Although picking up dog poop is never fun, it is a necessary part of dog ownership. Cleaning up after our pets is also a way we can assess their health by making sure their stool is normal. But imagine going outside to clean up your dog’s poop and noticing all of the little landmines in the yard have turned white. You may wonder: “Is something wrong with my dog? Why is my dog’s poop white?”
What causes dog’s poop to turn white?
If your dog’s poop has suddenly changed colors and turned white, it may not be anything to be concerned about. Here is the scoop on white poop:
Too much calcium
One of the most common causes of white poop is a diet that is high in calcium, which causes a change in the color of the poop. Dogs that consume a lot of bones will often have white poop. Most of the time, white poop caused by too much calcium isn’t too concerning for dogs, but too much calcium may cause constipation. If you’re noticing your dog straining when trying to go potty, it may be time to see a veterinarian.
Eating something they shouldn’t
If your dog’s poop has suddenly turned white and you haven’t made any recent changes to their diet, it may be because they have eaten something they shouldn’t have. Eating things like paper towels, toilet paper, tissues or feminine hygiene products, can all cause a change in the color of your dog’s poop. While some of these items may pass through your dog’s digestive system without causing harm, they may also cause a blockage or other serious medical conditions. If you think your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have, the safest bet is to consult a veterinarian. In the future, make sure to keep your garbage can up and away from where your dog can reach it, or purchase a garbage can with a locking lid, to prevent your dog from getting into the trash and getting sick.
Dog poop can turn white due to natural environmental conditions such as sunlight or humidity. It can also begin to grow mold or change colors as it begins to break down. If your dog’s poop is not white immediately but slowly turns white over a few days, it is likely changing color due to the environmental conditions as it begins deteriorating. However, it also means you probably need to clean up the dog poop a little more quickly before it starts to disintegrate.
If your dog’s poop isn’t completely white but instead contains specks of white or tan, similar to spaghetti noodles or rice, your dog may have picked up internal parasites such as worms. Take a stool sample to your veterinarian for testing and deworming medication. Make sure to thoroughly clean your yard and make sure all feces is cleaned up to prevent recontamination.
What should healthy dog poop look like?
Healthy dog poop is light brown, firm and has the consistency of play-dough. It isn’t runny and it doesn’t fall apart easily. If you’re noticing your dog’s stool change colors to gray, black or yellow, consult with a veterinarian as it could be a sign of a serious health issue. It may also be time to switch your dog’s diet.
How does a raw diet affect dog poop?
There is a saying about eating healthy food, ‘garbage in, garbage out,’ and it is the same for your dog. A raw diet is easy for a dog to digest, so your dog keeps more nutrients and creates less waste. That means fewer eliminations overall, and fewer messes to clean up in your yard. The stools of raw-fed dogs are firmer and nearly odorless and they are often a smaller size, too. Raw fed dogs typically have less stinky gas. A raw diet is so powerful that many owners see remarkable changes to their pets after making the switch, such as a jump in energy, heightened focus and they seem to enjoy life like never before.
The scoop on white poop
So how worried should you be if your dog’s poop is white? Dogs that are fed a raw diet often produce stool that is white, because a raw diet contains bone, a natural source of calcium. If you’re feeding your dog an AAFCO regulated raw diet, such as Vital Essentials, the diet is already formulated with the right amount of calcium and nutrients that your dog’s body needs. If you’re feeding your dog a homemade raw diet or commercial kibble and your dog is experiencing white poop, it may be time to consider switching to a safe freeze-dried or frozen raw diet, to ensure your dog is getting an adequate balance of vitamins and minerals.
As gross as it sounds, keeping an eye on your dog’s poop is a good way of monitoring their health, and any significant changes should be reported to your veterinarian. That way, any health concerns can be addressed earlier, helping your best fur-iend live a long, happy life.
To learn more about the benefits of switching from kibble to high-protein raw dog food, check out our health benefits page and then pick up some Vital Essentials pet food, treats and toppers in a store near you or online!