Different Types of Dog Poop – Tell If Your Dog’s Stool Is Healthy
Dogs are lovely animals. Through their playfulness, they can help you exercise to improve your physical health. They can also help you reduce anxiety and stress that may result from loneliness.
As much as these animals are valuable, they require equal care to continue delivering the benefits.
One way of caring for your dog is keeping watch of their stool. A healthy dog poop speaks of a healthy dog. Typically, a healthy dog poop should be solid, looking like logs, with chocolate brown color and soft consistency.
Any deviation from the description above, whether in formation, color, softness, or any other aspect, may indicate a problem with your dog’s health or digestive tract.
In this article, you will learn the different types of dog poop and their implication to help you tell if your dog’s stool is healthy. Read on!
Chocolate Brown Poop
This is healthy dog poop. If your fur baby releases chocolate brown poop that is moist and looks like logs, it implies that the dog has a healthy digestive tract.
Just like in humans, a healthy dog poop may include one large log or several segments of moist, chocolate brown logs with a mild smell.
Hard, Pebble-Like Stool
If your dog is defecating hard, pebble-like stool, the chances are that the dog is suffering from dehydration. The primary cause of dehydration in your canine friend is the intake of dry foods, which have high fiber content. The other culprits of dry stools may include:
- Taking insufficient water: If your dog has inadequate water in the body, its body will take up the water in the food (in the large intestines), resulting in a hard stool. The condition can even be worse if you feed your dog with dry kibble.
- Lack of exercise: When a dog exercises, it reduces food’s time to pass through small and large bowels. The reduced transit time, in turn, reduces the absorption of water from the stool, resulting in a softer stool. The opposite is true for a lazy dog that does not exercise.
- Excessive grooming: If your dog does a lot of grooming, it may be a victim of dry stool due to excessive fur intake when grooming.
The dry stool may also result from an infection in the anal glands.
When dehydrated, the dog experiences slow bowel movements and constipation. And if the condition is left unattended, the dog may develop other symptoms such as vomiting or loss of appetite.
You should call a vet to attend to the animal as soon as you spot the dry stool.
If your pet stool has lots of mucus in or around it, it could signify an inflamed colon or a mild infection in the gut. The mucus may also occur due to parvovirus or parasite infestation.
If the cause of the mucus is mild, it can go away after several bowel movements. This may take up to two days. However, the mucous stool may last for weeks or months if caused by a severe condition like parvovirus.
You should call your vet if your dog doesn’t recover after the first two days.
Watery Stool (Diarrhea)
The last thing you would like to see are puddles of dog poop in your compound. However, it unfortunately happens, leaving you with the task of cleaning.
The causes of diarrhea in your dog may vary from mild to serious. The common culprits may include:
- Food allergy: If your dog develops diarrhea when you haven’t changed its diet, the chances are that its body system is reacting against the regular diet. One way of stopping the allergic reaction is to feed your dog with a hypoallergic diet for three days or more to see if diarrhea clears up. If diarrhea doesn’t clear, you should take the pet to a vet for treatment.
- A drastic change in the diet: The watery stool may also result from a sudden change in diet as the pet’s digestive system tries to adjust to the new diet. If you bought a new dog kibble simply because you saw your friend’s dog doing well on it, you should introduce it slowly to avoid corrupting your dog’s digestive system. For instance, you can use the new food with the old diet in the ratio of 1:3.
- Infection: The watery stool in your furry friend may be a symptom of bacterial or viral infection in the dog’s digestive tract. This is more so if the puddle is too smelly or has some blood clots. You need a veterinarian to examine the stool and administer the proper medication.
- Intoxication: Diarrhea in your fur baby may also imply the side effect of a medication used to treat the animal or a chemical used to preserve the kibble and water.
Black Stool (Melena)
If you notice a black stool in your compound, whether dry or watery, it could be a sign of a severe infection in your pet’s upper digestive tract.
In essence, the black stool implies that some blood has been digested in the animal’s small intestines. It also means there is bleeding in your dog’s stomach or the upper digestive tract.
The primary causes of the bleeding may include:
- Stomach Cancer: The blood in your dog’s stool (melena) may come from ulcerating tumors that break open. The other signs of stomach cancer besides the black stool may include lack of appetite and vomiting.
- Bacterial or viral infection: The digested blood in the stool may also come from inflammation in the intestinal wall, resulting from bacterial or viral infection. You need the help of a vet to diagnose the condition and rescue the animal.
- Foreign bodies: Sometimes, dogs, especially the energetic breeds like Labrador Retriever and Jack Russel Terrier, would eat anything in the compound to work themselves up. Unfortunately, their curiosity and ravenous attitude may cause them to ingest foods they should never eat or indigestible materials like plastics, and even bones may end up tearing their intestinal wall, causing bleeding.
- Parasitic infestation: Parasites like hookworms can cause inflammation of your dog’s intestinal lining resulting in bleeding. And, this would be signified by black stool, lack of appetite, and vomiting at times.
Another dog poop type that may call for immediate action is the yellow one. If your dog releases a yellow stool, it could be a symptom of errors in the release and the breakdown of the bile juice.
The primary causes of the above condition may include:
- Liver disorders: When your dog’s liver is defective, it can reduce the release of bile juice in the gallbladder, making it insufficient for the breakdown of fats. The undigested fats in the gut pass to the stool, causing their yellow color.
- Gallstones: With gallstones, the dog may be unable to release enough bile to the intestines, which interferes with the digestion of fats. Too much fat in the dog’s poop triggers the yellow color.
- Exercise: If your dog is the active type, then the yellow poop could result from exercise. Exercises can hasten intestinal movements in dogs, allowing little or no time for the digestion of fats. That means that the bile juice won’t give the dogs feces the brown hue, indicating healthy poop.
Soft Loose Stool
If your dog releases a soft and loose stool that loses shape when picked up, there could be issues with its digestive system. The problems may emanate from:
- New diet: If you feed your dog with a new diet, the soft, loose feces may be formed as the dog’s digestive tract tries to break it down. Though this type of stool should not cause tension, you should introduce the new diet slowly to avoid corrupting the animal’s digestive system.
- High water intake: The mushy stool may also result if the puppy takes too much water than its body needs.
- Defective colon: Sometimes, the loose stool may result from the colon’s inability to absorb water and minerals from the food waste. You can call a vet to examine the animal if the mushy poop lasts for more than a week or two.
There is no cause for tension if your dog is releasing gigantic logs of chocolate brown poop. Indeed, you should be happy that its gastrointestinal tract is working effectively.
Generally, large amounts of poop imply that you are supplying your dog with a high-fiber diet and that a significant percentage of the diet is converted into feces.
In that case, you only need to cut down the amount of fiber in the diet, so that much of the food is absorbed in the bloodstream. That way, you would have reduced the amount of poop and the task of collecting the poop.
The presence of fresh blood in your dog’s poop may indicate a minor or serious underlying condition. The common causes of bloody stool may include:
- Anal fissure: Your dog may develop minor abrasions on the anal lining from passing too large and hard stool, especially if you feed it on a high fiber diet.
- Bacterial or parasitic infestation in the colon: Blood in the stool may also imply inflammation of the rectal wall from bacterial or parasitic infection.
- Swellings in the anal cavity: If your canine friend struggles a lot when passing the bloody stool, then the chances are that it could have some swellings in its anal cavity. Examples of the possible swellings may include prolapsed rectum, anal gland problems, and anal tumors.
Grey stool is also a cause of concern in dogs. It may signify a problem with the liver, pancreas, or even the gallbladder, as discussed in the section below:
- Defective liver: A defective liver may reduce or block the passage of the bile juice into the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in gray or pale stool due to too much fat in the dog’s feces.
- Defective pancreas: A defective pancreas in your dog may fail to produce pancreatic juices, which aid in the breakdown of fats, starches, and sugars. The dog releases grey stool due to the presence of too much fat in the feces.
- Issues with the gallbladder: The gallbladder is the organ that stores bile juice produced by the liver. If defective, the organ won’t hold enough bile to digest fats, starch, amino acids, etc. The final result would be the release of grey stool in your dog.
What Measures Can You Take to Revert Your Dog’s Poop to Normal
Once you discover that your dog is defecating abnormal poop, your next step should be helping it regain its health. This section will share the various tips you can use to solve poop problems at home.
- Solving dry stool problem: If you notice dry stool in your pet, you should shift to a low fiber diet and encourage it to take a lot of water. Contact a vet if the problem persists extends beyond a week.
- Solving the diarrhea problem: You can stop watery stool in your dog by adopting a hypoallergic diet only if the dog has developed an allergic reaction to the food. However, you may need a veterinarian if the dog’s diarrhea has blood, white specks, or abnormal color.
When to Visit a Vet
Some dog poop types may indicate conditions that may be too serious to be treated at home. For instance, a black stool may indicate bleeding in the upper digestive tract. Since you may not judge the right cause of bleeding without testing the stool, you should take a stool sample to a vet for testing and treatment.
The other types of poop that may need the attention of a vet include:
● Bloody poop
● Yellow stool
● Stool with mucus in or around it
● Watery stool or diarrhea
● Hard, pebble-like stool
● Grey stool
● And, any other abnormal stool that lasts for more than three days
Keep Your Dog’s Poop Healthy
The type of your dog’s stool may mean a lot about its health. You should keep a keen eye on your dog’s poop to detect any problems before they become fatal.
If you think the dog’s poop indicates a problem you cannot handle, you should call a vet as soon as you spot the abnormal stool.
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