Dog poop color is a good measure of a dog’s health. Normal dog poop is often brown and dark-colored, with just the right amount of moisture. If your dog’s poop is whitish or gray and looks hard and dry, your dog likely has a medical issue.
Why Does Dog Poop Turn White
Canines consider pooping a private matter, and they probably think humans are strange for picking up after the poop when they’re done.
It is also common for dogs to find out of the way spots before doing their business. Whenever possible, dogs keep their poop as far away from where they eat, too. Scooping up dog poop may not be the most desirable activity, but it benefits dog owners.
Lots of symptoms can be detected from taking a look at dog poop. The color of dog poop is particularly telling if your dog is healthy or not. White dog poop can be particularly worrying for fur parents. So what does white dog poop tell us about your dog’s health?
Why Does My Dog’s Poop Turn White When It Dries?
White dog poop is not normal. Dog poop, in general, is brown because bile from your dog’s liver turns digested food brown. White poop, whether moist or when dried up, signals that your dog may have digestive issues. Consider the following factors if your dog has white poop:
- Check your dog’s diet first. Raw diets, in particular, are known for providing high levels of calcium. However, too much calcium in your dog’s diet can cause lighter-colored stools that become hard when dried.
Raw diets can also expose domestic dogs to pathogens in the meat that they may not be prepared (immunity-wise) to handle.
Remember – domestic dogs are not wild dogs. The digestive flora of domestic dogs is different from wild dogs, so their tolerance for raw food is also different. Before shifting to a raw food diet, be sure to consult at length with your vet first.
If you have already shifted to raw food diet and suddenly, your dog’s poop is hard and white, it’s easy to concur that the diet change harmed your dog. Calcium-laden white poop is not a good sign. A commercially formulated dog food should be able to fix this problem ASAP.
- Some veterinary medicines can change poop color. For example, formulations like liquid barium are known for evolving stool color temporarily. If your dog is currently medicating, the temporary color change should go away when the medication is done. During this period, monitor your dog for other changes.
- Your dog may have eaten something white. White fabric or fibers can turn poop white. The fibers are indigestible, so they will come out as they are with brown poop around them.
Larger indigestible objects like scarves will not usually pass and have to be surgically removed under anesthesia. This is why it is critical for dog owners always to know what their dogs are consuming.
- Do you see white specks or even white ribbons in the dog poop? That is likely a sign of tapeworm infection. Tapeworms find their way to your dog’s gut by consuming infected water, feces, or simply from contact with the ground.
Call your vet immediately. Decontaminating your yard is your next priority. Tapeworm eggs often look like white rice grains, so they are easy to spot.
- Discolorations in poop can also mean that your dog is struggling to digest and excrete something. Mucus in poop can emerge as white or yellow streaks. A little mucus is normal, but if the poop is smothered in mucus, call your vet.
Some dogs also swallow inedible objects like tennis balls, and these can cause bleeding in the gut. Red streaks indicate bleeding in the colon, and surgery may be needed to address the issue.
- Gray or white poop may also indicate a severe health condition, such as a blocked gallbladder or a malfunctioning liver. The liver produces bile, which the pancreas then pipes into the intestines so that fat can be digested and absorbed.
If the gallbladder is faulty or blocked, the bile won’t get to the intestines, or only a tiny amount of it will reach its intended destination. Another potential problem is that the liver is producing insufficient levels of bile. This condition may trigger a more significant condition called maldigestion.
Is It Bad If My Dog’s Poop Is White?
Light-colored or light poop isn’t necessarily worrisome if the sun has already baked the poop for hours. Sunlight and heat will chemically alter dog feces, and eventually, the natural colors of poop will fade until the poop becomes white and crumbly. So if you find these crumbly poop piles in your yard, you have nothing to worry about.
However, if your dog’s poop is fresh and white, that is not normal. Average dog poop should be brown or sometimes green, depending on what your dog ate. Pure white poop or gray poop are signs of maldigestion unless your dog is medicated with liquid barium drugs.
Other dog medications can also cause temporary changes to poop color. If unsure, your vet is always a call away. It’s best to confirm your suspicions first before doing anything. Some dog owners tend to medicate their dogs without asking their vets. While your experience as a dog owner is valuable, you shouldn’t be making medication decisions based on a hunch or basic knowledge if you are not a vet.
What To Do If Dogs Poop Is White?
First, if your dog is on a high-calcium diet, stop that diet immediately and switch to a commercial formulation. Second, suppose your dog is medicating; double-check with your vet if the medication may have caused the change in stool color. And thirdly, white dots on the poop may indicate a parasitic infection. Deworming is the only thing that can help a dog with tapeworms.