Three Easy Ways to Check On Your Dog’s Health: Poop 101

We all want to know our dog is healthy, but dogs don’t show health problems until they are getting serious.  So this article is going to talk about a dirty subject – dog poop.  OK, so don’t pretend that you never look at it.  You probably see it more often than you want to see it!  From now on, make sure you purposely look … and know what you are looking for when you are looking.

Poop will tell you how your dog’s digestive system is working, if a foreign object or parasite is present, and if your dog food is feeding your dog properly.  So, let me get right to it.

If your dog’s poop is firm and brown, it’s good.  If not, here are some easy things to examine:

  1. Color
    • Green: probably means your dog is eating grass because of a stomach ache.  Think about what he ate last.  Medications can also cause upset stomachs.
    • Black or dark red: might mean there is bleeding in the stomach or the small intestines.  Call the vet.
    • Red streaks: could be a sign of bleeding, probably in the lower gastrointestinal tract or colon. It could also be from constipation.  Make sure your dog drinks more liquids, gets more exercise.
    • Yellow: could mean problems with the liver, pancreas or gallbladder.  It could also mean too many carbohydrates in the food.
    • White spots: could be worms, various parasites.


  1. Consistency
    • Firm, but ok if a little bit loose once in a while.
    • If the stool is not firm, watch for a few days. If it doesn’t firm up, see your vet.


  1. Content
    • Miscellaneous materials: Grass, plastic, rocks, socks, toys and more can sometimes be found in your dog’s poop.  The good news is that it came out on its own. (Otherwise, surgery might be needed.)
    • Fur: Big clumps of fur in the stool could be a sign of over grooming, allergies, or skin disease. Too much of this suggests a visit to your vet.
    • Worms: These could be long and skinny or look like little pieces of rice. Again, you should only be concerned if these appear in the fresh sample so you know the worms came from your dog and not from the yard.
    • Coating: There can sometimes be a milky looking coating of mucus on the poop which can be from an inflamed bowel. If this happens more than once, check with your vet. 

More than you wanted to know???  Not really.  Simply keeping an eye on this gives you lots of information about what is going on inside that fluffy friend of yours.

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