It’s not the most glamorous topic, but your dog’s poop can tell you a lot about their digestive system!
Not sure what different colors or consistencies mean? Wondering what your dog’s poop might say about what they are eating? Noticing a change while your furry friend is transitioning to a new diet? You’ve come to the right place.
Let’s explore the various types of dog poo (and what they mean), then take a deeper look at the positive impact raw and air-dried food can have on gut health.
Ideal consistency, coating, content & color
When it comes to assessing your dog’s poop, consider the 4 Cs:
Consistency - on a scale of ‘super runny’ to ‘rock-hard pellets’, where does your dog’s poop sit? Ideally, it’s a formed stool with the consistency of Play-Doh (holds its form, but can easily be squished).
Coating - there should be no mucus coating or film on your dog’s poop (mucus could be an indication that something is irritating their colon). You should be able to scoop it up and leave no trail behind.
Content - unfortunately, this is the trickiest ‘C’ to assess without a close-up inspection! Watch out for:
- Grass (which could be an indication of a tummy upset)
- Spaghetti-like strands (possibly ringworm)
- Rice-like flakes (possibly tapeworm)
- Lots of fur (could indicate overgrooming due to stress or allergies)
- You should also see no sign of foreign objects - although some dogs are more inclined than others to swallow the odd toy or piece of plastic!
Color - a ‘normal’ poop is a shade of chocolate brown, but it depends on the individual dog and the diet they’re eating. The below chart outlines the color you want to aim for… and those you want to avoid.
Dog poop color chart
Find out what’s healthy and what could be cause for concern.
The impact of diet on digestive health
Diet plays a major role supporting digestive health and maintaining healthy stools.
You only have to look at the difference in size between a raw or raw alternative-fed dog’s poop and a kibble-fed dog’s poop to see the impact of diet on digestion.
A dog eating a raw or raw alternative diet (like ZIWI Peak®, which is gently air-dried) will have naturally healthy stools, which tend to be smaller and darker in nature. Why? Because these diets are more digestible. The more digestible the food, the smaller the poop!
A raw/raw alternative diet can also deter some dogs away from a poop-eating habit, because their stools are less smelly - and therefore less ‘enticing’.
Kibble-fed dogs, on the other hand, produce a smellier (and much larger) poop because their bodies aren't designed to absorb the high level of grains and fiber found in those diets.
Try raw alternative air-dried foods for added convenience
The benefits of a raw diet are widely documented, but it can be difficult to get the balance of nutrients right when you’re preparing your own raw diet at home (too much calcium results in a very hard stool, for example).
This is why a raw alternative diet like ZIWI Peak works perfectly for many pet guardians - we take the guesswork out of finding the right balance and offer nature's nutrients in a ready-to-serve format. Each recipe has high inclusions and variety of meat, organs, seafood and bone in whole-prey ratios, so you know your furry friend is getting everything they need to thrive.
If you’re considering transitioning to ZIWI Peak, make sure you follow our transitioning guide to ensure the process is a comfortable one for both you and your pet. Dogs with existing digestive issues will benefit greatly from switching to ZIWI, but the transition period needs to be done carefully.
Remember to scoop, check, chuck
Once your dog has adjusted to an air-dried diet, it’s important to keep an eye on their daily bathroom habits. As awkward as it may seem, being familiar with your dog’s poop is an important part of supporting their overall health and wellness.
All it takes is a quick inspection - scoop, check, chuck!
The odd poop that doesn't quite fit the ‘ideal’ description isn't necessarily cause for concern, but the better you can understand what’s normal and what’s not, the better equipped you’ll be to step in and help your furry friend when they need it.