Have you ever noticed your dog’s poop is white? This can be concerning, but don’t worry! There are many reasons why this might be happening. Some are perfectly natural, and some are a cause for worry, so it’s essential to know which is which.
The gut is 70% of a dog’s immune system, so it’s vital to keep it healthy. For this reason, your dog must get the right amount of soluble and insoluble fibers in their diet, with added doggy probiotic chews for optimal gut health.
This article will discuss the most common causes of white dog poop and what to do if you notice this in your furry friend. To give you the best possible answer to any questions about white poo, whether hard, watery, crumbly, powdery, or covered in slimy mucus, we consulted Dr. Albert Jergens, DVM, MS, and other expert sources.
So, Why Is My Dog’s Poop White?
White, hard, and chalky poop often indicates that a dog has too much calcium in their diet, mainly when eating many bones or adding eggshells to their food. Healthy dog poop naturally turns white over time, but if the fresh dog poo is clear, white, or gray, your dog may have digestion or organ problems, parasites, or an infection.
But to know what white poop (or different poop colors) means, we need to understand what healthy poop looks like and why.
What Does Healthy Dog Poop Look Like?
Healthy dog poop is light brown, firm, and moist. When evaluating your dog’s poop (gross but necessary!), remember the four Cs: consistency, color, coating, and contents.
Dog poop should be firm but not hard. Watery poop, or poop with the consistency of porridge, means diarrhea. Hard poop indicates dehydration or constipation. Foamy dog stool usually means a bacterial infection. Greasy poop typically means your dog is having trouble digesting food.
As food moves through the digestive tract, pigments in bile turn it brown. The liver makes the bile, which is stored in the gallbladder. From there, the intestines secrete it to break down food as part of digestion. The body reabsorbs most bile.
However, the bile that stays behind is green, and the pigment interacts with the food during digestion. So the digested food gradually turns from green to yellow and is brown when excreted.
Sometimes something your dog eats can affect the poop color. Eating too many carrots can make it orange, or eating too many Greenies or grass (if a dog is feeling sick) may make it green because of the natural dyes in the food. It can also sometimes be a sign of poisoning, as dogs who eat rat poison may have green poop.
However, changes in poop color may also mean an issue somewhere in the digestive tract. Dark or black tarry poop means blood has already been digested. In this case, your dog is bleeding internally somewhere in their upper digestive tract (possibly from an ulcer). Fresh red coloring in the poop means the blood comes from the lower digestive tract or is bleeding from the anus (called hematochezia).
Bloody poop is a sign of many medical conditions, including parvo. If your dog has an unusual poop color, take a photo for the vet or collect a sample in a bag to show your veterinarian.
If you see green, orange, or yellow poop, you are looking at signs of maldigestion. Yellow poop can mean Exocrine Pancreatic deficiency (EPI) which happens when the pancreas can’t produce enough enzymes. In general, green or yellow poop means your dog is pooping before the bile can turn brown. This could stem from liver or gallbladder issues, food intolerances, or other digestive issues.
Below we will look at what it means if your dog is pooping gray or white poop.
Coating refers to any blood that may be on the poop, but also to mucus or slime on the poop. When the intestinal lining is aggravated by an infection or inflammation, it sheds the protective mucosal lining in the guts. This makes poop covered in slimy, transparent, or white mucus.
With a nasty infection, you may also see drops of blood on the poop.
Whole pieces of food like corn in the poop means your dog cannot digest that food item; most of it is just passing through the digestive tract. You may also see white specks that could be worm eggs, pieces of bone, or something else your dog chewed or swallowed. Foreign items in your dog poop could be a sign of something bigger, causing an intestinal blockage or damaging the gut lining.
Frequency & Odor
Pro tip: It also helps to know what the poop smells like and how often your dog poops. Sweet, rancid smells can mean an intestinal infection like parvo. Sour milk odor usually means maldigestion or food moving too fast through the digestive tract.
If your puppy is trying to poop every hour, it may be colitis. If the dog is pooping a large amount every three to four hours, the food is probably not being well digested (malabsorption syndrome).
What Does Pasty, Light-Colored, Or Pale Dog Poop Mean?
Your dog’s poop may not be white, but it may be a medical issue if they are pooping very pale poop. Your dog may not have enough bile when the stool is very pale and light-colored (almost white or yellowish pink) with a pasty consistency. This could be a sign of liver disease or bile duct issues.
What Does Gray Dog Poop Mean?
If your dog’s poop is gray rather than white and arrives in giant amounts with a rancid smell, you may be dealing with malabsorption syndrome. This means there is probably an issue with the pancreas or the small bowel that is preventing your dog from being able to digest their food. This kind of poop is usually very greasy.
Why Is My Dog’s Poop Turning White?
Healthy dog poop naturally turns white, crumbly, and hard over time. This is because the bile pigments that give it the brown color break down, leaving only the calcium to color the poop and giving it a chalky texture. So if you haven’t cleaned the yard in a few days and notice white poop, it’s likely just the natural way stool breaks down over time.
Why Is My Dog’s Poop White And Chalky?
You may be feeding your dog a diet too high in calcium if the their poop is extremely hard, white, and chalky. This is common in dogs that swallow a lot of bones and who may get eggshells as part of a raw food diet, it may become constipated and have very hard stools. Their poop will also be far more white and chalky than other dogs and turn powdery quickly.
It’s vital to remember that both a calcium deficiency and excess is dangerous for growing dogs. Too much calcium prevents proper bone development and leads to more musculoskeletal diseases. Calcium also needs to be in the correct proportion to phosphorus in the diet, so if you realize your dog has too much calcium in their diet, speak to a veterinary nutritionist immediately.
Why Is My Dog Pooping White Mucus?
If your dog is pooping white mucus, especially excessive jelly-like slime, then something is irritating the gut lining and causing it to shed (probably from the colon). This could be an infection like colitis, inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), or an infection that affects the digestive tract.
Some additives in dog food (and human food) can also irritate the gut and make it shed the mucosal lining. Read the label on your dog food for any polysorbates or CMC. Food allergies may also be to blame.
Why Is My Dog Pooping White Foam?
A dog or a puppy pooping frothy or foamy diarrhea with bubbles usually has an infection. This could also be because of the same malabsorption problems in gray, slimy, or greasy poop dogs. But other culprits include Coccidia, Giardia, or other parasitic, viral, and bacterial infections,
Remember, a diet that is extremely high in fat can sometimes lead to the same digestion issues like foamy poop, greasiness, or even constipation if the diet is too low in fiber. High-fat diets also lead to dangerous and painful conditions like pancreatitis. Sudden changes in the diet or food allergies can also cause runny poop and troubling symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does it mean when there are white specks in my dog’s poop?
It is probably tapeworms if you find white dots that look like grains of rice or other white specks in your dog’s feces. However, it can be one of several issues, including undigested food or something your dog chewed and swallowed. See our article on white specks in dog poop.
Why is my dog pooping white liquid?
If your dog is pooping white liquid, it could indicate a more serious underlying medical condition. Some potential causes include liver disease or an issue with the pancreas. Sometimes, it may be related to a bacterial infection or parasites.
If you notice this symptom in your dog, it’s essential to take them to the vet for a thorough examination. They can perform tests to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.
In conclusion, there are many reasons why your dog’s poop may be white. While some causes may be benign and easily remedied, others may indicate a more serious underlying medical condition. If you notice any changes in your dog’s poop, it’s important to take them to the vet for a thorough examination. By doing so, you can help ensure that your furry friend stays happy and healthy for years to come.
Tamsin De La HarpeAuthor
Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.
Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.
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