What do you think of when you hear the word ‘constipation’?
If you’re like most people, you think of not being able to poop.
But did you know that there’s so much more to your dog being constipated? Or that even if your dog pooped once a day, he could still be constipated?
It’s true, and the perfect poop is not just about making it easier for you to clean up but also to keep your dog healthier.
How much poop is the perfect amount of poop?
Most dogs will poop at least once a day. Often, you’ll find that dogs will poop per feeding, which is to say that if you feed them in the morning and the evening, they’ll probably follow suit with their poos in the morning and the evening some time.
Sometimes, they’ll break it up into smaller poops, making sure that on their daily constitutionals, they’re leaving their marks for other dogs who dare roam their territory.
As long as your dog isn’t suffering from diarrhea and is otherwise healthy, there’s really no such thing as having too much poop.
But even if your dog poops daily, it may not be the healthiest poop. While dog parents everywhere may love it when their doggo drops those chocolate nuggets that practically pick themselves up, you want to make sure that their poop isn’t so rock solid and hard that it hurts when they go. This can lead them to more significant constipation, where they circle, scoot, squat and even whimper when they try to poop and still don’t have a bowel movement.
What does the perfect poop look like?
As dog parents, we want what’s best for our dogs and we know they’re supposed to make poopies regularly.
But we have to look at more than just whether they’re able to do the doggy dookie. We need to look at a few other things too.
First, you’ll want to look at your dog’s poop color. It should be brown—but depending on your dog’s diet, it can be anywhere from a honey brown to a dark chocolate. When you see green or that crazy fluorescent mustard yellow (and you probably smell it too!)–that’s a sign you may not be absorbing all the nutrients they should.
Healthy poop should also be coating-free. That means it doesn’t really leave a sluggy slime trail in the grass. It’s not supposed to be covered in or mixed with mucus, so if it is, that may mean you’re dealing with some constipation. A dog’s colon is a pretty impressive thing, and sometimes, when stool is hard, their lower intestinal tract glands will produce that slime to help the poop leave the chute more easily. It’s your dog’s body’s way of trying to resolve constipation on its own, but most likely means that there’s something else going on in the digestive tract that needs to be addressed.
You also want to be sure that there’s nothing inside of your dog’s poop—if you see blood or worms or much of anything, you may want to take that info to the vet and let them look at it more closely.
And despite how easy it is to pick those rock turds up, you don’t want your dog’s poop to be hard. You want the consistency to be a bit like firm play dough. There’s a reason the poop emoji looks like the poop emoji–that’s what you want to shoot for with your dog’s poop too. If your dog is regularly pooping diamonds in the rough? They’re probably still somewhat constipated.
What causes dog constipation and how can I help it?
Your dog may be constipated for a whole host of reasons. They may not be getting enough water or fiber or absorbing enough nutrition from their food. They may be anxious and nervous and like humans, they’re having a hard time getting regular because of the anxiety.
They may have medical issues that your vet needs to examine more thoroughly, and they may be suffering the effects of medicines that will stop the regulation of their digestive tracts. You can learn more about dog constipation here. The most important thing to know about constipation is that you don’t want it to continue for long, and you want to help your furry friend feel better fast (say that 5 times quickly!).
So what can you do for dog constipation? Especially those rock hard doodies that probably don’t feel great coming out of the rump?
Start by ensuring your dog gets lots of water and exercise. Dogs need even more water than humans do for proper hydration, and appropriate water intake and exercise help make that digestive tract of theirs like a well-oiled luge for their poop. Make sure they’re getting the appropriate amounts of food and that the food you’re giving has high-quality ingredients that won’t stop them up.
And most importantly, supplement with Bernie’s. With premium fiber from Miscanthus grass helping stool absorb moisture as it glides and slides through, and probiotics and prebiotics that keep your dog’s gut in check regularly? They’ll be squirting those poop emojis out like it’s their job, and you’ll have a healthier, happier dog.