Dog’s Poop Is Orange, Should You Be Worried?
As we get to know our dogs, we typically have an idea of what their poop should look like.
That’s why when we suddenly see them passing orange poop, it leads to immediate concern about their current state of health.
A healthy dog should be passing firm stool that is chocolate brown in color, so what would cause the sudden onset of orange dog poop?
To help you better understand what could cause orange dog poop in our furry friends, let’s get into the details below.
Is Orange Dog Poop Normal?
Before we discuss the details of orange dog poop in our canine friends, we should first answer the question of whether or not this is normal.
While our canine friends may come in an array of shades and designs, this is not the case for their poop. Anything outside of brown dog poop should always warrant concern, especially if it is bright orange dog poop.
As we will discuss below, brown poop in dogs can point to a list of underlying medical complications.
Is It Red Dog Poop Or Orange Dog Poop?
Sometimes even though it looks like your dog is passing orange stool, they are actually passing red stool.
Small traces of blood in brown tinged stool can cause the poop to appear orange in color, hiding the fact that our pups are actually experiencing bloody stool.
This is why we always suggest picking up any suspicious dog poop with a white or light colored paper towel, as this will allow you to determine whether or not blood is present.
Blood is much easier to spot using this method, and will prevent you from missing any signs of serious GI irritation.
7 Reasons Why Your Dog Has Orange Poop
Now that we have gotten a few main topics out of the way, let’s discuss the many potential causes of orange poop in our furry friends.
Ranging from GI inflammation to intestinal invaders, let’s break down each underlying factor below.
1.) Their Food Contains Orange Dye
One of the most likely causes of solid orange dog poop in dogs is due to orange dye in their kibble.
Plenty of commercial dog foods are dyed with colors ranging from deep red to light orange, and sometimes these colors can stain their poop.
This can cause their poop to be anywhere from pale orange to bright orange in color, often giving owners a fright when they see it for the first time.
2.) They Have GI Irritation
Anytime our pups have irritation in their GI tract, strange things can happen to their poop.
They may experience changes in texture, consistency, frequency, and even color.
A dog may suddenly begin to pass orange poop as the environment in their GI tract changes, leading their owners to scratch their heads in confusion.
GI irritation can also lead to blood in the stool, so you will want to make sure you rule out that possibility.
If this is the case, you may see other signs of GI irritation as well. This may include blood in the stool, decreased appetite, gas, vomiting, abdominal pain, and lethargy.
If their orange poop or GI symptoms do not resolve on their own in 24 hours, we suggest giving your vet a call.
3.) They Have A Bacterial Infection
If harmful bacteria make their way into a dog’s digestive tract, it can lead to some strange and sudden changes in their poop appearance.
Bacterial infections in dogs can cause green poop, brown poop, red poop, and even orange poop.
Their stool will often be loose in consistency as well, with many pups even having diarrhea.
If your dog is struggling with a bacterial infection, you will typically see other concerning signs of GI upset.
This may include anorexia, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, gas, and abdominal pain.
If they are having GI upset that persists for more than 24 hours, we always suggest reaching out to your vet for guidance.
We suggest doing so even sooner if they are vomiting in addition to having orange diarrhea, as this can quickly lead to dehydration.
4.) They Have Intestinal Parasites or Protozoans
Intestinal parasites are everywhere in the world around our canine companions.
Their eggs hide in the soil, in infected stool they come in contact with, and even in contaminated water.
Once these eggs or protozoans make their way into the digestive tract, a slew of GI complications can occur. For some furry friends, this may mean orange poop.
When a dog has been infected with intestinal parasites, you will typically see other signs of GI upset as well.
These intestinal invaders can lead to significant irritation of the intestinal lining, causing significant discomfort for the pup affected.
Some of the most common symptoms of intestinal parasites in dogs include:
- Frequent bowel movements
- Changes in appetite
- Distended abdomen
- Bloody diarrhea
Intestinal parasites will need to be treated with prescription medication from your vet’s office, so we always suggest having them seen if they have developed any of the above symptoms.
5.) They Have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS)
Dogs with inflammatory bowel disease suffer with chronic inflammation of their intestinal tract.
This not only leads to a slew of uncomfortable GI symptoms for the dog, but it makes it more challenging for the gut to absorb nutrition properly.
When this process unfolds, you may see an array of changes to the dog’s poop appearance.
Orange dog poop is actually fairly common in dogs with IBS, which is one of the reasons this strange poop color should always be noted.
A dog with inflammatory bowel disease may experience orange poop, chronic diarrhea, chronic vomiting, changes in appetite, weight loss, bloody diarrhea, gas, rumbling stomach, abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, regurgitation, and even a fever.
If you think your dog is displaying any signs of IBD, we suggest having them thoroughly assessed by a vet as soon as possible.
6.) They Have Underlying Liver Complications
Dogs with either acute or chronic liver complications can experience changes in their poop appearance.
The liver plays a role in bile production, and any changes in the release of bile from the gallbladder can lead to changes in poop appearance.
Dogs with liver disease can have anywhere from green stool to orange stool, and may even experience a change in stool consistency as well.
If your dog is struggling with underlying liver complications, you will typically see other symptoms aside from their change in poop appearance.
These dogs may develop anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, jaundice, muscle tremors, and even seizures.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, we suggest having them seen by a vet immediately.
7.) They Have Food Allergies
While food allergies are the most uncommon allergies seen in dogs, they do impact some unlucky furry friends.
Some dogs will develop an allergy to the food they eat each day, leading to irritation of the GI tract and difficulty absorbing nutrients from their food.
Many dogs will also experience changes in their normal poop appearance due to this process, with some dogs even having pale orange to bright orange poop.
Food allergies in dogs will certainly lead to GI upset, but you will typically see other signs of irritation as well.
Food allergies can cause long term discomfort for a dog, so it’s important to have them diagnosed and treated as early on as possible.
If you think your dog may be suffering with food allergies, we always suggest having them evaluated by your veterinary team.
If they are truly allergic to something in their food, your vet will need to discuss the details of a food allergy trial.
Why Is My Dog Having Orange Diarrhea?
Not only is orange poop in dogs concerning enough, but orange diarrhea will certainly cause you to worry.
Diarrhea of any kind is often a sign of G irritation of some form, and orange diarrhea is no different.
Orange diarrhea in dogs can be a result of a bacterial infection, intestinal parasites, food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, and even liver complications.
Diarrhea in itself should always be checked out if it doesn’t go away within 24 hours, but this is especially true if your dog is having orange diarrhea.
If you are not yet ready to bring your dog to your local vet’s office, we at least suggest giving them a call and explaining their current symptoms.
Based on your dog’s symptoms, they can determine whether or not they need to be seen.
My Dog Is Having Orange Poop After Taking Antibiotics
If your dog is having orange poop after taking antibiotics, this may be a sign that their gut flora has been thrown off balance.
This is not uncommon for our furry friends, and may need the support of probiotics to help restore their normal gut microbiome.
In these situations, we suggest giving your vet a call to see if they sell any probiotics in their office, or if there is a trusted brand you can purchase in store.
My Dog Is Having Orange Poop With Mucus
No matter the color of your dog’s poop, excessive amounts of mucus in the stool often points to inflammation within the intestinal tract.
More mucus is produced when the intestinal tract is irritated for any reason, causing a thick layer of mucus to coat their stool.
If the orange poop wasn’t enough to give your vet a quick call, the mucus should certainly seal the deal.
Should I Take My Dog To The Vet For Orange Poop?
If your dog is suddenly having orange poop, you may wonder when it is time to take them to your local vet.
Unless you can connect your dog’s strange poop color to the dye in their kibble, we always suggest at least giving your vet a call if your dog is having a firm orange stool.
They may think it is nothing to be concerned with, and will simply ask you to monitor your dog for any other strange symptoms.
However, if your dog is having diarrhea, or their orange poop is accompanied by any other abnormal symptoms, we always suggest having them seen.
Due to the fact that orange poop can point to so many different underlying conditions, it is always best to have them assessed by your veterinary team.
They can determine the best diagnostics to perform based on their symptoms, and will hopefully get to the bottom of their strange poop color in no time.
What Should I Expect At The Vet?
If you take your dog to the vet for their sudden onset of orange poop, there are a few things you should expect.
First, your vet will likely ask you questions about your dog’s current behaviors at home, as well as their current diet or any diet changes.
They will then perform a physical exam that also checks their vitals, and the combination of these results will help them determine which diagnostics to explore.
If your vet performs any tests for your dog’s orange poop, it will often be either a fecal sample or diagnostic blood work.
This will allow them to not only search for any intestinal parasites or harmful bacteria in their stool, but it will also rule out any systemic complications that could be to blame.
Based on these results, they will determine the best treatment approach moving forward.
Final Thoughts On Dogs With Orange Poop
Orange poop in dogs is not normal, but not entirely uncommon in our furry friends.
If you see this color of poop, don’t panic as there could be a logical reason why you are seeing orange poop.
Dogs can develop orange dog poop due to a variety of reasons as we mentioned above.
If you ever doubt or need reassurance, we always suggest contacting your veterinary team as they will give you advise on when you should bring them in to be checked.
My name is Amber. I am a dedicated animal lover that turned my passion into my career. I am a Licensed Vet Tech with 12 years of experience in veterinary medicine, but I recently took my career online to help spread accurate information on animal care. With how vast the online world is, I have a strong desire to ensure that the reader always walks away with helpful pet advice. With the experience I’ve gained from my time in this field, I have been able to travel the world, offering my services to as many animal rescues as I can find. If I am not at my laptop, or back home visiting family, you can find me somewhere in the world, cuddling every furry friend that I can find! More About Us