogs should look like. The color is the most obvious characteristic when it comes to assessing the stool. A normal poop in dogs should have a medium-to-dark brown color. While the color may change depending on what your pooch eats, the overall color shouldn’t be drastically different. For example, if your furry friend has just eaten bits of carrots or grass, some orange or green in their poop isn’t a cause for concern. However, if you see unusual colors such as black, yellow, red, white, or a bloody stool, you should look into it further. These colors can be a strong signal of existing health issues.

When it comes to frequency, it all varies between pups. Some have to go once a day, while some have to go multiple times a day. Both are normal, but it should be consistent from day-to-day. If there is a sudden increase or decrease in frequency, this could point to some digestive issues.

Texture-wise, ideally, the poop should be firm and shaped like a log. The size should also have a normal food to poop ratio. For example, if your pooch has eaten a large meal, the stool should appear relative to the amount of food they consumed. The difference in food to poop ratio could mean that the food hasn’t been properly absorbed. Avoid dry processed food and opt for a dog food that is high in fiber, vitamins, and essential minerals.

Lastly, pay attention to the odor. A healthy poop shouldn’t have an overpowering smell. The opposite means that there could be a problem in the digestive system.

 

Unwanted dog poop colors

 

Black and dark maroon

 

A black or dark maroon and tarry poop can occur when there is bleeding in the small intestines or stomach. According to Dr. Shea Cox, the black color in poop is caused by blood that has been digested.

Furthermore, the black stool, also known as melena can be caused by a range of issues from cancer to toxins in the body, stomach ulcer to viral or bacterial pathogens.

If you see these colors on their stool, bring them to the vet right away.

 

Yellow, green, and white

 

While yellow and green stools can indicate foods that your pup has eaten, it can also be a sign of something more serious like Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gallbladder issues, or liver problems. Moreover, white or greyish color can be a sign of liver or pancreatic problems. If white specks appear on their stool, there’s a chance that worms are present. Although worms in the stool is not an emergency, you still want to address the problem effectively. You’ll want to see your vet to get the proper medications to kill off any parasites.

 

Red and Bloody stool

 

Small spots of blood in the stool is usually nothing to worry about. Especially if other characteristics appear normal. However, if there’s a large amount of blood present and occurs more than once, you’ll need to bring your Fido to the vet and have it check. Bloody stools can be a symptom of gastroenteritis or anal fissure.

 

Mucus

 

Dog’s poop will often include some mucus, as this is an essential substance that helps with the lubrication in the colon’s lining. You don’t need to be worried unless you’re seeing an excessive amount of it. Causes of excess mucus could originate from parasites, intestinal infections, or a medical condition called colitis. Consult with your vet if excessive mucus is present.

 

Shape and frequency

 

A loose, runny, dry, or hard poop isn’t an indication of a healthy stool. Diarrhea, for example, is a clear indication that something is amiss. This can be caused by a number of reasons such as food intolerance, bacterial infection, viral infection, and even stress. If the stool is rather shiny or greasy, this could be a sign that you’re feeding them too much of fatty foods. You want to avoid giving too much, as this can lead to problems such as pancreatitis. According to Dr. Cox, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly if there is a problem with the pancreas.

As mentioned above, some dogs need to potty more than others. However, it’s crucial that your pooch poops at least once a day.

 

 

 

What you can do about your dog’s poop

Dog training at home

What to do with your pup’s poop situations all depends on how bad the condition is. Some conditions can be resolved by simply changing the diet. If your pooch is having a hard time relieving themselves, this is most likely constipation. Constipation is commonly caused by a lack of fiber intake. Simply add more fibers to their diet, and don’t forget to fill up that bowl with water! If your canine companion is experiencing drastic changes in colors as explained above, make a trip to the vet and have it check to pinpoint exactly what is going on.

Make sure you let your vet know all the details and what you’ve noticed. Don’t be shy about telling what you saw in your pup’s stool. The more your vet knows, the better!

Dog owners should get familiar with their pooch’s potty routines. Once you’ve determined what is normal for them, it’ll be easier to spot when something is off.

Be sure to keep an eye on their poops. If you’re concerned, definitely consult with your vet – there may be an underlying issue! But in most cases, sometimes just making an improvement to their diet can be all that’s needed.  With a healthy and balanced diet, your dog should be back to their regular potty routines.

The Dog Stop has a wide range of dog food to suit every pup, so come and check them out in a store near you!