When talking about dog health and nutrition, we also must look at the close correlation between diet and dog poop! Your dog’s stool can actually be a good indication of your dog’s health! When fed a processed diet, your dog is consuming additives, fillers, preservatives, and unnecessary ingredients that all contribute to unhealthy stool. A raw diet on the other hand has the greatest bioavailability of nutrients, allowing your dog to digest what they are consuming with ease and utilize these nutrients with little to no waste! In this guide, we will discuss the differences between healthy and unhealthy stool, and everything you need to know about your dogs poop!
What Is Unhealthy Dog Poop?
Paying attention to your dogs poop can give you an idea of their overall health, indicate potential health issues, and let you know if there is a dietary need. Your dog’s diet has a great impact on their stool. A processed diet with fillers and preservatives can result in unhealthy stool and overall poor health. Your dog's digestive tract was not designed to digest a processed diet, therefore will result in an unhealthy gut and stool. There are different characteristics to your dogs poop including color, size, texture and consistency, and scent. By recognizing these characteristics, you are on the right track to being your dog’s health hero!
Characteristics Of Unhealthy Poop
Orange - This can be an indicator of a liver issue, or could be your dog’s food moved too quickly through their GI tract with not enough time to pick up bile to change the color.
Yellow - This can be an indicator of a food intolerance, especially if this occurs when changing your dog’s diet. Pay attention to what ingredients and meat source this occurs with. This also could be the result of transition to a new diet too quickly. In this case we suggest slowing down the introduction of raw food to your dog’s diet.
Green - If your dog's poop is green, it could be that they ate a large amount of grass. If this continues, it could be a parasite, rat poison, or other internal issues. If you think your dog may have consumed something poisonous, we suggest getting immediate medical attention.
Grey & Greasy - If your dog's poop is greasy and grey or green in color, it could be an indication that your dog is consuming too much fat. Too much fat in the diet can lead to inflammation and pancreatitis. We suggest seeing your vet for treatment.
White & Chalky - Poop that is white, chalky, and crumbles easily may be an indication your dog is consuming too much calcium. This can cause chronic constipation in your dog. If left untreated, this can cause loss of appetite, vomiting, and lethargy.
Red - If there is blood in your dogs poop, it could be inflammation of the colon, a rectal injury, an anal gland infection, or a tumor. We suggest seeing your trusted veterinarian.
White Speckles - Worms can appear in dog poop as white speckles. If you see this, we suggest taking your dog to their vet for a checkup and possible deworming.
Black - Black stool may be an indication of health concerns. Black poop can be a problem with your dogs GI tract or a gastrointestinal ulser. If this keeps showing up, we suggest seeing a veterinarian.
Hard Rock Solid - Stool that is hard and not malleable could be the result of a processed diet with fillers and preservatives. This is an indication of a dietary need for fresh nutritious foods.
Loose Stool & Diarrhea - Loose stool and diarrhea can occur in your dog for various reasons. Your dog may have eaten something that didn't agree with their stomach, leading to mild diarrhea or loose stools. This usually clears up on its own with nothing to worry about. Another common cause of diarrhea is if the transition process from a processed diet to a raw diet was made too fast. In this case we suggest slowing down the transition process to give your dog's digestive system time to adjust to their new raw diet. If the diarrhea persists, it could be a warning sign that your dog has an infection, inflammatory bowel disease, and injury, parasites, or a food allergy.
Constipation - If your dog is not having regular bowel movements, they might be experiencing constipation. This can be the result of too much calcium, a hairball, pain in the hips or back legs, or an intestinal obstruction. If your dog is experiencing constipation we suggest contacting your trusted veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.
How A Raw Diet Will Improve Your Dog's Poop
A natural raw diet is the best diet to achieve healthy stool! This is what your dog would eat in nature, meaning it is what their biology calls for. With the greatest bioavailability of nutrients, your dogs digestive tract is able to digest the food and utilize the nutrients. With no fillers, grains, preservatives, and carbohydrates, a raw diet will lead to improved digestion and appropriate nutrition...and less waste! It's pretty simple, if your dog is consuming whole foods and avoiding unnecessary ingredients, they will produce less waste!
When consuming a raw diet with quality meat and fresh vegetables, your dog will be well on their way to having healthy stool! Raw fed dogs poop is smaller & firmer! A healthy immune system, properly working digestive system, and biologically appropriate diet all contribute to overall health will benefit your dog in many ways.
Healthy poop ranges from dog to dog but tends to share many of the same characteristics.A raw food diet for your dog means less clean up because stools will be smaller, firmer, and less smelly. Smaller stools indicates that your dog is absorbing more nutrients from the foods being consumed. Don’t be alarmed if you notice white powder in your dog's stools. The white powder residue is from the bones consumed and is completely natural.
Characteristics Of Healthy Poop
Tips For Improving Your Dog’s Poop
- Feed a high quality diet consisting of raw meat and fresh vegetables.
- Avoid preservatives, carbohydrates, and fillers.
- Limit human food and unhealthy treats.
- Prevent your dog from compost piles, trash, and other harmful ingredients.
- Always provide access to fresh drinking water.
- Make sure there are no harmful chemicals or plants in your yard.
As pet owners, it is our ‘duty’ to pay close attention to our dog’s health and any signs and indications we may receive, such as in their poop. Healthy stool means your dogs digestive system is working properly and that your dog is receiving appropriate nutrition. By knowing what characteristics to look for in your dog's poop, we hope to help you indicate if there is an underlying health issue and what steps you can take to improve digestion and stool and promote overall health and longevity!