What Should My Puppy’s Poop Look Like

 Although not an extremely popular puppy subject, occasionally, you will have to concern yourself with their poop. There are several reasons why, including when your puppy exhibits signs of sickness or has swallowed something abnormal, and you need to make sure it comes out the other end.

If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you know that I’m not a big fan of puppy excrement, especially when they have accidents in my house. 

I was, unfortunately, thinking about puppy poop the other day when I noticed one of my dogs was having a hard time going potty. 

My pup’s poop was very hard and rather dry, which isn’t normal. That got me thinking about a question I occasionally hear from readers like yourself: what should my puppy’s poop look like?

The answer is that if your pup is healthy, their poop will be a chocolate brown color. It will also look more or less like a small, thick stick or Baby Ruth chocolate bar and will be very cohesive (firm). That is to say; it will look very solid and not like a collection of brown parts stuck together.

Another sign that your puppy’s poop is normal is that it’s slightly moist, and when you pick it up (using a plastic bag or glove), it will stay together and not crumble apart. (That’s the cohesive part.)

You may have other questions now that you know what your puppy’s poop should look like. For example, what their poop will look like when your pup isn’t healthy, what their poop looks like with worms, and what to do if their poop isn’t normal.

For the answers to those questions and several more, please keep reading. I have them for you below and great advice to help you keep your puppy healthy and safe (and their poop firm and brown).

When Should I Worry About My Puppy’s Poop?

The time to worry about your puppy’s poop is when it doesn’t match my earlier description, i.e., chocolate brown, firm, and slightly moist. Anything besides that is a sign that something isn’t right with your precious little pup. 

There are two things to look for in your puppy’s poop when you believe they might be sick, the texture (consistency) and color. Let’s take a closer look at both.

Texture

  • Soft, mushy, and formless. If your puppy has soft stools that don’t retain their shape, their large intestines aren’t absorbing enough water. It might also be a sign of parvo, parasites, or dehydration.
  • Hard and painful to pass. Stress can cause poop that’s hard and painful when your pup goes potty. A lack of fiber or dehydration can also cause it.
  • Firm, moist poop, in most cases, is 100% normal.

Color

  • Chocolate Brown: As I mentioned earlier, normal puppy poop is dark brown in color.
  • Black: Very dark brown or black poop could result from cancer, a tumor, and ulcers. (It’s also very rare in puppies.)
  • Red-ish (blood red): If your pup’s blood is red, there are two possibilities; they’re breeding somewhere in the GI tract, or they ate something with very strong, red dye. Although unlikely, your puppy may have cut or lacerated its anus, so it’s worth checking.
  • Gray-ish, Orange-ish, and Yellow-ish. Puppy poop that’s yellowish, orange-ish, or gray-ish could be a sign of problems with your pup’s pancreas, liver, or gallbladder. (It’s also very rare in puppies.)
  • Green-ish: Green-colored poop is almost always caused by eating grass, which puppies can’t digest very well. It could be a sign they have an upset tummy. 
  • White: Too much calcium from bones can cause your pup’s poop to turn white-ish in color. A raw diet can with lots of bones does the same.
  • White Spots on Brown: If your pup’s poop has small, white objects that look like rice grains, they may have tapeworms. 

Why your Puppy’s Poop is Soft

Puppy poop should be firm, not fall apart and be slightly moist. Anything different means they either have a health issue or ate something that changed their poop’s color. That includes very soft, watery poop, which can indicate several conditions, including:

  • The Parvovirus: Soft, watery poop is often a sign your puppy has parvo, a common virus. Potentially fatal, you must get your pup to a vet if their soft poops persist.
  • Parasites: Parasites can cause soft, watery poops and need to be treated medically.
  • Dehydration: Ironically, dehydration can cause your puppy’s poop to be watery and soft.
  • Diet Change: Changing your puppy’s diet can often cause a change in their poop’s consistency, at least for a short time.

What does Puppy Poop Look like with Worms?

As I mentioned earlier, puppy poop with worms will appear to have small, white specks that look a little like grains of rice. Their poop will be the usual brown color, just with the white specks.

If your puppy has this type and color of poop, they will probably need a deworming treatment. Also, if your pupper has an upset tummy, diarrhea, or other symptoms, plain food like chicken or, ironically, plain rice can help.

Normal Puppy Poop Colors

Only one color of puppy poop is considered 100% normal, and that’s the chocolate brown color that I mentioned earlier. Any other color means something isn’t right, although some colors are worse than others.  

What to Do if my Puppy’s Poop is not Normal

If your pup’s poop isn’t the normal, brown, firm, moist poop it should be, the first thing to do is determine its color. Once you do, you can look at the colors I talked about above and decide what to do next.  

Remember that abnormally-colored poop, while it’s not a good sign, isn’t always a “bad” sign, either. For example, very hard, dry poop can mean that your pup isn’t getting enough water. That’s easy enough to fix by giving them extra water and monitoring their water usage more.

You also need to consider any other behavior your puppy is exhibiting, along with their weird poop. If they have other symptoms, like excessive drooling, lethargy, vomiting, etc., taking your puppy to the vet might be warranted.

On the other hand, if their poop looks weird because you just changed their diet, your pupper will likely be fine in a few days. In other words, you have to be sort of like a Sherlock Holmes for puppy poop and seek out the clues that will tell you what to do.

Final Thoughts

While not a pleasant puppy topic, knowing what your puppy’s poop should look like is important. It should be chocolate brown, firm when you pick it up, and slightly moist. Anything that deviates from that description means something is up inside your puppy’s body. Thankfully, many puppy poop problems are easy to treat and not life-threatening. 

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and that it answered all your questions. Please see my other blogs if you have more or would like to learn more about raising a puppy. They’re jammed full of great info and advice on being a great pet parent!