The Story of Your Dog's Stool

July 9, 2019 at 9:00 AM by Nikki Wardle


Poop can look differently depending on your dog’s breed and the kind of food they eat. However, all things being equal, it should generally have a medium brown color and not be too hard or too soft (you can probably tell just by looking at it).

When your dog’s poop has different colors, it can be a sign of various health problems. Here are some of the colors of the poop rainbow and what they mean: 

  • Bleeding disorders
  • Cancer in the pancreas, stomach or esophagus
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Side effects of a medication

Whatever the cause of black poop may be, you should take your dog to a vet for a comprehensive diagnostic checkup. Problems like these can put your pet’s life at risk.

Black Dog Poo

Black Poop

If your dog’s poop looks black or unusually dark, it could be a sign of blood entering their stomach and getting digested. This can mean that your dog may have an ulcer in their stomach or intestines. They could also have eaten some aspirins or rat poison.

Black poop is also a potential symptom of Melena, a condition where the upper part of your dog’s gastrointestinal tract starts bleeding. This could be a result of: 

Red Dog Poo

Red Poop

When your dog’s poop looks red, it’s a sure sign of blood. This could result from:

  • Colon inflammation
  • Bleeding in their gastrointestinal tract
  • An injury in your dog’s rectum
  • An infection in your dog’s anus or anal glands
  • Worst case scenario could be a tumor

If you see red or signs of blood in your dog’s number two, call your vet and let them know what the symptoms are, he or she may want to examine your dog to check for other underlying issues. 

Brown Dog Poo with mucus

Brown with Mucous Layer Poop

Often times your pup will have a slight mucous layer on his stool due to some anal gland secretion, and this is normal. What we are referring too is a very substantial, thick layer of mucus that comes with the brown stuff.

This kind of number could mean your pooch has inflammation in his colon from a number of reasons:

  • Dietary Indigestion
  • Stress
  • Parasites
  • Infection

If you see this type of poo, call your vet to find out what the best course of action would be.

Orange Dog Poo

Orange Poop

Orange poop could mean that your dog’s suffering problems in their liver, gall bladder or bile ducts. The poop can turn that color because bile gets into it somewhere in the process.

Orange poop isn’t always a sign of disease, though. Sometimes, it turns that color because food is passing too quickly through your dog’s. Still, you should have a vet check out your pet just in case.

Purple Dog Poo

Pink or Purple Poop

Pink or purple dog poop can be a symptom of a disease known as HGE (short for hemorrhagic gastroenteritis). HGE can be caused by a variety of things, including: 

  • Diseases of your dog’s immune system
  • Intestinal parasites/bacteria
  • Eating something toxic
  • Eating something that isn’t food

Sadly, funny colored poo might be the least of your dog’s worries with this disease: Symptoms also include bloody diarrhea and vomiting. If your dog shows signs like these, get them emergency care as soon as possible—many dogs with HGE die if they aren’t treated.

Grey Dog Poo

Grey/Shiny Poop

If your dog’s poop looks greasy or grey and comes in big, soft mounds, they could be suffering from a condition called EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency), better known as maldigestion. EPI occurs when your dog’s pancreas doesn’t have enough of the enzymes it needs to digest fat properly. German Shepherds and Collies are especially prone to getting EPI. A vet can treat EPI in your dog easily.

Green Dog poo

Green Poop

Green poop can be a sign that your dog’s eating way too much grass. It could signify something much worse, though, like parasites or eating rat poison. Take your dog to the vet so you can know for sure.

Yellow Dog Poo

Yellow Poop

If your dog’s poo is coming out yellow, it could be a sign of an upset stomach. Check the stuff your dog eats—something might not agree with them. And if the problem persists, please make an appointment for your furry friend. 

Brown and white dog poo that is speckled

White Spots

If their poop has little white specks in it, your dog might have worms. Take your pet to the vet sooner rather than later.

Topics: Pet Care, Pet Facts

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.

The scoop on your dogs poop