Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

This is What Your Dog or Cat’s Poop Can Tell You About Them

by | Sep 30, 2018 | Pet Lifestyle

A discussion around your dog’s poop sounds repulsive and unpleasant, but it’s a very important one. Since our dogs and cats cannot tell us when they have gastric issues, cramps or an upset tummy, it’s up to us to stay alert for signs of trouble. The best way to do this is to monitor not only what goes into your pets, but also what comes out of them. Your dog or cat’s poop can tell you volumes about their health. Let’s see why it’s important to #PeepThePoop.

Whether you take your dog out to do his business, have hired a dog-walker or he goes out on his own to relieve himself in the backyard, it’s important to keep an eye on his poop. The quantity of urine and feces, the color, texture, smell, and the presence of mucus or blood – are all indicators of how well (or not) your pet’s body is performing. For cat parents, it’s important to keep an eye on your feline queen’s litter box. Any unusual signs must be noted and reported to your pet’s nutritionist or the vet immediately.

A healthy dog or cat’s poop must be minimal, moist but firm, and has little to no odor.

Think about it! A car shall produce minimum exhaust if the engine is healthy and the fuel is clean and pure. Excessive smoke or fumes from your car usually indicate either a faulty machinery or adulteration of the fuel that you put into it. Similarly, when your dog or cat catches an infection or is not eating a balanced and nutritious diet, it shows in their poop or feces. Let’s see what different changes in your pet’s poop translate to:

Ideal Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Ideal Poop

Ideally, a healthy dog’s poop is moist, firm, has a mild odour and is relatively less in quantity. This means that your dog’s body is processing most of the food that he’s eating, and only excreting the minimal waste that was left undigested. A dog or cat eating a species-appropriate, meat-based diet must not poop beyond 10-15% of their total daily feed. This accounts for the non-digestible fiber or roughage added by vegetables, fruits, bones, feathers or fur of their prey. In cats, this also includes their own body hair that they ingest while grooming themselves.

Big bulky Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Big Poop

Dogs and cats feeding on packaged foods typically produce large quantities of solid poop. Such pets usually create a huge pile of hard and dry poop. This is because most commercial pet foods contain copious amounts of food fillers and indigestible fiber such as beet pulp, soy, rice hulls, and cellulose (label name for sawdust). An ideal diet should contain about 4 – 7% fiber, while most kibbles contain 15 – 50% insoluble fiber content. Pet food companies do this to ensure that your dog stays full for longer while eating their food, and also because they retail their product by weight. Such poop also stinks more because of all the preservatives and synthetic ingredients that go into them.

While pet food companies would want to make you believe that a harder, larger quantity of stool is a sign of good health, logic says otherwise – if your dog is excreting a sizable portion of his food as waste, doesn’t that mean that only a small portion of that food is really ‘useful’? A balanced and nutritious diet will produce minimum waste, hence only a small amount of poop.

Chalky White Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Chalky Poop

Pet dogs or cats eating a high-mineral diet or a raw diet that’s too high on calcium or bones may pass a white, chalky poop that disintegrates very quickly. If you’re feeding any mineral supplements to your pet, you must discontinue them now.

Soft moist loose Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Soft Poop

A soft stool with no visible blood or mucous might indicate a dietary change or a temporary food poisoning. However, if the condition persists, it may indicate the presence of an intestinal parasite.

Sticky greasy Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Greasy Poop

A greasy-looking gray stool can be a sign of too much fat in your dog or cat’s diet. Such a diet can trigger pancreatitis, which can range from mild to life threatening inflammation of the pancreas.

Black tarry Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Tarry Poop

A black, tarry stool typically indicates the presence of blood somewhere in the pet’s digestive system. It can be a sign of injury to the GI tract or could also be a sign of a very serious disease such as cancer.

runny watery diarrhea Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Watery Poop

Watery diarrhea can be a sign of stress or a viral (e.g., parvovirus) or other forms of parasitic infection and can very quickly lead to dehydration, especially in young puppies or kittens. If your pet has come down with a bout of diarrhea, feed him or her light meals and keep the fluids up.

Poop with mucous - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Mucus-y Poop

A soft stool containing or coated with mucus may indicate a bacterial or viral infection or the presence of another parasite. Your vet may prescribe a stool test to confirm the infection.

Worms in Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Wormy Poop

A soft or watery stool with visible worms, eggs, or other uninvited guests is a clear indication of a parasite infestation. Your pet may be due for deworming or down with a more serious infection, should you notice a poop a like that.

Bloody Poop, Blood in poop, blood clots in stool - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Bloody Poop

Firm, soft, or runny poop containing blood or blood clots is almost always a sign of a serious health problem requiring immediate attention. Fresh blood indicates current bleeding, typically from the large intestine or the anus or anal glands. There could be a perforation of the intestinal wall from something your pet ingested, or from the eruption of a tumor or ulcer.

Ideal Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Ideal Poop

Ideally, a healthy dog’s poop is moist, firm, has a mild odour and is relatively less in quantity. This means that your dog’s body is processing most of the food that he’s eating, and only excreting the minimal waste that was left undigested. A dog or cat eating a species-appropriate, meat-based diet must not poop beyond 10-15% of their total daily feed. This accounts for the non-digestible fiber or roughage added by vegetables, fruits, bones, feathers or fur of their prey. In cats, this also includes their own body hair that they ingest while grooming themselves.

Big bulky Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Big Poop

Dogs and cats feeding on packaged foods typically produce large quantities of solid poop. Such pets usually create a huge pile of hard and dry poop. This is because most commercial pet foods contain copious amounts of food fillers and indigestible fiber such as beet pulp, soy, rice hulls, and cellulose (label name for sawdust). An ideal diet should contain about 4 – 7% fiber, while most kibbles contain 15 – 50% insoluble fiber content. Pet food companies do this to ensure that your dog stays full for longer while eating their food, and also because they retail their product by weight. Such poop also stinks more because of all the preservatives and synthetic ingredients that go into them.

While pet food companies would want to make you believe that a harder, larger quantity of stool is a sign of good health, logic says otherwise – if your dog is excreting a sizable portion of his food as waste, doesn’t that mean that only a small portion of that food is really ‘useful’? A balanced and nutritious diet will produce minimum waste, hence only a small amount of poop.

Chalky White Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Chalky Poop

Pet dogs or cats eating a high-mineral diet or a raw diet that’s too high on calcium or bones may pass a white, chalky poop that disintegrates very quickly. If you’re feeding any mineral supplements to your pet, you must discontinue them now.

Soft moist loose Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Soft Poop

A soft stool with no visible blood or mucous might indicate a dietary change or a temporary food poisoning. However, if the condition persists, it may indicate the presence of an intestinal parasite.

Sticky greasy Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Greasy Poop

A greasy-looking gray stool can be a sign of too much fat in your dog or cat’s diet. Such a diet can trigger pancreatitis, which can range from mild to life threatening inflammation of the pancreas.

Black tarry Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Tarry Poop

A black, tarry stool typically indicates the presence of blood somewhere in the pet’s digestive system. It can be a sign of injury to the GI tract or could also be a sign of a very serious disease such as cancer.

runny watery diarrhea Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Watery Poop

Watery diarrhea can be a sign of stress or a viral (e.g., parvovirus) or other forms of parasitic infection and can very quickly lead to dehydration, especially in young puppies or kittens. If your pet has come down with a bout of diarrhea, feed him or her light meals and keep the fluids up.

Poop with mucous - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Mucus-y Poop

A soft stool containing or coated with mucus may indicate a bacterial or viral infection or the presence of another parasite. Your vet may prescribe a stool test to confirm the infection.

Worms in Poop - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Wormy Poop

A soft or watery stool with visible worms, eggs, or other uninvited guests is a clear indication of a parasite infestation. Your pet may be due for deworming or down with a more serious infection, should you notice a poop a like that.

Bloody Poop, Blood in poop, blood clots in stool - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health - Infographic

The Bloody Poop

Firm, soft, or runny poop containing blood or blood clots is almost always a sign of a serious health problem requiring immediate attention. Fresh blood indicates current bleeding, typically from the large intestine or the anus or anal glands. There could be a perforation of the intestinal wall from something your pet ingested, or from the eruption of a tumor or ulcer.

So When to See the Vet for a Poop Problem?

First of all, it’s important to understand that diarrhea is not a health problem, it’s a symptom of a problem. As described above, different types of diarrhea could indicate different health issues – from diet change, to allergies, to parasitic, bacterial or viral infections, to tumors or even something more serious.
 
Most pets (like us humans) experience an occasional episode of loose motions or diarrhea that usually resolves on its own within 12 to 24 hours. The underlying issue in most of these cases is indiscriminate or junk eating or stress. If your dog exhibits normal behaviour even after an incident of diarrhea, is playful and has the same energy level as usual – it’s safe to just keep an eye on him and wait while his stools return to normal in a day or so. For an adult dog or cat, withhold food (but not water) for a few hours and resume meals with a bland diet. At all points, ensure your pet has a fresh and ready source of water to keep him hydrated.
 
However, if your pet is weak, sluggish, has fever and doesn’t display an otherwise normal activity level after a bout of diarrhea, you should contact a vet. If the diarrhea is repeated frequently, or contains blood or anything that’s abnormal, contact your vet immediately.
 

How to Know if Your Dog or Cat has Diarrhea?

It’s important to understand that dogs with diarrhea may not always display the same symptoms as humans with diarrhea. Sometimes dawgie diarrhea causes strain on the dog’s colon, making it more like constipation than diarrhea. Diarrhea upsets the normal rhythm of the muscle contractions in your pet’s GI tract, giving him the feeling that he constantly needs to poop.
 
If you’re around your dog, you may notice signs of discomfort and unrest that he exhibits. At this point, you would obviously let him out to relieve himself. If you’re not around, you may come home to an accident on the floor. And in cases of Small Bowel Disease or chronic diarrhea, many dogs don’t have accidents in the house and don’t have fecal urgency, they simply always have loose, watery stools.
 
Other symptoms that can go along with diarrhea include fever, lethargy, malaise, loss of appetite, and dehydration – some of which can be fatal to dogs and cats, especially the young ones.
 

Small Bowel Disease in Pet Dogs & Cats

Small Bowel Diarrhea is a chronic condition where the first part of the pet’s stool is firm, followed by soft or very loose second half of the bowel movement. This type of diarrhea can be confusing to pet parents, because it can indicate a variety of issues including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, maldigestion, malabsorption, food intolerances, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, dysbiosis, or an Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
 
Poop GIF - What your pet puppy, dog, kitten or cat's poop can tell about their health
 
If you think your pet suffers from chronic diarrhea, passes gas or farts often, poops too much or if his or her poop stinks too much – it may be a good reason to revisit their diet. Such symptoms put excessive stress on your pet’s digestive system and badly affect their overall health.

Normally, if your pet dog or cat is eating a balanced diet with proteins, vitamins, minerals and a right amount of dietary fiber from wholesome sources, his poop should be healthy and in minimum quantity. It’s a sign that his food is almost completely digested and utilized by the body. A species-appropriate meat-based diet keeps their gut healthy, and your furry darling jumpy and joyous!

Real food made from real ingredients and with real love

Commit to your baby's happiness
Get Started

Don't miss an update!

Subscribe to delicious news, pet nutrition & lifestyle tips and new offers.

Digiprove sealThis article has been Digiproved © 2018 DawgieBowl