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What Does Unhealthy Poop Look Like in Dogs?

Most dog owners spend time cleaning after their pets either on the street, at the park, or at home in the yard. While this is common, most owners do not know what to do with the poop other than throw it away.

However, dog poop gives you insights into the health of your dog and may reveal more about your pet. The consistency of the poop, the color, and even the shape are all aspects of dog poop that can tell how healthy your dog is.

What Should Healthy Dog Poop Look Like?

One of the first things you should pay attention to when it comes to dog poop is the frequency. The number of times dogs relieve themselves can offer insight into the health of their bowels. A healthy dog should relieve itself in proportion to the food it eats. Any more than that is a sign of something wrong.

Dog Poop Color

Every dog is different, and the color will depend on two primary factors: your dog’s diet and health. It is also essential to identify what is normal for your dog in terms of poop appearance. When it comes to color, most healthy dog poop should appear mid-brown to chocolatey in color.

However, if your dog’s diet contains fish or white meat, the poop may appear lighter than brown. Additionally, if there is food color in your pet’s food, the color is bound to show up in the poop. Also, if you feed your dog a varied diet, the color of your pet’s poop will vary depending on what your dog ate that day.

When your dog’s poop color changes and you have not changed your pet’s diet, it could mean that your dog is unhealthy. It is advisable to see a vet and collect a bit of the poop so that the vet can test it in the lab. Here’s what a different poop color could mean:

·      Black Poop

When a dog ingests blood, poop will usually turn black. Dogs could ingest blood if they lick an injury or if they have open sores in their mouth. It is also possible that they have gastric ulceration that is causing their poop to turn black. If you notice black poop that is tar-ish or shiny, contact your vet immediately.

·      Red, Pinkish, or Purple

If dogs’ poop looks purple or pinkish, they are likely bleeding somewhere in their digestive tract. Tears in the rectum can also lead to pink swirls at the end of the dog’s poop. If the dog passes puddles of clotted blood or resembles jam, it is in peril. Bleeding in the digestive tract should be treated as severely as external bleeding from a wound.


When your dog’s poop starts to have a mucus coating, a hint of blood or white covering, or contains whitish grey bits, there is a problem. Dog poop may have mucus on it if the dog has an inflamed intestine that secretes excess mucus.

Sometimes, the dog may also pass poop with streaks of blood. However, this should only be a problem if your dog passes the same coatings or streaks of blood frequently.


If you notice your dog’s poop has an abnormal consistency, it is good to take it to the vet. The vet will use the Bristol Stool Scale to evaluate your dog’s poop. You can also learn to use the scale to check on your dog’s poop.

For more on what healthy poop looks like in dogs, visit Community Veterinary Medicine at our office in New York, New York. Call (646) 912-9513 to schedule an appointment today.

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