Fact: Your dog’s poo can reveal more about his health than you may think. Just ask Sonja Tengdin. Since founding Edina-based ScoopyPoo DoggyDoo PickUp back in 2002, the quippy, self-proclaimed “crappy business” owner and her team have gained unofficial doo doctor status among their Twin Cities customers.
“We certainly are not vets, but we can tell you when a dog is fed too much, when they ate the disposable diapers, and when they have an upset stomach because of diarrhea,” Tengdin says. “We leave a message for our customers when we find something unusual.”
They also leave a bag of dog treats, Tootsie Rolls for the humans, and a “poo-ism” declaring your yard officially poo-free (dreams do come true!). ScoopyPoo’s value-added approach and humor — they drive Mini (S)Coopers — have helped the company grow its customer base to more than 1,000 Twin Cities dog lovers, with some 350 weekly stops.
Wanna know more about what’s up with your pooch’s poo? We tapped Tengdin to give us the DL on the doo spectrum.
The look: Large amount of otherwise normal appearance
The meaning: When small- and medium-size pooches are pooping large amounts, Tengdin says, they are either being overfed or fed an inferior dog food. “Dog foods on the lower end of the health spectrum are usually stuffed full of fillers, which dogs then poop out,” she explains.
The Driving Range
The look: Small, round balls
The meaning: When piles resemble golf balls (or pellets for small dogs), your pup may not be getting enough water and could be dehydrated. Be sure to provide access to clean drinking water throughout the day.
The look: Small, colorful specks throughout
The meaning: Your dog actually may have eaten your homework! Small specks of color throughout an otherwise normal poo indicate that Fido chowed down on a small, non-food (and therefore indigestible) item.
The look: Exceptionally bright or strange colors throughout
The meaning: Puppy may have enjoyed his plush toy (or your couch) a little too much. Like smaller, non-food items, these larger ones are also indigestible, so they come out as they went in. (Side note: As a puppy, my basset hound once ingested the tongue of a shoe. The next day, his business read “Adidas.” How’s that for enduring brand identity?)
The Red Rover
The look: Red-streaked or dark tar in color
The meaning: “Dark tar color or red-streaked poop is a sign something might be up with your dog’s intestines” and warrants a vet appointment, Tengdin says. She also recommends a visit to the vet if your dog suffers from diarrhea for more than a week.
The strangest poo Tengdin’s ever seen? “We called it Pretzel Poop. It was one continuous poop perfectly pretzel-shaped!”