There are many reasons a dog's stool can change from its solid-state.
The most common cases are soft stool and diarrhea. Soft stools are sizeable and can be picked, while diarrhea is more liquid-like and without any particular form.
It is good to look at all possibilities, but the best action is to get the stool sample to your vet for a check.
Below are possible reasons for infirm stools in your dog and how you can turn that around.
Why is my dog's poop not solid?
The colour and consistency of a dog's poop can and will tell you a lot about its health and whatever dent they have in its diet.
Between soft poops and diarrhoea, soft poops don't cause much concern as it may be a change in your dog's diet, lack of fibre in the diet, or eating food to which it is intolerant.
On the other hand, diarrhea can mean a dog has intestinal parasites, giardia, has eaten something harmful/toxic, or has bacterial infections.
Intestinal diarrhoea is possible if a dog's stool starts solid and then becomes runny at the end.
Absorption of water in the small intestine is the sole reason for consistency in dog poops. When water absorption capacity reduces, it results in diarrhoea, and the dog defecates more frequently than usual.
Mushy stools with mucus, worms, or eggs can alternatively mean your dog has parasites.
Here are some traits to look out for in dogs:
- Frequent defecation
- Burble noises from the belly
- Soft or liquid stools
- Loss of weight
- Mucus in stools
- Loss of appetite
Is it normal for dogs to have mushy poop?
Dog poop depends on its daily diet, which is primarily firm and moist.
Dogs on a raw diet would produce small stools with a weak smell, while those on a high fibre diet would produce stools in high volumes with a strong odour.
Mushy poops are caused by overfeeding. When the digestive system cannot absorb what it needs, they get rid of it, resulting in soft stools.
Whether feeding your dog dry or wet food, it is crucial to start with small amounts and increase with time to avoid overfeeding.
Other common causes include:
- Transition in diets
- Food intolerance
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Bacterial infections
- Excessive exercise
- Environmental changes
- Parasites such as roundworms and giardia
- Food sensitivity
- Ingesting indigestible foreign bodies
- Consuming poisonous plants or things
- Intestinal obstructions
- Stress and traumas
- Use of medication such as antibiotics
- Existing conditions such as allergies, old age, and diabetes
- Illnesses such as colitis, liver or kidney disease
Generally, dog poops should be dark brown, fairly farm, tubular, and easy to pick.
If the stool is nothing like that, then the chances are that the colon, which absorbs water from the intestine, is not functioning correctly.
How do I make my dog's poop more solid?
A change in diet is the first step in helping your dog's mushy stool condition.
High-quality, well-balanced diet: High quality doesn't have to be expensive. Always pick foods moderate in minerals, protein, and fibre. Also, ensure to lower the fat content and choose dog foods with lower ingredients.
Some dog ingredients, such as Safe Guard ingredients, are mainly designed to help firm dog stools.
Avoid fatty foods: Foods fried in oil, especially palm oil, are not easily digested and can form a layer in the dog's intestine leading to loose stools.
Change to a dry food diet: High moisture present in raw food can lead to bulky and wetter poop. Make the change gradually to allow the dog's digestive system to ease into the changes for more firm and reduced stool volume.
Administer probiotics: Low-quality diets can lead to an abundance of unhealthy bacteria in the dog's gut. Supplementing probiotics rich in good bacteria regulates imbalance improving digestion and firm bowel movements.
Only administer probiotics made for dogs and as directed by the vet for better results.
Lactose-free diets: For a dog with mushy poops, it is advised that they don't take milk as they probably have problems breaking down lactose in the milk into sugar.
Freshwater: soft stools and diarrhoea put dogs at risk of dehydration, and they must have access to plenty of clean water. Keep their water bowls clean to avoid infestation by harmful bacteria.
Keep the dog stress-free: dogs get stressed and can cause digestive difficulties. If all dietary issues are being ruled out, your dog's loose stool may be caused by stress. This can be due to environmental changes or routines. It is good to let the dog relax for a while.
Include extra fibre in the diet: Fibre helps absorb excess water and increases bulk suitable for bowel regularity producing firm stools.
However, too much fibre for your dog might be harmful. They may have a hard time absorbing minerals, and that imbalance may lead to no changes in the soft stools and can lead to diarrhoea.
Which dog food is best for firm stools?
To help stool consistency, one can start with binder foods, although some foods may not work for some dogs.
- Herbs: Marshmallow root, red raspberry leaf, and bayberry root help contract the colon and improve the mucosal lining.
- Boiled potatoes without skin: They are easily digestible fat and have reduced solanine levels, a compound usually toxic to dogs.
- Plain yoghurt: Beneficial bacteria in yoghurts help the gut rid of harmful bacteria and prevent future incidents.
- Rice water: Good quality boiled rice water helps slow down the transit of digested food through the colon, enhancing digestion.
- Pumpkin: Canned pumpkin has soluble fibre that absorbs excess water, adds bulk, and softens stool acting as a natural laxative.
- Cottage cheese: Known for its high fat and protein content, cottage cheese helps solidify waste and should only be given to lactose-intolerant dogs.
How do I naturally firm up dog stool?
The most natural reason for a dog defecating soft stools is being overfed. The dog's weight must be checked to ensure the amount of food being given corresponds with its size and is weighed accurately.
Fasting your dog for about 12-24 hours and giving them water frequently in small amounts allows the gut to settle. This can help with the soft stools but always ensure that your dog is healthy enough to undergo fasting.
When walking with your dog, keep a close eye on them to ensure they are not distracted by foreign objects they can eat.
Avoid feeding your dog too many times daily to give room for digestion. For puppies, providing a day thrice and for adult dogs, twice a day is perfect to deliver the food eaten time to digest fully.
Excessive exercising is one of the reasons for soft stools. You should make a point of giving the dog low-impact exercises to help in recovery.
When a dog is happy, eating, and behaving normally, even if they defecate soft stools, it is good to assume that the faeces haven't been in the colon long enough for water to be absorbed.
Causes of the loose stools can easily be noted, while some can be underlying, and it is good to have regular checkups by a vet.
Adding fibre to the dog's diet and ensuring it is well balanced helps as fibre regulates glucose levels in the blood and minimizes fluctuations.
Getting the best probiotics for your dog should be considered as their gut health depends on it.
Symptoms of mushy tools persist after trying all the remedies. You should seek a vet to ensure the problem is dealt with for your dog's improved good health.