It varies from dog to dog, breed to breed and can change depending on 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.
A healthy raw fed dog tends to produce significantly less poop that is also smaller than kibble fed; it’s firm, and not as smelly. Dogs eating a high mineral raw food diet will produce poop that turns a much lighter color within 24 hours and disintegrates very quickly.
White meats produce lighter poop. Red meats and organs produce darker poop.
Dogs eating raw foods that could be too high in calcium or bone pass white, chalky feces, and may suffer from constipation. Alterations to the dog’s diet is required. Also, dogs eating a high mineral raw food diet will produce poo that turns a much lighter color within 24 hours and disintegrates very quickly. This can be a normal appearance of a poop after 24 hours.
A soft stool with no visible blood or mucous might indicate a dietary change. However, it can also signal the presence of an intestinal parasite such as giardia. If you are concerned with any changes in your dog’s poop, reach out to our forum. If then the problem doesn’t clear up in a day or so, then it’s recommended to seek veterinary advice.
A greasy-looking grey stool can be a sign of too much fat in your dog’s diet, which can trigger pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can range from very mild to life threatening. Alterations to the dog’s diet is required. Think about what types of protein you’re using and if it needs to be leaner. The leaner the better and a good choice is a cut 90% lean with 10% fat. If not cleared in a day or so then seek veterinary advice. Its also helpful to give goats milk and bone broth as those are calming to the tummy. A probiotic may be necessary if you aren’t already giving one.
The most obvious symptom of a health problem in cats and dogs is diarrhea, which has several characteristics that vary depending on the cause. There are several potential causes of diarrhea in dogs, ranging from a change in diet to 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. The things to look at is:
- Are they eating?
- Are they drinking?
- Are they playing?
- Are they peeing?
- Are they acting normal or lethargic? If they’re acting lethargic, they may just not feel well. Imagine how you feel with a tummy ache.
If they are experiencing two or more of the above issues, see a veterinarian’s advice.
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 bad eating, and it can also be a sign of a very serious disease such as cancer. However, keep in mind that an overload of organs can cause a similar result. Poop from too much organs is very dark in color, very loose and very stinky.
Small traces of blood in poop after straining is not unusual. This should clear in a day or two. Firm, soft, or runny poop containing blood or blood clots is almost always a sign of a serious health problems 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 possibly ingested. Seek veterinary advice.
A soft stool can also simply be a sign of detoxification where the body is protecting the digestive tract as a result of a new raw diet. This typically occurs after making the change from kibble to raw. The body is ridding itself from the effects of kibble. Do not be alarmed, this is normal. A soft stool containing or coated with mucous may indicate the presence of parvovirus or parasites and should be assessed by a veterinarian. Most of the time soft stools can be remedied with a little pumpkin added to the meal, which adds fiber and helps bind the stomach contents. Firm up is also another alternative available in our amazon store (insert link here)
Also, a soft or watery stool with visible worms, eggs, or other uninvited guests is a clear indication of a parasite infestation. A veterinarian should assess any indication of parasites, or virus.
When to Call the Vet
Most healthy dogs experience an occasional episode of loose stool or diarrhea that resolves within 12-24 hours. The underlying issue in most of these cases is bad eating or stress.
If your dog seems fine after a bout of diarrhea — meaning he’s acting normal, with normal energy – it’s safe to simply keep an eye on him to insure his stool returns to normal within a day or so.
But if you notice he’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 or shows other signs of debilitation 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 check-up. 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 shovel a bit in there to take with you. This will help your vet identify potential underlying causes for the diarrhea.