Colours you can't ignore

Even though it’s gross, your dog’s poop can actually tell you a lot about their health — more than just the weird things chewed or ate

What does it mean if my dog's feces is white/ orange/ green/ black?

Most mild changes in dog stool colour are related to dietary changes and aren't a cause for alarm. But feces colour and consistency can be an indicator of serious health problems.

Normal feces

It varies from dog to dog, breed to breed and can change depending on the type of dog food being eaten. In general, colour should be medium brown and neither too soft and liquid (diarrhoea) or too hard to pass comfortably (constipation). Pay attention to your dog's "healthy" feces (colour, consistency and frequency) so you can recognize when there's a problem.

Black or dark feces

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 feces or streaks of blood

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

Pink or purple feces

Anything that resembles raspberry jam could indicate haemorrhagic 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 feces

Feces 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 feces

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 feces

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 colour we expect. If your dog has orange diarrhoea, contact your vet.

Yellow feces

Yellow mucus usually indicates a food intolerance, especially if you've recently change 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 feces.

(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to

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