Let’s talk about dog poo
If you have a dog or two you spend a lot of time talking about dog poo. If you have chihuahuas you spend a lot of time picking up poo.
How your dog’s poo looks is a good barometer of their health. So, taking time out to have a look at dog poo may sound disgusting, but it’s an important part of keeping your chihuahua healthy and picking up any niggling health issues.
Generally, your dog will poo just after eating a meal, the stool should be firm and chocolate brown in colour. It is going to be a bit smelly but not so overpowering that it makes you gag.
All dogs get bouts of diarrhoea, often because they have eaten something that has upset their gut. The odd bout is to be expected and most often won’t need vet intervention. Read how to deal with diarrhoea.
How much your chihuahua poos is going to be related directly to how much food they have digested and how much has passed through as waste. People who feed raw are very proud of how small their dog poos are. This is because there is very little waste from raw food. While feeding raw is considered by many to be a superior food, there can be a downside to super tiny poop.
Anal glands are two small sacs of fluid that sit inside your dog’s anus, when he defecates, the stool should express the sacs and release the fluid. This gives your dog’s poo it’s signature scent. However, if the poo is too small or too soft to do the job then issues with anal glands can develop. Read: Why anal glands are a pain in the arse.
Doing a visual check on your dog’s poo is also a good way to see if your dog has picked up worms. If you can see any tiny white dots or anything wiggling around, then you probably need to worm your dog. However, don’t rely on this visual to be an indicator of worms. Run regular faecal tests.
Permanently soft poo is an indicator that something is wrong in the gut. Your chihuahua may have a food intolerance or allergy to something he is eating. Resolving this is important as food intolerance can lead to leaky gut syndrome, cause other itchy skin conditions, problems with ears and add to tear staining. But, one of the main issues with soft stools, is again anal glands. Soft dog poo will not express the sacs which can then fill up and get infected.
Sloppy poo could also be a sign that you are overfeeding your dog, re-look at the amount you are feeding and start weighing it out rather than just chucking it in the bowl.
Dog poo should not be over hard and difficult to pass. Constipation is an indicator that your dog is eating too much insoluble fibre and you need to adjust his diet. Don’t give your chihuahua large lumps of raw veggies to chew on. People often do because they want to help clean their chihuahuas teeth. But dogs can’t digest raw veggies. To feed raw veggies to your dog, you must start the digestive process and pulverise or grate them to break down the cellulose. He may also have a bowel obstruction, so if constipation goes on for more than a couple of days then speak to your vet.
Yellow poo can mean the food has passed too quickly through the gut to pick up any bile. (It’s the bile that makes it go brown). It can also be an indicator of other health problems such as pancreatitis or liver disease.
Change your dog’s diet to something better quality and if his poo does not turn brown then speak to the vet.
Orange or Grey poo
Can be a sign of liver or gall bladder issues, speak to your vet.
Black tarry sticky poo
Black sticky poo can be the sign that blood is present. This could be from bouts of colitis or an upper GI bleed. If your dog is passing these kinds of poos, then speak to your vet.
You can expect to see some mucus on a stool from time to time, but if this is a regular occurrence or the mucus is red this could mean your chihuahuas gut is inflamed and severely irritated. Put your dog onto a bland diet of chicken or turkey and pumpkin and if it does not settle then speak to your vet. If your chihuahua has had a nasty bout of diarrhoea, then try making a healing bone broth.
Your dog’s poo will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about your chihuahua’s health. It’s not glamorous but it is important to understand what you are looking at before you flush it down the loo.