Dog Poop – The Ins and Outs
Dog poop, a subject the average person prefers to avoid at all costs. On the contrary, dog owners are a different kettle of fish and are definitely not the average person — preferring to view themselves as somehow connected at the hip to their dog[s].
Dog owners have developed the fine art of watching for early morning dog poop for any abnormal signs, while sipping their first cup of hot coffee and munching on a chocolate bagel — paper towel and poop bag sticking out of their robe pocket. Ahhh … what a picture the mind can conjure up!
The goal of “the” dog owner, of course, is to see if the pile of dog poop is normal and healthy looking, or is it runny with blood and mucous in it. Unappetizing as it seems, the consistency of a dog’s pile of poop is the simplest and quickest way to monitor a dog’s health, foreshadowing any future type of problem that could be developing.
Keeping track of what a dog eats makes a big difference in what and how it comes out the other end. For a lesser amount of dog feces in your back yard, focus on buying healthy and natural dog foods.
Grain-based dog food
If a dog remains on a grain-based dog food – canned or packaged – its digestive track can become weakened. The back yard or dog pen looks like a feces land mine with piles of dog poop everywhere. The dog feces is usually loose and runny, with uneven consistencies.
According to the “The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care,” the most obvious difference between a grain-based pet diet and a natural pet diet is the size of the feces. Natural pet foods have very little grain in it; they are smaller in size, as a more compact cat or dog poop is produced that is firm and well-shaped.
Palettes of colorful dog poop
Dog poop tells us about our dog’s overall health, how their gastrointestinal tract is working, or gives us a hint if they are developing a serious disease. All of this depends on the dog poop’s shape, size, color, and features. Most dog poop that is considered normal displays a wide variety of stool colors, textures and forms. But it is the abnormal appearance or consistency of the dogs’ poop that warrants our attention.
Other than being 75% to 80% water, dog poop is a mixture of fiber, mucus, various cells, live and dead bacteria — a fetid combination that describes the health condition of living things. Add into this the color, odor, shape, size and how it hits the ground or hits water in the toilet, poop offers quite a bit of information about the body.
1. Red dog poop with blood in it
Feces that have blood in it is dangerous for both humans and dogs. Canine feces that have brightly-colored blood in older dogs can be signs of cancer, while in younger dogs it usually is parasites. Hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms have a tendency to irritate the intestinal walls. Black, tarry stools means bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract, while bright red blood means bleeding in the lower tract, closer to the rectum.
Blood in puppy stools could be diagnosed as Parvo, especially if it is combined with vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and a loss of appetite. This is a deadly disease for most puppies, so vet interaction is mandatory. Good breeders begin giving puppy shots, including Parvo, around five weeks of age, and then every two weeks until they leave home. They survive on their mother’s immune system up until then.
Dog owners who change diets abruptly in their animals can cause blood in the stools of their dogs. New foods should be introduced gradually so the gastrointestinal tracts can get used to it. Otherwise, dogs will become very ill in a short time.
2. Grey dog poop
Dogs with grey feces that looks like grey cement or are light-colored could be suffering from a blockage of the bile duct. The brown color of normal dog poop is caused by bile, so if a dog’s stool is grey or light colored, the right amount of bile is not being produced in the dog’s body, gallstones are developing, or the bile ducts are blocked.
3. White dog poop
If dog poop appears white, it has a lot to do with the calcium intake – such as eating raw, whole bones – which are dangerous for dogs. Bone splinters can accumulate in the stomach or bowels, or can puncture organ walls. Natural USA chewies are best, or even Greenies.
But there is also dog poop that starts out brown, slowly turning to white over a couple of days. It could be a low load of calcium from bones, intestinal parasites, bad bacteria or eating non-food items. If it is, feed the dog one tablespoon of plain yogurt daily as it has acidopholus in it that puts good bacteria back into the bowels. If the bowel colors remain the same, have a vet take a sample for parasites in the dog’s system.
4. White or clear mucus in dog poop
When dog poop has white or clear mucus in it, a small amount of the slime-like substance is perfectly normal – in cats and dogs both. Made by the intestines, its purpose is to keep the colon lining lubricated and moist for the removal of feces. But in excess amounts, combined with abnormal stools, or combined with blood, a problem could be developing. It is time to make a vet appointment and have some tests ran for various conditions:
- Dietary indiscretion
- Intestinal parasites (e.g., giardia)
- Bacterial overgrowth (e.g., Salmonella)
- Tumors and/or polyps (e.g., rectoanal polyps)
- Inflammation of the colon or rectum
- Narrowing of the rectal opening
- Constipation and other conditions which may it more difficult to defecate, such as dyschezia
Dogs are not embarrassed about pooping in public. They are dogs and that is what they do. Humans? Well, they do not do it … if they did, they would go straight to jail as human waste is a hazardous waste; charged with Indecent Exposure or Disorderly Conduct.
Title 6 PUBLIC SAFETY AND MORALS*
Chapter 6.04 PENAL CODE
6.04.360 Urinating or defecating in a public place.
A. It is unlawful for any person to urinate or defecate in any public place or place open or available to the public, other than in a facility designed or provided for that purpose.
B. Violation of this section shall be punishable by a fine of no more than two hundred and fifty dollars or by imprisonment in the city jail facility for not more than ten days or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Ord. 93-59 § 1, 1993: Ord. 3386 § 1, 1990).
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