Having a dog is one of the best things in the world. You always have someone happy to see you when you come home, someone to snuggle up with when watching TV and…someone’s poop to scoop up.

Let’s face it, part of having a dog is caring for it, and the cold hard truth of that means regularly dealing with poop. There’s just no way around it: All dogs poop.

And while it might not necessarily be the most fun part about spending time with your furry friend, there are some benefits to being so up close and personal with their poop: The color, consistency, size, shape, etc can all be an indicator of the health of your dog.

Here are some various types of poop you might see—and what it could mean for your pup:

  1. Firm, brown log

    This is the best kind of poop—the one that deserves all those “good boy!”’s When your dog’s poop is thick, long, and looks like a firm log, you can rest assured he’s doing well, inside and out. It’ll have an odor of course, but nothing too extreme or out of the ordinary.

  2. Smelly and in volumes

    Speaking of smells, you know when your dog’s poop is particularly stinky? If you get an ultra-strong whiff, plus there’s a whole lot of it, it could be a sign you need to change up their dog food. A low-quality kibble could be causing the volume and stench. Just be sure you’re slowly incorporating the new food if you choose to change it—a quick change can cause an upset tummy and even more poop issues.

  3. Loose and liquid-y

    Diarrhea could mean a bunch of different things—if it’s only a one-time deal, it’s likely just something weird they ate—grass, table scraps, another animal’s poops (OK, so dogs can be gross sometimes). If you keep an eye on it and it continues to happen, it could be the sign of an allergy or intolerance to something, like their dog food. It’s likely not too serious, but it’s a good idea to call the vet for a check-up to see what’s up if it persists.

  4. Hard and pebble-y

    Like humans, this type of stool could mean a sign of constipation—especially if they aren’t going as frequently or are straining to get it out. Constipation in dogs usually occurs when they’re eating too much insoluble fiber, so it might be another case of changing up the dog food. However, sometimes it could be a sign of something more serious, like if your dog ingested some kind of foreign object, like a sock or part of a shoe. If it continues, it’s time to make a vet appointment.

  5. Greasy

    Sometimes you might notice a mucus coating over your dog’s poop. Though it may be a bit alarming, this actually isn’t usually a cause for concern. It’s natural for a dog’s lower intestinal tract glands to produce a mucus, which lubricates the colon in an effort to help stool pass more easily—and sometimes, it shows up outside the body. The only time it might be an issue is if it continues every day for a week or more. Give your vet a call if this is the case.

  6. It’s white, or green, or anything other than brown

    Take a look at the color of the poop—white stool might happen if your dog is on a raw food diet that’s high in calcium, green could be a sign of a bile or gallbladder problem, black could mean an upper GI bleed, yellow or orange poop could indicate liver disease, and a gray bowel movement might mean something is up with the pancreas…basically, if it’s any color other than what’s normal, a visit to the vet is in order. And, as gross as it sounds, you might want to take a sample of the stool with you.

Do you pay close attention to your dog’s bowel movements? Have you ever witnessed any of these weird poops?