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Why Dog Poop Starts Solid Then Soft

Various elements go into confirming how healthy your dog is, including dog poop.

Inspecting dog poop will tell you whether it is fit or not, the condition it is likely to suffer, and what treatment to consider.

You will consider various aspects of stool, including when the dog poop starts solid then soft.

Here are a few insights.

What Makes Dogs Poop Hard Then Runny?

Suppose your dog’s poop starts runny, then becomes runny.

In that case, it could indicate that the pet has small intestine diarrhea.

You could attribute the condition to various elements, including pathogens and infections.

This stool contrasts the normal one, which is firm, moist, and with a slight odor.

You’ll expect a dog on a high-fiber diet to have a more voluminous stool.

Various elements will help you understand how healthy your dog is in such instances.

For instance, a change in consistency shows absorption issues.

Multiple pathogens and bacteria in the small intestine can cause these malabsorption issues.

Ideally, they alter osmolarity, compromising water absorption.

However, some pathogens could do the opposite, making the stool hard and dry.

You could also expect diarrhea from the pet in this case.

Your dog will defecate more than usual, yet with an unusual poop consistency.

Its feces will be more fluid, thanks to the excess water within the small intestines.

What Are the Causes of Small Intestine Diarrhea?

Various elements cause small intestine diarrhea.

They include intestinal viruses, dietary indiscretions, and intestinal parasites.

Also, chronic enteropathy is yet another notable cause of small intestine diarrhea.

Small intestine diarrhea comes with various symptoms, including the following:

  • An increased frequency
  • Increased volume of feces
  • It comes with no fresh blood
  • You might witness vomiting
  • You will not see the urge or tenesmus to defecate
  • Significant weight loss

Vets will help determine the extent and the causes of this condition, primarily through x-rays, ultrasound, endoscopy, blood tests, and stool examination.

Its treatment requires withholding food instead of water, preferably between 24 and 48 hours.

Once diarrhea stops, you’ll give the dog bland and low-fat foods for a few days.

pooping dog

What Causes Solid Poop to Go Runny?

When your dog’s poop starts hard and goes soft, it should indicate a sign of a disease.

The condition will, in most cases, affect the gastrointestinal tract.

Various elements can cause this, including kidney disease, liver disease, food hypersensitivity, inflammatory bowel disease, and intestinal obstruction.

Foreign bodies in the small intestines can also cause this problem.

Is This Normal?

It is not normal for dog poop to start solid and then soft.

A stool that starts significantly firm, followed by soft or loose, shows that the dog is suffering from different intestinal issues.

Unless you understand the potential causes of the problem, you will likely not treat your pet accordingly.

You might need to be keen about your dog’s poop from the start, noting any inconsistencies.

Various conditions can cause the dog’s stool to start firm and become loose in the second phase of the bowel movement.

In most cases, it will show that the pet suffers from intestinal bacterial overgrowth, malabsorption, food intolerance, or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

Other causes include inflammatory bowel disease, dysbiosis, and pathogens.

Suppose the poop is greasy and grey.

In this case, you will be sure that too much fat is in the dog’s diet.

Excess fat contributes to pancreatitis, whether mild or life-threatening.

On the other hand, a soft stool coated with mucus signifies the presence of parasites, pathogens, or parvovirus in the small intestines.

What Should You Check for Dog Poop?

Healthy dog poop is compact and able to hold its shape.

Various elements can make it appear different, including intestinal upsets.

In this case, you might witness watery or runny poop.

Understanding what factors to look for when gauging the health of your dog’s poop will ensure that you make informed decisions.

They include the following.


Consistency is the central aspect that determines the health of your dog.

Healthy poop is compact, moist, and with a slight odor.

Hard or dry poop shows that your dog has constipation issues, while runny stool indicates stomach upsets.


Poop frequency varies from one dog to another.

It would help if you knew the average number of times your dog defecates.

However, this frequency should be between one and four times on average.

A significant difference indicates a bigger issue that you’ll need to address instantly.


The size of the poop will vary with the breed.

However, any slight decrease or increase in stool should indicate a problem.

How to Diagnose Abnormal Feces In Dogs

You can diagnose abnormal stool by physical examination, microscopic evaluation, or medical history.

Regardless of the chosen method, you must invest in advanced technologies to ensure unmatched accuracy.

You must also use a fresh stool in this process.

Here is a breakdown of what each method brings to the table.

  • Physical Examination: A physical examination focuses on various things, including body temperature, heart rate, respiration, and dehydration status. A vet will also perform a rectal exam.
  • Medical History: The vet will ask about the pet’s medical history. In this case, you will provide information about vaccination, deworming history, diet, and exposure to toxins. You will also need to give a detailed account of the symptoms.
  • Laboratory tests: A routine lab test will help check bacterial infection, viral elements, and the presence of pathogens in the intestines.
  • Diagnostic imaging: Excellent medical imaging will help check whether there are foreign bodies in the intestines, including tumors. In most cases, a vet will opt for a barium study or ultrasound alongside the fecal inspection.

What To Do For Your Dog

Various treatment options suffice if your dog’s poop starts solid then softens.

There are three main options in this case, including dietary modification, rehydration, and medication.

The choice will depend on the extent of the condition.

The dietary modification requires you to withhold food to help rest the intestinal tract.

However, you should not deny pet water during this period.

Rehydration will also suffice if diarrhea has caused significant dehydration.

Hospitalization might be necessary during the rehydration period.

On the other hand, medication will be determined by the vet.

This professional could choose different approaches, including deworming and antibiotics.

Some medicines will also help decrease motility, ensuring that the dog is healthier in the long run.

Investing in the right vet services will help protect your dog.

Once you notice the signs mentioned above, it would be best to start the process instantly.

This way, you avoid significant health complications and fatalities in the long run.

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National Canine Research Association of America