By Sunday, January 12, 2020 10 No tags Permalink

the proof is in the poop 


Some may tell you this – if you’re searching for clues about your dog’s overall health.

While poop doesn’t give you all the pieces to the puzzle, it CAN give you enough of a glimpse as to what’s going on. 

I know what your thinking and I kind-of agree, this isn’t the most pleasant blog post to read – but dog appointed “poop patrol engineers” is a job we’ve all acquired. 

Elimination is part of digestion – and since we gotta pay attention…

Why not talk about it!


During a routine wellness visit, I brought fecal samples for testing. 

I was chatting with the staff when the vet tech yelled from the back –

this is great poop!

Everyone laughed as I looked quizzically from one face to the other. It was later explained to me that this particular vet tech – prides herself on being the poop “aficionado” among the office technicians.

When she came to the lobby area, she asked me what I fed them. Of course I told her – Ollie – fresh human grade beef, veggies and fruit. For the next few minutes I learned more than I ever thought I wanted to know about poop and all the stories a sample can reveal.


Dog poop has four main “C” characteristics: color, content, consistency, and coating. The color of healthy dog poop should be chocolate brown. … Most people won’t see much of anything inside the poop without a microscope. Healthy dog poop should also be a little firm in consistency, like play dough.

Color: optimum color should be chocolate brown. Anything else COULD mean there’s an underlining health issue brewing –

  • Green two much grass to sooth an upset tummy
  • Black/Burgundysign of intestinal bleeding
  • Red Streaksanother sign of bleeding
  • Yellowliver or gallbladder problems
  • Orangeinflammation of the pancreas
  • White spotsmight be worms 
Courtesy of PetMD

Content: When examining fresh samples, reach out to your vet if you see – 

  • Wormslong skinny things that look like rice
  • Furclumps could be a sign of over grooming, allergies or skin disease
  • Stuff things dogs shouldn’t but sometimes consume (like  rocks, string, plastic, sticks, etc) that may become ingestion issues

Coating: Once you’ve cleaned up after your dog, there should be no clues left behind. Sometimes (before feeding Ollie) Harley’s stool occasionally had a mucus coating which later erupted into diarrhea.  

Consistency: Did you know there is a numerical system to score pet poop consistency? #Ikidyounot

The scoring system ranges from 1 to 7 –

  • 1 – pellets
  • 7 – puddles

Most veterinarians view “2” as ideal. 

They describe it as – 

a firm segmented piece, caterpillar shaped, that feels like Play-Doh when pressed. Formless stool means the large intestine is not properly re-absorbing water; hard stool can be painful to pass and may indicate dehydration. The ideal dog stool is the consistency of Play-Doh, easily squish-able, and holds its form without melting into the grass.



Over the years as I’ve learned more about the benefits of feeding the Boys a healthy and nutritious diet, I’ve become a believer in the correlation between diet and elimination.

Feeding them Ollie has given them a perfect score with the four “C’s” of perfect poop. In addition, the ratio of what goes in vs. what comes out is significantly different. 

Not only is their poop much less in size, there is no foul odor associated with it either. That right there has truly been a bonus. #itsthelittlethings

Hope you found this helpful – thanks for reading!

May your coffee remain strong and your Monday be short ❤️

Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian nor a scientist. I’m a pet parent always interested in understanding more about my dogs. 

  • Cheryl
    January 12, 2020

    I never discussed my girls poop when they were little, like my daughter, husband and I discuss my granddoodle’s poop. Sometimes I have to laugh out loud, but I do realize how important an indicator of health, both human and dog, it is!
    I hope you, doodle dad, and the boys have a good week!

    • Cathy Bennett
      February 21, 2020

      Girlfriend, Lee and I fell out laughing not too long ago, he walked the dogs while I was away from the house, and called me to report on the large amount of poop that came out of Harley. I was like “really? I’ll be home soon.” Sometimes they poop a lot, so do we, it’s not something that I think we need to talk about – let alone you call me on the phone about LOL What has happened to us? 🙂

  • Madison
    January 12, 2020

    Yeah, checking poop is important. Less poop is also a good sign because it means the body is processing all the food. Even Olivia only pooped 2x a day as a tiny pup. Good food is so important and makes such good things happen.

    • Cathy Bennett
      February 21, 2020

      It’s the tell tale to all that’s going on inside. Once we realize that, we understand if we are on the right nutritional track.

  • Ducky's Mom
    January 13, 2020

    I couldn’t agree more! I’ve been on virtually the same educational journey myself. Just with different food choices. I’m happy with the Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health base mix to which I add fresh meat. While I enjoyed making Ducky’s food for her last year, I was always concerned about getting the right mix of nutrients. And I worried about the grain-free issue. Dr. Harvey’s solved that problem for me. I brown the ground turkey because I just do NOT trust raw meat from anywhere. And Ducky loves it.

    • Cathy Bennett
      February 21, 2020

      And that’s what it’s all about (in my view). Pet parents are trying to do the best they can with what ever resources they have. I like that there are more choices than ever before and with those choices I think there are better foods to choose from.

  • Tails Around the Ranch
    January 13, 2020

    “Pawsome” explanations on the whole turd business. I have found the greater the chicken content in a diet, the lighter the color of poop will be. But you are spot on; when the diet is complete, there are fewer poops which seems to indicate, the good stuff is staying on board to fuel cell building, and other metabolic function, etc.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 20, 2020

      It’s been ages since the Boys have had chicken in their diet – but you are absoDOODLEtutely correct – chicken poop is lighter in color. I am thinking about one more post at the end of February to give a 6 month review on their progress –

  • Jan K
    January 19, 2020

    Ha, Luke has had plenty of “stuff” in his poop in the past! We try to do better at not letting him get carried away with destroying toys, which is where most of that stuff comes from!
    Other than that, his poop is pretty consistent; we feed fresh food also. In fact, we just switched to Ollie, and we’ve been happy with it (1/2 of his meal is Ollie, and the other 1/2 is homemade).

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 20, 2020

      Excellent! – Lee and I were talking not too long ago about how long it’s been since the Boys had loose stool. Seems like forever (not that I’m trying to jinx myself) I also like the convenience of having it already measured out, this way I am not over feeding them like I did before with the veggies and fruit. How is Luke liking the food?