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PET SAFETY MONTH: 30 tips in 30 days that can save your pet's life - Tip #25

Just like the eyes are a window on to a pet's soul, his poop is a window on to his health. When you pick up pup's poop or when you clean kitty's litter, focus for a few seconds and look for any changes. Changes in absence of diet change are a red flag. Biggest diet change is changing to a beef based food from a different protein. Beef will darken your pet's stool and that is normal. But otherwise, be on the lookout for any changes.

And if the changes persist for two or more days and especially if pup or kitty is acting sluggish, take pup or kitty along with that poop to your vet.

Just like diamonds, there are 4 C's that pet poop is evaluated by, only these are a different 4 C's so let's call poop 'diamonds in the rough. And truly they are for knowing your pet's health. Color, Consistency, Coating and Contents.

Obviously, if pup helped finish your beet salad last night you won't be surprised by a reddish stool, but if not it could mean lower GI bleeding. A black stool could mean upper GI bleeding.

A green stool could be that pup is dining on grass trying to make a tummy ache go away. A yellow stool could be bilious (sorry) indicating a problem in the bile duct,pancreas or liver. And little white "grains" or "strings" in the stool? Hey, worms!

Then, obviously, a runny, diarrhea poop isn't good. A poop that pup or kitty has to strain to get out, also no good.

Rule of thumb: if poop is abnormal but pup or kitty is acting normal give nature a day or two. You can offer some probiotic such as Honest Kitchen's ProBloom or Daily

Boost to help their insides cope.

If your pet and her poop are both abnormal, call your vet and plan to bring them both at the next available appointment. And don't forget to bring that poop double, triple, quadruple bagged if you have to put it in your attache, backpack or purse.

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