The Whole Scoop on Poop
Let’s face it, poop is gross. It's smelly and messy, but it is also an important window onto our pet’s health. Depending on the four C’s—color, consistency, coating and contents—bowel movements can tell us a lot about what’s going on inside our pet’s body. Find out the difference between a normal stool and when it’s time to visit the vet.
Perfect poops are brown. However, sometimes you’ll notice slight changes in color depending your pet’s last meal. If your pet’s poop is yellow, the pancreas might be the culprit. Green can indicate grass-eating, a natural remedy for a queasy stomach, but it can also signify more serious issues and should be mentioned to your vet. Red or black-colored stools require immediate attention. These colors can indicate internal bleeding in the upper or lower GI tract. If you notice dramatic color shifts lasting for more than a few days, it’s time to visit the vet asap!
Your pet’s normal bowel movements should be long, nubby and tube-shaped. If your canine or feline buddy is pooping little pellets, this means she’s constipated. Watery stools are a clear sign your pet is suffering from diarrhea. Home remedies, such as pumpkin or slippery elm powder, are usually enough to cure occasional flare-ups. If your pet’s stools haven’t normalized within 72 hours, consult with your vet.
Pet stool is normally coating-free and easy to scoop. There are times when you may detect a clear or slightly colored coating. Don’t freak out as this is not cause for alarm. These coatings are extra mucus your dog or cat’s intestines produced to help stubborn stools slide out with ease.
It’s normal to spot the occasional hairball when cleaning up your pet’s poop. But if you notice anything that resembles white strings, proceed with caution. And be sure not to come in contact with your bare hands or feet, or let children play in the area where your dog or cat does his business. Your pet may have parasitic worms and should be seen by a vet. With time and the right medicine, your pet will be back to normal.
There’s a lot more to poop than meets the nose. Watching out for changes in color or consistency is one of the best, and simplest, ways to keep an eye on your pet’s health.