When is the Last Time You Looked at Your Dog’s Poop?
By John Gilpatrick
No one wants to deal with dog poop. Just look at how many inventions are out there to make this necessity more pleasant (or less unpleasant)—from bags to deodorizers, pickers, scoopers, and shovels, just to name a few.
There are hygienic reasons behind why owners pick up their pets’ bowel movements, but there are also solid medical reasons for why it’s a good idea to pay closer attention to poop than just making sure it is picked up.
“Dog owners are the best at discovering slight changes in their pet’s activity and health,” says Sandy Willis, a small animal internal medicine specialist. “Changes might indicate disease early enough that we might be able to quickly diagnose and begin treating a problem.”
There are a lot of signs in your dog’s stool that might indicate a short-term or more serious medical problem. Color, consistency, frequency and other changes may alert you to an issue before your dog shows any other symptoms. The best way to know is to spot the changes, and the only way you as an owner can note any change is by being familiar with how often your dog poops and what it looks like when he’s healthy.
Following are five skills you will master by paying attention to your dog’s poop.