Dog Poop Color – What Does It Say About Your Dog’s Health?

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I am sure you have heard the saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover” but you can when it comes to dog poop color. In regards to dog health, you really can tell a lot from the color of your dog’s poop. Dog poop color can be one of the first indicators of health problems in your dog.  It is important to monitor the frequency, consistency and signs of discoloration in your dog’s poop from time to time. Dog poop color can vary depending on the dog food that they eat but if your dog seems lethargic, look bloated or shows signs of stress then closely monitor their bowel movement.

dog poop color

Keeping a Close Eye on Your Dog’s Diet

Many of us think just because a food is good for us humans it can be good for our canine companions as well. This notion is simply not true, some of the healthiest foods for us humans such as grapes can be toxic to dogs. I have recently written an in-depth article regarding  what not to feed your dog? where I talk about certain human foods which can be harmful to dogs. Please do check that article out for a complete listing of foods harmful to dogs.

Dogs love to chew on anything and everything, there are many harmful things around in our homes which can make them sick very quickly. All of these if ingested can affect the dog poop color and consistency. Remember, dogs are just like toddlers they always stay curious and easily get into trouble. Here are some tips to follow in order to keep a safe environment for the pets in your home.

  • Do not leave medications where your dog’s can easily reach and grab – You may think just because it is inside a container that it may be safe but as we all know dogs love to chew on plastics.
  • Keep any chemicals out of your dog’s reach – this includes cleaning supplies, lawn care supplies, pest or rodent poison etc.
  • Be aware of outdoors & home surroundings – some types of berries and grass can be poisonous to dogs. Some may upset their stomach if consumed in large quantities. Examples of these are: berries that grow on herbaceous perennial border grass, monkey grass – can irritate a dog’s stomach if consumed in large quantities. Check out the Human Society website for a complete listing of poisonous plants.

Dog Poop Color – What does it mean? Is My Dog Sick?

Normal dog poop color should always be consistent with the food that they are eating which is why it is important to monitor their bowel movements from time to time. You can then easily spot any abnormalities. A dog’s poop shouldn’t be runny or extremely hard to pass. It should be firm, easily passed and brown in color. So what does different dog poop colors really mean? Let’s take a look.

Dog Poop Black in Color – Tarry Dog Poop

A really dark colored dog poop indicates internal bleeding, the medical term used to indicate this problem is “melena”. There are are many factors that can cause melena in dogs.

  • Drug toxicity (caused by ingesting Aspirin, Tylenol etc.)
  • Infections & Kidney Problems
  • Tumors & Ulcers in the stomach
  • Symptoms of melena in dogs are as follows: weakness, lack of appetite & vomiting.
  • Dogs who have ingested small amounts of poison such as rat poison can also have dog poop dark in color.

Dog Poop White in Color – White Grained Dog Poop

If you spot specs of white in the dog poop, you should suspect a worm infestation. Luckily, this is treatable at home using a good dog de-wormer such as Panacur.

Sometimes white dog poop can be caused because your dog ingested large amounts of bone fragments either by chewing on artificial or real bones.  This can also happen with dogs that are fed entirely on a raw diet. You can distinguish this kind of white dog poop because you can clearly see the bone fragments in the poop.

Attention: Dog poop can appear white after baking in the hot sun for a while!

Dog Poop Grey in Color –  Light Grey Dog Poop

Dog poop light grey in color may indicate a problem with the pancreas not producing enough digestive enzymes – this can often be cleared with a change in the dogs diet. If this issue continues even after changing the dogs diet, you can suspect liver problems often dealing with bile production. You will need to take your dog to a veterinarian for further checkup. You should also collect a stool sample from your dog prior to taking a trip to the veterinary clinic.

Dog Poop Orange in Color – Orange Dog Poop & Diarreah

Orange dog poop can sometimes be caused by certain dog toys that they ingested which passed right through. If it has caused your dog diarreah, put your dog on a cooked chicken breast and rice diet for a few days and see if the issues clears up. Give them plenty of clean water during this time. If the orange colored stools continue, it indicates a more serious problem with the liver or bile production. Take your dog to a veterinary clinic for further evaluation.

Dog Poop Red in Color – Red Dog Poop (Presence of Blood)

Although we may freak out by seeing red blood in our dog’s poop, this can be the least worrisome circumstance sometimes. This can be due to an inflammation within the large intestine and may just pass in time. It may be also due to some form of rectal injury which may heal on its own. However, it can also be caused by serious health problems such as tumors, bowel cancer or parvo disease. Keep an eye on your dog for further signs of bleeding and immediately take them to a Veterinarian if the issue continues.

Dog Poop Green in Color – Green Dog Poop Causes

Some types of parasites will cause your dog to pass green stools. Your dog will also pass green stools, if they have been eating excessive amounts of grass. Dog’s usually eat grass to cure a tummy problem. If you find that your dog is eating a lot of grass then there may be some underlying health concern which is causing this. Consult a Veterinarian for further checkup.

Dog Poop Yellow in Color – Yellow Dog Poop (Presence of Mucous)

Yellow stools in dogs is often due to excessive mucous being passed along with the tool. It can be a sign of food allergy, an immediate remedy is to put your dog on a cooked chicken breast and rice diet for a few days. If that clears it up, change the dog food brand that you are feeding. Here is a good dog food brand that I can recommend for dog’s with sensitive stomachs.

If the chicken and rice diet does not clear up the problem, It could be Giardiasis (parasitic infection) or an intestinal blockage.

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I hope this article was helpful in narrowing down your dog’s health concern. Please consult your Veterinarian when in doubt. Your dog’s Veterinarian will have the expertise to accurately identify and treat the problem.