What Does My Dog’s Poo Mean? What your adorable dog's poop can tell you about their health - including colours that are warning signs 🐶

It’s not the most pleasant of jobs for dog owners, but having a quick look at your pup’s poop can help diagnose issues before they become serious

Did you know your dog’s poo can tell you a lot about their health?

Research from dog-friendly holiday lettings specialist Canine Cottages tells you all about the language of dog poop and what it might reveal about your pooch’s health.

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An expert from Canine Cottages explained: “We know that pet owners are always trying to ensure their furry friends are happy and healthy, and while our dogs can’t tell us themselves if something is wrong, their toilet habits can speak for them. We hope this content will be useful for any dog owners to identify problems with their pooches and seek help if necessary.”

Here’s everything you need to know.

What does a healthy poo look like?

The food your dog eats shapes the look of their doo-doo, so it’s important to know what a healthy poo looks like based on their diet:

Traditional food: Milk-chocolate coloured, moist and firm, slight odour.

A quick check of your dog's leavings can flag up health problems early.A quick check of your dog's leavings can flag up health problems early.
A quick check of your dog's leavings can flag up health problems early.

Raw food: light in colour, small balls of poop, almost odourless.

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Kibble food: chocolate coloured, large quantities, mousse-textured, strong odour.

If you change your dog’s diet from one of these food types to another, don’t be concerned if the consistency of their poop changes as this is normal, especially as your dog is adjusting to the new diet. When it comes to colour and texture, a healthy poop is usually brown with a firm consistency.

How to spot an unhealthy poo

There are a few warning signs to look out for when it comes to monitoring your dog’s poop – the first thing is to be aware of the colour. Healthy poos are traditionally brown, so if your dog is pooping the rainbow, here’s what it means:

Green: common if your dog eats a lot of grass, but could be a parasite poisoning so best to get this checked out if it continues.

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White: A diet too high in calcium/bone. Common with raw food diets.

Yellow: This signals a food intolerance.

Orange: Could be a signal that the food has been digested without enough bile, but also signals a liver issue.

Grey: a shiny, greasy grey poop indicates too much fat in your dog’s diet.

Black: black tar-like poop could indicate the presence of blood in the digestive system, or an ulcer. Seek help.

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Raspberry/Red: This is the one you should be most concerned about. Red poo indicates bleeding, either internal (raspberry/purple coloured and sticky in consistency) or from the GI tract/anus/anal glands (red/blood in poo). You should seek help from a vet immediately, especially if it’s the former as this is a serious condition.

Other warning signs

Any unusual lumps, bumps or texture in your dog’s poo can also signal trouble. If your dog has one healthy poop followed by a loose second poop this can signal a number of issues, including IBS, food intolerances or maldigestion.

A watery poop can be a sign of stress or infection and can lead to dehydration. A mucus-coated poop may indicate the presence of parasites or, worst case, parvovirus. In these instances, monitor your dog closely and if you see no improvement, take them to the vet to seek help.

When to contact your vet

An isolated case of diarrhoea or one of these unhealthy poops does not always mean trouble, especially if your dog seems fine in itself and is behaving normally, with no changes in their feeding or drinking habits. However, it’s important to know that it could be the start of a serious health condition and in the following instances it’s best to seek help from a vet:

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- If there’s a sudden change that doesn’t relate to a new diet

- If your dog’s poo signals bleeding

- If your dog is consistently doing unhealthy poops without change

- If your dog has rice-like flecks in their poop as this could mean your dog has tapeworms

- Long thin strands in their poop, this could signal the presence of roundworms

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- If your dog’s toilet habits have changed and you have any concerns, always visit a vet

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