One of the less enjoyable parts of having a dog is picking up their poop. Although it’s a necessary part of dog ownership, it’s never particularly fun to get up close and personal with poop — yours or anyone else’s.
Picking up your dog’s poop is a good way to tell if they ate something weird while you weren’t looking — a sock, your kid’s crayons, or maybe just a chicken bone.
Just like human poop, dog poop reveals if there is something wrong with your pup.
Even though it’s gross, your dog’s poop can actually tell you a lot about their health — more than just the weird things chewed or ate.
Without prodding through the dog poop, there are some easy ways to tell if something weird is going on with their health.
Veterinarians look at the four Cs when examining a dog’s poop — and it’s something you can do as well.
What Are The 4 Cs of Dog Poop?
Veterinarian Jessica Vogelsang explains that the four Cs stand for Consistency, Coating, Contents, and Color.
Consistency: Your dog’s poop should not be so hard that it comes out as pellets, and it should not be so soft that you can’t pick it up easily. While one runny poop is nothing to worry about, if your dog consistently has diarrhea, call your vet.
Coating: Like human poop, dog poop should not have any sort of coating. If there’s mucus or a significant amount of blood coating your dog’s poop, call your vet.
Contents: When considering the contents of your dog’s poop, you should just look out for anything extremely out of the ordinary. If you find something that concerns you, call your vet.
Color: Since your dog’s poop can be a variety of colors, with each meaning something different, we’ll delve into each one with more specifics. Read on below!
What Does The Color Of Dog Poop Mean?
Dog Poop Color #1: White, Chalky Poop
If your dog’s poop has ever been white and chalky-looking, you probably assumed that something was wrong — that’s definitely not the correct color for poop.
Dogs on a raw food diet are the most likely to have white, chalky poop. According to Dr. Becker of Healthy Pets, this color of poop may mean that your dog’s diet is too high in calcium or bone.
If your dog’s poop remains this color for more than two bowel movements, give your vet a call.
Dog Poop Color #2: Green Poop
Green dog poop has a few possible explanations — it’s possible that your dog has just eaten a large quantity of grass or leaves, but it could also be more serious.
If your dog’s poop is green, it could be caused by rat-bait poisoning, a parasite, or some other internal issue.
If your dog has green poop, it’s time to call your vet.
Dog Poop Color #3: Black/Maroon Poop
Black or maroon poop is usually an indication that there is bleeding higher up in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
Veterinarian Shea Cox explained to The Barkthat black, tarry stools could be from a bleeding ulcer and require an immediate trip to the vet.
The black poop indicates that blood has been digested, which means that your dog may be losing a lot of blood internally.
If you notice your dog’s poop is very dark maroon or black with a tarry consistency, take them to your vet right away.
Dog Poop Color #4: Brown Poop With Red Streaks
Brown poop with red streaks, as you may guess, is an indication that your dog is bleeding somewhere along their large intestine.
Normally it’s not an emergency, says Veterinarian Shea Cox, but it’s a good idea to pay close attention to your dog’s next poops and behavior.
Dog Poop Color #5: Yellow Poop
Like many of the other colors of poop, yellow poop can indicate a few different health problems with your dog.
Often, it indicates a food intolerance — so if you’ve recently changed your dog’s diet, that may be the reason for your dog’s stomach upset, explains Carrie Jelovich.
Alternatively, yellow-orange or light, pasty stools may indicate biliary or liver disease. Shea Cox explains that it could also mean your dog’s food traveled too quickly from the small intestine to the colon.
Call your vet if you notice yellow dog poop, and see if they want to set up diagnostic tests for your dog.
Dog Poop Color #6: Brown Poop With White Spots
Brown poop with white spots or flecks may be an indication that your dog has worms.
Worms regularly look like little flecks of white rice in your dog’s poop.
Jessica Vogelsang explains that worms may also look long and skinny, almost like strands of spaghetti, so keep an eye out for those as well.
Luckily, worms are completely treatable, so take your dog to the vet for a quick fix.
Dog Poop Color #7: Gray, Greasy Poop
If your dog’s poop looks gray, greasy, or fatty, it may be due to maldigestion. Dog poop that glistens is a possible indicator of malabsorption of nutrients.
When you take your dog to the vet with this type of poop, they will generally look for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), which means the pancreas isn’t functioning as it should be, explains Shea Cox.
Dog Poop Color #8: Pink/Purple Poop
Dog Poop Color #9: Orange Poop
Similar to yellow poop, if your dog has orange poop, it may mean that the poop moved too quickly though the gastrointestinal tract.
Unfortunately, it could also be a liver problem or biliary disease, so call your vet if you notice orange poop or diarrhea.
Since dogs truly are man’s best friend, it’s so important for us to understand how to care for them.
Dogs can’t communicate the way humans can, so we have to make sure we can identify when they’re feeling sick.
Like any member of the family, dogs deserve the best when it comes to their health, so if you’re ever unsure about your dog’s behavior or poop, call your vet.