Observing a mixed consistency in your dog poop can be confusing and it’s easy to assume the worst. While you can’t always tell what’s happening beneath those sleek, furry coats of your four-legged friend; the nature of their poop can inform you about their health.
When your pooch has a solid poop that ends with runs or goes soft, it tells you that the part which was passed out first had a longer gut transit time permitting full water absorption. In most cases, there are no other related symptoms and it often resolves spontaneously. However, acute diarrheic episodes could begin in a similar fashion.
A number of factors may contribute to such a change in the consistency of your dog’s feces and it is mostly centered around diet than other causes like infection and parasites.
Every dog may not have the same experience with a certain diet option so it’s imperative to learn what food goes well with your canine friend. Choosing the wrong diets will likely impact your dog’s health and is often evident in their poop.
If you are quite uncertain about the cause, consider looking out for other symptoms or taking the stool sample to your vet for proper examination. You can also check the stool for bloodstains, mucous coating or the presence of parasites.
Is it Normal For Dog Poop to Start Solid and End Soft?
Many owners still have concerns about the changing consistency of their dog’s poop and it is worth understanding what’s normal and abnormal.
Though common with dogs, a firm poop that ends soft or runny is usually a sign of frequent bowel movements, occurring as due to your dog’s diet, digestive issues or more serious problems particularly when it lasts for several days or worsens.
Also, keep in mind that physical activities such as taking your dog on leisurely walks, running, or exercising can increase their bowel movement and gastrointestinal motility. Whenever there is increased bowel movement, the final stages of stool formation are not completed causing their poop to end soft or runny.
Generally, you should have nothing to worry about except that cleaning up may become a bit more difficult. You can rest assured that your dog will not become dehydrated if only a small amount of water is lost. Nevertheless, make sure you monitor your dog’s stool in case the condition escalates to full-blown diarrhea.
What Causes Your Dog’s Poop To Start Solid Then Soft?
The intestinal contents of your dog must be adequately digested and absorbed for the stool to be completely formed. Diarrhea can be caused by anything that disrupts these processes.
It may seem less serious when your dog’s poop starts hard and turns soft but if the overall well-being of your dog is affected, then knowing the possible culprits will be helpful in finding the solution.
Not only does the food you give to your canine counterparts affect their poop consistency, it determines how healthy they become. By understanding your pooch better, you will be able to provide the right diet for their digestive system.
If you feed your canine low-quality dog food and too many treats very frequently, various gut problems can arise.
Not all human diets are healthy for dogs. Most of the components are usually toxic or indigestible causing diarrhea but for the most part, indiscriminate eating habits in dogs can lead to either garbage toxicosis or GI infection.
Just as worse, overfeeding your furry friend can result in runny poop since complete digestion and absorption of large quantities of food may not be achieved.
Also, it could be that you changed your dog’s diet recently. The canine gut is sensitive and adapts to the new proteins only gradually. Therefore, switching your dog’s diet shouldn’t be done abruptly. Switching through the course of 1 or 2 weeks would suffice.
2. Physical Activities
Don’t panic if you notice that your dog’s poop starts and hard turns runny after a bit of exercise, running or jogging. It’s very normal and not of major concern. Lack of physical activities can ruin your dog’s health so giving them the opportunity to express their natural exuberance is important.
Canine diarrhea due to an increased level of physical activity may stem from the fact that there is an accelerated movement of the intestinal contents making fecal evacuation faster than normal. This will leave little room for full absorption of water from the runny part of the stool.
Moreover, the energy consumption associated with running or exercise is directed towards the hardest working muscles, leaving the gut with minimal energy. Blood flow to the gut is also reduced. These might irritate the gut leading to diarrhea.
3. Food Intolerance and Allergies
If a portion of your dog’s poop is runny, chances are that you switched to a novel protein that your pooch is not yet used to, causing food intolerance or allergies.
Food intolerance isn’t the same as a true food allergy because it doesn’t involve the immune system. It occurs when certain elements in your dog’s food are not effectively digested resulting in gut irritation and fermentation of the food substance. Flatulence, diarrhea and vomiting are all common symptoms of adverse food reactions.
Ingestion of toxic foods and certain dietary additives, as well as dairy products, can produce adverse reactions in dogs, as seen in lactose intolerance.
An allergic food reaction is an exaggerated response of the dog’s immune system to a novel protein occurring most commonly with beef, chicken, wheat, egg, and more. Food allergy could also happen from feeding your pooch the same protein for a long period of time. Slowly switching your dog’s diet is a great way to figure out why they have a soft or runny stool.
4. Microbial or Parasitic Infection
Microbes are ubiquitous and important for biological processes but bacterial and viral infections could result after exposure to disease-causing organisms such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, E Coli and more.
Intestinal parasites can also be acquired by polluted water and vegetables, infected stool, or soil that may contain an infective cyst that sheds in the intestine. Roundworms, hookworms, coccidia, and giardia are some of the most common intestinal parasites that cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs.
Any infectious agent, including bacteria, viruses, and viral parasites, can cause diarrhea, and puppies are especially susceptible to these organisms due to their weakened immune systems.
If your runny pooch roams all day long wolfing down every food he comes across then you should definitely suspect a possible infection.
What To Do If Your Dog Poop Starts Solid Then Soft
1. Get The Feeding Right
In respect of your dog’s age, tolerance and lifestyle you ought to choose the correct type of dog food for them.
While showering love and care to your canine friend, it’s crucial to keep their food intake at the normal level and not spoil them with too many treats.
Consuming too much food tends to overload your pooch’s digestive system leading to reduced efficiency. Dog treats contain unique ingredients and additives that can upset your dog’s digestive tract if taken in excess.
If your dog’s poop always goes runny at the end, you can do your due diligence to find out the irritating ingredients in their food. Usually, you can achieve that by feeding them one type of food. You can always let your vet intervene if the condition remains unchanged.
2. Let Your Pooch Take A Break From Eating
Another effective remedy will be to fast your dog for 12 to 24 hrs depending on their size and age. Young pups are usually weaker and may not have the capacity to fast.
The essence of the fast is to allow the GI tract of your dog to rest and recover. Always ensure that they drink enough freshwater during the fast.
3. Give Them Special Diets To Firm Up Their Stool
Not all cases of diarrhea may warrant a visit to the vet, particularly when there is no related symptom. In such conditions, some proven dietary remedies may come in handy.
To help your pooch with runny stool at home, a bland diet is an effective method. It is easily digestible and aids to reduce any revolt in your pooch’s gut. A bland diet is made up of a protein source usually boiled boneless, and skinless pieces of chicken and a starch source which could be rice or sweet potato.
Remember, switching back to the normal diet should be done gradually by increasing the amount normal diet over a period of 1 or 2 weeks. Below is an easy bland diet recipe to get your pooch going.
Because of its high fiber and potassium content, pumpkin puree or plain canned pumpkin is also highly effective remedy in curing canine diarrhea.
Probiotics are beneficial in providing balance to the community of microbes in the gut hence enhancing digestive functions. Purina Fortiflora is a safe and effective probiotic supplement that can provide specialized support to your dog’s intestinal microflora and strengthen their immune systems. Probiotics are also contained in yogurt but are only suitable for lactose tolerant canines.
When To Visit Your Vet
The bit of stool inconsistency isn’t always a cause for concern and often subsides spontaneously or with diet modification but in more severe cases they don’t or may even progress to explosive diarrhea. The conditions listed below will necessitate a visit to your veterinarian.
- If diarrhea persists in your dog after undergoing various home remedies.
- Diarrhea does not normally exceed 3 days. So, if this is the case, look no further than a trip to the vet.
- Presence of other symptoms such as pain, vomiting, lethargy, fever, or weight loss.
- If you notice the presence of a red streak or mucus in the stool sample of your dog. Black or green stool also suggests an underlying disorder.
- If the condition progresses to severe diarrhea with dehydration, it is strongly advised that you immediately take your pooch to the vet for the administration of appropriate treatment for this condition