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Orange Dog Poop: Causes, Meaning & Treatments (With FAQs)

Orange dog poop Labrador Retriever dog poops in the green park

The presence of orange dog poop is a common cause of concern for many dog owners, especially if accompanied by other warning signs such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, or lethargy.

However, it is vital to remember that many things can cause orange-tinted feces in canines. This can vary from munching fruits and veggies containing carotenoids to liver disease and other severe medical conditions.

If you want to know the answer to the question, “Why is my dog’s poop orange?” and whether or not it is something to worry about, this article will explain everything you need to know about this orange dog poop situation.

Why Is My Dog’s Poop Orange?

When you notice that your dog’s poop is orange, there are several possible explanations: they ate something orange-colored; they have a food allergy; a symptom of an underlying medical problem; or parasite infestation.

But before you begin to worry and rush your four-legged friend to the vet clinic, let’s examine some causes of orange poop in dogs:

1. Orange-colored food

If you are feeding your pooch fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids, such as oranges, carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, or cantaloupes, then this may explain why its poop is turning orange.

As with humans, the feces of dogs can change color depending on the food they eat. In fact, if you give your canine lots of green vegetables like broccoli or spinach, their stool will also become greenish in color.

However, orange poop can sometimes indicate that a dog has eaten something toxic or is having difficulty digesting. This could be due to the ingestion of orange crayons or orange candles.

So unless your dog has been snacking on some orange-colored wax, there is no need to panic if you spot an orange tint in your pup’s poop.

2. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Also known as intestinal inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic condition that leads to the inflammation of a dog’s digestive tract.

While it can affect any age group, it is most common in adult to senior dogs.

Unfortunately, if your fur baby is suffering from IBD, then one of the symptoms will be an orange-colored stool. This type of stool usually has a foul odor that smells like sulfur or rotten eggs.

However, not all canines display these symptoms, so here are some additional signs of IBD to watch out for:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloat
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Lack of energy
  • Excessive diarrhea
  • Recurring vomiting
  • Rumbling sounds from the stomach

The cause of IBD in dogs is unknown, but certain factors can increase a pup’s risk of developing this condition.

These factors include bacterial infection, allergies, sudden diet changes, and immune system disorders.

3. Bile duct obstruction

Bile duct obstruction or cholestasis is a condition in which the bile flow from the liver to the gallbladder and small intestine is blocked.

Canines with this disorder usually produce yellowish-orange or darker-tinted stools.

Moreover, the circumstances that trigger this condition can vary, but it is generally caused by the following:

If you suspect your pup is suffering from intestinal obstruction, monitor for the following symptoms: orange stool, dog diarrhea, and bloating.

Further, jaundice and loss of appetite are also observed in dogs with cholestasis.

4. Food allergies and intolerances

Dogs with food allergies or intolerances often have adverse reactions to chemicals, preservatives, and artificial food coloring. The most common culprits are chocolate, dairy products, wheat, and soy.

Thus, if your dog accidentally ingests something that contains these ingredients — such as crackers — it will lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea, resulting in orange-colored feces.

Mouth scabbing and excessive drooling may also occur.

5. Liver disease

If your furry companion suffers from liver disease, this might be one of the reasons for its poop being orange. As with bile duct obstruction, this condition is caused by cancer, trauma, infections, and cysts.

However, it should be noted that dogs with diabetes, hormonal issues, and genetic conditions can also develop liver diseases.

Besides the orange dog poop, other symptoms of this illness include red or orange-colored urine, lethargy, confusion, increased urination, and yellowish skin.

6. Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is a condition that occurs when the digestive enzymes normally produced by a dog’s pancreas leak into its bloodstream. These enzymes then discolor the animal’s stool to a deep orange color.

Other clinical signs of pancreatitis include abdominal pain, fever, decreased appetite, chronic vomiting, and explosive diarrhea.

Watch this informational video to learn more about pancreatitis in dogs:

Pet Pancreatitis and How to Avoid it

7. Parasitic Infections

It may sound surprising, but parasitic infections from roundworms, tapeworms, and flukes are often responsible for turning dog poop orange.

Because these parasites reside in the gastrointestinal tract of our dogs, they can trigger varying degrees of inflammation, which causes the stool’s consistency, color, coating, and content to look different.

As demonstrated above, the possible causes of orange dog poop can range from harmless to potentially dangerous.

Hence, it is recommended to rule out the simpler possibilities before moving on to the more serious ones.

Should You Be Worried If Your Dog Has Orange Poop?

If your dog unexpectedly defecates with orange poop, it is best to be concerned. Orange poop can be caused by a number of different conditions, some of which are serious and require immediate medical attention.

However, keep in mind that the color of your dog’s poop is not a reliable indicator of how serious the problem is or how quickly you should seek treatment.

Remember that some commercial pet foods and treats also contain natural coloring agents; therefore, a change in your pet’s stool color may not signify a medical condition unless other symptoms are present.

Hence, even though a sudden appearance of orange poop may indicate a problem, it doesn’t mean you need to rush straight to your vet’s office for an appointment.

It is highly suggested to keep calm and continuously monitor your pet’s behavior over the next few hours.

If possible, check the consistency and content of their stool before making any treatment decisions.

What Color Should Dog Poop Be?

Normal dog poop color

In general, dog poop should be brown in color. However, the shade of brown can vary depending on what they have been ingesting.

For instance, if your dog eats a lot of red meat or other meals containing large amounts of protein, its stool will be dark brown.

Meanwhile, if it consumes fiber-rich foods, its feces may be more tan or light brown-tinted.

Aside from having a brownish shade, the healthy canine fecal matter should be firm and well-formed. If your pooch’s poop is loose or watery, then this may indicate an underlying health problem.

Characteristics of Orange Dog Poop

When you observe orange dog stools, it is necessary to know what characteristics are normal for your furry companion and what might suggest a medical concern.

Here are some things to look for when determining the status of your dog’s orange poop:

  • Hard and firm: A hard orange poop may signify dehydration. This happens when your dog is not drinking enough water and may be caused by an underlying illness such as diabetes or kidney disease.
  • Accompanied by bloody and mucus secretions: Orange-colored feces containing blood or mucus may be a sign of internal bleeding or gastroenteritis. If you detect this type of content in your dog’s stool, contact your vet immediately to determine whether further testing is required.
  • Dry and crumbly: If your canine’s orange stool appears dry and crumbly, it may be due to constipation. Constipation is caused by infrequent bowel movements triggered by many health-related issues, including food allergies, stress, or a sudden change in diet.
  • Chalky consistency: An orange poop resembling chalk may indicate that your dog suffers from intestinal malabsorption. This condition can occur when the animal’s digestive system cannot properly absorb nutrients and break down food.
  • Comes in various shades: Primarily, the color of a dog’s stool depends on the food they consume. It may appear bright yellow-orange or deep pumpkin orange, depending on the amount of bile in their excrement and how much water they drank before pooping.
  • Soft, runny, and watery appearance: If your pet defecates soft orange stools and you notice that it is also runny, it could be a sign of dog diarrhea. To check if this is the case, look for other symptoms of this condition, such as excessive thirst, dry heaving, and loss of appetite.

By understanding all these characteristics of orange dog poop, you’ll be able to assess whether or not your pet is experiencing an issue that requires further investigation.

How to Treat Orange Poop in Dogs

Most of the time, orange poop in dogs is a sign that something has gone wrong with their diet. However, it can also be an indicator of other serious issues that need a surgical procedure.

First, if your pet has been ingesting healthy meals for weeks and suddenly develops this digestive problem, an elimination diet may be helpful.

Food allergies are common culprits for this issue so try eliminating one food at a time from their meal to see which one is causing the orange dog poop.

Although Cerenia or maropitant citrate faces criticisms today, your vet may also recommend it as a treatment if your pooch is vomiting nonstop.

Just be sure to follow the dosage instructions carefully and call your vet if you have any questions or concerns.

READ NEXT: Cerenia Killed My Dog? – Everything You Need to Know

When to See a Vet for Orange Dog Poop

One way to assess the health of your dog is to examine the color of its excrement. So when you see orange dog poop, it is essential to know when to seek out immediate medical attention.

For starters, if your dog is sick, has diarrhea, or seems lazy or lethargic, it is recommended to get them checked out by a veterinarian.

The same goes if they have eaten something unusual, such as crayons or toxic substances.

You should also start looking into vet care if the orange color does not go away even after you stop feeding them specific foods that are high in vitamin A or beta-carotene.

In addition, orange poop could be caused by inflammatory bowel disease, parasite infestation, or cancer — all of which require immediate treatment.

However, you should note that some health problems related to orange dog poop are costly to treat. Thus, it may be beneficial to invest in pet insurance before your dog develops such a problem.

How to Prevent Orange Dog Poop

Orange dog poop can be very alarming, but there are many things you can do to prevent it from happening to your canine companion.

Here are some tips to keep your dog’s fecal matter from turning orange:

  • Know how much to feed your pet. Depending on your dog’s age, breed, and weight, you will need to make sure they’re receiving just the right amount of nutrition. Failure to do so can result in an upset stomach, orange dog poop, or other severe complications.
  • When switching your dog’s food, do it gradually. If you are planning to change your canine’s food, or perhaps you want to incorporate some fruits and veggies into their diet, do it gradually. This way, the transition is less likely to cause digestive issues that can result in an orange-tinted stool.
  • Don’t feed your dog human food or table scraps. Since most human foods are high in fat and sugar, you’ll want to avoid giving them to your dog. Aside from the fact that these foods can upset their stomachs, they can also cause orange-colored diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems.

While the suggestions above may seem pretty straightforward, they can greatly reduce the chances of your dog defecating orange poop.

Frequently Asked Questions

Orange dog poop puppy doing his toilet

What Foods Cause Orange Poop in Dogs?

Generally speaking, orange poop in dogs is caused by certain foods high in carotenoids.

These foods include winter squashes, carrots, oranges, pumpkins, mangoes, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, tangerines, and papayas.

Some commercial dog foods with artificial coloring can also cause orange-colored feces. The same goes for the chicken and rice mixture that most vets recommend for canines with sensitive stomachs.

However, if you notice any other changes in your pet’s behavior or habits after eating specific orange foods or treats — such as vomiting, lethargy, or bloating — contact your vet as soon as possible.

Can Chicken and Rice Make Dog Poop Orange?

A chicken and rice diet is one of the most common remedies for upset stomachs; however, it can sometimes make a dog poop orange.

The reason this happens is because of the presence of bile in a dog’s digestive system. Bile is a substance that helps break down fats and other nutrients, but it can also cause orange diarrhea when it is too concentrated.

So if your vet prescribed this bland diet and you notice that your pup’s stool is turning orange, do not worry.

This is normal and should eventually go back to its usual color once your dog’s digestive issues have been resolved.

READ NEXT: How Much Chicken and Rice to Feed Your Sick Dog?

Can Pumpkin Turn Dog Poop Orange?

Yes, a pumpkin can turn dog poop orange. When one thinks of pumpkins and orange feces, they do not immediately associate the two, but that’s what exactly happens if you feed your furry friend this orange fruit.

Pumpkins, like other fruits and veggies that are rich in beta-carotene compounds, have the ability to turn your dog’s poop into a bright orange pigment.

Fortunately, this color change is only temporary. Once our dogs have eliminated the pumpkin from their systems, their fecal matter will return to its original color, which is typically beige to dark brown.

Final Thoughts

Orange dog poop is a typical type of dog poop color that many pet owners have encountered. In fact, this can be caused by several factors, including your fur baby’s diet, environment, and current health.

So before you go into panic mode, note that an orange-colored poop doesn’t necessarily mean your dog has an underlying condition. Sometimes it’s just a harmless side effect of eating certain foods.

In some rare instances, however, if this unusual coloration comes with other clinical signs, such as chronic diarrhea, vomiting, or rapid breathing, your pooch might have something more serious going on.

Hence, if you notice any of these symptoms along with a bright orange shade in your dog’s stool, it’s best to take them to the vet clinic for a checkup as soon as possible.

Let us know in the comments below if you have ever dealt with an orange dog poop situation!