Most of us have a relatively good understanding of the digestive system—we know that what goes in must also come out. Even though our dog’s bodies don’t work the same as ours, we understand that their poop can give us a lot of clues about their overall health. You might not be actively studying your dog’s stool; however, looking at the color and texture from time to time isn’t such a bad idea. You never know what’s happening inside of them, and if they’re ever feeling or acting a little under the weather, then looking at their poo could be the determining factor if you need to take them in to see a vet.
Possible Reasons Why Your Dog’s Poop Is Green
While you’re out for a walk or working in the yard, you may have noticed that your pet’s poop isn’t looking quite the same as it usually is. If it is green in color, it could signify that your dog is suffering from a parasite infestation. Dogs with parasites often have mucoid green feces with a slimy consistency. Other signs of parasites include constipation or straining while going to the bathroom.
2. What They’ve Consumed
The food that dogs eat can also be a factor in the color of their stool. For example, some dogs might be eating grass if they have an upset stomach. While eating grass is a normal dog behavior, eating anything other than regular food could mean that they aren’t feeling well for some other reason. Sometimes this is more serious; other times it means your dog is missing something nutritionally.
3. Rat Poisoning
Of all the potential reasons for your dog’s poop to be green, this is by far the most dangerous. If you believe that your dog has consumed or been exposed to rat poison, take them to the vet immediately. Rat poison will slowly take a toll on your dog’s health. Most commercial poisons stop an animal’s blood from clotting and cause internal bleeding. As a result, their stool could start to look different and be colored green, blue, or red.
4. Intestinal Disorders
There are numerous intestinal disorders that might also be causing the color change. Some of these include gall bladder issues, food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, viral infections, colitis, and hepatitis. All of these should be treated by a veterinarian.
What Color Should Your Dog’s Poop Be?
An ideal indicator of a healthy gut for a dog is firm, brown stool. As long as their poop is a chocolate color and easy to pick up with your doggy bags, then they are likely in a good place with their gut health.
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What Other Colors Can Dog Poop Be?
Brown With White Specks
Brown dog poop is normal; white specks are not. When you see white specks in your dog’s stool, this is a sign that something isn’t quite right. It could just be from some foreign debris or material they ate, or it could be a sign of intestinal parasites. If you see any movement from the specks, you are most likely dealing with worms.
Black dog stool is something that needs to be taken very seriously, as it could mean that there is bleeding in your dog’s digestive tract. Even though blood is red, the digestive process will make it turn black as it works its way through and out of the body. Black poop could be a sign of GI ulcerations, damaged tissues, or intestinal parasites.
Red or Brown with Red Streaks
Dog poop that is red or has red streaks in it is another sign of bleeding, most likely in the lower intestinal tract. The red color is typically an indication that the blood hasn’t yet been digested. Again, this is cause for a medical emergency, and you should contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice any red coloring in their stool.
A yellow or light green color in your pet’s stool is often associated with diarrhea. However, it could indicate that your dog has something wrong with their liver. Either way, it isn’t normal and should always be taken seriously enough to warrant a trip to the vet.
You might not be outside inspecting your dog’s bowel movements every day, and you don’t have to, but it doesn’t hurt to check it out every once in a while. Unfortunately, that is just part of the dirty work of being a dog owner. Our pet’s poop can tell us a lot more about their health than you’d think. If you’d notice they aren’t acting quite like themselves, or even if you’re just curious, inspecting the color and texture of dog poop could be the thing that saves their lives in some cases.
Featured Image Credit: AndrewFall, Shutterstock