When we think about dog poop color, most of us think about a nice, chocolate brown color. But what if it isn’t? What if your dog heads out into the yard and you notice a green or yellow tinge? Or, what if it seems like there are little things parading through the poop…
It may not be pleasant, but your dog’s poop can actually tell you a lot about her health — more than just the weird things she chewed or ate.
So, what color is your dog’s poop, and what does that mean?
The Ultimate Dog Poop Color Guide
As we mentioned above, when you’re seeing chocolate brown, with a nice firm consistency, all is well.
But, here are some of the other colors you might notice, and what they mean:
1. Tarry Black
When you see really dark stool, almost tarry black, or even sometimes dark maroon, this is often an indication of digested blood somewhere high up in the intestinal tract. This could be a symptom of a gastrointestinal issue, such as a bleeding ulcer. If you notice this, it’s best to get to the vet.
If you’re seeing a turquoise-y color, this could be an indication that your pup ingested something poisonous. It might also be a sign of indigestion, but just in case, call the vet to be sure. They might recommend bringing in a sample, just to be safe.
Green poop has a few possible explanations. The easiest, and most common, is that your dog’s just been chowing down on a little too much grass. Or maybe you’ve just been adding a tad too much spinach or other leafy greens. Think back to last night’s dinner.
But it could also be more serious. If your dog’s poop is green, and you notice any other signs that your pup isn’t acting 100% normal, it could be caused by rat-bait poisoning, a parasite, or some other internal issue. Check in with your vet.
4. White Spots
Regular poop color, but with the addition of small white flecks, is usually an indication of worms. They may look like tiny grains of rice, or long strand of spaghetti. Don’t panic. Bag a sample and take it into the vet for further examination.
Orange is a tough one. On the one hand, it could be caused by a lot of pumpkin (or other orange food) in the diet. However, if you haven’t fed anything orange recently, it could be a sign of biliary disease. This is any illness or disease process associated with your dog’s gallbladder and surrounding structures, such as the bile duct. In this case, it’s best to reach out to your vet, especially if you notice the poop is runny as well.
Yellow dog poop color can indicate a variety of things. It can mean a simple stomach upset, so just keep an eye and watch if it passes. If it doesn’t, it might mean something your dog ate is not agreeing with her, so think back at any new additions and perhaps avoid them in the future.
6. Grey and Greasy
Grey dog poop color that’s also possibly greasy means your dog may be suffering from some form a maldigestion. Your vet might run tests for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency or EPI, which basically means your dog’s pancreas isn’t functioning properly.
**If it’s more white than grey, this might mean there’s too much calcium or bone in the diet. If you’re a raw feeder, you might notice more dry, white poop after a raw bone day. It should normalize, but if it doesn’t, check with your vet.
This one is not good. If you ever notice pink or purple poop, seek emergency medical attention ASAP. If your dog’s poop looks anything like raspberry jam, it could be hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. This is a disease that may be caused by abnormal responses to bacteria or bacterial endotoxin, or a hypersensitivity to food. It is fatal if not treated fast enough. Get to the vet right away.
8. Red Streaks
Chocolate brown poop with red streaks is an indication that your dog is bleeding somewhere along their large intestine. That means it’s farther down the intestinal tract than black, tarry poop. Normally this shouldn’t warrant an emergency, but pay close attention to your dog’s next poops and watch for any changes in behavior. Possible causes of the blood could be an anal gland infection, rectal injury, or an inflamed colon.
The 4 Cs of Dog Poop
Color is just one of the 4 Cs of dog poop. You’ve probably heard your vet ask about these other “Cs” if your pet has ever been in feeling under the weather.
The other 3 are:
- Consistency: As mentioned, we like a nice firm, but not rock solid, poop. Your dog’s poop shouldn’t be so hard that it comes out as pellets, and it shouldn’t be so soft that you can’t pick it up easily. While one runny poop is nothing to worry about, if your dog consistently has diarrhea, call your vet.
- Coating: Just like human poop, dog poop shouldn’t have any sort of coating. Again, it should just be a nice chocolate brown colour without any mucus or a significant amount of blood. If you notice either, call your vet.
- Contents: Let’s face it, our dogs get into things, so you never quite know what you might find in that pile… When considering the contents of your dog’s poop, look out for anything extremely out of the ordinary. If you find something that has you worried, call your vet.
The Scoop on Poop
It’s always a good idea to watch your dog’s droppings for any change is color or consistency. As mentioned, sometimes, a little change in the color can just be a result of something in the diet – lots of pumpkin or leafy green veg. But sometimes, it’s an indication that something’s going on inside that may need a little attention.
If, at any point, the color of your dog’s poop has you feeling a little concerned, call your vet. They can best advise you on next steps. Taking a sample in won’t hurt either. When in doubt, always talk to your trusted veterinarian.
The Veterinarious team is made up of pet owners, pet lovers, and pet experts from around the globe! We’ve banded together to create a community of like-minded pet people to give you the latest research and health advice for your beloved beast!