What goes in one end of your dog eventually comes out the other. For the most part, though, you shouldn't be able to recognize its original form. Your dog's daily poop output tells you a lot about the state of her health. Keeping an eye on your dog's defecation habits is part of your daily ritual, although surely one of the least pleasant of your everyday chores.
You notice quickly if your pet's bowel habits show any significant changes, such as texture, or if your dog suffers from either diarrhea or constipation. Color is another clue to the state of your dog's intestines. If she ate some crayons and is pooping out crazy shades, that's one thing, but most dog poop color changes are more subtle.
The four C’s of poop
Color is one of the four C's of poop that vets take into account when assessing a dog's health. The others are consistency, content, and coating. Consistency varies from very hard to liquid diarrhea. Content requires dissection of the fecal sample to view what is within. Normal dog poop should not have a coating — such a coating may indicate large bowel problems.
Normal poop colors
Normal poop is some shade of brown, generally a medium tone. If your dog has an occasional off-color poop, don't panic, but take him to the vet if his feces don't return to normal within one or two more bowel movements. Learn to recognize any changes in your dog's output using the four C's. You may want to take notes regarding feeding changes or anything else that may affect color and the rest.
Blood in the stool is never normal. However, feces containing blood aren't necessarily red. Black, tarry stools indicate the presence of blood in the intestinal tract. As Purina points out, if the blood in the stool is bright red with streaks, that may show the dog has digested a little blood, and that the problem lies in the lower digestive tract. If the stools are black and tarry, the dog has digested a significant amount of blood, and the problem most likely originates in the higher digestive tract.
Whenever you see any sign of blood in the stool, it's time to call the vet. Collect the stool sample to bring to the veterinary appointment. The vet will have the sample analyzed for more information about what is affecting your dog's digestive system.
Yellow, orange, or gray poop
If your dog's output is yellow, orange or gray, that may indicate that he's experiencing issues with his liver, pancreas, or gallbladder, according to PetMD. It may also indicate a food allergy. If the stool is also greasy in appearance and emerges in large, soft amounts, your pet could suffer from exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Fortunately, this condition is treatable with veterinary care.
Green dog poop
Green dog poop generally means the dog ate grass. However, there are other causes of green dog poop, such as a parasite infestation. Pay a visit to the vet just to make sure your dog is not experiencing issues.
Purple or pink poop
If you're certain your dog didn't eat crayons, berries, or something else that would turn her poop pink or purple, this odd coloring could prove symptomatic of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. Take your pet to the vet as soon as possible, because this condition can kill. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can save your dog's life.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.