While the color of your dog’s poop can offer one set of information about their health, the texture or firmness can help you get insight as well. Soft stool is a somewhat common issue with dogs, and the causes are often temporary and easy to resolve. If you’ve noticed that your dog’s droppings are suddenly softer than usual – not diarrhea, but not as firm as they normally are – there could be a few things going on.
What Causes Soft Stool in Dogs?
The most common causes of soft dog poop are related to diet or stress. Other potential culprits include an illness or allergy. We’ll cover everything so you’re prepared for a discussion with your veterinarian, if necessary.
Dietary Reasons for Soft Stool in Dogs
- Your dog may have eaten something they shouldn’t have. From grapes or citrus to trash to something they found outdoors, it’s possible that they ate something that upset their stomach. This should resolve itself in a day or two, once your dog’s digestive system has returned to normal.
- Your dog is eating too much. Overfeeding your dog, even if it’s approved dog food, can result in your dog’s bowels having to work too hard to process all the food. Soft stools are often the result. Find out how much your dog should be eating, and adjust their portions as necessary. Their poo should return to normal within a couple of days of that adjustment, at most. To find out how much food your dog should be eating per day, look for serving size information on the back of your dog’s food package. There are also handy dog feeding charts available to help you get a general idea of the amount of food your dog should eat. You can also ask your veterinarian.
- Your dog is eating too many table scraps. We know there are common foods you should never feed to dogs (chocolate and onions, for example), but too much rich, spicy, or fiber-rich food in general can affect digestion. Cut back on or eliminate the table scraps, and you should start seeing improved poo texture soon.
- Not enough fiber. If you feed your dog mostly canned food, they could be getting too much water and not enough fiber. So, what to feed a dog with soft stool? You can add canned pumpkin or cooked sweet potato to your dog’s regular food for a fiber boost. Work your way up to using one tablespoon per meal for a small dog and up to a quarter of a cup per meal for large dogs. To avoid additional issues, gradually add this to your dog’s diet, increasing it to the full amount after several days. Which brings us to …
- Dietary changes. If you’ve recently switched your dog’s food, even if it’s higher-quality food, it can result in soft stool. Veterinarians generally recommend transitioning your dog slowly to new food over the course of five to 10 days because the new food can cause an upset stomach. Your dog should adjust to their new food in about a week.
Other Reasons for Soft Stool in Dogs
Non-dietary reasons for soft stools can include:
- Gut bacteria imbalances
One of these issues may be to blame if your dog continues producing soft stool even after you’ve made beneficial dietary changes and they’ve had time to adjust.
When to Call the Vet
If dietary changes and monitoring aren’t helping, it’s best to call the vet. You should also call right away if you notice any of these issues:
- Your dog is lethargic.
- Your dog has a soft stool with blood in it.
- Your dog has a tar-like or black stool.
- Your dog’s stomach seems distended or bloated.
- You think your dog might have ingested a toxin or inedible object.
- The soft dog poop keeps getting softer, turning to diarrhea that lasts more than a day.
How to Pick Up Soft Dog Poop from Grass
While you’re figuring out your dog’s health status, you’re also dealing with the mess. Here’s how to clean up soft dog poop in a few different ways:
- Grab your thickest poop bag. Use it as a makeshift glove to scrape up the pile. Then turn the bag inside out, put it in another bag, and tie it off.
- Sprinkle the poo pile with sawdust or kitty litter to absorb moisture. Wait a few hours before trying to pick up the poop with a bag.
- Schedule residential dog poop removal services with DoodyCalls. Our prompt, courteous technicians will make sure your yard is clean so you can focus on your dog’s comfort!
Between monitoring your dog’s health and ensuring they’re only eating what they should, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Let DoodyCalls do the cleanup outside. Give us a call at (888) 659-6558 or find the nearest DoodyCalls location to get a quote.