As a dog owner, you know that monitoring your pup’s bathroom habits is an important part of caring for their health. So when you notice your dog’s poop looks like peanuts, it can be alarming.
Seeing those small, brown pellets in your dog’s poop might make you worried they ate something they shouldn’t have. Or it could indicate a more serious health issue.
Either way, peanut-like poop usually means something is off with your doggy. The good news is there are steps you can take to get your pup’s poops back to normal.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Common causes of peanut-looking poop in dogs
- When to see the vet about peanut poop
- Tips to resolve peanut poop
- How to prevent peanut poop
Let’s start by going over why your dog’s poop might look like peanuts in the first place.
Common Causes of Peanut Poop in Dogs
There are a few possible explanations for why your dog’s poop resembles peanuts:
One of the most common reasons for peanut-looking poop is your dog’s diet.
If your pooch eats a portion of food with high fat or low fiber, it can lead to small, compact poops. Some culprits include:
- Peanuts or nuts: Ironically, feeding your dog peanuts or other nuts can make their poop look like peanuts. Nuts have a high fat content.
- Treats and scraps: Too many fatty treats like cheese or leftovers can also bind your dog’s poop into little balls.
- Low-quality kibble: Cheap dog foods filled with fillers provide little nutritional value. They may lack the fiber needed for healthy poop.
- Sudden diet change: Quickly switching your dog’s food can upset their digestive system and affect poop.
When a dog is dehydrated, their body absorbs water from poop as it passes through the colon. This results in hard, dry, peanut-like poops.
Dehydration can happen if your dog doesn’t drink enough water or fluid loss occurs due to:
- Excessive panting
- Increased urination (from medications, kidney disease, etc.)
Look for other signs of dehydration like lethargy, dry nose and gums, and sunken eyes.
3. Medical Conditions
Certain medical conditions affect your dog’s digestion and can cause peanut-looking poop:
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI): With EPI, the pancreas doesn’t produce enough digestive enzymes. This leaves food poorly digested, coming out in peanut-shaped chunks.
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO): An excess of bacteria in the small intestine leads to poor absorption of nutrients. Stools may contain undigested food particles.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Chronic inflammation affects the intestinal tract’s ability to absorb nutrients and digest food.
- Intestinal parasites: Worms or protozoa like Giardia live in the small intestines, interfering with digestion. Stools appear abnormal.
- Anal gland issues: Impaction or infection of the anal glands near your dog’s anus can make poop appear peanut-like.
- Tumors or polyps: Growths in the GI tract obstruct digestion, resulting in undigested poop.
If your dog has an underlying condition, you may see other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, or blood in the stool. Your vet can help diagnose and treat any issues.
If your dog ate something they shouldn’t, it could get stuck in their intestines. Things like bones, sticks, rocks, fabric, or toys can cause a blockage.
With an intestinal obstruction, your dog may poop out small chunks of undigested food matter. They may also gag, retch, or act lethargic.
Obstructions are very dangerous and require immediate vet attention. So if you think your pup swallowed something unusual, call your vet right away.
5. Eating Too Fast
Gulping food doesn’t give your dog’s body time to properly digest it before it passes out the other end. Eating too fast is common in hungry pups.
You may notice whole pieces of undigested kibble in your dog’s peanut-looking poop. Slow feeder bowls can help prevent them from scarfing down meals.
Now that we’ve covered some reasons your dog’s poop might resemble peanuts let’s go over when to call your vet.
When to Take Your Dog to the Vet for Peanut Poop
In some cases, peanut-looking poop may simply come down to a diet change. But often it signals an underlying problem needing veterinary attention.
Contact your vet if your dog’s poop looks like peanuts along with any of these symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Appetite changes
- Excessive gas
- Straining, difficulty pooping
- Pain when pooping
- Blood in stool
- Eating non-food items (pica)
Pups with digestive conditions like EPI or IBD benefit from early diagnosis and treatment. Catching something more serious like a tumor or obstruction can be life-saving.
Even if there are no other symptoms, consistently peanut-like poop merits a vet visit. Your vet can pinpoint the cause and ensure your dog’s health is on track.
Some things your vet may do include:
- Physical exam
- Fecal exam to check for parasites
- Bloodwork to reveal issues like EPI
- Ultrasound to look for masses or blockages
- Endoscopy to examine the GI tract
- Biopsies to test for conditions like IBD
With your vet’s input, you can get to the bottom of your dog’s pooping problems. Next we’ll go over ways to resolve peanut poop at home.
How to Resolve Peanut Poop in Dogs
Depending on the cause, there are steps you can take at home to improve your dog’s poops:
For diet-related peanut poop:
- Gradually transition to a high-quality dog food with more fiber and protein
- Limit fatty treats and people’s food
- Add pumpkin or greens to kibble to increase fiber
- Try a probiotic supplement to support healthy digestion
If your dog is dehydrated:
- Offer fresh water several times a day
- Add broth or wet food to your dog’s diet
- Monitor urine color – it should be pale yellow
For eating too fast:
- Use a slow feed bowl or food puzzles
- Separate into multiple smaller meals
- Avoid too much exercise before meals
For intestinal blockages:
- Monitor vomiting, lethargy and straining
- Feel their abdomen for tenderness or bloating
- Prevent access to questionable objects
- Keep up with heartworm, flea and tick prevention
- Pick up poop promptly and dispose
- Bathe and groom your dog regularly
In many cases, your vet will prescribe medication to resolve any infections or imbalances contributing to your dog’s peanut poop. Be sure to finish the full course as directed.
With patience and TLC, your pup’s poop should go back to normal in no time. Now let’s go over some ways to prevent peanut poop.
How to Prevent Peanut Poop in Dogs
Here are some tips to keep your dog’s poop a healthy shape and consistency:
- Feed a high quality dog food with fiber and probiotics
- Stick to a feeding schedule with regular meal times
- Ensure adequate hydration with clean, fresh water
- Pick up foreign objects that your dog could ingest
- Use toys and puzzles that make dogs “work” for kibble
- Clean up poop from your yard before it accrues
- Keep up with parasite prevention year-round
- Schedule annual vet visits for exams and stool checks
- Learn your dog’s bathroom habits to notice changes
While peanut-looking poop will probably happen at some point, these prevention tips can minimize instances.
The Takeaway on Peanut Poop in Dogs
Seeing small, brown pellets in your dog’s poop can be puzzling. In most cases, it signals an issue like dehydration, diet, or an underlying condition needing veterinary attention.
Catching and addressing the problem early minimizes complications. With some diet tweaks, added fiber, or medication from your vet, your dog’s poop can get back to normal.
Above all, peanut-like poop shows that our pups rely on us for their health and well-being. By staying attentive and responsive when it counts, we can ensure many happy and healthy years together with our furry best friends.
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