Dog putting his paw on an open toilet in bathroom

Why pet owners are switching to online vet care with Dutch

  • Prescriptions delivered free to you

  • Fast access to Licensed Vets over video

  • Unlimited video visits and follow-ups

While being a pet owner comes with many benefits, it also comes with many responsibilities, some of which are dirtier jobs than others. Ensuring your dog has healthy bowel movements is crucial to their well-being. If you've noticed changes in the consistency of your dog's stool, you should determine the underlying cause and try to firm it up. 

Understand that fluctuations in dog stool consistency can be influenced by factors such as diet, hydration, and underlying health issues. Luckily, if your dog is suffering from loose stools, there are several ways to firm it up. 

Keep reading to learn how to firm up your dog's poop.

Understanding Your Dog's Digestive Health

Maintaining your dog's digestive health keeps them strong and healthy. A healthy digestive system ensures that your canine companion absorbs nutrients, supports their immune system, and promotes a comfortable and active lifestyle. 

A dog's digestive system is quite similar to yours; it consists of various organs, including the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. The process begins with the ingestion of food, followed by digestion, nutrient absorption, and the elimination of waste – or poop.1 

Ensuring your dog receives a high-quality, well-balanced diet is fundamental to this process, ensuring they can get and absorb all the nutrients their bodies need based on age, breed, size, and specific dietary requirements.  

Unfortunately, dogs can experience digestive issues. Common indicators of digestive problems include: 

  • Changes in stool consistency: Diarrhea, constipation, or consistently abnormal stool may signal digestive issues. Monitoring your dog's bowel movements can help identify any irregularities. 
  • Vomiting: Occasional vomiting can be normal, but persistent vomiting may indicate underlying digestive problems. 
  • Loss of appetite: A sudden decrease in appetite or refusal to eat may be a sign of digestive discomfort or other health issues. 
  • Lethargy: A lack of energy when accompanied by digestive issues may indicate an underlying problem. 
  • Abdominal discomfort: Pay attention to your dog's body language and behavior. Restlessness or signs of discomfort around the belly may indicate digestive distress.2 

Common Causes of Soft Stools in Dogs

Soft stools in dogs can be cause for concern and may indicate an underlying health issue. However, keep in mind that there are many reasons for a dog to have softer than usual tools. Some possible causes include: 

  • Dietary changes: Abrupt changes to your dog's diet, such as introducing new food or treats, can disrupt their digestive system and lead to soft stools. 
  • Food intolerances or allergies: Some dogs may be sensitive or allergic to ingredients in their food, leading to digestive issues. 
  • Poor-quality dog food: A low-quality or poorly balanced diet lacking essential nutrients can impact your dog's digestive health. Providing a high-quality, well-balanced diet tailored to their specific needs is crucial for maintaining healthy stools. 
  • Infections: Infections based on bacteria, viruses, or parasites can affect the GI tract, leading to diarrhea and soft stools. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventive measures can help address these concerns proactively. 
  • Foreign object ingestions: Dogs may sometimes eat non-food items, like toys, clothing, plants, rocks, or anything else you can think of. These foreign objects can irritate the digestive system and result in soft stools.
  • Stress or anxiety: Changes in the dog's environment or routine or exposure to stressful situations can impact their digestive health and cause loose stools or diarrhea. 
  • Underlying medical conditions: Certain medical conditions can contribute to soft stools. Identifying and addressing these underlying health issues should help eliminate the symptoms of diarrhea or loose stool.  
  • Side effects of medications: Some medications can have GI side effects. If your dog is on medication, consult with your vet to discuss adjustments or alternative treatments if they begin to experience side effects. 
  • Toxicity: Ingestion of toxic substances like plants, certain foods, chemicals, medications, and so forth can lead to GI issues like diarrhea and soft stools. Contact your vet immediately if you believe your dog has ingested a toxin.2

How to Harden Dog Stool

If your dog is experiencing soft stools, there are several ways to learn how to firm up dog stool and promote better digestion. However, it's important to note that persistent or severe diarrhea may indicate an underlying health issue. 

In most cases of acute GI upset, your vet will suggest withholding food or starting your dog on a bland diet to reset their digestive system. Withholding food for around 12 to 24 hours allows the digestive system to settle and reduces the workload on the stomach and intestines. This fasting period alleviates stress on the GI system, allowing irritants or inflammation to subside.2 During this fasting period, make sure your dog has access to clean and fresh water to prevent dehydration. 

Your vet may also suggest a bland diet for a few days. A bland diet typically consists of easily digestible and mild ingredients like boiled chicken, lean ground meat, or plain white rice. These foods are gentle on the stomach and reduce the risk of further irritation.2 

Giving your dog a bland diet provides essential nutrients that are easy for your dog to process and can help you identify whether the soft stools were related to a specific food insensitivity or dietary indiscretion. If your dog's poop firms up again after eating the bland diet, talk to your vet about the next steps, which may include giving your dog a new type of dog food.2

Of course, always follow your vet's guidance regarding the duration of the fasting period and specific recommendations for the bland diet. If your dog's condition doesn't improve or worsens during this time, talk to your vet about ruling out any underlying health concerns. 

Additional Tips for Firming Up Dog Stool

Ensuring your dog's digestive health is essential for their overall well-being. Wondering how to solidify dog poop? If you've noticed soft stools, there are some things you can do at home. Keep in mind that it's important to consult your vet to determine whether you should make an appointment. Use these tips to firm up your dog's stool: 

Eliminate Dairy from Your Dog's Diet

Dairy products like milk and cheese can be challenging for some dogs to digest, leading to digestive upset and soft stools. While some dogs may tolerate small amounts of dairy, it's not necessary for a healthy diet.3 

Opt for a High-Quality, High-Protein Diet

Choosing a high-quality, nutritionally balanced dog food that's rich in protein can positively impact your dog's digestive health. High-quality proteins support muscle health and provide essential amino acids, contributing to your dog's health and vitality.4 Consult your vet to select the best diet for your dog's needs. 

Consider Probiotics for Your Dog's Digestive Health

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support a healthy gut microbiome. Incorporating a vet-approved probiotic supplement for dogs into their routine can improve digestion and promote firmer stools. 

Steer Clear of Fatty Foods

Fatty foods like those from the table or high-fat treats can cause soft stools, other digestive issues, and pancreatitis.5 Avoid feeding your dog excessive amounts of fatty foods, as they can be challenging to digest. 

Increase Fiber Intake in Your Dog's Diet

Dog nutrition is crucial for digestive health. Moderate amounts of daily fiber can improve and regulate bowel movements and promote firmer stools.6 Certain fiber-rich foods like plain canned pumpkin or cooked sweet potatoes can be added to your dog's diet under veterinary guidance to support digestive health. 

Ensure Your Dog Stays Hydrated 

Adequate water intake is essential for maintaining digestive health. Ensure that your dog has access to clean and fresh water at all times. Proper hydration supports digestion and the absorption of nutrients while preventing constipation and contributing to firmer stools. 

Keep Your Dog Stress Free

Stress and anxiety can also cause digestive issues like diarrhea in dogs. Acute colitis is also called stress colitis because it can occur when a dog is anxious.7 Maintaining a stress-free environment, providing a consistent routine, and offering positive interactions with people and other pets can reduce stress in dogs. 

Keep in mind that every dog is different. If your dog suffers from severe anxiety, working with a vet may help. Vets can prescribe treatment plans and dog anxiety medications to support your dog's emotional well-being. 

When to Consult a Veterinarian

Knowing when to make an appointment with your vet is crucial for ensuring your dog's health. Here are several key indicators that you should seek veterinary advice for your dog's loose stools: 

  • Persistent soft stools: If your dog has soft stools for several days or if the condition worsens, it's time to consult a vet. Chronic soft stools may indicate underlying health issues. 
  • Diarrhea with other symptoms: If your dog experiences diarrhea along with other concerning symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, or abdominal pain, you should seek immediate veterinary attention. These symptoms could signal a more serious health issue. 
  • Blood in stool: Blood in your dog's stool warrants immediate veterinary attention. Blood can indicate various issues, including infections, parasites, or GI diseases. 
  • Underlying health conditions: If your dog has pre-existing health conditions, any changes in bowel habits should be addressed with your veterinarian. 
  • Foreign object ingestion: If you suspect your dog has ingested a foreign object, seek immediate veterinary attention. Ingested objects can lead to blockages or other complications.
Dog sitting on floor in front of laptop

Final Notes

Your dog's poop can tell you a lot about how they're feeling and their overall health. If you notice changes in the consistency of your dog's stool, it's important to identify and address the underlying causes as quickly as possible. While acute soft stool may be due to dietary indiscretion, other causes can be more dangerous for your pet. 

Talk to a Dutch vet today about your dog's stool to help find the right solution for them. Our licensed vets can help you find the right dog food to ensure a healthy digestive tract while providing advice when you need it most. Sign up for a Dutch membership and get dog digestion medication delivered to your doorstep and access to vets from the comfort of your home. 



  1. "Dog Diarrhea Survival Guide." American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 4 Oct. 2023,

  2. "Diarrhea." Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, 19 Jan. 2024,

  3. Burke, Anna. "Can Dogs Drink Milk? Is Milk Bad for Dogs?" American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 8 Aug. 2022,

  4. "The Power of Protein." PetMD,

  5. "Is Table Food Poisonous for Dogs?" Pet Poison Helpline, 3 Mar. 2020,

  6. Moreno, Adam A., et al. “Dietary Fiber Aids in the Management of Canine and Feline Gastrointestinal Disease.” AVMA, American Veterinary Medical Association, 1 Dec. 2022,

  7. Coile, Caroline. "Colitis in Dogs: Signs, Symptoms, and How to Treat." American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 16 Jan. 2024,

Memberships to keep your pet healthier

billed $132 yearly
20% off of all memberships
billed monthly

All memberships include:

  • Fast access to licensed vets
  • Virtual care for up to 5 pets
  • Customized Rx treatment plans
  • Unlimited video calls & follow-ups
  • Guaranteed low prices on medication
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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Dutch?

Dutch is an online veterinary pet telehealth service, created by pet parents and board-certified veterinary specialists. We use a science-backed approach to provide pets relief for their everyday physical and behavioral health issues. Dutch connects you with licensed veterinarians over video chat and messaging to help you get care for your dog or cat quickly wherever you are — without the stress or expense of a vet visit. We also partner with pharmacies who can deliver prescription medication (in applicable states only) and over-the-counter treatments directly to your door. Dutch isn’t a veterinary practice or pharmacy, but a company that helps facilitate these services for pet parents to make veterinary care more accessible to all.

What is a visit with Dutch like?

When booking a video call with a vet, you'll be asked a few questions about your pet’s health issue. Depending on the issue, you may also be asked to fill out a longer questionnaire about their symptoms and share photographs of them so our veterinarians can better understand what’s going on. You’ll then pick an appointment time that works best for you.

During your video call, one of our licensed veterinarians will talk to you about the symptoms your pet is experiencing, ask you questions, review your pet’s medical history if you’ve provided it, and answer any questions you have. The vet will ask to see your pet and their environment. And they may ask you to perform some simple checks on them if needed.

After your video call, the vet will send you a message with a custom treatment plan to help your pet feel better, including a link to buy any recommended prescription or over-the-counter medications. Place your order and we’ll ship it free.

How much will it cost for Dutch to treat my pet?

The Dutch membership starts at $11/mo for unlimited access to the vet. No more long waits for appointments or surprise bills.

In addition to the base membership plan, our veterinarians may also recommend additional medication (Rx and/or OTC) that you will have the option of adding to your plan at an additional cost.