Dog Poop. What Your Dog Eats, Matters!
Types Of Dog Poo And What Do They Mean
An excellent way to stay on top of your dog’s health is to monitor what comes out of him. It’s important to know your dog’s “normal” when it comes to poop.
So what does a normal dog poop look like?
Generally speaking, a healthy canine stool is moist and firm, and has a mild odor.
It will vary from dog to dog and breed to breed. It can also change due to the type of dog food being eaten. In general, color should be medium brown and neither too soft and liquidy (diarrhea) or too hard to pass comfortably (constipation). Pay attention to your dog’s “healthy” poops (color, consistency and frequency) so you can recognize when there’s a problem.
Food and Types of Poop
Balanced Raw Food Diet – Firm with little or no odour
- Dog poop from a raw fed dog is firm and has very little odour.
- In a healthy dog, the colour will vary depending on the protein eaten.
- The volume of poo produced by dogs fed on raw diets will be significantly smaller than dogs fed on a processed carbohydrate based diet as there are no wasted ingredients.
- The poop will also disintegrate into the ground very quickly.
- It takes very little effort to pass, ensuring natural anal gland emptying.
- If too much bone is added to the diet, the poop will be chalky which may cause severe consipation.
- If you transition your dogs diet to raw too quickly, it may cause some loose stools. This will go away quite quickly.
Kibble ( Or Highly Processed Diet) – Can be smelly and are large
- Highly odorous faeces can be evidence of inappropriate ingredients in your dog’s food.
- Dogs eating kibble have stinkier poop because their bodies aren’t designed to absorb certain nutrients in those diets (for example, grain and other starches, including the unnaturally high potato and pea content found in many “grain free” foods).
- In some instances, it can feel like your dog is passing out more volume of waste than the food volume it ate. This is because most kibble manufacturers add unnaturally high amounts of fibre (beet pulp, soybean, and rice hulls, as well as cellulose. (Celulose is also known as wood fibre). In other words, the amount of waste your dog produces is proportional to the amount of indigestible content in his food.
- The normal fiber content of the ancestral diet is between 4 and 6 percent. The fiber content of many dry foods is greater than 15 percent, and most “diet” or “lite” foods contain more than 28 percent fiber.
- If you mix kibble or highly processed foods with raw this may cause loose stools and some wind. If you are feeding kibble and raw then either have kibble in the morning and raw at night or visa versa.
Loose Or Liquid – Types of diarrhoea
- A soft stool with no visible blood or mucous might indicate either a dietary change or indiscriminate eating. However, it can also signal the presence of an intestinal parasite such as giardia.
- A greasy-looking gray stool can be a sign of too much fat in your dog’s diet, which can trigger pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas that can range from very mild to life threatening.
- A black, tarry stool typically indicates the presence of old blood somewhere in the dog’s digestive system. It can be a sign of injury to the GI tract from indiscriminate eating, and it can also be a sign of a very serious disease such as cancer.
- Watery diarrhea can be a sign of stress or a viral (e.g., parvovirus) or parasitic infection and can lead very quickly to dehydration, especially in puppies.
- A soft or watery stool with visible worms, eggs, or other uninvited guests is a clear indication of a parasite infestation.
- Firm, soft, or runny poop containing blood or blood clots is almost always a sign of a serious health problem requiring immediate attention. Fresh blood indicates current bleeding, typically from the large intestine or the anus or anal glands. There could be a perforation of the intestinal wall from something the dog ingested, or from the eruption of a tumor or ulcer.
What Should I do if my dog has diarrhoea?
- Withold food for 12 hours. DO NOT withhold water, water is important
- After 12 hours offer a bland diet of cooked ground turkey, chicken, rabbit, goat, hare or wallaby (or other low fat meat) and 100% pumpkin. Do not feed meat that is fatty like beef, salmon or lamb as this can make the diarrhoea worse. Do not feed rice, even though it’s bland, is very fermentable. Fermenting rice in the colon of a pet with diarrhea tends to increase gassiness. Also, rice tends to just zip right through the GI tract, exiting with the next bout of explosive diarrhea totally undigested.
- Mix the cooked ground meat and pumpkin or sweet potato 50-50 in your dog’s bowl. Feed 2 to 3 small meals a day until stools are back to 100 percent, which should happen in about 72 hours.
- An anti-diarrhoea remedy is a herb called slippery elm bark. It is good to have some in your cupboard just in case. Slippery elm is safe for puppies, adults, and geriatric dogs and it is completely safe when blended with other medications. It is recommend about a half teaspoon for each 4.5Kg of body weight, mixed into the bland diet twice daily.
- We also recommend you add in a good quality pet probiotic.
- Feeding a bland diet and supplementing with slippery elm bark is a good plan for about 3 days, at which time your dog’s stool should be back to normal. If after 3 days the diarrhea hasn’t cleared up, it’s time to check in with your veterinarian.
When Do I Go The Vets?
Most healthy dogs experience an occasional episode of loose stool or diarrhea that resolves within 12 to 24 hours. The underlying issue in most of these cases is indiscriminate eating or stress. However, any dog has the potential to become very ill from chronic bouts of diarrhea.
If your dog seems fine after a bout of diarrhea — meaning she’s acting normal, with normal energy – it’s safe to simply keep an eye on her to insure her stool returns to normal within a day or so.
But, if you notice she’s also sluggish, running a fever or feels warm to the touch, or there’s a change in her behavior, you should contact your veterinarian.
If you see blood in your pet’s stool or she’s weak along with the diarrhea, you should make an appointment with the vet.
If your dog seems fine but is experiencing recurrent bouts of diarrhea, it’s time for a checkup.
It’s important to bring a sample of your dog’s stool to your appointment, even if it’s watery. Use a plastic baggie and scoop a bit in there to take with you. This will help your vet identify potential underlying causes for the diarrhoea
This blog was brought to you by Bev, Mike & Monty ♥