Cleaning up dogs' excrement is probably one of least admirable tasks of looking after a pet. But it's important to pay attention when scooping it up. Just like ours, a dog's feces can provide information about how well things are functioning on the inside for our beloved furry friends.
At WALTHAM, we check the faeces of our pets and regularly score them based on our faecal scoring chart. We can then quickly identify if a pet needs to be monitored more closely or see a veterinarian.
Here’s some more information on what we are looking for.
So let's start with the abnormal…
Is your dog is struggling to go to the toilet? Are the droppings pebble-like and hard? This may be a sign of constipation, potentially due to dehydration, too much or too little fibre and/or insufficient exercise. There may, however, be other reasons, so seek veterinary advice if you notice this with your pet.
The other end of the scale is not good either! Extremely loose or diarrhea type stools are signs of a digestive upset. Maybe your dog may has eaten something it shouldn't have? Have you recently changed your pet’s food? If so, things may return to normal in a few days, but if not or you are concerned, consult your veterinarian.
So what does the ideal poo look like?
The easiest way to remember is by the '3Cs': consistent, compact and chocolate-coloured. Consistent - every dog is different. You know your pet best and how regularly it goes to the toilet each day. If this changes from 3 times a day to just once, this could be the sign things are steering away from normal. Compact - healthy dog stools are solid and dense, which hold their shape even after being picked up. Chocolate-coloured - Milk chocolate is the ideal colour but anything on the brown spectrum is also good. Anything other than this may be a cause for concern.
Happy poo, happy pets!
Stick to pet foods that are nutritionally complete and balanced; such diets are designed to provide your dog with exactly what is needs and be processed efficiently. Always keep your dog's water bowl topped up so it has access to fluids at all time. Ensure your dog receives regular exercise, as this will help movement through the digestive system.