The Poop on Poop


September 4, 2016 by The Dog Rules

Have you noticed that life appears to revolve around poop?

Did you remember to take the dog out? Did he poop? Pick up that poop. Look for a tissue in your pocket and find a poop bag. Reach for change in your jeans at the store?  There’s another poop bag. Every jacket I own has poop bags in the pockets.

When volunteering as a shelter dog walker the first thing we all ask each other is “do you have (enough) poop bags?” Yes, I do. Okay. Then we think about bringing treats or a toy along in the event that we need to reward a dog for the behavior we want.

The shelter has a report sheet on the kennel of each dog for volunteer walkers to write our observations of the dog’s behavior on the walk. These reports have check boxes to indicate whether or not the dog urinated or defecated while in our care. Even with all this focus on poop I had not really thought about the importance of poop beyond the basic question of whether or not the dog pooped.

A few days after Drift was diagnosed with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) we started the enzyme in his meals and his diarrhea disappeared. He no longer needed to go outside multiple times in the middle of the night. We all got more much-needed sleep!

When your dog has been diagnosed with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency poop becomes a very important gauge of how well your dog is responding to the prescribed digestive enzymes. The dosage of enzyme is adjusted by the appearance of the stool. You find yourself becoming an expert on reading poop.

Of course you have to have a resource to learn the subtleties of poop reading. Thankfully I was directed to a website that is a fantastic resource for learning all about EPI and it had a poop chart to help evaluate poop. I took the liberty of copying their chart to my computer as a reference and I’m sharing it here.

Now I know you’re looking at the chart and thinking you’ve seen poop like this from some of the dogs you’ve cared for and they didn’t have EPI. Do you know what a “normal” poop is supposed to look like?  Until you were reading this post, had you ever given that much thought?

I’m guessing that you will pay closer attention to your dog’s poop the next time he goes.


7 thoughts on “The Poop on Poop

  1. Leah says:

    Oh. My. This made me laugh because I can relate on so many levels. I don’t even have a dog, and I have poop bags in my pockets! I had no idea there was such a thing as a poop chart, but we do give poop reports when we take our walking buddy home to her person!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leah, I didn’t know about the poop chart until I was trying to understand more about Drift’s condition. I also give the poop report when I take care of some friends’ dogs. That is always their 2nd question after “did he behave okay?” Thank you for confirming that I am not the only person who has poop bags popping out of her pockets. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  2. tippysmom2 says:

    So, I am assuming that 2 and 3 are “normal” poop. And, yes, I do tend to see what Tippy’s looks like when I see her poop. Since she is allowed to roam around, within limits, when I am home, she will often go in the woods and I don’t see it. By looking, I spotted a tape worm last year that had to be taken care of. BTW, I am glad that Drift responded will to treatment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, 2 is considered normal and 3 acceptable. Drift’s EPI was the first time I’ve ever paid close attention to minor changes. It’s funny how a health issue can focus your attention. Drift responded well to the treatment and there were a few more bumps in the road that I will be describing in future posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is the most common subject of conversations on our walks, I think most dog owners can relate 😉 What a brilliant post (though for a dogless person it might seem very odd indeed)!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] and tyrannosaurus breath that he had exhibited the day I brought him home. Consulting the poop chart let me see just how quickly things were […]


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The Dog Rules

The Dog Rules

Once the proud guardian of a rather cheeky Border Collie/Aussie Cattle Dog mix, may she forever rest in peace, my favourite activities were those things that included my canine friend. Now I have a new canine buddy in my life. He's also a Border Collie and sassy like my girl was. We're in the middle of an adventure; teaching him how to be a good canine citizen I spend my spare time volunteering at the local animal shelter as a dog walker/trainer. You can read all about it @

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