Color: If your pet is happy and healthy, the poop that comes out should be brown in color. If you see bright red streaks or tarry black stool, that could indicate bleeding. You might want to get your pet checked out right away. However, keep in mind that changes in diet – and the dyes in various pet foods – can also cause red or discolored stool. The more you analyze your pet’s poop, the savvier you’ll be when determining the causes of various color changes.
Consistency: Many vets rank the consistency of pet poop on a numerical scale, such as from 1 to 7. A one may represent hard pellets, while a seven would probably indicate a puddle on the floor. Ideally, your pet should have a poop consistency of two, which would be firm, segmented pieces that are caterpillar shaped. And if you want to get close enough to press on it, the poop should feel like a piece of Play-Doh. Any other consistency could indicate digestive or other problems.
Coating: Your pet’s poop should not have a coating of any kind surrounding it. If you notice a mucous coating or a red streaked coating, you might want to bring your best friend to the vet; especially if the problem persists for several days.
Contents: Now, no one expects you to get out a toothpick and start prodding around in your pet’s poop, but if a piece is broken apart and you happen to see various contents inside, these can be worth analyzing. For example, if you see white specs or spaghetti-like strands, this could indicate that your pet has worms. If you see a lot of grass, that could indicate that your pet has an upset tummy. And who knows, you may find that wedding ring you thought you lost under the couch.
The point is, your pet’s poop contains a wealth of knowledge about your best friend’s well-being. Keep an eye on it, monitor it often using the 4 C’s and you’ll provide your best friend with the long happy life every pet deserves.