If You See White Dog Poop, This Is What It Means

The color of your dog's poop matters. Here are the culprits of white-colored dog stool.

The mysteries of your pup’s potty behaviors are many—like, why does your dog spin around before pooping, and why do they have to go on the carpet? Dog owners everywhere have to deal with their dog’s business and the not-so-pleasant task of picking up their dog’s poop, but what do you do if the color doesn’t look right? Does it mean something? It’s easy to become concerned when you see your dog’s doo has an irregular appearance—and you might recall seeing a bizarre shade in the past: white dog poop.

Come to think of it, it seems like white dog poop used to be everywhere—at a local park, in a family member’s backyard or even in your own backyard, courtesy of your favorite pooch. But have you noticed that white dog poop seems less common than it used to be? There’s a simple explanation for that, so let’s get into what the color white means when it comes to a dog’s business.

Why would a dog have white poop?

Beyond buying the best dog poop bags and investing in your furry friend’s diet by purchasing vet-approved dog food, you may take care of your pup by paying attention to the shade and texture of their poop. You probably haven’t noticed your dog excreting white dog poop in recent years, and that’s because it’s all but disappeared.

According to a vet-owned pet treat company, Drool, white-colored dog poop was prevalent in previous decades due to copious amounts of bone meal in dog food. However, with the evolution of dog food recipes, the white poops began to disappear sometime around the late 1980s or early 1990s.

Why change the recipes? Dog food companies began to realize that cooked bones could splinter and damage a dog’s digestive system, per Drool, and the highly processed food wasn’t exactly going to make your dog the picture of health. That’s because cooked bones are indigestible for dogs—cooking a bone makes its structure brittle, and thus it fractures easily.

Echoing the same statement is veterinarian Dr. Judy Morgan, who says the white shade is a result of too much bone or mineral content.

But why would bone meal make your dog’s poop white? When dog poop is left on the lawn, exposed to sunlight, sustainability blog Treehugger explains the cooked bone meal leaves a layer of calcareous calcium. After sitting and being exposed to the elements, bone powder remains and that excess calcium makes the poop white.

Your dog’s diet is important. Make sure you check what foods are OK for your pup to eat. Items like ice cream may contain harmful ingredients for your dog. Other foods like eggs get a vet’s thumbs-up!

Why else would a dog have white poop?

If your dog still exhibits some strange white poops, despite a diet free of harmful excess bone meal, there may be a few reasons. Ensure you evaluate the issue and get fido proper vet care if needed.

Your dog ate something white, resulting in white spots in poop.

Think about what your dog ate recently. Does your dog often try to chew or scarf down household items like socks or fabric from dog toys? If you see something white in your dog’s poop, take a closer look to see if it’s recognizable. If it looks like your dog passed an entire sock, hair tie or part of a toy, your dog is in the clear. However, it’s always best to have your dog examined by a vet after digesting something dangerous. Non-food items can pose a serious health issue if your dog cannot pass them. Stuck objects can cause obstructions to your dog’s digestive system, which requires surgery to remedy.

White specks in dog poop could mean tapeworms.

Seeing white specks or strings in your dog’s doo could mean a trip to the vet is necessary. Great Pet Care says white specks could be tapeworm eggs or segments. Unlike worms that are invisible to the naked eye, you can spot a tapeworm infection. Tapeworm eggs grow from the worm’s segments (called proglottids) and often look like a grain of rice. Call your vet as soon as possible to schedule a dewormer appointment if you see what might be white worms in dog poop. You should also clean your yard, your dog’s bed and any other infected surfaces.

White dog poop may be a side-effect of medication.

If your dog’s poop is white, you might want to look at what medications you’re giving your pet. For example, dogs who have had liquid barium as a medical treatment might pass white excrement temporarily. If you notice a change to your dog’s poop color after a new treatment or medication, wait a day or two and talk to your veterinarian if it doesn’t return to its normal color.

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Cianna Garrison
Cianna Garrison is a California-based freelance writer who covers everything from food news to tech to lifestyle. Her work has appeared in Elite Daily, How-To Geek, Review Geek, Truity, and other publications. She received her Bachelor's degree from Arizona State University in 2018. In her free time, she likes to read, write fiction and poetry, and perform in live theater.