Determining Your Dog’s Health Through His Feces
You can learn a lot about your dogs’ health from their poop. Its colour, consistency, contents, odour, amount, and frequency can give you valuable, up-to-date information about their health. For example, it can provide early warning that your dog’s diet may be unsuitable, or that she may be grappling with parasites, viruses, unfriendly bacteria, bad water, emotional upset, food allergies, or serious illness.
So try to check it out every day. Don’t be shy! You might use a twig to poke it apart, although picking it up carefully with a bag or scooper may yield a similar opportunity to observe its qualities. This way, you’ll come to know whether your dog’s poop seems right or wrong, and when you need to do something about it.
Anytime you are not sure of what you’re seeing, check with a vet, an expert in canine nutrition, or your reliable home library. Those speciality pet supply shops that actively promote the raw diet and sell ingredients for it often have staff who are very well-informed. But there’s no getting away from it – competent doggy-doo divination begins at home. And to recognize a problematic poop, we must start with a concept of the ideal excrement.
A dog’s faeces vary somewhat according to whether he eats kibble, canned, or home-prepared food. But all well-formed dog poo shares certain characteristics. First, healthy stool should have a relatively inoffensive odour. For another, it will typically be brown and of an even, well-digested consistency.
Pet food industry professionals use a scale of 1 to 5 to rate poop quality. Usually, 1 means liquid diarrhoea, whereas 5 indicates a hard and dry stool. The industry generally agrees that four is ideal, says Claudia A. Kirk, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVN and ACVIM. Dr. Kirk, an associate professor of medicine and nutrition in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, describes the perfect 4 as “a light- to dark-brown stool that is well-formed, firm but malleable, moist, and does not fall apart when picked up.”
Understand that every dog has her version of “normal.” To be able to distinguish the good from the bad, you need to know your own dog’s poop when she’s radiant with good health!