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How Dog Poop Shows Signs of Health Problems

Updated on February 19, 2009

If you have ever been puzzled about pooh related issues then this is the article for you.

We are all faced with those routine potty breaks. If you own a dog or any type of pet for that matter you will learn quickly when its time to take your pet out. Or find yourself discovering not so friendly presents laying around your home. What many people don't know is that you can actually save yourself an expensive visit to the vet by monitoring this potty break time and even save your best friend from developing more severe issues. By paying attention to you will have a whole new understanding for your pet and since verbal communication is still on hiatus, it really is the best method. If you have ever been puzzled about pooh related issues then this is the article for you. Here are all the answers to the questions you always wanted to ask, but never did.

Q: What should my dog’s poop look like?

A:  Healthy dog's pooh should be firm, small and moist. Although this sounds gross it is the truth. If it is large and loose a possible cause could be your pet’s diet.Typically smaller portioned foods, a lack in protein and even poor quality can have severe impacts on their overall health. Just like a human, what goes into your pets food has a direct effect on their overall well being. We have all had that guilty feeling of eating junk food or even feeling sick after a "bad" meal, and think about what your dogs food is comprised of and how good that would feel day in and day out. Low quality food will result in larger than normal stools (poop) because poor quality food is not easily digested and results in more waste.

Q: Why does my dog eat pooh when we go on walks?

A: This phenomenon is relatively common among dogs and is called coprophagy. In some cases it is caused by boredom or separation anxiety and poses no health risk to your dog. In other cases it can be a symptom of a case of worms or other parasites. Your dog may be eating pooh to replace nutrients that the parasites are absorbing. In some cases there is simply a deficiency in her diet and can be fixed by switching to a higher quality food.

Q: My dog’s stool has small white spots that look like grains of rice, what could these be?

A: Your dog might have a worm infestation. Of the several types of worms this could be, it is most likely roundworms or hookworms. These two types of worms are visible in canine stools. Some puppies are born with worms that they got from their mother and other dogs can get them through close contact with the feces of dogs that have worms themselves. Your Veterinarian can prescribe a wormer depending on the type of parasite your dog has. You should have your Vet check a stool sample from your pet as part of their yearly examination. Intestinal parasites can cause diarrhea, weight loss, vomiting and other more serious side effects if left untreated.

Q: My dog has had diarrhea for a few days, is this normal?

A: Diarrhea is quite common among dogs and can vary from stool that is merely soft to watery stools. Often times this is simply a result of her eating something that did not agree with her. Dogs can be quite the scavengers. They could have eaten a foreign food item or leaves and in some cases, even rocks! When diarrhea is the result it is simply their body purging their system of toxins and is completely normal. In these cases you should cut your dog’s food intake in half and administer a probiotic vitamin until the condition clears up. There are some cases; however, that require Veterinary care. When diarrhea is accompanied by lethargy, bloating or abdominal pain, persistent vomiting or blood in the stool it is best to seek medical care.

Although this is not the most glamorous job in the world and it certainly will make finding the person of your dreams a little more difficult (unless they do the same thing - in this case it may help) monitoring your dogs health during this break time is the most effective way to self diagnose potential health problems before the become serious. You are also saving yourself from those pointless vet trips when all your pooch has is an upset stomach.


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Pumpkin has tons of fiber and can cause diarrhea.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What is the white dotts in my dogs stool?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great article on a stinky subject, haha. All I know is that I put my dog on a natural, grain-free dog food with prebiotics in it, and he never had diarreah again, and only poops twice a day, like clockwork. I have less to clean up and the smell isn’t is bad as it used to be and I know this is because he is eating Natural Balance Alpha. There are no fillers in it, so there are less bad things in the dog waste. I’m just glad the backyard is easier to clean.

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      10 years ago

      hey, my dog is having diarrhea. but im not sure why thou, might be the food i give her? i gave her carrots, pumpkins with mince pork and the next day , she starts having diarrhea. Is waterly and slimy so i dunno is the food i gave causes it. can someone help me?

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      My dog is a year old and he's house broken but has had been poohing in his cage and in my room he has never done that I feel bad for him. Ur reasurch and advice really helped thanks so much ur a real big help. Barks and kisses Sarah and sampson


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