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Become a Poop Inspector-monitoring your dog's health by examining his poop!

This content is owned by Feed Real Institute. Authored and/or contributed to by Amber D., Kay S..

Become a Poop Inspector-monitoring your dog's health by examining his poop!

Why is it so uncomfortable to talk about poop? We all poop, and so do our dogs! So let's take the shame and awkwardness out of the equation and see what we can learn about your dog from his poop.

There are five components of poop to examine, color, shape, consistency, quantity, and content. Let's look at what each element can tell you about your dog's health. 

The Poop Rainbow

Normal dog poop is rich and dark brown, except when you add raw natural foods to his bowl. Medical disorders can also cause poop to change colors. 

  • Red stools

If feeding raw- Reddish-colored poops are seen when you feed your dog raw beef and beets.

Medical concerns- Bright red streaks in the stool may be from a rectal injury, inflammation of the colon, or an anal gland infection. This is normal when occasional. You should consult your veterinarian if the stool continues to contain blood regularly or in large amounts.

  • Orange and yellow stools

If feeding raw- The consumption of orange and yellow vegetables can create orange and yellow stools. Feeding raw chicken to your dog will also cause the poops to be a lighter brown or even yellowish color. 

Medical concerns- Orange, yellow, or very pale stools can indicate liver disease.

  • Green stools

If feeding raw- Feeding lightly steamed leafy greens and occasional grass consumption can cause the poop to be green.

Medical concerns- Green stools can be a sign of gallbladder or liver disease, a parasite infection, or ingestion of rat poison. If it continues, a visit to the vet may be necessary.

  • Dark blue to black stools

If feeding raw-When giving blueberries to your dog, his poop can have a dark blue, black, or purple hue. Organ meat can also cause the stool to be a dark color.

Medical concerns- Black stools can be a clinical sign of gastrointestinal tract bleeding. 

  • Light beige to white stools

If feeding raw- Providing too many bones can lead to chalky white poop.

Medical concerns- White streaks or small white particles on the poop could be intestinal parasites, such as roundworms or tapeworms. 

  • Brown stools

If feeding raw- Normal stools range from light to dark brown. When dogs consume a lot of red meat, the stools can be very dark brown.


Shape and Consistency

Because the consistency of poop directly affects the shape, we will discuss them together. Average dog poop is compact, moist, and easy to clean up without falling apart. Other poop consistencies are watery diarrhea, soft shapeless stools, and hard pellets.

Diarrhea or watery stools can indicate a disease process within the GI tract. However, if you are in the process of transitioning your dog to a raw diet, some diarrhea is common. If diarrhea persists, especially in conjunction with vomiting, for more than three days, you should take your dog to your veterinarian. Administration of fluids may be necessary to prevent your dog from becoming dehydrated.

Soft poops break apart when you clean up after your dog, but not watery or fluid-like diarrhea. Transitioning to a new food too quickly can result in soft stools.  

Very hard, pebble-like stools indicate that your dog is dehydrated or has constipation. Insufficient water consumption or eating only dry kibble can cause constipation. 

How Much Poop Is Normal?

Dogs fed kibble frequently defecate large and very stinky poops. Large-sized poops indicate that your dog did not digest much of the food. Studies have determined that dogs digest only 60 to 80% of kibble, depending on the food's ingredients and percentage of fillers. That means 20 to 40% of the kibble is excreted in poop! 


Dogs that eat raw food have much smaller and less stinky poops because the body can fully process the food. The body can utilize most of the food with less excreting waste.

What is On and In the Poop?

Doing a visual examination of your dog’s poop may not be enough. You should grab a glove or a plastic bag and feel the poop! You will be able to detect the texture of the poop. Objects too small to see, like bits of bone or pieces of toys that were inadvertently ingested, can be felt.

What is on the outer layer of the poop is also essential. A mucous coating is often seen when dogs are transitioning to raw because the intestinal tract undergoes detoxification, including shedding part of its mucous layer.

A greasy stool and a grayish color can be a sign of pancreatitis. If more than one poop is greasy, consult your veterinarian.

Don't Panic When You Notice Changes

Many changes will occur in your dog's poop when they start eating raw food. The first thing you'll notice is that it will smell different. Raw food contains more moisture than processed kibble, so there will be less odor and less likelihood of constipation or diarrhea when they switch over.

If you see a change in consistency but see no other changes in behavior or appetite, try increasing the frequency with which you're giving them their meals and see if that helps. You can also add some probiotics, marshmallow root, or bone broth to their diet to ease up on any digestive issues, but remember not to go overboard.

Raw food also tends to be more filling than kibble, which means that most dogs eat less but still feel full, so expect an increase in the frequency of pooping (your dog's body will be able to get rid of waste more quickly). It may seem like many changes at first, but your pup will adjust quickly enough, especially if you make adjustments based on their poop when necessary.

Adjusting Your Dog's Diet Based on Its Poop

While your dog is transitioning to raw, you may need to adjust its diet based on what its poop looks like. The changes may look like the following:

  • If your dog has chalky, dry, white stools, you can temporarily cut the bone content in the diet by 2-3% until their poop becomes normal. Once their poop returns to normal, slowly add the bone content to the diet while monitoring their stool.
  • If your dog experiences constipation, cutting back on bone content is often recommended in this case. 
  • Soft or loose stools can indicate too little bone in the diet. Slightly increase the bone percentage by 1-3%.
  • If your dog has watery stools or diarrhea that is dark in color, this could be a sign of too much organ meat in the diet. While 5% liver and 5% other secreting organs are recommended, you can cut this in half during the transition while the body becomes accustomed to eating raw. 
  • Slime on your dog's poop is very common, but a lot of it regularly could be a sign of food allergies or inflammation of the lower intestines. If you notice mucus regularly, contact your veterinarian or reach out to a Real Dog Box Nutritionist for recommendations.


The Quest for the Perfect Poop!

The perfect dog poop is compact, moist, and easy to clean up without falling apart. The color will reflect what your dog recently ate. 

As you become an expert on poop, you will be excited to see the perfect poops because you know that means you are providing the optimal food for your furry friend!

Takeaway Bites

  • The components of poop, color, shape, consistency, quantity, and contents reflect your dog's health.
  • The food consumed by your dog directly correlates with the color of his poop.
  • Dogs fed kibble have larger and stinker poops because so much food remains undigested.