the Digest
Wellness

Decoding Your Dog’s Poop

Peering down to examine your dog’s bowel movements on your morning walk isn’t the most glamorous, but start paying attention: your pup is dropping important clues about what’s going on inside that body.

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What You Want To See

Color

In general, dog poop should be chocolate brown. Color is a key indicator of your dog’s digestive health, so if the whole scoop is green, something may be amiss. Pops of color, on the other hand, (i.e orange carrot specs) are perfectly normal.

Shape

Healthy poop should maintain its form and be log-shaped when dispelled. If the poop is so runny that you’re struggling to scoop it up, your pup is just as unhappy as you are.

Volume

The volume and size of your dog’s stools will vary depending on fiber intake and food choice. An added bonus to feeding fresh: you’ll notice a decrease in both the volume and size of your pup’s poop after switching to fresh diets because more of the food is being absorbed and used by the body.

Pay attention to your dog’s typical bathroom routine, as any sudden increases or decreases in frequency could be a reflection of a digestive issue. Keep in mind that “normal” frequency varies per dog, so while most dogs go once or twice a day, others may go up to four times daily. As long as color and consistency are normal, this is totally healthy.

Abnormalities / Signs Of Trouble

Consistency

If poop is round, pellet-shaped, or abnormally hard, your dog may be dehydrated. This can be especially common during summer months. Diarrhea or loose stools can reflect an intestinal upset, while the appearance of mucus can be an indication of an inflamed colon. If your dog’s stool looks larger than the amount of food he or she typically consumes, this could be a sign that a large portion of meals are not being fully absorbed.

Color

Black stools are big red flags. While the stool may be black because of something the dog has eaten, it can often be an indication of bleeding in the stomach or frontal intestines, as blood turns black when it is digested. If you see red stools, they could be an indicator of strain or anal fissure — and a sign that it’s time to call the vet.

Texture

When paired with a hefty dose of paw licking, fur in stools could be a sign of allergies. The appears of white flecks in poop could mean that your dog has worms and needs to see the vet immediately. Worms are highly contagious and should be treated as soon as possible.

As a general rule of thumb, if your dog’s stools are firm, easy to scoop, and a chocolate brown color, they are a sign of healthy digestion. If you have any concerns, it’s best to take your dog to the vet and perform a stool test. When it comes to matters of the bowel, always go with your gut.

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