What does your dog’s poo say about its health and what to do?

Have you ever wondered what your dog’s poo means for their health and how you can tell?

Well, wonder no more as John Burns MBE, founder of healthy pet food company Burns Pet Nutrition, has put together a guide for those owners wanting to know what the different types of pet defecations mean.

Whether it’s mucus featuring in the poo or it consists of hard pellets, each type of poo can suggest something different…

Firm, well-formed and easy to pick up

This means that your dog’s poo is healthy. It’s business as usual. Pick it up, throw it away and carry on with your day.

Dry, hard pellets

This can either mean that your dog is constipated by being fed the wrong diet or it can mean that the dog is dehydrated and needs to drink more. If this continues it is important to see a vet as dehydration is a health concern.

If your dog has recently had a bone, this can also be a cause as the calcium can cause dry and chalky poo.

Log-shaped and soggy

Soggy poo suggests that your dog is struggling to digest their food properly. It may be that they are having a bit too much food and they’re unable to digest it all. We see this particularly if a dog’s poo starts off OK but becomes looser as the day goes on. Check the daily feeding guide and gradually make any adjustments.

Adding in some extra fibre may also help. Fibre-full foods include brown rice, and you could look at feeding your dog porridge, broccoli, sprouts and cabbage too.


Usually, your dog has just eaten something that doesn’t agree with them but sometimes it can be a sign that your dog is stressed. If this persists for more than two days or your dog seems unwell or is becoming dehydrated, head to the vet. If your dog is regularly getting diarrhoea, they may need a change in their diet due to an intolerance.

A vet or a nutritionist can help with diagnosing an intolerance and setting up a new diet for the dog.


A small amount of mucus is normal but if there is a lot of mucus in your dog’s poo it may signify a bacterial infection or an inflamed colon. If this is happening regularly, have a chat with your vet about looking for remedies to the situation.


Grass in your dog’s poo can suggest gastric troubles or stress. Sometimes though, it is a behavioural issue as some dogs just like to eat grass. If you are concerned, a vet should be able to offer a diagnosis of the issue.

Red streaks

If you see red streaks check your dog’s bottom for bleeding. If they are bleeding, think back to if you have witnessed any other related symptoms. It could also signal anal gland problems. The best thing to do is head to the vet to get it checked out.

White spots

White spots that look a bit like grains of rice could suggest tapeworms if they are moving. Otherwise, if they are still, it might just be food that has come out in the poo. If the dots are moving, tapeworm treatment is likely to be recommend by your vet.

Orange/yellow poo

If the colour is orange or yellow, your dog may have a liver or biliary problem. We’d recommend you go to the vet’s and seek their advice on how to move forward.

Founder of Burns Pet Nutrition, John Burns MBE, said: “There are many types of dog’s poo and therefore, there are many things it could signify. You don’t have to jump to conclusions but just be mindful of what colour and texture the poo is. If anything unusual arises or persists then expert advice may be needed.”