Dealing with dog poo may be one of the more unpleasant parts of being a dog owner, but experts are urging owners not to hide from the subject and to look at their dog’s poo in order to get to know what is normal for their pet.
Dog health experts at Buddy & Lola, explain, “A healthy dog poo should be chocolate brown in colour and cigar-like in shape which holds its form when moved. The texture should be like a soft putty.
“Anything other than this, you need to keep an eye on and, if any abnormalities in your dog’s poo continue for more than a couple of days, be sure to consult your vet.
“Next time you are out with your dog, examine their poo in a little more detail and see if there is anything that you need to be aware of. We have put together the following as a guide.”
What are the four Cs?
Look out for the four Cs – consistency, content, colour and coating. These are the key indicators experts use to measure dog wellbeing through their stools.
The ideal dog poop has the consistency of Play-Doh. It should be squishable but hold its form when picked up. Everything from diet type and volume of food can affect this. Fillers and additives in dry pet food can cause smellier waste in greater quantities, while a raw diet makes for small, solid poop. This is all normal. However, there are some warning signs to look out for that may require treatment: formless or hard stools.
A formless or runny stool is a classic sign of diarrhoea. 24 hours’ fasting, plain food and introducing some probiotics can help clear this up. A hard stool indicates constipation. A walk, access to plenty of fresh water and some exercise can help ease these symptoms.
Knowing what’s actually inside your dog’s poop will require a microscope – something best left to the vet. However, according to experts, a smooth stool with cleaves and with nothing sticking out of it is ideal.
Some of the most common problems in a dog’s poop colour are:
- Purple poop, indicating HGE or haemorrhagic gastroenteritis
- Green poop, indicating grass overconsumption or a gallbladder issue
- “Polka dot” poop indicating worms
- White poop, indicating a diet too high in calcium
Ideally, a healthy dog poop shouldn’t have any sort of mucus or coating. However, the occasional instance of mucus is normal, as it’s what allows faeces to slide through the colon. If you find your dog’s stools regularly leave residue behind on the grass, then it’s worth checking in with the vet.