Taking care of our four-legged friends can be incredibly rewarding, and there isn’t much you won’t do to keep your pooch healthy and smiling.
So, if you notice a little (or a lot) of mucus in dog poop, it might cause alarm.
While there are a lot of reasons that you may see mucus in your dog’s stool, it’s important to understand what each one means, and if you’re even the slightest bit concerned that the cause of mucus is something to be worried about, be sure to consult your veterinarian immediately.
Let’s take a look at some possible causes below and see if they apply to your pup.
What is Mucus and Should I be Concerned?
So, what causes mucus in dog poop?
First, let’s set the baseline of what mucus is so that you can easily identify if it is something that’s affecting your dog.
Mucus can be easily identified by its shiny, slimy composition. Despite its presence in your dog’s feces, small amounts of mucus are quite normal in their stool. In fact, mucus serves as a protective liner in the intestines and colon of animals like dogs.
Essentially, mucus serves as a lubricant and protectant against microorganisms, antigens, and bacterial toxins.1 So seeing a bit of mucus in dog poop is quite common since it’s natural for the body to shed some of this mucus during bowel movements.
When There is Too Much Mucus
Having a dog for a pet means that you know what is going into — and coming out of — their body. So when you notice a change in the consistency of their stool, it’s important to know some of the things that can contribute to more mucus than normal in their feces.
Like their human companions, dogs are extremely sensitive creatures and are prone to stress. Now, dogs can experience stress due to a number of things, including:
- Changes in your pup’s environment (like a new home or a new member of the family)
- Being away from their family (if they need to be boarded or kennelled)
- Going to see the vet. You don’t always like visiting the dentist, and the vet isn’t your dog’s favorite place (but it’s important that they see them!)
Unfortunately, when dogs experience stress for a prolonged period of time it can manifest itself in their poop.2 So if your dog has experienced a bout of recent stressors, that could be cause for the mucus you’re seeing.
2. Change in Diet
A dog’s body becomes accustomed to a certain diet over time. If you’ve been feeding them the same kibble for years and decide to try something brand new (without slowly introducing it over time), it could cause your dog to have more mucus in their stool — and in some cases, your dog may even experience diarrhea.
Because dogs’ digestive systems are sensitive, changes in their diet may cause their digestive system to react to the new food in a way that causes more mucus to be shed during defecation.
Also be sure to check the ingredients in your dog’s new food. If there is excess mucus in their poop, there’s a chance that they could be allergic to one or more of the ingredients in the new food.3 As always, if you’re unsure, consult your vet as soon as possible.
3. Parasites & Viruses
Finally, parasites and virus infections are common culprits when it comes to mucus in dog poop.
One of the most common diseases in dogs is parvovirus (also called “parvo”).
Dogs can become exposed to parvo in a lot of different ways, such as:
- Direct contact with another infected dog
- Through feces of an infected dog
- By touching exposed common surfaces like dog bowls and crates
One of the effects of parvo in dogs can be blood or mucus in their stool, so if you see either, it is best to consult your veterinarian right away.4
Other parasites to be aware of are hookworms. These parasites attack your dog’s intestinal tract and are highly contagious. Additionally, hookworm eggs can live in dog poop, and therefore can infect environments where your dog may go for walks.
If you see blood or mucus in your dog’s poop, consult your vet. They may decide to vaccinate your dog against hookworms to be on the safe side.5,6
Knowing Your Pup
One of the best things you can do for your pet is to be aware of the changes in their environment, diet, or bowel movements that may be related to bigger health issues. If you notice your dog acting a bit “off” or you see more mucus in their stool than normal, it might be time to have them checked out at your vet.
After all, you want your furry friend to be as healthy as possible, and paying attention to their behavior is a great way to ensure they stay happy and healthy!
- Everything You Need to Know About Worms in Dog Poop
- Dog Vomit Cheat Sheet: Different Colors & What They Mean
- Stomach Aches in Dogs – Causes, Symptoms, and Remedies