Every pet owner has horror stories to tell about their dog food affected their pet’s health and their poop. Whether it was the time their dog pooped out a slimy wall splatter or a color that you never thought you would see, dog poop is something that pet owners see multiple times on a daily basis. What you may not know is the color of your dog’s stool says a lot about their health and how their dog food and diet play into their overall health. At the end of the day, color and consistency of dog poop can say a lot about how your pet is feeling.
The first thing you notice is the color. However, when you go to pick up the poop, especially if you are using pet bags rather than a scooper, is the consistency of the stool. The ideal consistency is moist and soft, yet firm stools. When the stool is watery, it can be a sign of an upset stomach due to dog food or GI tract issue. While this does not mean you need to rush to the vet, simply wait and see if this continues.
On the other hand, if your dog has hard, dry poop then you could be dealing with constipation. Often this has nothing to do with dog food and is the result of dehydration, though there could be other factors at play here. Take the time to use natural constipation remedies and if this does not cure the issue, or if your dog seems to be in pain or losing weight, take them to the vet
The Colors of the Rainbow
The color of your dogs poop can mean a number of things. For instance, many people do not know that food dyes can show up in your dog’s poop. This means if your dog eats blue iced sugar cookies, then do not be surprised when their poop shows up blue. While some color variation is normal, especially if you are using a rotational diet or if you’re trying a new dog food, if you notice a dramatic color change then there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Orange, Yellow or Pale Colored-This is generally an issue with the liver. It could be the sign of a sign of liver or biliary disease or it could simply mean that your dog’s poop moved too fast through the GI tract to pick up the bile which changes the color to the normal brown you recognize.
- Yellow Mucus – When the stool is loose, full of mucus and is yellow in color, it is typically the result of a food intolerance. This is especially important to pay attention to if you are feeding your pet a new dog food.
- Grey and Greasy – This can be a sign of EPI, which is commonly referred to as maldigestion. Essentially this means the pancreas is not functioning properly. It is a common issue for German Shepherds and Collies. The good news is that this is a very treatable condition, but it is serious so take your dog to the vet right away.
- Green– This could be a sign that your dog has been eating an excessive amount of grass. It can also indicate a parasite, ingestion of rat bait or other issues. Watch the poop to see if this continues to know whether a trip to the vet is needed.
- Red– This is often a sign of blood in the stools. You want to look and see if it is the result of a cut on the anus or not. If not, then you need to take your pet to the vet.
- Black and tarry– It can be the result of bleeding in the upper GI tract. With this, your vet will often do blood work, a stool sample and ultrasound to determine the cause of the issue.
- Polka Dot– If you notice white dots or what looks like rice in your dog’s poop then this can be the result of worms. There are deworming solutions you can purchase to take care of the worms.