What should my dog’s poop look like?

by Dr. Tory Waxman, VMD

Your dog’s poop should be a shade of brown and firm enough to pick up but not so hard that they struggle to defecate.

For those of us that don’t have backyards, we get the pleasure of picking up our dog’s poop at least once (usually more) times per day. Although not a pleasant task, it does give you one daily metric to monitor your dog’s health. 

Consistency - Your pup’s poop should be firm enough to pick up but not so hard that they struggle to defecate. Overly soft and overly firm stool can both be a cause for concern. 

Color - Your pup’s poop should be light brown to dark brown in color. Sometimes their poop can be multiple shades of brown depending on the variety of food and treats they eat. Other colors - such as yellow, orange/green, red, grey or black could be a sign of an underlying health issue and a cause for concern.

Shape - Their stool should be formed into little logs - if it is too round (think small little balls) that can mean your dog is constipated or if it’s very skinny that could be a sign of soft stool or impending diarrhea.

About the author

Tory Waxman, VMD

Co-Founder & Chief Veterinary Officer

Dr. Waxman is a practicing small-animal veterinarian.

She received a BS in Animal Sciences with Distinction in Research from Cornell University and her vet degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she did original research at the Penn Working Dog Center. Tory completed her internship in veterinary medicine at the world-renowned Animal Medical Center in New York City where she treated an actual lame duck and saw a hungry snake that hadn’t eaten in a year.

Tory grew up outside of Chicago with chocolate labs. She’s not sure why she ever gave up her first job, which was as a dog beach attendant on Lake Michigan. About 7 years ago she rescued a mixed breed terrier named Mabel who is obsessed with tennis balls. Mabel is also her tireless running buddy who completed a 14-mile run while Tory was training for the Chicago Marathon. Tory enjoys dog training and competing in dog sports such as agility and dock diving.

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