The following Colors of Poop are a home reference guide. Consult with your veterinarian for specifics.
When everything is in balance, the stool should have the look of a color range of light to dark browns, anything from ocher to mahogany. A complex mix of healthy digestive secretions color feces this way. Stool produced by a dog on a raw diet will vary more in hue than will that from commercial food.
Be aware that dyes used in some foods or treats can stain feces almost any color.
Fresh-ground raw beets may innocently stain poop a deep red that can look and ooze almost like blood, whereas commercial diets that contain beet pulp probably won’t have the same effect.
Yellow, hard stool often results from a diet that contains a lot of bone meal and is generally of lesser quality food ingredients.
Soft yellow stool can indicate a serious problem like a viral infection, especially if it is yellow diarrhea, with or without vomiting.
Pumpkin may add an orange color to the stool and that is normal.
Green may not always indicate there is something wrong, but it can indicate imbalances. These may be momentary and caused by something the dog recently ate or reflect development of longer-term problems such as parasites or an organ issue.
White or very pale and hard stool is often produced by dogs on a raw diet containing bone meal. It may appear in one feces but not in another on the same day. It may be slightly difficult for the animal to pass, as it can be comparatively hard, but is not usually a cause for concern. Consider removing bone meal from the diet and replacing it with a form of calcium gluconate with vitamin D. The addition of good quality vegetable fiber to your dog’s diet can help to ease or soften the situation. Some raw food advocates maintain that harder solids such as bone meal or undigested bits of carrot in the stool help keep the dog’s anal glands healthy by stimulating them to express the poop on its way out.
Bloody red stool is an emergency situation. It could have been caused by the dog having swallowed something that is causing damage in the Gastro Intestinal tract, or by a severe food allergy. It can also signify other problems, such as cancer. Red blood or red blood mucus that looks like raspberry jam can indicate a life-threatening disease. When you see bloody stool, have your dog seen by your veterinarian immediately.
Tarry or black stool, resembling coffee grounds, or flakes is an emergency situation and may signify bleeding from the stomach or from high in the small intestine. Blood from high in the Gastro Intestinal Tract gets digested on its way through the system, which is why it comes out black.
Caveats: a meal of raw organ meats, such as brain or spleen, may also produce black feces in healthy dogs on raw diets. Pepto-Bismol can cause very dark stool if you have recently administered it. None of these will produce the appearance of coffee grinds, just black stool.
If you cannot identify a possible cause, take your dog immediately to the veterinarian.
Your dog’s poop tells a wonderful story and that story can ultimately save your dog’s life. You can learn much about what is going on in your dog’s life while providing you guidance on the best way to support the health of your beloved companion.
Dig in and explore the world of poop, learn to read the signs. Your dog will love you for taking that extra interest in what he/she leaves behind. Remember, the poop is generated from the foods, treats ingested – high quality ingredients going into your dog will generate high quality poop coming out!
Always make the effort to “Take A Look See” it is important and you may be surprised!
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