What should dog poop look like? – The Pet Experience

What should dog poop look like?

Soft dog poo or hard dog poo?

The thing we talk about most at The Pet Experience is poo. Call it what you will, be it poop, stools, Mr. Whippy or the runs, dog poo comes in all shapes and sizes (not to mention colours and smells)! When it comes to talking about dog poo though, the one thing that I want to find out is if the poo is hard or soft. Having helped thousands of dogs over the years with digestive problems I have realised that many dog owners are unaware of what their dog’s poo should be like. In a word, it should be solid and firm. Not soft, like a raw sausage as many people think. Dry and crumbly poo is also far from ideal. Firm poo helps to empty the anal glands as it passes from the dog and is the result of a dog’s natural digestive process.


What makes soft dog poo?

Soft poo can be caused by many factors. For the purpose of this article I’ll be focusing on the one that I think we as owners have the most control over (and from experience seems to be the most common) and that is diet. Poor quality dog food made with poor quality ingredients can be hard to digest. As a result of poor digestion and lower nutritional quality, higher feeding quantities are required. This is where things can get messy…. Feeding higher quantities of less digestible food means that a larger portion of what you are putting into your dog’s mouth ends up in their colon and bowels as it hasn’t been absorbed further up the digestive tract. After excessive fermentation, the faecal matter becomes soft or even sloppy and runny. This soft dog poo then easily passes by the anal glands without effectively emptying them.

It’s not just poor quality dog food or ingredients that can result in soft poo. Quantity is also very important. Even the best dog food can result in soft poo if overfed. It is about quality and quantity! And remember, treats count towards quantity too. Even the functional treats that ‘do good’ like dental chews can have an impact on stool consistency. They should taken into consideration when it comes to calculating daily feeding amounts.



Check ingredients, look for food and treats that use clearly listed, quality ingredients. Avoid dog food and treats that use generic ingredient terms like ‘meat & animal derivatives’ or ‘cereals’. These terms allow manufacturers to alter the ingredients of any given product based on availability and/or price. The unexpected result for your dog though could be random, unexplained upset tummies and soft poo. Lots of soft poo! I think of feeding these types of dog food and treats as playing Russian Roulette with your dog’s digestive system. You never actually know what exactly is going into these foods which means you never know what’s going to come out of your dog!

In conclusion, it is quality and quantity of food that can help determine soft dog poo or firm stools. Another benefit of getting your dog onto a good quality food that suits them is not only firm stools but less of them! So if you want to have less poop to pick up and not be wiping runny poo off the pavement, pop into the shop or give us a call and we can help you find a quality dog food that is right for your dog.






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