Poop is the window to the gut.
Ok...not the most pleasant conversation, but as a responsible pet owner, keeping tabs on your dog's poop is an essential part of their overall health and wellbeing. You may just scoop it up and throw it in the bin without giving it a second thought, but there is tremendous information waiting to be discovered. The texture, colour, smell, and consistency of your dog's poop can give important clues about what's going on inside their digestive system.
Let’s talk colour
Brown: This is the most common colour of dog and cat poop. It is a sign that your pet's digestive system is functioning properly. However, if there is excessive mucus or a strange odour, you may want to consult a holistic veterinarian, and speak with the nutrition experts at Pet Grocer for guidance in food choices that can help your pet get back to normal.
Brown with White Spots: If you feed your pet raw bones or rice these can appear in their poop causing the white specks. Small white specs (or specs that move) can also a sign of parasites or worms. The most common visible worm in poop is tapeworm, which looks like white grains of rice or seeds in poop.
Black: Black poop in pets can be a sign of dehydration or internal bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. If your pet's poop is consistently black, you should take them to the vet. Sometimes this colour appears because your pet is eating dirt - check their behaviour to see if this is the culprit.
Green: Green poop can be a sign of gallbladder or liver issues. However, it can also be because of your pet's diet, especially if they've recently consumed a lot of grass or green foods.
Yellow or Orange: Yellow poop can be a sign of an upset stomach, digestive disturbance, or possibly allergies. A more yellow or orange poop may indicate liver disease, a pancreatic disorder, or other health issues. If your pet's poop is consistently yellow or orange, you should take them to your holistic vet for a checkup, and speak to our nutrition experts at Pet Grocer for nutrition guidance.
We also often see yellowish or orangish poop in raw fed dogs that eat excessive amounts of poultry and don't have enough red meats in the diet. Speak to us at Pet Grocer for guidance in providing a varied diet.
White: If your pet is raw fed, white poop (when it is fresh) is not unusual. It generally indicates a significant amount of calcium in their diet. Adjust diet accordingly and poop should return to a healthy brown again. Seeing white chalky poop after it has been in the sun for a day or two (in the raw fed dog or cat) is normal - the raw fed pet's poop composts quickly! No need to adjust the diet if the poop is brown when it first is excreted.
Red: Red in a dog's poop can be caused by fresh blood in the stool. This could be due to an injury to the anal region, lower digestive system issues, or hemorrhoids. If you notice a significant amount of red in their poop, it's time to take them to a holistic vet. After your vet check up be sure to reach out to us to assist you with ensuring the safest, healthiest choices for your pet's nutrition during this healing time.
Grey: This is a potential sign that your dog may be having pancreatic issues. A check up at the holistic vet and some diet changes are in order. Pet Grocer specializes in nutrition that will assist with bringing your pet back to good, healthy looking poops.
The colour of your pet's poop can say a lot about their overall health, so it's essential to keep an eye on it, but colour is just the tip of the poop ice burg…there is so much more to dig into - namely Texture.
Just like colour, texture has a story to tell. Does your dog have well formed, easy to pick up logs, or are they wetter and more difficult to pick up? If you notice that your dog's poop has turned runny, greasy, or cloudy, it could be a sign of an underlying gut health issue.
Here are a few things that different textures of dog poop may indicate:
Hard, Dry Poop
If your pet's poop is hard, dry, and crumbly, it may indicate that they are not getting enough water or fibre in their diet. Lack of hydration can lead to constipation, which can cause hard stools that are difficult to pass. Make sure your pet is getting plenty of water and fiber-rich foods like fruits and veggies. If you are a raw food feeder, too much bone can make your pet’s poop hard, dry, and white. For cats this is a more serious problem and immediate action needs to be taken. Speaking to us in store for personalized recommendations, or start with using Adored Beast's Feline Gut Soothe, to help them right away.
Soft, Formed Poop
Soft, formed poop is considered the ideal consistency for pets. If your pet's poop is comfortably formed, it generally means their digestive system is functioning well, and the food they are eating is being properly digested, which is a good thing.
Mucus or Blood in Poop
If you notice mucus or blood in your pet's poop, it may be a sign of inflammation or infection in the gut. Your dog or cat may have eaten something that irritated their digestive tract or it may be a more serious issue. Consult with your holistic vet if you notice these symptoms for more than a few poops.
Soft, Runny Poop
Soft, runny poop is a common problem in cats and dogs and can be a sign of many different issues. It may be caused by an imbalance in gut bacteria, food sensitivity or allergy, parasites, or a bacterial or viral infection like Giardia.
Greasy, Oily Poop
If your pet's poop looks greasy or oily, it may be a sign of poor absorption of fat and nutrients in their diet, which could be due to a digestive disorder or a sensitivity to certain types of food. Getting the right balance of fatty acid and fibre will help to have a normal poop. Speak to us for help finding that right solution for your pet - each animal is an individual and what works for one may not work for the next. We can help you navigate the choices to assist your pet.
If your pet is struggling with their gut health, their poop will likely give you important clues about what's going on inside their digestive system. When something out of the ordinary occurs, take note of any changes that may have caused it. Did diet change recently? Is there a significant change in odour? Are there other symptoms presenting in addition to poop? Any significant, recurring changes warrants a visit to your holistic veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues. Remember to always keep a watchful eye on your pet's poop; it's an important part of keeping them healthy!
**The content in this blog is not meant to replace veterinary advice. Always consult your holistic veterinarian regarding changes in your pet's health**