Understanding Dog Poop: The Complete Bowel Movement Guide

If your dog’s poop looks funny, is very solid or runny, or smells extremely unpleasant, the causes can be harmless but can also be serious.

The color or consistency of your dog’s droppings will tell you if he just ate something wrong or if he has a serious medical condition.

This article tells you what you can find out from the dog excrement.

In a nutshell: How do I assess my dog’s faeces?

Diarrhea, watery, or slimy poop can be a sign that something is wrong with your dog’s stomach. Dog poo should be compact, moist, and easy to pick up. And if your dog’s poop is hard or dry, that could be a sign of your dog’s constipation.

Discoloration or extreme odor can also be indicators that something is wrong with your dog.

How often should a dog have a bowel movement?

There are no clear guidelines for how many times a dog needs to defecate each day. However, a healthy dog should have a bowel movement once or twice a day.

Depending on the number of meals, the type of food, and snacks or treats, your dog may also defecate up to 5 times a day.

Other factors include body size and race. It is best to get an idea of normal bowel movements and their frequency during your daily walks.

What does the color of dog poop say?

While not a very pleasant topic, poop is a real gauge of your dog’s health.

From a civic and health point of view, it should go without saying that you should always pick up your dog’s droppings. It is good for our dog’s health to pay attention to what we collect in the bag to get an idea of it.

The feces of a healthy, properly fed dog will be firm without being hard, easy to collect, not overly odorous, and brown in color (light to dark brown). A color other than brown and an unusual consistency can often be signs of disease.

It is therefore very important to observe the colour, odor and consistency of the faeces as this is a very important indicator of the health of the animal.

Color changes can be harmless and can be attributed to certain ingredients in the diet. However, they can also be indicators of deficiencies or diseases.

The following list will help you to assess the feces.

Yellow dog poop

Feces of this color can occur when the diet contains a high proportion of carrots or squash.

Yellow dog poop can also indicate iron deficiency or liver disease.

Giardia infestation is also a possibility with this coloration, which occurs most frequently.

Black dog poop

Blackening, also known as tarry stool, is normal if you’ve fed your dog a lot of blood or spleen. Otherwise, it may be bleeding in the upper digestive tract. There may be injuries in the esophagus, stomach, or small intestine.

Dog poop black on the outside and brown on the inside
This coloration can indicate blood in the stool and could indicate a more serious gastrointestinal problem.

Feces that simply appear darker than normal can be the result of dehydration, constipation, or consumption of dark foods or iron-rich foods or supplements.

Gray dog ​​poop

Gray dog ​​poop is a sign of poor fat digestion. For example, it is an indicator of a diseased pancreas or gallbladder problems.

Green dog poop

Green poo usually occurs in your dog after eating large amounts of green foods such as lettuce, spinach or grass.

Otherwise, these may be signs of gallbladder disease.

Red dog poop

Red-colored faeces occur, among other things, when eating beetroot. The urine can also become discolored.

If you know for sure that it can’t come from any dietary coloring, you should see your vet urgently. There could be internal bleeding that needs to be treated as soon as possible.

What Does the Consistency Say About My Dog’s Stool?

In addition to the color, the consistency of the droppings also plays an important role.

The chairs should lift easily and not fall apart easily. Ideally, when you take the chair out of the grass, it should not stay on the grass.

Slimy droppings

If the stool is slimy, your dog is shedding intestinal mucosa. Higher levels of mucus in the stool associated with diarrhea can be caused by certain intestinal infections.

Bloody mucus in the stool or mucus that is accompanied by abdominal pain can also indicate serious diseases such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or even cancer.

Hard poo

Constipation in dogs is a fairly common ailment, often related to minor disorders, but sometimes it’s a serious problem.

As is well known, the term constipation generally refers to the inability to have normal bowel movements. A healthy dog ​​will defecate once or twice a day on average, but this frequency can vary depending on their diet.

If you notice symptoms of constipation in your dog, the first thing you should do is try to understand what the trigger was in order to eliminate it and thus prevent the problem in the future.

However, in order to bring the situation back to normal, it is necessary to restore the intestinal microflora, preferably in a natural way.

Soft stools (diarrhea)

Diarrhea is a common condition in dogs and is characterized by loose or watery stools that can be caused by anything from a simple diet change to various illnesses or infections.

If the diarrhea doesn’t last more than a day it’s not a cause for concern, but if it lasts longer then a veterinarian should be consulted as it may indicate dehydration or another health problem.

Dog feces first solid then thin

If the consistency of the droppings changes between firm and thin, this can be due to the diet. However, another and probable cause could also be parasite infestation.

You can find more helpful information about this here: Dog poop first solid then thin.

White granules in dog feces

If your dog’s feces contain white grains similar to grains of rice, this indicates that your dog has worms. If these or parts of them are visible in the faeces, this is already an advanced stage of the infestation.

The tapeworm, for example, attains a considerable length. In the case of a tapeworm infestation, the white grains contained in the feces are only parts of the worm that have attached themselves to the intestinal wall and were secreted by the tapeworm. These secretions are then visible as grains of rice in your dog’s feces.

You should seek immediate veterinary care if you notice white granules in your dog’s stool. When you visit, you should ideally bring a stool sample with you.

A quick remedy can be found with worm tablets, the amount of which is calculated based on the laboratory examination of the stool and the size and weight of your dog.

Tar stool in the dog

Black stools can indicate bleeding or other damage in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. They may also have discolored stools after consuming dark-colored foods.

Consult a veterinarian if your dog has black stools, especially if you find traces of blood in the black stool, to rule out a serious medical condition.

Fatty stool in the dog

Mucus in the faeces is made clear by a visible fatty deposit in the stool. The so-called fatty stool can be caused by parvoviruses, parasites, tumors and/or polyps, constipation, toxin overload, autoimmune diseases or even cancer.

Consuming bedding in the kennel or dog house can also cause bacterial infections in the digestive tract, which can result in bloody stools, mucus, or fatty buildup in dog feces.

Tighten or loosen bowel movements in dogs: 3 tips

If your dog has diarrhea or appears to be constipated because the stool is too firm, there are several ways you can help your dog.


A general change in diet is independent of the current consistency of the dog’s excrement and can be seen as a preventive measure. So-called BARF is an individual preparation of meals for your dog. There is no set food, but all meals are prepared to suit your dog’s needs. Physical condition and daily workload play just as important a role as the basic needs of your dog based on age, size and weight.

This type of nutrition helps to keep your dog vital and to strengthen its immune system. At the same time, if there are changes in your dog, whether for reasons of performance or illness, you can change the meals based on the requirements and thus prevent further dangers.

Another advantage is that your dog has to defecate less often. This is due to the high protein content of the freshly prepared feed with as little dietary fiber and carbohydrates as possible, which are largely excreted unburned.

2. For constipation

Sufficient fresh water
If your dog is constipated, drinking will help the feces loosen in the intestine.

Extensive walks

Long walks with your dog also make sense if you are constipated. The continuous movement not only stimulates the heart and circulation, but also the intestinal activity.

Stuck faeces in the intestines can be loosened with every step and gradually released during the walk.

Look relaxed

Don’t put your dog under time pressure or stress when defecation. He notices when you are under time pressure yourself. Also, don’t try to watch him go about his business. He should feel like he has all the time in the world, even though you may find it difficult.

You can use these tips for short-term constipation. If they persist despite your best efforts, you should consult a veterinarian.

3. In case of diarrhea

Zero diet

Prescribe a 1-2 day fast for your dog. Not only should you not feed your dog, you should also avoid treats.

Preventing further food intake helps the bowel to empty completely and gives the gastrointestinal tract a chance to recover without having to go back to work from new meals.

And again: enough water

A sufficient supply of water not only helps with constipation. Your dog suffers a significant loss of fluids with diarrhea. You can counteract this by providing your dog with enough water and, if necessary, encouraging him to drink.

Diet change

As long as your dog suffers from diarrhea, you should change his meals. Self-cooked, low-fat and easily digestible rations of boiled rice, potatoes, or pasta with boiled, lean poultry and cottage cheese are suitable here.

Make sure that the poultry does not contain any bones and should definitely be boiled.


Dog poop is probably not your favorite topic. Still, it’s important to look at your dog’s daily routine.

The droppings are an indicator of poor nutrition, but also of diseases and worm infestation.

If you can reliably assess your dog’s droppings, you can not only change your pet’s eating habits, you can also recognize early on whether your dog is suffering from a short-term discomfort or whether a serious illness is hiding behind it.

A healthy dog also defecates healthy. This also makes life easier for you in the form of easier picking up of leftovers when going for a walk.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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