What Soft Dog Poop Means



If you’re a dog owner, you will at some point see soft dog poop from your pup. Understanding what soft dog poop means is important. Find out if you should be concerned below.

What Soft Dog Poop Means

It’s important to know what soft dog poop means because it could be a sign there is an illness or serious medical condition. It could also mean nothing at all. Knowing the reasons why a dog has soft dog poop can help you decide if you should seek medical attention.

When a Dog’s Poop Is Normal

Most pet parents know what normal stool looks like but there’s always uncertainty when it comes to abnormal poop. So that everyone is on the same page, the normal stool has these characteristics:

  • Tubular
  • Dark Chocolate Brown
  • Fairly Firm
  • Easily Picked Up

Whenever a dog’s poop is soft, it is considered diarrhea. Loose stool indicates that there’s a disturbance in the dog’s digestive system, which can have many causes. One cause may be when a dog eats curtains or some other non-food item.

what soft dog poop means

Common Causes of Soft Stools

Soft stool has the following characteristics:

  • Soft
  • Mushy
  • Hard to Pick Up

Soft dog poop occurs because the colon absorbs water from the intestine causing the colon not to function properly.

One of the most common causes of soft stool is a change in a dog’s diet. Changing the dog’s food to a new diet (such as going from kibble to fresh raw dog food) too quickly can lead to loose stool. It’s a good idea to slowly introduce a new food by decreasing the amount of the current food and adding the new food a little each time.

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When dogs eat something they should eat like rotisserie chicken, diarrhea can occur. If your dog ate rotisserie chicken and now you are dealing with soft dog poop, contact your vet if the diarrhea doesn’t stop within 24 hours.

Soft poop can also be a sign of gastrointestinal irritation due to swallowing a foreign body, string from a rope toy, or ribbon. Learn more about this by reading My Dog Swallowed a Ribbon.

Dog diarrhea can go away on its own, but it’s always a good idea to reach out to your veterinarian any time there is a concern over soft dog poop.

Loose stool can also be a sign of inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, or another health issue that requires treatment by a vet. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to a dog’s body.

When visiting the vet, be sure to bring a sample of the pet’s stool to the vet visit. The veterinarian will likely want to test it for parasites and bacteria to rule out any major medical conditions in the intestinal tract.

loose dog stool

Other Issues Concerning Your Pup’s Poop

Diarrhea isn’t the only sign there is a digestive tract issue. The following are some other changes in a pet’s stool that could indicate a problem.

White and Chalky Poop

When a dog’s poop is white and chalky, it contains a lot of calcium, which is common with raw food diets. When this occurs, there is a risk for obstipation (the inability to have a bowel movement). When dog constipation leads to vomiting, loss of appetite, and lethargy, it’s a good idea to schedule an emergency vet visit. If possible, bring a sample of the dog’s poop to be tested.

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Light Colored Specks

Light-colored specks can indicate there is a parasite infestation in the GI tract. Common infestations include roundworms or tapeworms.

While parasite infestation is usually tested for during regular vet visits, there’s always a chance that it could occur in between those visits. Keeping regular vet visits AND contacting the vet whenever there is abnormal stool can prevent serious health issues.

Bloody Dog Stool

A poop that includes the following usually means there is a health issue:

  • Black
  • Tarry
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Red

Any of the above colors can indicate blood in the stool. The most common causes of bloody stool are intestinal infections or issues in the anal area. However, it can be a sign of a bigger problem, such as cancer.

Greasy and Gray Dog Poop

Greasy and gray poop usually means there’s a lot of fat in a dog’s diet. Making a dietary change can lead to healthy dog poop. Ignoring it can lead to life-threatening medical problems, such as pancreatitis (an inflammatory condition).

Dog Diarrhea with Mucus

A dog’s soft poop encased in mucus can be a sign of parasites or the presence of parvovirus. Take a look at the dog’s soft poop to see if there are worms or eggs in it. If so, take a sample of it and visit the vet. Again, these issues are checked for during annual vet visits and are usually identified before it’s evident in a dog’s diarrhea.

Some foods can cause diarrhea, such as rotisserie chicken. Check out this article on it: My Dog Ate Rotisserie Chicken and Now Has Diarrhea

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cbd oil for soft dog poop

CBD Oil for Soft Dog Poop

The cannabinoid compound alleviates pain (particularly abdominal pain), which is associated with loose stool.

CBD has been effective in treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in humans and we have seen similar effects in canines since they also have an endocannabinoid system.

Some dog owners report that CBD has caused diarrhea, but this is not common and may be associated more with overuse or too high of a dose.

For those who are not familiar with CBD oil, it only has a small amount of THC in it (what makes humans feel “high”). The small amount of THC does not cause the “high” experience in humans or canines.

Learn more about CBD for Dogs.

Getting Dog Poop Off Shoes

When dog owners deal with soft poop, they often step in it because it’s not as visible in the grass. If this happens to you, there are some great ways to get dog poop off your shoes.

Healthy Dogs Are Happy Dogs

Healthy dog poop is a healthy pup. Contact the veterinarian if there are concerns. Any dietary indiscretions such as a new food usually lead to some changes in the stool but if it lasts for more than a couple of days, it’s better to call the veterinary office. The same goes for dog constipation – even with firmer stool than normal – it warrants a check-in with the vet.

At Dog Ownership Guide, we want your dog to be happy, so you as the owner can be happy. Happy Dogs ~ Happy Owners



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2 thoughts on “What Soft Dog Poop Means”

  1. Hi. I got my dog from a shelter she was surrendered through neglect, she is a 8yr rottie and I do not know what
    her previous diet was. I am feeding her Dry dog food with rice, vegies, fresh meat with a salmon oil cap.
    to every 4 out 5 bowel movements is soft even runny.
    I’m guessing its the diet I hope not sure how to change it ?

    • Hi Jan! It sounds like you’re doing great with the diet. It may just need some more fiber.

      We adopted our pittie from the shelter a few years ago and her stool is still soft after her initial poop of the day. LOL Since she also sometimes has anal gland expression issues, we use the product below (Psyllium Husk Powder) to firm it up which helps with that expression. I know you didn’t mention that as your issue, but it does help with making her poop more solid and since it’s fiber, it’s good for her overall gastrointestinal tract.

      Here’s the link:

      It’s only $10 and lasts forever. You’ll want to be sure you mix it with plenty of water and I usually put a bit of meat in it so she gobbles it right up.

      Hope this helps!


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