You picked up your dog’s poop, and through the waste bag, you felt that your dog’s poop was cold – what does this mean?
If you did not pick up your dog’s poop immediately, the temperature of the poop could have changed due to the outside temperature.
However, if the cold poop has occurred multiple times and your dog is experiencing other symptoms, such as sneezing, coughing, or diarrhea, your dog might be sick.
Below we will discuss the symptoms that can occur along with cold poop, and what you should look for as warning signs to know when your dog needs to see a vet for medical treatment.
Is cold poop a concern?
A dog’s poop is a reflection of the state of its health, and paying attention to any changes in its poop is an integral part of noticing when something is wrong.
By itself, occasional cold dog poop is nothing to worry over! There are many reasons that can contribute to cold dog poop, which we will identify and discuss further.
Cold poop by itself is rarely indicative of any health issues. However, when a cold poop repeatedly occurs, along with other symptoms, this is what provides a greater cause for concern.
In almost all of these instances, your dog will require medical treatment from a veterinarian.
We will go into more detail regarding which symptoms to look out for and what these symptoms can mean.
What causes cold poop? (5 reasons)
When you notice that your dog’s poop is cold to the touch through a waste bag, there are a few reasons this could happen.
#1 The outside temperature
In case you did not pick up your dog’s poop immediately after the act, there is a chance the poop temperature could change due to the outside temperature, especially in winter when the air is cold.
Dog poop that has been left outside for a while before being picked up is the most common reason for cold poop.
#2 Older dogs
While the poop temperature for dogs should be at their body temperature of around 102 F, older dogs could have slightly colder poop than younger ones.
There is no cause for concern if your dog is following its usual pattern of bowel movements and is also acting healthy and not displaying any other symptoms.
#3 Post-operative care
If your dog has recently had surgery, especially of the gastrointestinal tract, then a change in their poop temperature is standard and is not a cause for concern.
However, suppose your dog has recently had any other type of surgery and suddenly starts to deposit cold poop. In that case, this could be due to post-operative complications, in which case your dog needs medical attention from a veterinarian.
#4 Routine behavior
Ordinarily, your dog’s poop should be at body temperature and not feel cold to the touch straight after depositing.
However, when your dog behaves as usual by eating, drinking, socializing, and not displaying any other symptoms, you can rest assured that the odd cold poop is nothing to worry about.
#5 Other symptoms
Cold poop is worrying if your dog is also displaying other symptoms. These symptoms could include coughing, sneezing, or having runny poop that looks like diarrhea.
Also, if the color, shape, or coating of your dog’s poop looks different from normal, it can also be a concern.
All these symptoms are worrying because they indicate that the cold poop could be due to a virus, gastrointestinal issue, or other illness.
You should pay attention to these other symptoms because they mean your dog is sick and must be taken to the vet immediately for a diagnosis and treatment.
Accompanying symptoms to look out for
After learning the reasons for cold dog poop, you may want to understand how you can know when something is wrong.
Considering your dog’s poop will give you some insight into what could be wrong.
The color of your dog’s poop
Your dog’s poop should be a rich cocoa brown. In cases where the poop comes out a different color, we have listed below what these colors are and what they could mean.
- Unbalanced diet
- Parasitic infection
- Pharmaceutical side effect
- Gallbladder issues
- Parasite infection
- Diet with too much grass
- Pancreatic problems
- Diet too rich in fat
- Internal bleeding (there are many causes, a vet would need to determine this)
- Bleeding of the upper gastrointestinal tract
If your dog’s poop is cold and in ANY of these colors, you must seek immediate medical attention from your veterinarian.
The poop should not be runny and should be a medium firmness. Cold poop can often be of a looser texture and sometimes even diarrhea.
If your dog’s poop is not a medium firmness, your dog is likely sick and must get treated by a vet. The cause could be a virus or a gastrointestinal issue.
The shape of the poop is another consideration. If your dog’s poop is long and skinny, this is a warning sign that could mean something is wrong in the colon, such as a polyp, tumor, or growth.
In this case, you should seek immediate attention from your veterinarian.
Coughing, sneezing & fever
When your dog is displaying the symptoms of coughing and sneezing along with depositing cold dog poop, this is a sure sign that your dog is sick and needs medical treatment from a veterinarian.
Your dog is likely ill with a virus, and your vet can determine which one.
When your dog is coughing and sneezing, it may also be running a fever. An indication of fever is when your dog’s nose is dry and warm.
Coughing, sneezing, and fever can commonly accompany a cold poop. Medical attention is required to treat all of these symptoms.
Ways to ensure your dog has healthy poop
If your dog’s poop is cold only occasionally and with no other symptoms, you know by now that your dog does not need to seek medical treatment from the vet.
But perhaps you want to understand how you can optimize the health of your dog’s poop.
Consider these factors for ultimate poop health:
Your dog’s food
Feeding your dog a high-quality diet includes selecting food with enough meat and fiber. Your dog should not be fed fatty foods. Refer to the color of their poop if this is a concern.
Remember that short-term changes to your dog’s poop can be due to a change in its diet.
Using prescribed preventative medications can help avoid situations such as worms, which can be visible in your dog’s poop as white specks.
Your veterinarian can advise your dog’s preventative medication needs to ensure its health and well-being.
Regular vet checks
Your dog should be taken for regular vet checks so that any existing health issues can be identified and treated, before becoming too serious.
In any situation where you are in doubt regarding your dog, you should always get a professional medical opinion from a vet.
Taking a poop sample from your dog’s latest deposit will be helpful for your vet to analyze in order to ensure your dog is healthy.
The importance of water intake in dogs cannot be overstated. You should provide clean drinking water to your dog throughout the day.
Drinking too little water can lead to constipation, or very hard poop, amongst other things.
While it is not normal for a dog’s poop to be cold right after a deposit, we now understand that cold dog poop by itself, only occasionally, should not be worrying.
However, cold poop that occurs multiple times while accompanied by other symptoms is a warning sign that your dog is sick.
These other symptoms could be unrelated to the poop, such as coughing and sneezing, or directly poop-related with the color, shape, or consistency in the form of diarrhea.
In all cases where cold poop is persistent along with other symptoms, you must seek medical help from your vet.
If your dog appears healthy and has a once-off cold poop with no other symptoms, perhaps you forgot to pick up your dog’s poop immediately after the deposit. The poop may have become cold from the environment.
Paying attention to your dog’s poop and learning how to better understand when it is out of the ordinary, means you will be able to more easily identify a potential health issue and seek advice or treatment from a veterinarian.