Dog poop is one of the quickest, easiest health barometers there are! I’m not ashamed to admit it, I look forward to my dog’s poop every day! It’s like a daily vet consult because there is SO much information found there. This is less true for dogs that eat the same kibble daily because their poop usually doesn’t change, but it works for them too. The biggest difference between kibble and raw fed dog poop is the amount. Kibble is mostly filler so it creates very large stools where as raw fed dogs’ absorb more and poop less. They also smell less. Otherwise the recognizable signs of health issues for each are the same.
Raw fed dog owners tend to pay much more attention to their dogs poop, (especially when they make their own food) because like their diet, it changes everyday. There may not be huge differences when the diet and digestive track is healthy but they still vary to some degree. This list is a quick reference guide to the most common things to look out for. There are more advanced lists but it’s a good place to start. Understanding poop goes hand in hand with understanding diet. When you can recognize what the poop is “saying” you can know how to adjust the diet before the next meal.
Poop Color and Action to take
White – too much bone, lack of nutrient absorption or old poop
Yellow – Parasites or bacteria
Orange – food coloring (or carrots) but could be blood tinged
Red – blood from large intestines or anal area
Brown – normal
Black – Digestive blood CALL THE VET
Green – Gi Hypermotility, bile not fully digested
Mucous – secretory or detox response (if the mucous is ‘wormy’ though call the vet!)
Blue or Aqua – Rat poison or toys
Grey – The right amount of bile isn’t being produced (could be a sign of EPI or Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency)
This list is from keep the tail wagging and there are many more.
Hopefully most won’t happen but it’s good info. As a raw feeder I mostly look out for white or brown and the consistency.
Poop should be firm and moist. Too much fat or organ is usually dark brown and too mushy. I’d fix this by using less organ and more bone. Too white, next meal less bone. So on and so forth. I have yet to see anything outside of these 3 (brown, dark brown & runny and white) but I keep my eye out for yellow and green for sure.
Diarrhea is something that happens to almost all dogs at some point. In our case I would examine her last meal. Sometimes we just can’t identify the source for sure and sometimes it’s just adjusting to a new food. Color and hydration should be monitored and if it doesn’t pass, call the vet, but it usually clears up in a day or so. Some things that may help are:
Adding bone to raw food
Slippery Elm Bark
Olewo dehydrated carrots
There are many VOLUMES written on this subject, this is just a quick reference and reminder to value your poo! 😉
Another great idea for raw feeders especially, is to keep a meal journal. That way you can link the poop directly to the meal and make adjustments easier for the future. It would also come in handy if you ever needed to see the vet!!
Here are a few more charts but there are a ton out there.
Here is a link for more info: