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Advice From Dr. Lindsey: Does my dog have healthy stools?

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Authored by: Dr. Lindsey, DVM

It’s no fun having a dog that isn't feeling well and it’s no fun cleaning up after one either. Dogs can get diarrhea frequently. Luckily, there are some things that can be done so dogs have healthy, solid stools more consistently. Nobody likes talking about poop, but healthy stools can often be an indication of a healthy dog.

The first tip is to look at the four main characteristics of dog stools: color, consistency, content, and coating. The color is usually related to what the dog eats and should range in shades of brown. The consistency should be a little bit firm and in the shape of a log.  The veterinarian can look under a microscope at the content of the stools and determine things like parasites, foreign material, or bacterial overgrowth. Lastly, there should be no coating on healthy stools.

Other tips are to regularly clean up stools from the yard, remember that many vets require a dog’s stool sample at their annual vet visit, and if your dog has an accident in the house make sure to use positive reinforcement of their normal bathroom protocol.  Talk to your veterinarian if your dog’s stools change, if your dog starts to eat poop, or if you think your dog may be constipated.

Pet Honesty has a new product coming out called Super Pooper chews. They combine 4 types of key ingredients to support your dog’s digestive system: fiber, probiotics, prebiotics, and enzymes. The chews may help support gut, digestive, and immune health. Ask your veterinarian if the Pet Honesty supplements may be right for your pet. 


Dr. Lindsey graduated from Colorado State University in 2009 and works in general practice, shelter medicine, and more recently as a civilian contractor veterinarian for the Army. She is also certified in acupuncture and resides in Palm Springs, CA.