How to Assess Dog Poop for Health Problems

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Your dog shows affection with kisses and snuggles, but, alas, he cannot talk. So, the best way to stay on top of your dog's health concerns begins with an ability to assess his poop for any problems. Don't cringe, just hold your nose and take a good look.

  • Check for firmness in your dog's poop to assess the health of his insides. Digestion and stomach problems can manifest in watery or loose stools, and could be a sign that some tests need to be run if it continues.

  • Look for signs of a foreign covering, reminiscent of a plastic wrap, over your dog's poop. This is a sign of an irritated digestive tract and should be examined by a doctor if it continues.

  • Study your dog's poop for health problems with your nose. This doesn't mean that you should sniff the poop every day; it just means that you should be alarmed if you notice an unusually rancid or pungent odor when your dog does number 2 and investigate further.

  • Assess your dog's eating habits if you notice a darker or lighter stool, health problems may be present. In very dark stool, there may be an increased amount of blood, which could warrant a visit to the vet. Incredibly light, hard stools could be a sign of a diet too rich in calcium. But remember, before you drastically change your dog's diet, you should slowly change the diet by mixing more and more of the new food in with the old to prevent more digestive struggles.

  • Search for parasites and worms in your dog's poop. These parasites can cause major health issues, and should be taken care of immediately. You can usually see worms in the stool, but if you suspect smaller parasites, you may need to take a sample in to the vet for further inspection.

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