If you have a young new puppy, you're probably dealing with a lot of poop on a regular basis.
Your new canine companion is just starting to learn the ropes and is going through the exciting process of housetraining.
Accidents are bound to happen. While many owners quickly pick up the mess and don't give it a second thought, it's a good idea to take a good hard look at what your puppy produced.
Sure, it sounds gross. However, looking at your puppy's poop is one of the easiest ways to see what's going on inside their bodies.
Dog Poop can Tell a Lot
Feces is a direct byproduct of the things they eat. It goes through their system and can pick up all kinds of things along the way.
If your furry friend is experiencing a health issue, you'll be able to see it in their stool. Keeping an eye on your dog's feces is a great way to monitor their development during this crucial phase in their life.
If you notice any sudden changes in their poop's appearance, you can bring them to a vet and get help. So what exactly does healthy poop look like?
The Importance of Poop
Truth is, not every dog's poop is going to look the same. Every creature's body reacts differently to the food that they consume. The key to catching health issues is to make note of any drastic changes in its appearance.
You should also monitor your dog's behavior. In many cases, strange stool is a one-off event that doesn't require immediate care. However, if your dog is exhibiting other strange behaviors, it may be an indicator that things aren't going so well in your pup's body.
Vets rely heavily on stool samples to determine a dog's overall health status. Many health issues in canines don't manifest themselves physically.
Of course, dog's can't tell us that they have a stomach ache or organ issues either.
We have to look elsewhere for symptoms. Feces is directly affected by your dog's body processes. By examining the physical characteristics of poop, we can determine how your dog's body is using food, how organs are performing, and much more.
What Does Healthy Feces Look Like?
Evaluating your dog's poop is never fun, but it's an important thing to do regularly.
During your inspection, there are a few different aspects that you should be examining closely. These include color, texture, and contents.
Healthy poop is relatively easy to spot. When it comes to color, your pup's feces should have a medium brown color. Slightly lighter or darker shades isn't normally a cause for concern.
*The exact color may change frequently due to the amount of water your dog is drinking.
The texture of their stool should be solid and segmented. Healthy stool typically comes out of your dog as a single segmented coil. It may break apart as it hits the ground.
As long as it doesn't come out in a bunch of tiny little pieces or as a shapeless blob, your puppy is doing just fine.
Finally, there's content. This is one of the most important things to look out for. To get a good idea of what your puppy's poop is hiding, you'll need to break it apart.
Healthy poop should be made of nothing but the brown stuff. It should break apart easily and there shouldn't be any visible food pieces inside.
In addition to the overall appearance of your pup's poop, you should pay attention to the frequency and size of the droppings. There are no hard guidelines that indicate healthiness when it comes to frequency.
Some dogs relieve themselves only once a day while others do the deed every few hours. This usually isn't a sign of underlying issues. As long as your pooch is consistent, they should be healthy.
Common Signs of Health Issues
If you monitor your dog's poop closely, you'll be able to tell immediately when something doesn't look right. The quality of your dog's stool can change fast.
Here are some common changes you may notice and what they could mean for your young pup. It's a good idea to take your pup to a vet for in-depth testing if these problems occur.
Young puppies sometimes produce stool that's covered in grease or mucus. The grease may be a result of too much fat in their food. Their body may have had a difficult time processing the fat.
As a result, it stayed in their digestive tract and stuck onto the stool as it passed. This problem can be fixed easily by modifying their diet. Issues will usually subside after a couple of days.
If there's a clear mucus on the droppings, it may indicate that their bowels are irritated. The intestines are very sensitive and will respond to anything they don't agree with by producing mucus. It's a defense mechanism that protects the cells. While they may be experiencing discomfort, the issue is not serious and will pass within a few days.
Puppies are very susceptible to parasites. Many contract worms before they're even born. They can get it from their mother. Not only that, but their inquisitive nature puts them in the position to contract parasites from their environments.
The most common types of worms you'll see in your dog's stool are roundworms and tapeworms.
Worms can lead to a host of health problems if they're not treated properly. They're essentially depriving your puppy of the nutrition they need to thrive. It's important that you see a vet as soon as possible.
Whole Pieces of Food
Pieces of food in the stool may indicate absorption and digestion problems. This is fairly common among puppies. Young puppies are still getting used to eating solid food. Their systems may not be prepared for the job just yet.
Some ingredients, such as corn, wheat, or soy, are difficult for canines to digest altogether. If you regularly see undigested food in their poop, you may want to reevaluate their diet and invest in a high-quality puppy food.
Changes in Color
Drastic changes in color could mean a number of different things.
Black stool may mean that your dog is bleeding internally. Blood in the stomach or intestines can be digested, resulting in the dark black color.
Red or purple streaks in the poop may be fresh blood. If you notice that your dog is having to push hard to relieve themselves, they may have popped a blood vessel from constipation. In the worst-case scenario, the blood may be a sign of the deadly parvovirus.
Other colors are also possible. You can see shades of orange, green, and white. These all indicate organ issues. While it's definitely alarming, it's important that you remain calm and bring your puppy to the vet as soon as possible. Color changes should be taken seriously.
To sum up, here's a video on what normal puppy poop should look like.
When you're picking up your puppy's poop, you should take the time to examine it. By keeping an eye on furry friends bowel movements, you can monitor their health and spot potential health issues early on.
Also Read: Why is my Puppy Always Hungry?