Your dog’s droppings are a reflection of his state of health. But their appearance depends primarily on his diet and age. Indeed, a puppy’s poop will be different from that of an older dog. To find out what is normal and what is abnormal just by looking at your hairball’s excrement, here are a few things to look at.
Normally, your dog’s stool should be brown. However, it all depends on what you feed him. So, if your dog’s poop has been a different color for years and all veterinary tests show that he is healthy, there is no need to worry. The presence of dyes in his food or his hydration level may slightly affect the color of his feces.
On the other hand, some colors are abnormal and must be the subject of a veterinary consultation:
- Black stool: indicates heavy bleeding in the upper intestine.
- Red stool: indicates bleeding in the lower part of the intestine or even in the anal area.
- Grey, green or yellow stools: may indicate problems with the pancreas, liver, or gallbladder.
However, beware, a little blood or mucus in the stool is not necessarily a cause for concern if it occurs occasionally. Especially if your dog is behaving normally. On the other hand, the presence of an abnormal amount of blood or the presence of blood in the stool for more than two days should be the subject of special attention. And especially if the animal presents other unusual symptoms: refusal to eat, great fatigue, lack of energy…
Well shaped, log-shaped stools that are neither too soft nor too hard are usually a sign that your dog is healthy. They should keep their shape when you pick them up and therefore be particularly easy to handle. On the other hand, if they are round, it means your pet is dehydrated.
Also, the size of your dog’s droppings should be in proportion to what he eats each day. If this is not the case, consult a veterinarian.
The slightest change in the texture of your dog’s excrement should be monitored. For example, diarrhea or constipation that lasts more than two days is cause for concern.
Watery stools are a sign of diarrhea. Conversely, hard, dry droppings can be a sign of constipation. Viscous stools indicate the presence of mucus, a substance produced by the dog to lubricate the colon and facilitate the passage of stool. Regularly seeing mucus in your doggie’s feces could indicate food intolerance or a gastrointestinal problem.
If your dog is fed dry kibble, it is highly likely that his poop is particularly bulky and smelly. On the other hand, if he is fed wet food, his poop will be firmer and less smelly.
In any case, excessively smelly stools indicate that something is wrong.
It is also useful to check your dog’s poop daily to detect possible parasites. Indeed, some worms are visible directly in the stool in the form of small moving white dots. In any case, it is essential to deworm your dog four times a year, at each change of season.
But beyond parasites, certain foreign bodies may be present in your dog’s stool, such as grass, plastic, stones… If you often find such elements in his excrement, your companion may be suffering from pica, an eating disorder that causes him to eat anything and everything, or from another health problem.
And if you find large clumps of hair in your dog’s poop, it’s a sign that he’s licking himself too much. This can be due to stress, allergies, skin disease or even boredom.