Good Poops: What Your Pets’ Poops Say About Their Health
Responsible dog owners are carrying waste bags with them when they go for walkies, and cleaning the litter box is a permanent labor of love if you’ve got a cat in your home. But how much attention are you actually paying to their poop?
It’s a weird question, right? But the truth of the matter is that you can learn a lot about your pet’s health just from their stool, and that can help you catch health issues early.
Good poops for your dog have a pretty simple criteria to meet: they should be chocolate brown with a consistency like play-do. As a hard rule, there should be no film or coating to it. Imagine a tootsie roll (or don’t if you love tootsie rolls and prefer not to have this association), and you’ll be pretty close to accurate.
Bad poops, however, can be a lot of things. If you are finding stool with a weird film on it, it can be a sign of inflammation or of impending diarrhea. Sometimes you’ll find some blood, which can be a sign of straining to go potty, but could be something more serious.
Black stool is caused by internal bleeding. Yellow or grey stools can be signs of issues with the liver, pancreas, or gallbladder. It’s normal to have some deviations though, so if an odd color just happens once, try not to worry! Pups love yard snacks and will eat the weirdest things, and being a little dehydrated can make a difference in color too.
Finally, in terms of consistency, chocolate candy rolls are the ideal. Less ideal types are ‘formless’ or will melt into the grass because their bodies aren’t absorbing water like they should. If they seem very hard and painful to pass, this is another sign of dehydration.
Surprise, but good poops for kitties look a lot like those for dogs! Deep brown is a good color, and the consistency should be like modeling clay. Also, some smell is normal, but if it’s incredibly stinky, that could be a sign of bacteria or other real problems.
What really makes cats different from dog is that they’re kind of . . . sensitive poopers. Diarrhea isn’t uncommon for them at all. Causes can genuinely range anywhere from pancreatic disease to just a change in their diet.
If they aren’t eating something new and the diarrhea lasts for more than a couple of days, seek medical attention. But if you’ve suddenly started them on a new type of food, that could easily be the source of the issue.
On the other end of the spectrum, your kitty may be stopped up and struggling to go at all. And, since they’re sensitive (I say this with love, to be clear!) it could be something as grave as a kidney stone or just a matter of over-grooming.
Check out this chart from WebMD if you’d like to see a more complete list of what could be causing either of these types of bad poops.
What Can We Do At Home?
The common thread between cat and dog poops is, as you’ve likely noticed, that they’re both susceptible to diarrhea and constipation. But if you aren’t finding any of the symptoms that would warrant an emergency vet visit, how are you supposed to help them?
Diarrhea can be prevented in some pets by adding fiber to their diet; canned pumpkin is a quick and healthy option here. If you suspect their upset tummy might be from a new food, consider going back to the old one and then slowly mixing in the new food over the course of a week.
Constipation, though, is where we at PawsiVibes can give you more than just advice. Our Boost essential oil blend is a fantastic supplement for these kinds of digestive problems. Made with organic rose oil and an olive oil base, it’s good for the immune system, sure. But the olive oil also works as a lubricant for the bowels and can even soften those hard poops. People have been adding olive oil to their pet food for ages, and using our Boost blend gets you all the benefits to the immune and digestive systems.
Or maybe you’re the kind of person that wants to prevent problems before they happen. If that’s the case, consider our Slim blend. This supplement is made with ginger and coconut oil. MCTs in coconut oil are quickly digested, but not before absorbing fat soluble components like vitamins, which means they actually get used by the body!
Coconut oil is also praised by those of us with hairball-prone kitties. Maybe there isn’t an overgrooming problem but you often find hairballs around the house. A little bit of coconut oil can help your cat pass the hair with their stool instead of it clogging up their tummies.
Of course, you could already have your cat on a PawsiVibes supplement that you think is just right for them. Rest assured that using any oil supplement is to their benefit; many of them aren’t thirst driven (thanks evolution!) and are getting extra hydration from any of the pet-safe oils you’re adding to their food. Everybody wins!
Haven’t decided on a blend for your pet yet? Check out our Product Spotlight posts for help making an informed decision.
Have a funny poop-scooping picture? Want to show us a hairball? (actually please don’t, unless it’s in the shape of a cat or something cool like that.) But please do send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, and any of those less-yucky pictures to email@example.com. With your permission, we may even showcase your pet on our Instagram or Pinterest board! Catch them posing around some PawsiVibes merch or products and we’ll absolutely feature them in a post, and get you 10% off your next order. How cool is that?