This is Why Dog Poop Turns White

Written by Amber LaRock
Updated: March 9, 2023
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Quick Answer:

  • Dog poop that is white in color has typically been bleached by environmental elements like sunlight or humidity.
  • It’s also possible that white mold is growing on the surface of the stool, creating a bright white color.
  • Other factors can make dog poop white like ingesting something white, a high-calcium diet, intestinal parasites, or another health issue.

We grow to know everything about our pups, including their favorite snacks and the ins and outs of their unique personalities. We even get to know the standard appearance of our dog’s poop! This leads pet parents to become startled when they stumble upon feces that are white. White dog poop can have you scratching your head, wondering what could possibly cause this strange color change.

Learning the common causes of white dog poop may help you better understand your dog’s stool appearance moving forward. We’ll break down potential reasons why your dog’s excrement is white and how to know when to reach out to your vet.

What Does Healthy Dog Poop Look Like?

Before we dive into white poop in dogs, we should first discuss what healthy dog poop looks like! We can’t know what’s abnormal if we don’t know what normal looks like. So, let’s introduce you to the characteristics of healthy stool in dogs!

The first characteristic you should look for when assessing your dog’s poop is texture. Healthy dog poop should be firm and easy to pick up, and it should have a similar consistency to playdoh. You should also look at the color. Healthy dog poop is anywhere from light brown to chocolate brown, but varies a bit based on daily diet. Overall, healthy dog poop should be some shade of brown and comparable to a playdoh consistency.

Dog poop should be light or dark brown

Healthy dog poop should be anywhere from light brown to chocolate brown in color.

©Uryupina Nadezhda/Shutterstock.com

Now that we’ve completed healthy-dog-poop 101, it’s time to discuss the possible causes of white poop in dogs. White dog poop, by definition, is not brown. This is something you always want to take notice of. Here, we discuss some of the most common factors behind white dog poop.

Sunlight & Humidity Changes the Color

If you stumble upon white dog poop in your yard that is clearly not fresh, then the most likely possibility is that it has been bleached by environmental elements. Both sunlight and humidity can cause the pigment in a dog’s poop to break down. Additionally, white mold can grow on the surface of the stool. This leads to dog poop that is bright white in color; it will also likely be extremely dry and brittle. Note that it only takes about 24 hours for stool to turn white if it is hot outside. However, we encourage you to examine your dog’s next fresh poop to ensure it is not white as it passes.

Great Dane dog pooping

Dog poop can become bleached white by environmental elements such as sun and humidity.

©Victoria Rak/Shutterstock.com

They Ate Something White

If your dog has recently consumed something white, then this can certainly cause their stool to appear white as well. This is common when dogs accidently consume tissue, paper towels, toy stuffing, and anything comparable in nature. These items are challenging for the body to breakdown properly, so you may see chunks of white in your dog’s poop. If so, take a closer look at the poop and see if you are able to detect any foreign material. We know searching through poop is no one’s idea of a good time, but your dog’s health may be at stake. Assessing the poop can help you determine whether or not you need to reach out to your vet for guidance.

If you are seeing foreign material in your dog’s poop, keep a close eye on your dog for the next 48-72 hours. Foreign material can easily become trapped in your dog’s digestive tract, and while they might be able to pass some of it, there could still be some lingering in their intestines. If this is the case, you would likely notice other concerning symptoms in your canine friend, including vomiting, decreased appetite, lethargy, and abdominal pain. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pup, have him seen by your vet as soon as possible.

Dog eating toilet roll can turn poop white

Your dog’s poop might appear white because he ate tissue or toilet paper.

©BLACKDAY/Shutterstock.com

Their Diet is High in Calcium

If your dog’s fresh stool is white or light, then it’s possible her diet is too high in calcium. High calcium diets can lead to stool color changes in dogs, with some dogs passing stool that is almost white. This is very common in dogs that eat raw food diets, as well as those that are given bones.

If you feed your pup a homemade diet and notice white stool, reach out to your vet for guidance. Your homemade dog diet may need to be tweaked by a professional to ensure your dog is getting balanced nutrients.

High calcium diets can cause dogs to pass white poop

High calcium diets, common in dogs on raw food diets and those that are given bones, can cause some dogs to pass white stool.

©iStock.com/Zontica

They Have Intestinal Parasites

If your dog has any type of intestinal parasite, then this can cause changes in their stool appearance. Intestinal parasites, like tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms, are white or light tan in color. A large amount of these worms can make a dog’s excrement appear white.

The presence of these parasites can also cause a large amount of intestinal inflammation. Inflammation in the digestive tract often causes the body to produce a large amount of intestinal mucus. This light-colored mucus can coat the dog’s stooling, make it appear light in color.

If you notice either parasites or mucus in your dog’s stool, or you think your pup could have been exposed to intestinal parasites, take her to the vet. They can run a test for the presence of parasite eggs and prescribe the appropriate treatment if needed.

Parasites or mucus in your dog's stool can give poop a white color

If you notice either parasites or mucus in your dog’s stool, which can give poop a white color, it’s best to have them assessed by your vet.

©Hryshchyshen Serhii/Shutterstock.com

They Have a Serious Underlying Medical Condition

Though less common, it is possible that white stool in dogs can point to a serious underlying medical condition. Medical conditions such as maldigestion, liver disease, and gallbladder disease can cause poop to appear light or white, often due to the body’s inability to digest food properly. These conditions can develop in dogs of any age, but they are more common in older canines. If your dog is passing white or light-colored stool and you’ve ruled out the above factors, then we suggest having them seen by a vet for a full assessment.

Medical conditions can cause a dog's poop to appear white

Medical conditions such as maldigestion, liver disease, and gallbladder disease can cause a dog’s poop to appear light or white in color.

©Alex Mladek/Shutterstock.com

My Dog Has White Poop – What Should I Do?

As you can see, there is quite a list of potential factors that can lead to white poop in dogs. Ultimately, if your dog is passing fresh stool that appears white, then we suggest giving your vet a call. Your vet might ask a few questions to help determine whether or not your dog needs to be seen. If he does, your vet can perform the necessary tests. Because white poop in dogs can point to underlying medical conditions, it’s best to be safe and consult your vet!

Final Thoughts

White poop in dogs is a strange occurrence and will lead to concern for many well-intentioned pet parents. We encourage you to review the potential causes discussed above and call your vet if you need further guidance.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © TKstockup60/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Amber LaRock is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics surrounding pet health and behavior. Amber is a Licensed Veterinary Technician with 12 years of experience in the field, and she holds a degree in veterinary technology that she earned in 2015. A resident of Chiang Mai, Thailand, Amber enjoys volunteering with animal rescues, reading, and taking care of her two cats.

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Sources
  1. PetMD, Available here: https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/digestive/how-treat-mucus-stool-dogs
  2. VCA animal hospitals, Available here: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/internal-parasites-in-dogs