When picking up after your dog, you likely want to get it over with as quickly as possible. A dog's firm stool is ideal, and you may not pay too much attention to it.

But sometimes, you can’t help but notice that something’s different.

The way your dog's stool looks can be a cause for alarm if it’s of a different consistency or color than normal.

Loose stool is often one of the first indicators that your dog’s digestive system isn’t quite right, but it’s also one of the easiest things to remedy from home.

Here are some of the best aids for firming your dog’s stool so you can ensure your dog is happy and healthy.

Dog's Firm Stool Means a Healthy Digestive System

To understand why it is important to monitor your dog’s stool, it is important to understand their digestive system since dogs digest food much differently than humans.

The digestive acids in your dog’s stomach are stronger than yours, which is why they digest food so quickly—oftentimes within 10 hours of eating.

After digestion, they should be producing stool that is firm and hard. However, there may be disruptors to this process, causing your dog to have loose stool.

While loose stool may not seem like a big deal, it could indicate that diarrhea is next or an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

While the cause of the loose stool might be minor and only temporary, it could be something more serious. As soon as you notice it, could you continue to monitor it?

If you typically let your dog out in the yard without paying attention too much, try instead to walk them so you can observe their bowel habits.

If you notice that the stool continues to be loose after a day, you’ll want to take steps to firm it up however you can, and of course, seek veterinary assistance if it doesn’t improve with dietary changes.

dog owner picking up dog poop

What a Dog's Firm Stool Should Look Like

Ideally, your dog’s stool should be on the firmer side, like Play-doh. Don’t worry; you don’t have to touch it to realize it is firm.

However, you should get an idea if you pick it up with a plastic bag. But by just looking at it, you should be able to see if it’s healthy.

It should be log-shaped, basic brown in color, and of a size equivalent to the amount of food they ate within the past day. That’s a good sign that your dog’s digestive system is healthy.

In contrast, there are things besides loose stool that you should watch for. Sometimes dogs eat things they shouldn’t. Some dogs eat small pebbles or rocks. Some eat their own chew toys.

Anything foreign that they consume can cause digestive distress. Similarly, their stool might have excess mucus or small worms that could be indicators of parasites.

Observations like that will help you determine whether you need to switch up their diet or contact the vet. If the stool is looser than normal, rest assured that it’s typically easy to remedy with diet alone.

How to Firm Your Dog’s Stool

If your dog seems otherwise healthy, minor dietary changes might be all they need. Here’s how to quickly firm up your dog’s stool:

Reduce the Amount of Food You’re Feeding Them

Overeating can cause loose stool. Unfortunately, it’s only natural for dogs to eat what’s given to them. It’s up to you to feed them the right portions.

While your dog food should have feeding guidelines on its packaging, your veterinarian should have specific recommendations for your dog, considering their breed and age.

Remember that treats also contribute to their daily caloric recommendations, so be mindful of how many treats you’re giving as well.

Watch for Signs of Stress

The loose stool could be an indicator that your dog is under stress, which could, in turn, place stress on their digestive system.

This could be due to a change in routine, too much or not enough exercise, or various other factors.

However, keep in mind that avoiding food altogether, even just temporarily, can upset the stomach more.

Try reducing the food by half and removing any stressors to see if the issue resolves itself. You may see results within one to three days.

Feed Stool-Firming Foods

Introducing high-fiber foods should help, as fiber absorbs any excess liquid in their digestive system. Canned pumpkin is great for this purpose.

Experts recommend adding a little bit in with the kibble—between ½ – 1 teaspoon for every 15 pounds of dog weight.

We also have a recipe for some pumpkin dog biscuits you can try as well.

Bland foods like rice and chicken broth may help in place of a portion of their kibble.

Try Canned Food

The soft, wet texture of canned food tends to be easier for dogs to digest than kibble. This can result in firmer stools.

This is also a great practice if you’re switching dog food brands since some dogs struggle with the sudden change in diet.

Mixing in some canned food helps with the transition.

Ditch the Dairy

If there is any dairy in your dog’s diet, try to go without it for a few days since digesting lactose from cow’s milk is difficult for some dogs.

dog drinking out of water bowl

Keep the Water Bowl Full

While it might be easy to assume that you need to cut back on water when there is a watery stool, the opposite is true.

Your dog actually needs more water so he doesn’t get dehydrated.

Tap water can help replace some electrolytes and minerals that your dog may have lost if they had watery stool or diarrhea.

Probiotics Can Help

Just like in humans, the bacteria in your dog's stomach help aid in digestion and fighting off other health problems by keeping a strong immune system.

Probiotics can help after the stomach's invaluable bacteria have been killed.

Dog's stomach bacteria can be wiped out by several things: stressful events, prescribed medication, parasitic infections, and poor diet.

The Best Aids for Dog’s Firm Stool

Probiotic for Dogs With Natural Digestive Enzymes by Zesty Paws

Amazon: Find It Here

  • Product: Probiotics
  • Amount: 90 Chews
  • Form: Chewable
  • Made in: USA

Zesty Paws Probiotics often appear in “Top Ten” type lists when it comes to the best aids for a dog's firm stool. It offers relief from your dog's gas and diarrhea, as well as an upset stomach.

Bloating reduces, thereby also easing your dog's discomfort. Some of the ingredients include Papaya and Pumpkin.

If your dog has bad breath, Zesty Paws seems to help there too. Generally, it keeps your dog regular while supporting a healthy immune system.

Bonus: Cute website with LIVE chats for your questions.

Consumers report that you can crumble these bites for dogs with chewing limitations. They seem to work miracles on nasty farts.

Observations of dogs while using the product show them seeking out grass far less often (if at all).

The Herbal Digestive Supplement by Honest Kitchen

Amazon: Find It Here

  • Product: Nutraceutical
  • Amount: 5.5 oz.
  • Form: Powder
  • Made in: USA

This is another supplement for both dogs and cats suffering from irritable bowels. This all-natural blend includes papaya leaf, plantain, slippery elm, pumpkin seed, and pectin.

The herbs are soothing and protect the intestinal tract while firming up loose stools.

There are no by-products or preservatives in this supplement, and the National Animal Supplement Council has approved it.

Miracle Dog Probiotics by Nusentia

Amazon: Find It Here

  • Product: Probiotics
  • Amount: 360 Servings
  • Form: Powder
  • Made in: USA

Nusentia's product can be added to either cat or dog food equally well. So for those who own both types of pets, this is a value-added product.

Nusentia targets allergies, constipation, loose stools, digestion problems, and related issues while offering your pooch welcome relief.

The product contains no soy, dairy, or fillers. It has no flavorings and is odorless. So sprinkle into your pet's food, and let them eat!

Breeders seem to favor this brand frequently.

Owners claim that high-odor gas disappears within three days of use. Dry, scaly skin takes longer to start the healing process-about a week.

After several months of continuous care, digestive issues are a thing of the past.

Advanced Dog Probiotics + Digestive Enzymes by Premium Care

Amazon: Find It Here

  • Product: Probiotics
  • Form: Chewable
  • Amount: 120 Chews (1 chew per 25 lbs body weight)
  • Made in: USA

Premium care's product relieves diarrhea, tummy troubles, improves your dog's digestion, deters allergies, and supports your dog's immune system.

It doesn't matter how young or old your dog is or whether it's big or small.  The chewable form makes it seem like a treat for your pooch without any fillers or artificial colors.

People who use this product love them. They are easy for the dog to chew and show distinct improvements within a week (or so).

Owners report they make fewer trips to the vet's office, saving significant sums.

More than one dog owners say that it appears to work equally well, no matter the breed.

It ends up being one of those products kept in the pet tool kit “just in case.”

In Summary

Again, while changing your dog’s diet can help firm up your dog’s stool, you should still watch for signs that your dog may need to see a veterinarian since there could be an underlying health condition causing loose stools.

If the loose stool turns to diarrhea lasting for longer than 24 hours, combined with a fever, excessive thirst, and discomfort, contact the vet as soon as possible.

Many products for loose stools in dogs can show results. The real question remains as to whether there is an underlying medical issue that you should address.

While it is not unusual for dogs to have periodic bouts of stomach trouble, continual symptoms should be examined by a vet to be on the safe side.

Also, we strongly advocate doing due diligence when you shop for any health products for your pooch. Check what consumers have said about it, both good and bad.

Look at several “top ten,” “top twenty,” “top 7” type links on the web. A product that comes up on two or more is one worth looking at more closely.

Also, scope out the company's website to see how responsive they are to their customers. Price does not always mean quality in this or any market.

So keep a bit of skepticism in your back pocket as you shop.

Common Questions About Firming Up Dog's Poop

If you still have questions about your dog's stool, from firming it up to understanding normal bowel movements and your dog's digestive tract, this FAQ should help.

We've gathered the most common questions about soft stools and related issues in canines to give you all the information you need concisely.

What Can I Feed My Dog to Firm Up His Stool?

If your dog is dealing with soft stools, you can try to feed your dog something to help firm them up.

Remember that you not only want to firm up your pup's stool, but you also want to feed your dog something that will promote his overall digestive health.

If his stools are soft, then his tummy is likely uncomfortable.

Some good options are rice water (potentially with some broth added), canned pumpkin, white rice, cottage cheese, boiled potatoes, and yogurt.

But only give your dog yogurt for soft stools if you know that he can tolerate milk and milk-based products.

Dairy negatively affects some dog's stools, and you don't want to make your dog's bowel movements even worse accidentally.

What Foods Firm Up Stools?

The BRAT diet is good at firming up stools while also being gentle on the stomach. It includes bananas, rice, apples, and toast.

Most of these are also safe for your dog's digestive health.

Why Is My Dog's Poop Not Firm?

A healthy dog stool should be firm but not too firm. If it is too firm, hard, or dry, then your dog may need to drink more water.

This may also indicate his intestines are moving slowly.

If your dog has soft stools, then he may have intestinal or stomach issues. You typically don't have to worry about a single soft stool.

However, when he has soft stools for a few days, you should look at your dog's diet or potential illnesses.

Some potential issues include intestinal worms, viral digestive tract infection, and bacterial infection in the digestive tract.

The culprit may also be inflammation of the pancreas, thickening or inflammation in the intestinal tract, or a foreign body obstructing his digestive tract. He may also have food allergies or hypersensitivities.

Your dog's vet can determine what the cause is. Then, you can get to the cause of the issue to firm up your dog's poop.

What to Give Dogs to Loosen Their Stools?

Your dog's intestinal flora requires a careful balance, so he may have stools that are too hard or too soft.

If the issue is hard stools, you likely want to give your dog foods that aid digestion. Your vet can offer suggestions.

One common suggestion is milk. Just a bit of goat or cow milk should do the trick. Just be aware if your dog is sensitive to dairy before using this method.

Some dogs do best with a lactose-free diet.

You can also try giving your dog a few tablespoons of canned gravy or olive oil. You can even add these things to your pup's dry kibble.

Plain-cooked chicken is another great choice, and as a bonus, it is high in protein and nutrients.

Does Banana Firm Up Dog Stool?

Yes, banana is not only a healthy treat, but it can also firm up your pup's stool. If your dog is passing soft stools, try giving him a little bit of banana.

Bananas are a raw fruit that can help because of their high fiber content. That fiber is crucial for a dog's digestive system.

It helps food move through the system. This makes it a great option for both diarrhea and constipation, even though they are opposite problems.

Banana can even help with some blockages because of its fiber content.

Does Overfeeding a Dog Cause Loose Stools?

A poor-quality diet, either in quality or quantity, can lead to digestive issues in your pup. This includes if you give your dog too much food.

That is because overfeeding increases strain on your pup's digestive system. That reduces the efficiency of the system.

That, in turn, leads to digestive issues such as those that cause your dog to pass soft stools.

It can also lead to your dog's body weight going up above healthy levels. Other potential issues include swelling and abdominal discomfort.

Why Is My Dog's Poop Liquidy?

There are several reasons that dog owners may notice liquid stools. This is an important indicator of your dog's health.

If you notice liquid stools, take a closer look at your pet's meals and overall health. Overly watery feces can indicate that your dog has digestive problems of some sort.

Remember that your pup's bowel movement can always tell you something, even if it is not soft. For example, hard stools may indicate other digestive problems like constipation.

Why Is My Dog's Poop Long and Thin?

If your pup's bowel movement is runny or soft, this is typically diarrhea. Long and thin poop qualifies as diarrhea if it is also very soft and liquid-like.

If you notice the opposite issue, your dog's waste is hard and similar to pebbles, indicating constipation.

Constipation can occur for various reasons, including a new diet. It can also indicate kidney issues.

If your dog suffers from changes to his digestive system for over 48 hours, make sure to bring him to the vet.

In the meantime, you may want to give him bland food instead of highly processed food. You should also always make sure there is dog access to fresh drinking water.

What Is the Difference Between a Soft Stool and Diarrhea in Dogs?

As you check your dog's gut health by looking at his stools, you may wonder what the difference between soft stools and diarrhea is.

Diarrhea has more liquid and does not typically have any form. This makes it impossible for you to pick up.

By contrast, a soft poop will still have some shape. You should also be able to use a doggie bag and pick it up.

What Should My Dog Eat for Optimal Gut Health?

Always make sure that your dog has access to freshwater. You want to make sure that your dog's regular food has a balance of digestible fiber and digestible proteins.

Dogs should also have a meat-based diet, as your dog's body needs a lot of protein.

You could give him the protein via pulses and beans, but this can also lead to flatulence and soft stools.

If your dog has soft stools, you can also try switching him from canned dog food to dry food, as the former has a higher moisture content.

READ NEXT: Dog Poop Color Chart: What It All Means

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Best Aids For Dog-s Firm Stool

Diana currently lives and works in London, UK and she's been an animal lover and dog owner since she was a child. After graduating high school, she focused on getting her degree in English to become a writer with a focus on animals, pets and dogs.