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.

What are the signs of a healthy dog? Here’s the smelly truth: you can keep an eye on your pup’s poop to learn more about their internal wellbeing.
 
For those of us without 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 provide a great daily metric to monitor your dog’s health. 

What Should Dog Poop Look Like?

Dogs will tell you quite a bit about their health based on their stool. Based on a few factors, poop can help you identify digestive issues in your dog before they even begin. The lovely dog poop chart below shows the ideal stool shape, size and consistency along with what constipation and diarrhea look like.
 
 
Here are the three factors to judge when picking up your pet’s poop: 
 
1. Dog Stool Consistency
Type 3 and 4 from the above dog poop chart are the ideal consistencies of a healthy stool. Your pup’s poop should be firm enough to pick up but not so hard that they struggle to defecate. An overly soft or firm stool can both be a cause for concern. 
 
An easy way to measure consistency is to pick up the dog stool with a poop bag. If the poop leaves a large amount of residue on the ground or is too watery to pick up cleanly, your dog may have diarrhea. But if the stool is very firm & dry, constipation could be the issue. 
 
2. Dog Poop Color 
The ideal color of your pup’s poop should be light to dark brown in color. The exact shade of brown is different for every dog depending on their diet. Other colors - such as yellow, orange/green, red, gray or black could be a sign of an underlying health issue and a cause for concern.

  • Black stool could indicate bleeding in the digestive tract 
  • Red streaks in otherwise brown poop is another sign of bleeding in the lower digestive tract
  • Grey or yellow stools may signify issues in the pancreas, liver or gallbladder
 
3. Shape of Your Dog’s Poop
Healthy stools should be formed into little logs. If it is too round (think small little balls like type 1), that can mean your dog is constipated. If it’s very skinny or stringy, that could signify impending diarrhea.
 

A Healthy Dog Diet Is Essential for Healthy Stool

The clean ingredients in our Sundays All-Natural Chicken recipe.
You can improve your dog’s health and prevent any digestion issues by feeding them a high-quality diet. Sundays is made with whole, all-natural ingredients that support your dog’s digestive system. Here’s a peek at what’s inside: 

Pumpkin
Pumpkin is rich in vitamins and minerals, making it a superfood for dogs and humans alike. It is a natural source of fiber to regulate your dog’s digestion. That means it can help with constipation and diarrhea.

Ginger
You can find ginger in both our beef and chicken recipes. Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory that can soothe your dog’s digestive tract and reduce nausea. Ginger is also considered a carminative herb, meaning it can help prevent and relieve your dog’s gas. 

Apples
An apple a day can keep the vet away, which is why Sundays’ recipes include apples. Apples are rich in fiber, vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants. Along with easing your dog’s digestion, the nutrients in apples can help regulate their weight. 

Cleaner Ingredients, Cleaner Bowls

At Sundays, we use only whole and all-natural ingredients to keep your pup happy and healthy. Find out more about our ingredients and how our food can help your dog’s digestion at sundaysfordogs.com/food/ingredients

Talk to Your Vet

Every dog is unique, so be sure to consult your vet if you notice any problems with your dog’s stool. They can help identify any digestive issues and create a treatment plan with you. 

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. Over 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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