What Should Your Dog's Poop Look Like?
Let's be real - everybody poops. And as every pet owner knows, taking care of a dog or cat comes with responsibilities, even when those tasks can be less than pleasant.
As pet owners, we have the responsibility of the health and care of our four legged friends - making sure their body is functioning properly inside and out is so important to keeping their health at peak-performance.
Your dog or cat's waste can be a telling sign of underlying health issues or irregular body habits. There's a reason why many veterinarians take stool samples! Keep reading for the scoop on how to identify what your dog's poop could be telling you.
How to Identify a Healthy Poop
A healthy poop consists of three key qualities: it's moist, it's solid, and it's brown. More often than not, your dog's stool should fall somewhere in that range.
However, know that stool can vary from dog to dog depending on a number of different factors such as size, breed, and even the food they eat.
Is monitoring your dog's stool necessary?
In most cases, you shouldn't worry too much about monitoring your dog's stool unless they are exhibiting any irregular behaviors, symptoms or other health concerns. However, it's a good idea to give it a look every once in awhile to make sure everything is as it should be.
A great time to do so is when you're out on your next walk or picking up their poop in the backyard. If you are concerned about any of the contents in their stool, make sure to address it with your vet right away.
The Four C's
When it comes to evaluating dog poop, there are a few things you should take note of - the Four C's to consider include the color of the stool, it's consistency, whether or not there are any contents within it, and if there is a coating.
A normal dog poop should be chocolatey-brown in color, but any shade of brown is typically normal. If your dog is dropping anything with a bit of color, make sure to monitor accordingly.
Here's what different colors could potentially mean:
- Brown: Normal and healthy
- Black: Black stool is never a good color - it can result from a number of concerning things such as exposure to toxins, pancreatitis or kidney failure, to even a blockage of a foreign body in the gastrointestinal system. Take a stool sample to your vet if possible to get treated.
- Red: Even though red generally indicates blood, the good news is it's less concerning than black. However blood in the stool can reveal rectal irritation of the colon, and should be monitored and checked out by your vet if it persists.
- Green: Often times, green poop just means that your dog has eaten too much grass or plant matter. Green stool becomes concerning if the pigment is due to certain toxins that have been ingested.
- White: Sometimes a poop may turn white in color if it is old and left outside for a period of time. However, a fresh white poop could mean that your dog has consumed a high volume of calcium or bones, or possibly eaten something that they shouldn't have.
- Spotted: If you are noticing rice-like material appearing in your dog's stool, it could be a sign of tapeworms. Other spots or streaks may indicate that they ate something with too high of fat content.
The consistency of your dog's stool is largely connected to your dog's diet. Ideally, you want a stool that is firm and holds it's shape. However, there are a few different factors that may change the consistency of your dog's stool such as a new diet change, stress or anxiety, parasites, or other diseases or health concerns.
An occasional soft or hard stool is not any cause for concern, but if it persists for more than a day, it may be a good idea to consult your vet.
Those of us with curious puppies and mischievous chow hounds know the struggle of keeping our belongings and not-so-pet-friendly items out of reach. But when your dog does get into something they shouldn't, often times the evidence will resurface in their waste.
You may not even know your dog has been dumpster diving through your trash cans until you find bits of plastic lodged into their stool. Foreign objects or materials such as grass, chewed bits of clothing or dog toys, fur, trash, or other ingested materials are not uncommon.
A normal, healthy poop should not have a coating or leave any trace behind once you pick it up. If you do notice a trail such as mucus or red streaks, it could indicate bowl inflammation or other rectal irritations.
Can a Raw Diet Effect Your Dog's Bathroom Habits?
Transitioning to a raw diet may change the consistency of your dog's poop. Their stool may begin to appear smaller, firmer, and more dry. This is due to the body utilizing more of the food they are consuming and producing less waste. Our raw food is made with real, quality ingredients with no fillers so your dog can be on their way to a happier and healthier gut.
Almost all animals experience a transient loose stool, especially in the transitioning stages of a new diet. It’s not a problem if this doesn’t happen, nor is it considered “getting sick” if it does. It is simply part of the cleansing process - once the diet is established, loose stool should subside.
Some extra ways you can improve bowl and gut health include:
- Feeding high-quality ingredients
- Adding a probiotic to help with gut health
- Keeping fresh, clean water available
- Feeding moisture rich foods
Keeping an eye on your dog's stool might not be the most pleasant task, but it's important to making sure your dog is looking and feeling their best, inside and out.
At Raw Bistro, we're committed to helping you and your pup on their raw dog food diet journey - don't hesitate to reach out or schedule a raw food consult for help addressing any questions or concerns!