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What Does Dog Poop Color Mean?

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Dog poop on a pebble drivewayAs the writers of Canine Journal, we feel it’s our, ahem, duty to keep you in-the-know about what’s coming out of your pup. So here’s the low-down on dog poop of every color! Most most mild changes in dog stool color are related to dietary changes and aren’t cause for alarm. But poop color and consistency can be an indicator of serious health problems, which is why you need to make your dog’s business your business.

What Your Dog Eats Matters!

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As veterinarian Dr. Carrie Jelovich reminds us, “What goes in, must come out,” and the best way to prevent problems is to know exactly what your dog is eating. Here’s how:

  1. Feed a consistent diet of the highest quality dog food you can.
  2. Limit human food. Even pet-safe people food can cause problems in dogs with allergies, sensitive tummies or if they simply have too much of a yummy treat! Make sure kids and other family members know what not to feed your dog.
  3. Prevent your pup from rummaging in trash and compost piles.
  4. Know what’s growing in your yard; mushrooms and many types of plants (including berries) can make your dog super sick.
  5. Keep medicines, household trash, cleaning products, lawn and garden, car-care, and pest-control chemicals out of reach as they all pose serious threats to your dog’s health if ingested. The bottom line: if you wouldn’t want a child to eat it, you don’t want your dog to eat it!

What Does Dog Poop Color Mean?

Does your dog’s poop look funky? Here’s the scoop on doggie-doo of every color and how to tell normal dog poop from problem poop:

Normal Dog Poop

It varies from dog to dog, breed to breed and can change depending on the type of dog food being eaten. In general, Color should be medium brown and neither too soft and liquidy (diarrhea) or too hard to pass comfortably (constipation). Pay attention to your dog’s “healthy” poops (color, consistency and frequency) so you can recognize when there’s a problem.

Black Dog Poop or Very Dark Dog Poop

Black stool in dogs may have a “tarry” or “sticky” consistency, which may be a sign of a gastrointestinal ulcer or a stomach ulcer. Many human medications can cause stomach ulcers in dogs, especially aspirin. Never give human meds without consulting your vet.

Red Dog Poop or Streaks of Blood in Stool

This can indicate bleeding in the GI tract. Streaks of blood in your dog’s poop may be colitis (inflammation of the colon), a rectal injury, an anal gland infection or possibly a tumor.

Pink or Purple Dog Poop

Anything that resembles raspberry jam (sorry to ruin your toast) could indicate hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE). A large number of dogs die each year from HGE but most will recover with prompt treatment. Seek emergency medical attention.

Grey or Greasy-looking Poop

Doggy-doo that appears fatty, glistens or comes out in large, soft amounts could indicate Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI). Commonly referred to as maldigestion, EPI is a disease in which the pancreas does not produce the necessary enzymes to digest fat. EPI is treatable, so see your vet.

Green Dog Poop

Dog green poop can be common if your dog eats large amounts of grass. However, it can also be a parasite, rat bait poisoning or other internal issues. If your dog has green poop, see your vet to be safe.

Orange Dog Poop

It could indicate a liver issue or biliary disease, or it could just mean that your dog’s food moved too quickly through the GI tract to pick up the bile. Bile is what changes poop to the normal brown color we expect. If your dog has orange diarrhea, contact your vet.

Yellow Dog Poop

Yellow mucus usually indicates a food intolerance, especially if you’ve recently changed your dog’s diet. Take a look at what your pet’s been eating and try to rule out any new ingredients that could be causing stomach upset and mustard-yellow dog poop.

White Specks in Poop

Worms often look like white grains of rice in your pup’s stool. This is treatable, so see your vet.

Save Money at the Vet

Unexpected vet bills can be a crappy situation. So make sure you have pet insurance to help cover some of the expensive vet visits and medications should your pup become sick or get hurt. This video explains how insurance for your dog works and how it can save you money.

Dog Poop Color Chart Infographic

Check out our visual guide to dog poop color’s:

Infographic: Dog Poop Color

To embed this on your website, simply copy and paste this code:

When in Doubt, Contact Your Vet

As always, err on the side of caution and contact your vet. Don’t give your dog human medicines – even over-the-counter formulas – without instructions from your vet. Be ready to supply a stool sample and let them know if you observe any other symptoms such as changes in urgency, frequency, or vomiting, lethargy, difficulty breathing or behavioral changes. Your vet can do the necessary testing to properly diagnose and treat your dog.

What issues have you had with your dog’s doo-doo?

Another big thank you to Carrie Jelovich, DVM, for her interview for this article in August 2015. Dr. Jelovich works as a vet at the Lawndale Veterinary Hospital in Greensboro, NC.

Nicole Naviglia has been writing since she was 4 years old. Her first story was about her life in a Blue House filled with talking animals. Today, she writes for brands and blogs from home with her two canine assistants, Luna and Enzo. Nicole does all the talking.

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33 Comments on "What Does Dog Poop Color Mean?"

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Alyssa Mariae jones
Alyssa Mariae jones

My puppys poop color is a really light yellow and it is liquid like water

Holly H
Holly H

My Pomeranian just had a splenectomy (benign mass) so that might be the cause of her poops being odd colors. However we have already contacted the vet and when they did testing they found her one level was a bit high from her medication she’d been taking post surgery. Other than that no signs of any organ diseases or failures. They also did an x-ray and saw that she seemed fine. Hopefully her odd colored poops pass.

Kathleen L
Kathleen L
My 6 year old female Cavalier got sick and passed away quickly from Auto-Immune Hemolytic Anemia, where the immune system destroys the red blood cells. I was told by the vet that orange colored stools were a sign of the body shedding dead blood cells. I had noticed the change in color of the stools but thought it was due to a new treat I was giving her. I hope this information can help someone else to avoid a painful loss. Another symptom to look for with AIHA is pale gums and belly, unfortunately you wouldn’t think to check those… Read more »
Kacie Moody
Kacie Moody

My dog is have a grey splatter diarrhea. I’ve been seeing some blood in the puddles as well. I’ve just returned home after having a sitter watching my animals. They have been on Purina one all along so no change there. Two of my three dogs seem to have the same symptoms as well. I have only witnessed my Doberman to have the grey puddles with blood but my daughter says it’s coming from our boxer as well. My pets re my everything and I am terrified! Please help

Sheila
Sheila

My dog has diarreah and it’s liver coloured…Any idea ?? he seems happy enough

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

By liver color what exactly do you mean? Is it a brown color or red color?

Patricia
Patricia

Gee, I wonder what people fed dogs before that billion dollar dog food industry developed in the 20th century?

Marty
Marty

My dog’s poop is black. It has been for the past day or two. Is that ok? I’ve never given my dog any human meds so not sure what it could be from. Any other ideas of why the dog poop black?

Annabelle Santana
Annabelle Santana

My dog’s poop has been full white and has been hard as a rock for the past two days. What does that mean?!

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Have you changed anything in your dog’s diet? What does your dog’s diet consist of?

Candy
Candy

Dog poop yellow? It’s hard to tell because my dog’s pop is borderline brown-ish yellow. It’s still pretty soft though, yellow diarrhea in dogs can be messy (in addition to smelly!) – trust me I know lol

tejbir kaur
tejbir kaur

hi there. my dog is suffering from liver infection. My dog’s poop colour is between black and dark brown. what does it mean ???

Laura
Laura

My dog has been on prescription food for several months now and has been doing great, we recently started adding some crunchy food to the mix and up until a few days ago everything has been normal. Just the past day or two her poop as been two colors,

the normal light brown or color of her ID food and now it is mixed with dark brown.
Could that be the crunchy dog food she has been eating or something we should be concerned about?

Sherry
Sherry

My dog has brown poo it’s not firm or watery it’s the stage b4 watery poo. She still has an appetite but the runny poo has continued for 2days now

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Has anything in your dog’s diet changed? Does she seem to be feeling okay or does she seem under the weather?

Sonja Newlin
Sonja Newlin

My dog is pooping blood no poop in it just blood and vomiting liquid!! What is wrong with him?

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Take your dog to the vet ASAP. We hope your dog gets better soon.

Mindy
Mindy

My dog has had diarrhea for a couple of days. It is between Yello and orange. I have trying taking the food away and a bland diet but not working.nShe is acting normal though

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Hi Mindy, dog yellow poop can mean your dog is struggling with a certain food and orange can mean the food moved through your dog too quickly. If her poop is still odd colored I suggest consulting your vet.

Caroline Ward
Caroline Ward

Hi there, recentlt my dog has been suffering with a very noisy stomach and bad smelling gas. She is not eating anything out of the ordinary dry food she has always been on.

She gets the occasional gurgling when eating things in the past. Bdut it has been a few days now and she goes out to eat grass to help it. She is fine within herself and no vomitting or diaharea present either.

I did notice a slightly brick coloured stool yesterday but certainly no blood in it.

Any advice? I am contemplating the Vets by now

Kendra Erickson
Kendra Erickson

I couldn’t find the answers I needed here. My friend dog, or dogs, are pooping extremely light, almost white, like snakes pee. And hard, constipation most of the time. The do get all kinds of people food but, only a bite or 2 once or twice a day on average. What could this indicate?

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Hi Kendra, has the white dog poop color continued?

Lydia Drayton
Lydia Drayton

Why would my pit/doberman mix seem to have HGE every 3-4 months…he does have a sensitive stomach so i feed him nothing but no grain Earth Born dog food…maybe a piece of cheese every month but thats it…..the yard is cleaned if not everyday every other day…he also vomits a few times…What could i be doing or not doing for my great dog ever Capone…this time the raspberry jam like poop really is scary…he does his best to get outside but it comes on quickly… What is it? I have had vet give him injection but he stills suffers.

Carolyn
Carolyn
Every spring my 11 y.o. yorkie has bloody diarrhea. I know she will eat bunny poop and springtime is when the bunnies all start getting active in the yard. But there were times I knew she hadn’t found any bunny poop. For the past year she has had an issue with loose stools. I started her on Purina Fortiflora after the vet said maybe her loose stools were the “new normal”. I gave it everyday, just once a day for several months. It made a huge difference in a short period of time. Now I just give it 2x/week. I… Read more »
Vikas
Vikas

My dog’s poop colour is green & very smelly. Should I be concerned? I don’t know what happened all of a sudden..

Beto
Beto

My puppies poop is like a green mucus texture to it what does that mean shes 51/2 weeks old

Diane
Diane

The weather has been quite warm and our 1 1/2 year old Border Collie has wanted to go outside. She digs and digs in the red Georgia clay then comes in cover face to knees. Her poop today was grainy and the color of the red dirt. She also always has a good bit of her hair or our terrier’s hair in her stool. She has 5 or 6 holes going right now!

Jeannine Carroll
Jeannine Carroll

My 4 year old dog’s poop has been green for about a month. The texture is the same just the color is different. I noticed this started happening after we started giving him kibbles n bits. This is the first dry food we found he loves. Is this something I should be worried about? He seems healthy otherwise.

Patti
Patti

Kibble n bits is NOT a healthy dog food….(discuss with your vet) Dogs LOVE it because it has an additive that is almost addictive. Years ago I fed one of my dogs that food and had a really hard time switching her to another (healthier) food. There are MANY good dog foods on the market now to choose from; read the labels and choose wisely….your dog’s long-term health depends on it.

Debbie
Debbie

My dog is 15 and went to the vet for normal vaccinations and worming, ever since he has seemed to be very lethargic, is eating small amts of chicken, drinking lots of water, and his poo seems to be getting yuck, it looks like diarrhea and brown but when hardens is black like bat poo. Is this his body shutting down? he is on loxicom and thyroxine and poor muscle tone in back legs. Really bad breath.

Angie
Angie

Hey! Just wanted to let you know he might have cushings disease and you can confirm that by doing a low dexamethasone suppression test. That’s what my dog has and he has those symptoms and had bad breath too

Lindsay
Lindsay

My puppy was taking amoxicillin for upper res, she was the only puppy in her litter and bottle fed. About half way through the meds her poop got every dark. She’s been off of the meds awhile now but the poop seems to be getting darker, she’s gaining weight fine and nice and plump. Seems active and happy. What could this be?

Chana Ben-Shimon
Chana Ben-Shimon

What do you mean by darker? Dark brown is ok but black is not. Antibiotics usually cause a darker appearance to poop. If your dog is thriving, then she is probably ok. But if you are still worried, visit your vet.

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