It may seem gross but looking at your dog’s poo is actually one of the best ways to determine if they’re being fed the right nutrition. After all, what goes in determines what comes out…
Evaluating a dog’s poo is standard veterinary procedure to assist in checking a patient’s health. However, this is also something that you should be regularly monitoring at home.
If you’re feeding your dog a steady diet, their waste shouldn’t change much day to day. One off changes in consistency should not be a concern but if the problem persists, take them in for a checkup at your local Greencross Vets. Switching your dog to a different food will mean that there will be differences in the poos they produce as well. Our Dog Food Finder can recommend the best food for your unique dog to ensure they’re regularly producing the perfect poo.
Dog Poo Texture Chart
Vets generally classify your dog’s poo into one of seven different consistencies, ranging from dry and hard poos to very runny dog poos. It seems appropriate that the perfect poo is a number 2 – not too hard and not runny. Refer to our chart below to see how your dog’s poo scores and understand how healthy they truly are.
1 – Hard, dry pellets
If your dog is producing hard and dry poos and struggling to expel waste, these may be signs that they’re experiencing constipation. Understandably, this is an unpleasant experience for your dog and a clear indicator that something is wrong with their health.
Constipation can be caused by feeding your dog the wrong diet, with one of the most common causes being dehydration, and another being too little or too much fibre in their food. To remedy this issue, try introducing some wet food into your dog’s diet to increase their water intake. As constipation can also be a symptom of other health issues, it’s recommended that you see your local Greencross Vets for a professional diagnosis if your dog is regularly experiencing constipation.
The perfect poo
2 – Firm but mouldable logs
The healthiest dogs will produce poos that are in the shape of logs with clear segments, and with the firm yet pliable consistency of playdough. Healthy dogs will not struggle to poo and will comfortably pass waste that leaves no, or very little residue on the ground when you pick them up. One of the major benefits of switching your dog to super premium food that has been specifically formulated for their unique circumstances is that they will produce these high quality poos that improve your dog’s digestion and make clean up much easier for you. Our Dog Food Finder tool can recommend the best food to suit the needs of your unique dog based on their age, breed, activity levels and more.
Stages of diarrhoea
3 – Moist logs that are beginning to lose form &
4 – Soggy logs that lose their shape when picked up
If your dog’s poos are more runny than solid then they are becoming too high in their water content and have entered the stages of diarrhoea, and you may want to reconsider their diet. Something you will immediately notice is that these poos are overly soft and will lose their shape when you try to pick them up off the ground.
As dogs have more sensitive stomachs than we do, they will often experience diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal upsets if you change their diet too suddenly. When transitioning your dog to new food, remember to do so gradually over a period of 10-14 days to help them adjust.
If the diarrhoea only lasts for 24 hours and your dog isn’t displaying any other negative symptoms, you should not necessarily be worried. It is likely that they have eaten something they shouldn’t have. However if the diarrhoea lasts for more than a day or proceeds to worsen throughout the day, or you are concerned at all then you should take them for a vet checkup immediately.
5 – Moist and viscous piles of poo
The poo emoji may have led you to believe that the perfect poo is a cute and swirly pile, but in reality, this type of runny poo is not as pleasant for you or your pet. If your dog is producing wet piles of poo rather than long, log-shaped waste, this may indicate a gastrointestinal upset.
The most common causes of diarrhoea in dogs are related to their diet, including eating table scraps or spoiled food, or switching to a new food too quickly. It can also be caused by stress, parasitic, viral and bacterial infections, and other illnesses. As they are losing a lot of water when they have diarrhoea, it is very important that you keep your dog hydrated by encouraging them to drink more water, and you can even provide them with a home cooked chicken or veggie broth to make it more palatable.
6 – Diarrhoea with some areas of consistency &
7 – Watery diarrhoea with no texture
If your dog is regularly experiencing diarrhoea this may suggest that they have a food intolerance to something in their diet or an unresolved medical condition that requires veterinary investigation. Offending ingredients will trigger diarrhoea or an upset stomach each time your dog eats it, so if it’s something contained in their regular food, your dog will suffer from chronic digestive issues.
Book an appointment with your local Greencross Vets to discuss your dog’s stomach sensitivities and they will be able to ascertain whether this is being caused by the food they’re consuming or something else. Once your dog is no longer exposed to this ingredient, their diarrhoea often clears up after a few days. Many dog food products are available in a variety of flavours so that you can choose the one that best suits your dog’s needs.
Feed your dog right
Overall, eating a healthy diet will ensure that your dog produces healthy waste that makes cleaning up after them easier and as pleasant as this task can be! By providing your dog with complete and balanced nutrition that meets the needs of their age, breed and activity levels, you’ll notice that your dog gets into great shape on the inside and outside. Use our Dog Food Finder tool or speak with one of our trained team members at your local Petbarn to understand what the best diet for your unique dog is.