Types of Feces in Dogs and What They Say About Their Health

Dogs defecate every day, so checking their bowel movements is one of the most reliable ways to monitor their gastrointestinal health.
Types of Feces in Dogs and What They Say About Their Health

Last update: 19 August, 2021

All dogs defecate at least once a day, but it’s also normal for them to defecate two, three or even more times in a 24-hour period. The types of feces in dogs and their frequency tell us a lot about them. We can find out about their gastrointestinal health, systemic well-being, age, weight, caloric intake, and much more. On each walk, you should pay attention to the small “gifts” that your dog leaves!

Although it may seem an unpleasant subject, the inspection of pet feces is essential, because only then can gastrointestinal problems be detected in time and you can go to the vet before it’s too late. Next up, we’ll tell you all about the types of feces that exist in dogs based on various physiological and organoleptic parameters.

1. Types of feces in dogs according to their consistency

Perhaps the most common thing is to look at the color of the stools, as this is what attracts the owner’s attention the most during the walk. However, the consistency of the feces is of equal importance, as it can indicate water imbalances in the animal and much more.

The “perfect poop” should be solid and hold its shape once bagged, but it should also feel wet to the touch (without you touching it of course!). If a normal stool is located is at 3.5 on a consistency scale, a 1 is a stony and disaggregated defecation and a 7 is watery.

1.1 Excessive hardness stools

The most common reason for this physiological event is dehydration. If your dog doesn’t ingest adequate amounts of water or wet food per day, it may not have enough fluids to give its stools the necessary consistency. The lack of exercise, the lack or excess of fiber, abscesses in the anal sacs, or the ingestion of inedible material can also be causes.

1.2 Diarrhea

If your dog poops with a watery consistency 3 times a day or more, we can say that it has diarrhea. Many illnesses are accompanied by diarrhea: parasitosis, poisonings, bacterial infections, ingestion of spoiled food or inedible material, viral infections, and many others.

If your dog has diarrhea, it’s very important to ask yourself how long it has been like this and if the stools have other characteristics beyond their wet appearance. The fact that the stools are watery is already a reason to visit the vet, but if they have pus or mucus, then the urgency is even more evident.

Feeding in dogs with diarrhea.

2. Types of stools according to their size

The size of the animal’s stool must correspond to the size of the breed and the food intake it has received. For example, a Yorkshire terrier will never defecate like a Great Dane. If a dog is consistently producing oversized poop, the guardian may be overfeeding it a bit and need to reduce its intake.

The size of the stool is directly related to the amount of feed supplied to the canine.

3. Types of feces in dogs according to their color

Perhaps this is the most important parameter when classifying the types of feces in dogs. Next up, we’ll show you what your dog’s intestinal health is like based on the color of its stools.

3.1 Brown

The chocolate brown color is the standard and is indicative of gastric health in every way. This tone is achieved thanks to bilirubin, a compound secreted by the liver. Thanks to the action of the intestinal acids involved in the process, the stools of vertebrates are usually light brown.

3.2 Black

A black stool is a very bad sign. In general, this tone indicates that the dog is bleeding in the upper digestive tract, that is, the lower part of the esophagus or the stomach. As blood is digested thanks to the enzymatic action of stomach juices, it turns from a red to a black hue. It can be a sign of a stomach injury, gastric cancer, or an ulcer, among other conditions.

3.3 Green

This is one of the types of feces in dogs that isn’t usually a problem, unless it happens all the time. If your dog poops with this consistency several hours after a walk in which they were eating grass, then we already have the answer to this question. Sometimes these animals ingest plant matter to purify their gastrointestinal system.

However, green stools can also be an indication of a gallbladder problem. If this stool tone occurs repeatedly, don’t hesitate to go to the vet promptly.

3.4 Gray and white

Soft, greasy, gray stools indicate a problem with the pancreas. They can also indicate that your dog’s diet is too high in calcium, in which case it’s recommended that you see a canine nutritional professional to rethink your pet’s menu choices.

3.5 Yellow and orange

A yellowish stool is usually indicative of a gastrointestinal problem and almost always precedes diarrhea. These tones have also been associated with a problem in the liver, so it could reflect a serious physiological situation in the dog.

4. Other types of feces in dogs and considerations

Beyond the color and consistency of the stool, there are certain atypical scenarios to which special attention must be paid.

4.1 Abnormal shape

Normal stools are “sausage” shaped and long, but not too thin. If the stools appear in small circles, excessively fine or with other atypical variations, your dog may have an intestinal imbalance or problems in the anal region.

4.2 Mucous stools

A small amount of mucus in your dog’s stools is nothing to worry about, as this material helps the stools to be released more easily. However, if its presence is excessive, it’s likely that there’s a problem of irritation or inflammation in the dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

4.3 Stool with granulations or white spots

If your dog has eaten corn or some other food with hard seeds, its stools may have seeds the next day. This is normal, but, in general, white spots in the stools are usually an indication of active parasites in the intestine of the animal. Any such abnormality warrants an urgent visit to the vet.

A dog poop on a grass.

The types of stool in dogs can help you discern the state of your dog’s health. Remember that the perfect stool is brownish, elongated, consistent and moist, without foreign bodies or seeds. Any deviation from the norm will show you that you need to go to the vet promptly.

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