You can expect your healthy dog to have healthy dog poop, which lies in several factors. While taking a close look at your dog's poop doesn't sound very charming, it may give you peace of mind knowing that your furry little friend is all healthy. That means watching for anything out of the ordinary or any long-term changes over time. If you need help with what to look for, keep reading to find out how to identify what Fido's number two should look like and how to keep it that way.
Identifying Signs of Healthy Dog Poop
We've already established that a healthy poop equals a healthy pup. But the question remains: what does healthy dog poop look like? The answer lies in the four C's, or what's known as the healthy dog poop chart.
Unless your dog has eaten bright-colored food like carrots or broccoli, its poop should be chocolate brown. Shades of healthy dog poop may differ from light to dark, but not very noticeably. As a dog parent, you're probably familiar with Fido's poop colors, so you'll surely notice a drastic change. Having said that, if your four-legged friend hasn't strayed from its usual diet and its poop still shows significant color change, you should assume that you're looking into a not-so-healthy dog poop.
Firm but a bit squishy is the ultimate poop goal. Veterinarians score dog poop on a scale of one to seven, with one being extremely hard and seven very runny. Ideally, healthy dog poop should score a two, meaning it should be firm but feel like a piece of Play-Doh when you touch it. A three is alright, too; it's a little less solid and might leave some residue behind, but it shouldn't be any cause for concern.
Normal dog poop shouldn't typically contain anything foreign in it. You can expect the occasional undigested food or hair; anything else showing up consistently in your furry friend's droppings might be a problem. When we say foreign objects, we mean worms, blood, too much hair, or anything your dog might have ingested. If you notice any abnormalities in the feces, take your pup for a checkup.
You probably know what a healthy dog poop should look like now. But there's one more characteristic you need to cross out: coating. The droppings shouldn't look slimy or jelly-like on the surface. Healthy dog poo should naturally come with no form of coating or film over it, and it shouldn't leave much of a trail behind when you pick it up. A mucusy or slimy stool coating could mean that your dog has inflammation in the large intestine, and if the issue doesn't resolve within 24 hours, you'll want to reach out to the vet.
What Does Healthy Dog Poop Look Like?
Regarding healthy dog poop, the first sign of reassurance is its form. If the stool is log-shaped and quite firm, it shows you have a healthy pup at home. Now, depending on age, the shape might be inconsistent at times. The older your pup gets, you might stop seeing the perfect poop, as it may not be able to stay in the same spot long enough to produce the perfect excrement. A stool softener prescribed by a veterinarian can ease the process for your older dog.
Does Fido usually poop twice a day daily? If yes, you've got yourself a healthy pup. It's not so much about the number of times it poops but rather regularly poops the same number of times during the day. Plus or minus one time is acceptable on any given day, and so is going five times on just one occasion. But if the number changes and doesn't return to normal for several days, you should call the vet for advice.
Size in Proportion to the Amount of Food Eaten
The amount of food that goes into your pup's body should be around the same as the amount of poop that comes out of it. Checking your dog's droppings might not be your favorite pastime activity, but it can tell you a lot about your dog's well-being. Noticeable changes in Fido's poop size can be alarming. A poop that's larger than average can mean that your dog isn't digesting food as it should and isn't getting the necessary nutrients out of it. On the other hand, smaller droppings could mean loss of appetite or a blockage in the digestive tract.
Let's go back to the question, "What is healthy dog poop?" Appearance aside, healthy dog poop stinks just as you would expect. If it smells bad enough to make you gag, your dog might be eating food that is hard to digest. It's also likely that it is dealing with impending diarrhea due to an infection or a parasite in the system. We're not saying you should expect a sweet aroma of roses whenever you smell your puppy's stool, but you shouldn't feel like throwing up.
Healthy Dog Poop Vs. Unhealthy Dog Poop
Brown vs. an Array of Colors
Are you worried that your dog might be sick? The easiest way to find out is by checking the shades of your dog's poop to see if it's healthy. While healthy dog poop is brown, unhealthy poop can come in various shades. Black poop could indicate internal bleeding, whereas red points toward an infection or rectal trauma. Yellow poop can mean digestive issues. As for green, you may be looking at gallbladder disease.
All that said, the most straightforward answer to "What color is healthy dog poop?" would be a healthy hue of brown.
Firm vs. Too Hard or Too Soft
As we said, if Fido's feces feel like Play-Doh, then Fido is a pretty healthy pup. Anything harder or softer might be a problem, especially if it doesn't return to normal after a few days. Poop that's too hard or too watery could mean your dog has digestive issues. In that case, a visit to the veterinarian is your best bet.
Pure Poop vs. Filled With Foreign Elements
A healthy dog poop should be free of things that are not poop. Anything from worms to blood to excessive hair and foreign objects is not welcome. Now, you may sometimes see a few foreign bits - because who knows what Fido chewed on and gobbled up - and a small amount of hair is usually normal. But anything other than that calls for a trip to the vet.
Smelly vs. Unbearably Stinky
It's normal for poop to stink, but there's a difference between a typical smell and a life-threatening one. As long as you don't feel like you're handling a piece of radioactive waste when picking up your furry friend's droppings, there's nothing to worry about. But if the smell is unbearable, you might be dealing with a problem and could use an expert's opinion.
Tips for Maintaining Healthy Dog Poop
Food Rich in Probiotics
As parents, the well-being of our dogs is a top priority. It includes making sure that the droppings they leave behind look healthy. And healthy poop comes from good nutrition. Invest in quality dog food rich in probiotics to guarantee that you're giving your furry baby the best diet. Probiotics promote good gut health and boost your puppy's immune system.
Another method to ensure healthy dog poop is to take Fido out on long walks and encourage it to run, play, and fetch as much as possible. Regular exercise moves your dog's bowel, allowing for a healthy digestive tract, which ultimately equals healthy dog poop.
Constant Checking of the Poop
The third way to maintain healthy dog poop is to pay close attention. As long as you're mindful of your dog's droppings as you pick them up, you should be able to notice any changes in their color, content, consistency, and coating. You'll also be able to spot differences in your dog's pooping schedule and whether it's pooping more or less than usual.
Prioritizing Healthy Dog Poop
To wrap it up, daily seeing healthy dog poop goes a long way; it's a much-needed sign that Fido is physically and emotionally doing fine. Any drastic changes in the form and frequency of the poop are grounds for a visit to the vet. The main trick here is to be watchful of your doggy's droppings at all times. You don't need any lab equipment; a quick peek is all it takes.
Have More Questions? We've Got Them Covered!
How Do I Know If My Dog's Poop Is Normal?
Healthy dog poop is about the same color as your average chocolate bar and has a clay consistency. It has no coating and contains no foreign objects, be they living or nonliving. You should also keep count of how many times your furry little buddy is dropping turds each day; a consistent pooping schedule means your precious one is healthy.
What Color Is Healthy Poop for Dogs?
Chocolate brown is the healthiest color for dog poop. The shade of brown could be a little lighter or darker and still be considered healthy. Keep in mind that it also depends on what your furry friend ate last. For instance, you might see some coloring in the poop if Fido had vegetables the day before—broccoli green and pumpkin orange are colors you can sometimes expect.
Is Dark Dog Poop Healthy?
While a slightly darker shade of brown is usually considered normal for dog poop, anything too dark should be cause for concern. Black or tar-colored feces could be signs of blood in your dog's digestive tract. And blood in the digestive system can be due to one of many reasons. In any case, a trip to the vet can clear things up.