What should dog poo look like?

Dog poo is not the nicest of subjects for dog owners, but an essential one! The size, shape, consistency and colour can tell you a lot about your dog’s health. It’s essential to get to know your dog’s defecations, so you know what they may indicate about their health. 

What should I look for in my dog’s poo? 

Every dog’s poo differs, but they will tend to have a standard. If you spot anything other than their usual poo each day, it will indicate something may be up. Here’s what you need to look out for:

Colour

Generally, dog poo is the same colour as chocolate and that’s what you want to see. If your dog is being fed something that’s a different colour, such as rice, you may notice colour changes.

Here are the colours of poo and what they might tell you:

  • Greasy and grey – This may indicate a biliary or pancreas issue.
  • Black and tarlike – There could be bleeding in the intestinal tract.
  • Red- If the blood is fresh, they may have abrasions in or around their anus.
  • Orange or yellow – This could be an indication of a biliary or liver issue.
  • White spots – If you spot what looks like white grains of rice, your dog may have tapeworms.
  • Green- Your dog may have eaten too much grass or have a gall bladder issue.

Consistency

Dog poo should be soft but solid enough to pick up. The consistency of Play-doh is what you need to think of!

Extra hard poo or little pebbles can show your dog isn’t drinking enough water. They could be dehydrated. Sloppy, diarrhoea poo may mean your dog has some sort of gastrointestinal upset.

Content

What you find in the poo depends on what your dog has been eating. If they consume regular dog food, the poo will probably look like the food. But, if you introduce vegetables like carrots to their diet, you might see those when they’ve been digested.

Here are some other things you need to look out for: 

  • Grass - Dogs eat grass to assist with digestion. Excess grass consumption can indicate problems with the digestive system or gall bladder. 
  • Little white bits - This could be a sign of worms. Ask your vet to conduct a worm count. They can advise you about the most suitable wormer.
  • Mucus –If you notice this, you need to visit your vet. It can indicate an inflamed colon.
  • Hair in poo – When your dog has spent time grooming themselves, you may see a lot of hair in their poo. Give them a check over to make sure they don’t have any dermatological issues.  

Shape 

Look for a soft sausage shape! Hard little poos that look like pebbles can mean your dog is dehydrated. Diarrhoea and very soft poo can indicate your dog has a gastro problem.

Size 

This all depends on the size of your dog and what they have eaten. If you feed leftovers as well as their usual food, it stands to reason you will probably find a supersized poo the following day! If you add a lot of fibre to their diet, expect larger poos.

Next time you head out on a dog walk, have a good look at the poop before you scoop! You’ll begin to recognise what is standard for your dog. You’ll then be able to detect any differences in the poo and pick up on problems early.  

With an Agria Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.