face it, poop is gross. Although there is nothing appealing about feces, as a
pet owner it is important to keep an eye on your dog’s poop since it can often
be a stinky clue to your dog’s health. To help you know what to look out for,
and whether it’s time to call the vet, I’ve put together the ultimate guide to
- Confirmation of bowel movement: This may seem obvious, but it is important to know that your dog is, in fact, pooping and how often. If there is no poop, that could be due to your dog not eating, something blocking the poop from coming out (like a foreign body), or constipation. All of these reasons are serious concerns that should be addressed by a veterinarian.
- Consistency: The texture of poop is a good indicator of pet health. Poop that is very hard in texture can indicate a dog is dehydrated. Conversely, when poop becomes more soft or liquid in texture, it is called diarrhea. There are many causes of diarrhea including but not limited to parasites, bad bacteria, viruses, and even stress. If your pup struggles with regular diarrhea, switching to a diet that is more gentle on their stomach such as Freshpet® Select Sensitive Stomach & Skin recipe can be beneficial. This specific recipe is formulated with ingredients like chicken, rice, and pumpkin that are commonly recommended for diarrhea and indigestion.
- Color: Sometimes the color of poop is highly dependent on the type
of food a dog eats. For instance, if a dog eats a lot of carrots or pumpkin,
the poop will be more orange. However, if your dog’s poop suddenly changes
color (ie red or black) it can indicate serious health issues like bleeding in
- Smell: I know that poop is supposed to smell bad, but sometimes poop
will start to smell really, really bad. If it seems as though your dog’s poop
is so potent that it seems to linger, it may be a sign of a serious infection
in the gut.
- Shape: The shape of poop should be like a log or even balls. If it
seems as though the poop has a more flat edge, it may indicate a mass that is
changing the shape of the poop as your pet defecates.
The food they eat plays a huge role in your dog’s digestive health. If you regularly notice that something seems “off” in any of these five categories, it might be a sign that you need to reassess their diet. Making the switch to a fresh diet, like Freshpet, is a great option as one of the biggest changes pet parents notice is an improvement in their pet’s digestion. This is because every recipe uses fresh, nutritious ingredients – like fiber-rich spinach and green beans – which are naturally easy on your dog’s digestive system and help keep them ‘regular’.
Now that you know five key things to look for in your dog’s poop – what to expect when making the switch to fresh food – you can use every potty time as a way to play an active role in your pup’s preventative health care. For more tips from Dr. Aziza on how to know it’s time to book a vet appointment, check out this article.