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:

Dog Poop Color Chart Infographic

Source: CanineJournal.com

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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.

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Susan Bertucci
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 (Admin)
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.
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.
What yo do ๐Ÿ™ My dog barely move. She has orange poof .She lost her appetite but drank water . Help po ๐Ÿ™
Take her to the vet immediately!! Most likely it’s her liver!!!
Elizabeth Clutter
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? ๐Ÿ™ I’m a worried!
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
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!
I would take him/her to the vet immediately
Hello my Luna has tan color poo and it is pretty smelly
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 (Admin)
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
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
I have a schnauzer .she has black tar like poop .eats a lot of boiled chicken .and wont eat dog food .
Apiffany Gaither Billings (Admin)
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
What if our dogs poop is red and brown and blue.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
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.

What if poop is a pale brown color?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
We suggest asking your vet or trying out this online vet service to see what your dog’s poop color means.
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.
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
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?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
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!
This is the EXACT issue I’m having with my dog! Every detail the same! Did you ever find out what was going on?
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 .
My puppy has recently had a clay colored poop with a bit of regular colored pop underneath what do I do?
My dog has just this morning started passing white poo he hadn’t had any bones ?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
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.
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
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.
Blood in the poop can also be a sign of worms or other parasites. Take a sample to the vet
Nestor Velazquez
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
Can prednisone cause this?
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
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?
My dog she is pooping a light tan color ones what does it mean
Mine to did you find out about it
Emma Owens
Try probiotics or digestive enzymes. Sounds like the food is passing through too quickly to pick up bile.
I’m dogsitting for my uncle. His pooping habits and eating habits have been irregular since my uncle went out of town. He is pooling now, which is good, but its green. He pooped three times this morning all which were green. But the first time he pooped, it was solid, the last two times he pooped, it wasn’t solid. Is he just nervous because his owner is gone?
My dog pooped bright red and I don’t know if he ate some red or if it’s a lot of blood
Angela Miller
The color dye in dog food can alter the color of the poop.
Although if that’s not a possibility then may need to take sample to test.
So I’ve been slowly transitioning my pup off chicken and rice following some stomach upset she had after spay surgery 2 weeks ago. I’ve noticed her poop has been really dark almost blackish in some spots, but acts totally normal. Could it be more stomach upset from transitioning back to her dog food??
Angela Miller
Stomach ulcers or bleeding can cause the black in the stools. Or if she ate blood, for example, during birthing can also cause this.
The stress increases cortisol, which can activate parasites, irritate the gi tract or cause ulcers. Should take to vet for fecal test and see about some carafate to treat (GI or ulcers) or treatment for parasites so it can get better.
Yogurt is soothing to the gut and helps replenish good bacteria in the gut.
After serious stress situations, probiotic with prebiotic is good to give them to help the gut with the stress it is dealing with.
Angela Miller
Also if medication was given, especially oral meds like NSAIDs or antibiotics, the gut could use the probiotic to help repair the damage those cause.
Marion Nalbone
My dog’s poop started to get yellowish and soft.. I haven’t changed her diet but I started to give her the teeth minties for her breath and teeth. Normally I feed her boiled chicken mixed with hard dog food mixed with little water. Last night the poop was stuck to her backside and I had to give her a bath.. Can this be serious??
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Yes, it could be serious. I suggest calling your vet. Hope your dog gets to feeling better soon!
Margie Fedderly
My Sheltie recently had her teeth cleaned and was given clindamycin for antibiotic. She has started having soft bright yellow stools
Also drinking more water than normal. No food change. Concerned
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Call the vet that prescribed the antibiotic to your dog and ask about these side effects.
CRaig holland
What happened, what was the fix
Angela Miller
Could be stomach acid causing color and excessive drinking or possibly kidney issues. Hope you have had her checked out just to be safe.
Emma Owens
I think this means the foods passing through too quickly to pick up bile. Maybe try probiotics to re-adjust her gut bacteria. My dog had these and they helped. I also now give him digestive enzymes ๐Ÿ™‚ His poos are normal now.
My puppy ran outside the other day and got in my burn pile where apparently, some old friend potato s we’re and possibly old chicken was and she ATE IT. OK, WELL, now her poop is lime green ish liquid with a splash if normal ole brown poop. But,I did just two days before work her. HELP !!!!! IM SCARED SHE HAS PARASITES
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Contact your vet immediately.
Jamie wiatt
My dogs is doing the same thing and he’s barely eating… He injested some leather and puked hopefully all of it up today but then came the liquidy bright green poo mixed w the reg poo… He’s still playing he drinks water but barely eats its almost like it’s hurting him to do so or something…