Why Does My Dog’s Poo Look Different On Raw?
When pet parents switch their dog to a healthier lifestyle with raw food, they often expect to notice only the flashiest results: softer and glossier fur, better-smelling breath, pearly-white teeth and improved energy and mobility, to name a few. But there’s one change your raw-fed friend might experience that we often talk about but always seems to catch pet parents off-guard:
Your pet’s poo is going to look different.
While non-pet tutors might be a little grossed out by the topic, we pet parents are pretty well acquainted with our pets’ deposits. So if you’re scooping your pet’s poo from the park, be prepared for changes in color, consistency, and smell — in a good way! Oh yeah!
Why Is It Important?
If you’re not sure you want to inspect your pet’s excrement closely, let us convince you. Your pet’s bowel movements are one of the easiest, most consistent, and most reliable measurements to check on your pet’s health.
A healthy gut is the starting point for a healthy pet — after all, almost 80% of your pet’s immune system comes from their gut! Your pets’ stools will be your touchpoint (not literally please!) to determine their gut’s microbiome health and how you might be able to adjust a bit their diet to be optimal for your individual pet.
If something is upsetting the balance, it’ll likely show up in their stool first. This is why you need to pay attention to what looks “normal” for your pet.
We use “normal” in quotations because raw-fed poops can vary significantly compared to pets on a kibble diet! Because your dog isn’t eating the same meals day in and day out, you can expect changes in their stool.
What Does Your Pets Poo Colour Mean?
The first and most apparent aspect of your pet’s poop will be the colour. From dark to nearly white, raw-fed poo can come in a range of colours and vary throughout the week. These changes are primarily from the proteins you’re currently feeding your furry friend.
Dark Colour Poops
Dark-coloured poops are usually the result of darker meats like beef, lamb or venison, but they can also come from a recipe’s organ inclusion like liver or kidney, or even from those darkly pigmented veggies like beetroot. If you’re feeding these proteins or green tripe and seeing consistently dark poops, that’s completely normal!
Light Colour Poops
Light-coloured poops often come from lighter-coloured meats like duck, turkey, or chicken. Depending on the bone content on the menu, you might even see pale, nearly white poops! Again, this is fine and normal, but be on the lookout for behaviour associated with these droppings (like straining), or poops looking like crumbly sand, that might indicate too much bone in their diet.
We take this opportunity to remind you that on the Aruba Pet Nutrition website you have at your disposal the composition of all our menus where we detail the exact amount of each of the ingredients, in each of our recipes.
Colours You Don't Want To See
Bright Red or Bloody Stools
This one needs little to no explanation. Your pet should never be excrementing blood. If you see this in their stool, get to the vet as soon as possible, as it can indicate something seriously wrong.
Really Dark or Tar-like Stools
Very dark stools that cannot be correlated with feeding dark meats, organs, or veggies. Again, consistently dark stools that don’t line up with their diet that week could indicate bleeding further up in the digestive tract. The digestive process turns blood black, so if you see this without cause, then it’s a sign your pet needs immediate veterinary attention.
What Does Your Pets Poo Consistency Mean?
Hard poops usually show up because of increased bone ingestion. You can use this to help determine how much bone you need to feed your pet.
If your pet starts straining to have hard, crumbly and dry stools, it could be a sign you’re feeding too much bone. Try decreasing the bone content in their diet to make their visits to the bathroom easier and prevent problems down the road.
When we’re talking about soft poos, we don’t mean diarrhea—more on that later. A softer poo is fine occasionally, but if it’s soft on a regular basis, you might not be feeding enough bone, or enough fiber.
Consistencies You Don’t Want to See
Diarrhea is not the same as a soft stool! Diarrhea is a watery stool that may come on urgently, explosively, often with GI discomfort and occasionally vomiting. Fixing this issue is more than just making sure you’re not waking up every morning to a mess in your house— abnormal watery poops are a huge waving red flag that your pet needs attention!
Constipation is more than just your pet straining to go to the bathroom—it’s also when they don’t poop adequate amounts for days.
As you can imagine, constipation causes more than just extreme discomfort for your pet; the longer it goes on, the more it becomes a veterinary emergency.
If your pet struggles with constipation, consider increasing the fibre in their diet while decreasing the amount of bone. These two factors need to be adjusted in relation to each other to find the best balance for your unique pet.
What Does the Size Mean?
One of the most common praises from pet parents regarding their pet’s new raw diet is the change in size (and smell!) of their pet’s deposits. Raw poops are generally smaller and less stinky.
The reasoning for this is quite simple: your pet is finally eating food designed for them, where nutrients are being digested and absorbed well and only the leftovers are being excreted. It’s one of the “small” joys of raw feeding.
The Final Drop
When you've got used to your pet’s shiny new coat, there’ll be one constant reminder that you’re doing the right thing for their health, and it’ll be in their poo!
This blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or nutritional advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.