The stool color of your pet says a lot about its digestive health — so what does it mean if your dog’s poop is green?
A good amount of pet owners believe that any poop color that isn’t brown — including green stool — should automatically be a cause for alarm. However, this is not always the case.
Keep reading to find out the causes, meaning, prevention, and possible treatments for green dog poop.
Why Is My Dog’s Poop Green?
There are many reasons why a dog has a green-colored stool. Consuming grass or foods with green pigment, fatty diets, or rat-bait poison are some possible causes. Moreover, green poop may also indicate parasite infestations or disorders in the intestine or gallbladder.
Keep reading for a more in-depth discussion of the possible causes of green dog poop.
1. Eating grass or foods with green pigment
A lot of the time, the color of what we eat affects the color of our stool — and the same goes for dogs and other animals.
If your dog ate large amounts of green-pigmented food, it is likely that its waste will be green.
A grass diet is often the culprit behind a dog’s green poop, considering that it is relatively normal for a dog to eat grass.
However, consuming too much grass may indicate that something is wrong with your pup. If your dog is constantly eating grass or other plant material, it may be a sign of a nutritional deficiency, such as a lack of fiber.
Aside from plants, your dog may also have consumed green crayons, paints, or pencils.
Eating things that are not typically considered pet food can also be a sign of a disease called pica, which can be very dangerous for your dog’s health.
2. Fatty diet
Too much fat in a dog’s diet will inevitably affect not just stool but your dog’s health as well. A dog poop greenish brown and greasy in nature is a sure sign of an overly fatty diet.
Fats are not digested in the same way as proteins and are often discarded as waste. This is why it is easy to see whether or not there is too much fat in your puppy’s food.
3. Parasite infestations
Giardia cysts are usually found in contaminated water or in the waste of other dogs. If a dog consumes a Giardia cyst, it ruptures within the dog’s body and reproduces at a rapid rate.
Green stool is one of the many tells that your pet has a Giardia infection. Other signs and symptoms include rapid weight loss, abdominal pain, and green diarrhea, where the stool exhibits a wet, slimy consistency.
4. Rat poisoning
Green stool may also come from ingesting harmful chemicals around your home, like certain rat poisons.
Rodenticide or rat poison contains a toxin that stops a rat’s blood from clotting. If a dog eats anything affected by rat poison, its blood will also lose the ability to clot, which may lead to internal bleeding and seizures.
Ingested rat poison also turns a dog’s poop green because it contains a green pigment which is very harmful to dogs.
5. Intestinal disorders
There are plenty of disorders that can afflict your dog’s intestinal tract and affect the color and quality of your puppy’s stool.
A compromised absorption of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract could be the problem. If the bile in your dog’s stomach is not being absorbed properly, it becomes part of the waste — giving it a green tint.
Furthermore, if your dog has food allergies, contracts inflammatory bowel disease, or becomes infected with intestinal bacteria of any kind, it may cause green poop.
While these are the most common reasons, there is always the possibility of other causes behind the green poop.
Abrupt diet changes or other underlying health issues may also be the source of strange stool colors.
Should You Be Worried If Your Dog Has Green Poop?
As mentioned earlier, green poop is not always a cause for concern. Although it may look strange, there are ways to identify whether or not you should be worried about the health of your furry friend.
If your dog’s poop is simply green but otherwise has normal consistency, size, shape, and smell, then it might just be your dog consuming too much grass or other green foods. In that case, your dog’s poop will likely return to normal.
On the other hand, if the poop is too runny or too hard, too foul-smelling, misshapen, or has any other unusual qualities, it is time to be concerned and consult a vet as soon as possible.
What Color Should Dog Poop Be?
For most dogs, the healthiest stool color is a rich, chocolate brown, which is why green dog poop is considered such an anomaly, just like every other non-brown stool color.
Aside from the color, other characteristics of a dog’s healthy bowel movement can be observed through the stool’s size, shape, and consistency.
Healthy stool should have a consistently unpleasant odor that is not too foul-smelling, either.
Aside from being brown, most normal dog poop comes out in large, log-shaped pieces with a soft, clay-like consistency that is easy to pick up. The amount should correspond to how much food your dog eats in a day.
Characteristics of Green Dog Poop
Aside from color, there are other features in a dog’s stool that can give owners an insight into their dog’s health, especially when it comes to their digestive processes.
Watch out for some of these characteristics to be better prepared in case your notice green poop from your dog:
- Hard, pebble-like, or crumbly: Overly hard stool may be a sign of dehydration and possibly constipation. Encourage your pup to drink more water and incorporate more moisture and fiber into their diet.
- Runny and watery: Watery poop is usually indicative of diarrhea. This may be caused by an abrupt change of diet, environmental stress, or an impending illness.
- Slimy, covered in mucus: In case you observe a mucus-like substance coating your dog’s waste, it is possible that it might have mild inflammation of the colon or a gastrointestinal infection. It can also be due to a parasitic infestation.
- Bloody: Blood-speckled stool may have a few different causes. A constipated dog may experience abrasions and small cuts within the anus as it tries to poop. However, this may also be caused by parasites or worms festering inside your dog.
- Different shades of color: Whether your dog poops light green, dark green, or bright green stool can also say a lot about the situation, especially in identifying if the stool’s green color is caused by food coloring and not an underlying disease.
Taking note of these factors allows you to better assess the condition of your dog’s health if you are ever faced with green-tinged poop in the future.
What to Do If Your Dog’s Poop Is Green
After first observing the presence of green stool, examine other characteristics of your dog’s poop.
If the stool does not have any other unusual features aside from color, simply monitor your dog for a few days. In this case, the color is likely just something passing through the dog’s gastrointestinal system.
However, if your dog is exhibiting other signs of sickness, such as vomiting, weight loss, lethargy, or loss of appetite, it is best to seek a vet’s assistance immediately.
To learn more about green dog poop and other oddly colored feces in dogs, watch this video:
When to See a Vet for Green Dog Poop
Pet parents must take action immediately when it comes to their dog’s health. So, if your dog is pooping green fecal matter and exhibiting concerning symptoms, visit your local veterinarian as soon as possible.
Before going, take a fresh fecal sample of the stool. Scoop a small amount into a doggy bag or any sealable container as close as possible to your appointment time.
The vet will then examine and possibly test the stool sample to identify the cause of the green color.
This way, any life-threatening illnesses are likely to be caught early, making the success of the treatment more probable.
However, if the vet does not find any unusual causes or symptoms, they still might administer probiotics and good bacteria to help your dog’s GI tract function more properly in the future.
How to Prevent Green Dog Poop
When it comes to their dog’s health, most owners would agree that prevention is better than cure. In this case, there are ways to ensure a healthy intestinal tract to prevent unusual bowel movements.
Since a dog eating non-food items is caused by a nutritional deficiency, adding high-fiber food to a dog’s diet is likely to prevent them from eating grass, plant material, or other non-food objects.
You should also refrain from giving dog treats with food coloring and green pigment. Instead, opt for more high-quality dog treats that come in a more neutral color.
To avoid overly fatty diets, simply make a diet change with less fat content. Make sure to introduce the new food gradually by mixing it little by little into the old food so as to prevent any further stomach upsets.
Make sure that your dogs are regularly dewormed and that their vaccine shots are up to date in order to prevent parasitic infestations such as Giardia infections.
Lastly, keep rodenticides, medicines, cleaning products, pest control products, and other harmful chemicals out of reach, as it would be very life-threatening if your dog eats any type of these toxins.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Parasite Causes Green Poop in Dogs?
A Giardia infestation is often a parasitic infection that causes green poop in dogs. A dog can contract this parasite by drinking contaminated water or by consuming the waste of other animals infected by the parasite.
Can Changing Dog Food Cause Green Poop?
An abrupt change in a dog’s diet can cause green poop sometimes. A very sudden shift in their feeding routine can cause stomach upsets, which can cause diarrhea and green stool.
To prevent this, make sure that any change to your dog’s diet is done gradually. You can do this by slowly transitioning its diet for about a week.
Can Chicken And Rice Make Dog Poop Green?
A chicken and rice diet can make dog poop green if your pet suffers an allergic reaction from the ingredients.
In general, this bland diet of boiled chicken and rice is often fed to sick pets, especially those with digestive and gastrointestinal problems. On its own, a chicken and rice meal won’t make your dog’s poop green.
If your pet poops green waste after eating a chicken rice meal, it may be due to a chicken allergy. In this case, seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.
While green dog poop is not automatically a sign of bad pet health, it should not be ignored, either. There are different causes of green waste from dogs, ranging from harmless to severe.
Because of this, dog owners should always be alert when it comes to their dogs. Since your fur baby’s stool is a window to its health, it is your job to push through any off-putting odors and check its poop regularly.
Do you have any experiences with odd-colored bowel movements in pets? Have you seen weird pet poop lately? Make sure to share with us your experience with green-colored pet poop in the comments below!