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 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

Dog pooping in grass (Caption: Dog Constipation)What “normal” color is varies from dog to dog, breed to breed and can change depending on the type of dog food they’ve had to eat. 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

Dog eating food (caption: Changing Dog Food Tips)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.

How To 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:

Dog Poop Color Chart Infographic

Source: CanineJournal.com

To share this infographic on your site, simply copy and paste the code below:

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.

Other Poop Problems?

Have a hard time cleaning up after your pup? Check out these pooper scoopers which help get the job done without hunching over. And if your dog eats poop, don’t worry we’ve got you covered too (not literally). Find out why dog eat poop and how to get them to stop.

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.

About The Author:

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.

Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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July 25, 2020 1:42 pm

My dog has always had light brown close to orange color poops and would take her hours to eat her food. I tried her on a GI food because her food ran out and that was our other dog’s food and she ate that in seconds. Should I switch her dog food?

Apiffany Gaither Billings
July 29, 2020 1:05 pm
Reply to  Bethany

I would recommend chatting with your vet and possibly obtaining some bloodwork or a fecal sample to see if there are any underlying issues and/or foods that your vet recommends.

July 12, 2020 9:31 am

My dog is puking up yellow bile all morning. I came home and his poop is gray and diarrhea. Does anybody know what that means?

Apiffany Gaither Billings
July 13, 2020 9:46 am
Reply to  Gizmo

How is your dog doing? Typically, we recommend visiting your vet with concerns if the diarrhea and vomiting continue as there may be underlying conditions.

June 17, 2020 4:21 pm

Hello: My dog’s poop, which is dark stools, is the color of the dry food she eats. I noticed in the last few days when she goes it’s light brown. Is this a problem because I noticed in the last few days she doesn’t want to poop in the morning or all day but does at night. Does this sound like it’s a problem?

Apiffany Gaither Billings
June 18, 2020 8:11 am
Reply to  Denise

Have you noticed any blood or changes in behavior other than the frequency of bowel movements? We always recommend contacting your vet if you have concerns as your vet can do the necessary testing to properly diagnose and treat your dog.

June 5, 2020 8:36 pm

My almost 13 weekbold puppy is having dark brown stools with small yellow balls in them that look almost like corn. He only eats nutrisourse large breed puppy food and training treats for housebreaking. I’ve never seen stool like this in my past dogs. They look more normal in the morning but closer to the evening they have more and more yellow dots. He was at the vet 8 days ago and had a parasite screening but they didn’t find anything and gave him preventatives..

Apiffany Gaither Billings
June 6, 2020 10:09 am
Reply to  Cait

I would suggest taking some of the stool that you are finding to your vet for a fecal exam. Your vet can give you instructions. Good luck!

May 31, 2020 11:41 am

Hi my Dog had grey poop all of a sudden this am. Never seen this before . Should i take him to the ver or give this a couple of days to see it it goes away . May have eaten cat poop in my yard .. what are you thoughts

Apiffany Gaither Billings
May 31, 2020 9:04 pm
Reply to  patsy

Please take your dog to the vet as soon as possible to make sure there are not any issues. Gray poop can be a sign of liver, gallbladder, pancreas, or intestinal issues and should be tested and monitored by your veterinarian quickly.

Weatherly Whitener
May 29, 2020 7:55 pm

Thank you for this info. We are going to call the vet tomorrow to get this checked out but I am very thankful to know that it might not be super serious keeps me a little calmer til in the morning when we can get an appointment.

May 23, 2020 11:29 am

You can always find your dogs rummaging on corners and eating anything. Most of the time they can have an upset stomach and irregular bowel. The problem arises if your dog’s poop is different from the usual discharge. The color of the poop determines the health of your pets. So we should always make sure to observe our dogs to always maintain its good bowel routine. Well, thanks for sharing.

Susan Bertucci
March 25, 2020 4:06 pm

Hi my name is Susan we just adopted a dog on Saturday very playful and full of life but she does not want to eat she is drinking and her poop is now turning black she will eat people food and she is overweight the shelter told me she is spoiled what should I do?

Apiffany Gaither Billings
March 25, 2020 4:36 pm
Reply to  Susan Bertucci

Hi, Susan. We always recommend speaking with your vet if you believe something is wrong with your pet. If you cannot take your dog to a vet, perhaps this online vet service can help.

January 16, 2020 4:41 pm

my dog chewed his bed the other day Andy must of eaten some of the wadding as he had a poop with wadding in the poop was normal in colour until the end little bit which was dark brown.
Not sure if he needs the vet or just to monitor poops for a day or two, he’s his usual naughty self otherwise.

January 12, 2020 7:54 pm

What yo do 🙁 My dog barely move. She has orange poof .She lost her appetite but drank water . Help po 🙁

January 27, 2020 12:04 am
Reply to  Rona

Take her to the vet immediately!! Most likely it’s her liver!!!

Elizabeth Clutter
January 2, 2020 9:29 am

Hey, I have a sweet small mixed breed pup. He has been acting lethargic and straining is to poop and just now started to have a slimy green diarrhea. Should I wait it out or take to the vet immediately? 🙁 I’m a worried!

January 27, 2020 12:05 am

I would take him/her to the vet immediately

Kimberly Alt
January 2, 2020 10:16 am

If I were in your shoes, I’d probably call my vet first thing this morning. They will be able to tell you if he needs to be seen or not. Hope he gets well soon!

December 20, 2019 10:27 pm

Hello my Luna has tan color poo and it is pretty smelly

December 7, 2019 3:37 pm

My 10month old bluenose pitbull had loud not smelly gas for about two days and then diarrhea cow pile like for a day but yesterday it was completely liquid brown yellowish with a small amount of bright red blood. On a quick walk he had this 4 times. He seems totally himself so I wanted to wait it out. I took his food away and have been feeding him plain white chicken breast with white rice and probiotics from the Vet from last time he had diarrhea. Today he seems a little more tired than usual but eating. He hasn’t gone to the bathroom yet today. Should I take him to the vet today? They are closed tomorrow but wondering if I should continue the bland diet and wait until monday to see how he is doing.

Thank you!

Kimberly Alt
December 9, 2019 10:26 am
Reply to  Sam

How is he doing today? If you think he is still not acting like himself and is having loose stool, then I’d suggest calling your vet.

M Coch
December 7, 2019 9:26 am

My Pug (puppy mill rescue) in all her 2 years has never had dark brown super firm lumpy poop like playdough. It has always been on the softer side as when I would pick it up would be stuck to the grass. And it’s usually a rust brown, not orange but it’s not dark brown. I feed Orijen and canned chicken of the Sea tuna and I do give peanut butter dog cookies. She does often need anal glands expressed so with online advice I added psyllium husk one day. It only made poop big and fluffy, not big and hard to push on those glands. I’m wondering what I should change to make firmer, dark brown poop since that is desired.

Maryet Atha
March 20, 2020 5:35 am
Reply to  M Coch

I have a schnauzer .she has black tar like poop .eats a lot of boiled chicken .and wont eat dog food .

May 26, 2020 1:05 pm
Reply to  Maryet Atha

Has she always had black tar like poop? I have a schnauzer who randomly will have this type
Of stool too and am worried about him.

Apiffany Gaither Billings
March 20, 2020 2:30 pm
Reply to  Maryet Atha

We always recommend seeing a vet when you think something is wrong with your pet. Black ”tarry’ dog poop may be a sign of a gastrointestinal ulcer or a stomach ulcer. If you cannot take your dog to a vet, perhaps this online vet service can help.

Diane Edwards
November 16, 2019 8:25 pm

What if our dogs poop is red and brown and blue.

Kimberly Alt
November 18, 2019 2:55 pm
Reply to  Diane Edwards

Brown is a normal color for dog poop, however, the red and blue are not normal. Did your dog eat a lot of something that is red or blue in color? Similar to humans, if we eat a lot of something it can affect the color of our urine and stool.

This is probably too much information (TMI), but I’m sharing this to try and help you find the answer to your question. My husband’s friend went to urgent care in college because he thought there was blood in his urine. Turns out he had chugged a ton of fruit punch, which changed the color of his urine. We all tease him for it to this day (it’s all in good fun and he’s a good sport). Another TMI story, everyone in the high school I went to knew about these slushies at a local gas station. If you drank the blue one, it would change the color of your stool to a blue/green color. It was something everyone laughed about and got a kick out of.

For both of these stories, urine and stool returned to normal colors after about 24-48 hours. This could be the case for your dog, if it got into something with a strong food coloring dye in it. However, it could also be something more serious. If this is still continuing, I recommend contacting your vet immediately.

September 22, 2019 1:02 pm

What if poop is a pale brown color?

Kimberly Alt
September 23, 2019 12:35 pm
Reply to  Gail

We suggest asking your vet or trying out this online vet service to see what your dog’s poop color means.

August 17, 2019 1:21 pm

We recently moved into a townhome that has an abundance of cats. There has been a homeless man that keeps getting past our security gates and putting out cheap dollar store cat food in an attempt to save these animals, the animals don’t need to be saved, they have owners. The apartment community didn’t do anything about it and my two sons, not knowing better, would let them snack on the cat food throughout their walks. One of my dogs ended up almost dying because of the high protein and her liver was on able to process the cat food. We spent over $1000 at the vet to save her. Now eight months later, it appears that she might now be in liver failure because there are white & orangish chunks throughout her poop. When she poops it comes out looking like it’s a day-old poop that’s been sitting outside in the sun. At the moment, I am unemployed and cannot afford the veterinary bill to see what’s going on and if we can reverse it or save her. She’s barely 4 yrs old. I will be filing a lawsuit against my apartment community for negligence. They knew this man was putting cat food out and even filed a restraining order against him but weren’t enforcing it and allowed him to keep putting food out on the property. He continues to this day even with a restraining order. My children know now to keep them away from the cat food and even pick them up and walk past the food before they set them back down to continue their walk. But in the meantime what I’m looking for is anybody else who has had issues like this with their little dog (liver issues) and what the vet’s recommendation was and if there are medications that she should be on. She is a Maltese poodle mix and she on is about 8 pounds. She is the only daughter I will ever have. She’s my baby girl.

October 9, 2019 3:09 am
Reply to  LQH

You have to get her liver values from simple bloodwork. There are meds to help liver. Not that expensive especially if you use goodrx and go to costco. My dog has had liver probs but been on ursodial for 2.5 years. Really helps. Liver rejuvenates.

Bodine waterfire
May 28, 2019 2:57 pm

my dog ate dirt Sunday afternoon (at the dog park as they all seem to be doing this spring!!), by the evening he had soft poop, by 2 am it was brown watery poop that poured out and he sort of moaned in pain, and kept trying to poop but a water like or nothing, monday he had brown liquid poop, but still eating and drinking and playing with his friends. By monday afternoon he still had soft liquidy like poops but now yellowish, as he had some rice and boiled meat(allergic to chicken) same at night, not wanting any rice anymore, wants his treats, am making sure he drinks water, now Tuesday, he has yellow/orange soft liquidy poops, not as often, and less watery but still hard to pick up. I gave him carrots and pumpkin puree and rice, he wants food today wants food, but only the boiled meat, and hand feeding him some of his kibble. he is asleep all day I gave him His CBD treats,But I am worried, but cannot afford to go to vet as I just spent 1500 to learn of his food allergies last month. He has eaten dirt and grass before, but can this be why he is sick? what should I do? what can he get from eating dirt?

June 28, 2019 7:32 am

This is the EXACT issue I’m having with my dog! Every detail the same! Did you ever find out what was going on?

Kimberly Alt
May 29, 2019 8:36 am

We have an article about why dogs eat dirt. I think that article could help you but feel free to comment with any follow up questions!

March 19, 2019 2:31 pm

My puppy is new in our family , we were advised to give him beef pro puppy but we didn’t not see any here so we just took vitality then he poop green . Why ? He ate vitality with cerelac .

March 12, 2019 12:40 pm

My puppy has recently had a clay colored poop with a bit of regular colored pop underneath what do I do?

March 4, 2019 8:07 am

My dog has just this morning started passing white poo he hadn’t had any bones ?

Kimberly Alt
March 4, 2019 9:48 am
Reply to  Ruth

Is it white speckled or completely white? You could try giving your dog pumpkin to help with digestion, but I would suggest checking with your vet beforehand. Each dog handles food differently so I’d hate for your dog to have a bad reaction to it.

January 31, 2019 4:21 pm

My puppy is 10 weeks old and had an operation to remove a cheery eye but now is pooping pink poo since last night..

Tammy James
August 6, 2019 10:22 pm
Reply to  Anne

In case the second eye get one or if cherry eye comes back(if you didn’t get it removed) you can rub the cheery eye back in and avoid surgery. My dog had them in both eyes when I saved him. One hasn’t come back in 2 years (took 6 months of rubbing it back in) and the other one pops out every 4 -6 months and I rub it back in. He really like the extra attention and it doesn’t hurt him at all.

December 2, 2018 2:49 am

Blood in the poop can also be a sign of worms or other parasites. Take a sample to the vet

Nestor Velazquez
November 10, 2018 5:53 pm

Today I noticed my dogs poop was really black with a hint of blue and I have 2 other dogs but they’re perfectly fine just wondering if maybe you know what caused it or what’s wrong with her pretty worried it’s nothing like I’ve seen before

September 25, 2019 8:05 am

Can prednisone cause this?

September 30, 2018 3:54 pm

Hi today my dogs poo it started dark brown and ended like a creamy yellowish chalk like texture is this something that I should be worrying about she is a 6yr old Staffordshire bull terrier her diet hasn’t changed

July 15, 2019 7:50 pm
Reply to  Tracey

Same thing happened to my Smokey today. 1yr 4mo Husky. From what all I’m reading, I think he was just a little dehydrated on top of the bone he ate yesterday. We went out of town this weekend and he didn’t eat or drink as much as usual. Will assess the next BM (I always do) to make sure the issue resolves before I get too concerned. Did you find out what caused it in your dog?