Picking up dog poo is probably your least favourite activity, but your pet’s poo can provide important clues to their overall health and wellbeing.
As our four-legged friends can’t tell us when they have a health problem, it’s up to us as pet owners to watch out for any signs of trouble. One of the best ways to do this is monitor both what goes into your dog (their diet), and what comes out the other end.
Mastering your dog’s poo
Every dog is different, and so are their toilet habits. An important first step is to get to know what is normal for your dog. That way if thing changes, you can quickly pick up on an issue and act.
The Perfect Poo
What does the perfect poo look like? It is actually very simple and easy to detect following this general guideline. It should:
- Be moist, yet firm and segmented
- Have a mild odour
- Be chocolate brown in colour
- Be easy for you to pick up without leaving a stain or mark
The Poo Score
This healthy poo chart is called ‘The WALTHAM™ Faeces Scoring System’ and is what your vet will usually reference when assessing your dog’s poo. The chart will help you to understand what to look out for in terms of shape and consistency. As a general guide, a healthy poo should fall between Grade 2 – 2.5.
- Grade 1 - Appears like bullets, crumbles with little pressure
- Grade 1.5 - Hard and dry, poo cracks when pressed
- Grade 2 - Well formed, does not leave a mark when picked up
- Grade 2.5 - Well formed with slightly moist surface, leaves a mark when picked up
- Grade 3 - Moist, beginning to lose form, leaving a definite mark when picked up
- Grade 3.5 - Very moist, still with some definite form
- Grade 4 - Most or all form is lost, no real shape
- Grade 4.5 - Liquid poo with slight consistency
- Grade 5 - Entire liquid poo
What else should you look out for?
When checking out your dog’s poo make sure you also keep a look out for the:
- Colour - Light to dark brown is normal. Red, black or yellow isn’t. Smell - Dogs’ poo should have a mildly noticeable odour, but nothing too foul. smelling. Poor diet can cause their poo to be more pungent.
- Contents - Excess mucus could be an indication of colon inflammation, you should also watch out for undigested food, excess grass or other foreign objects in your dog’s poo.
- Frequency - Adult dogs usually poo at least once a day, whilst puppies may do so several times a day. The number of times your pooch does their business should be consistent each day.
Healthy in = healthy out
Remember that your dog’s poo is directly influenced by their diet. Eating a quality dog food, such as Ivory Coat, and in the appropriate feeding guideline, will ensure your dog is able to produce less poo. This is because they will absorb all the nutrients in the dog food rather than passing the ‘fillers’ that are often included in lower quality dog foods.
If you want to transition your dog to a new food to improve their overall health, make sure you do it gradually. Our guidelines will help you to introduce new foods while keeping your dog happy and healthy on the inside and outside.
If you notice any abnormal signs in your dog’s poo or habits that continue for more than a couple of days, it’s always worth paying a visit to your vet for a full check up.