While you may not like the idea of talking about, seeing, or smelling — the worst — dog poop, understanding your dog’s poop is a crucial part of his health! Did you notice white specks in dog poop? Here’s what you should know about them.
A dog could have white specks in his poop due to issues with his diet, digestion-related issues, or from a parasite. Whatever the cause may be, white specks in dog poop is always something to take seriously!
The main reasons for white specks in a dog’s poop
Before you can treat the problem you must first understand the main reasons why there are white specks in your dog’s poop! They could include:
- Diet issues
- Digestive-related problems (short- or long-term)
The color and contents of your dog’s poop could very well change due to what he’s eating. For example, if he’s eating a diet that is high in calcium, he could be depositing white specks in his poop because there is, in fact, too much calcium in his daily diet. If it doesn’t get absorbed into the body, it has to go somewhere, right?
Your dog’s digestion could also be the problem. Namely, he’s eaten something he shouldn’t have eaten. For instance, a white sock or a white napkin, etc. As it digests and works itself out of their system, you’ll most likely see the remains of the fabric in the poop. Since he won’t be capable of breaking it down and digesting the fabric, it’ll come up in specks or splotches.
Occasionally, he could be dealing with passing through a partially digested tablet, too, if he is on supplements or pills that have been prescribed by a vet. This tends to be rare, though, as those capsules tend to be intended specifically to break down in the stomach. On this same note, he could also be having a medication side effect, which turns his poop white in either speckles or streaks.
If a dog is sick, their poop could change to a different color entirely or be flecked with white in rare cases. More likely, though, you’ll notice a loose poop (diarrhea) with white touches, or perhaps green poop with white flecks, etc. A sick dog could also be dealing with vomiting, or even blood in his poop. While white specks can pop up to signal illness in your pooch, it’s usually in combination with something else!
For the most part, parasites are the most common cause of white specks in a dog’s poop. However, many kinds of parasites could be causing the white specks, including tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and heartworms.
Even if you get your doggo immunized for worms (well done, you!) it is still possible for him to pick one up when he’s out and about, sniffing around other dog’s poop — yuck!
Your role in understanding dog poop color
While you never thought that “official poop color expert” would ever be a title you’d have, any dog owner is going to at least know the basics when it comes to the different potential colors of poop. The options are:
- Varying shades of brown
- Black/Very dark
As you can probably guess, the varying shades of brown poop — especially if they are solid rather than runny or straight liquid — are all normal, healthy poops that can assure you that your doggo’s colon health is okay!
If your dog has red poop, it most likely means he’s dealing with some sort of blood in his system. Since it is a bright red, this means that it isn’t digested and that it’s coming from the colon itself. The most common cause is either a cyst or, more likely, a worm infestation.
Black/Very dark poop
In this case, the poop more than likely is being shaded by digested blood (rather than indigested blood, which is brighter in color). In this case, he could be suffering from some sort of internal bleeding or ulcer that is causing him to push out blood along with his poop.
This could vary from all green poop or brown speckled with green (getting nauseous yet?). The most common cause is that he has been eating grass or flowers and this will turn his poop green in splotches. If it is a lot of green with very little brown, however, it could be a sign that he has liver issues, especially if it’s happening a lot without your dog eating grass to your knowledge.
White speckled/streaked poop
As we’ve mentioned above, poop with white in it is always a cause for concern and definitely something to keep an eye on, as it could signal an illness, worm infestation, or a poor diet. For the most part, poop with white in it — especially if it continues to happen — should earn your dog a visit to the V-E-T.
What to do if there are tiny white specks in dog poop
Feeling kind of stressed and wondering what to do about it all? No worries, you certainly aren’t alone! As you’ve read, you’ll want to hop in the car with your pooch and take him to the vet in most cases. However, while waiting, you can also do some poop sleuthing —yeah, yeah — while you prepare. Answer these questions, too, as most vets will ask them:
- Do the specks appear to move or not move?
- How long have you noticed this happening?
- Is your dog on any medications? And;
- Has he had any interactions with dogs who are not immunized? (it’s okay if you don’t know this one!)
Moving white specks
You may need to be up close and personal to check this out, but it’s worth it! If you notice that the poop has white specks that wiggle and squirm or otherwise move in it, this indicates that your dog has a worm infestation! This is much more common than most pet parents think, but by the time it gets to the point of white specks in the poop, it’s time for help!
Even if your doggo has gotten his shots, quite a few of them can pick up worms from other dogs, dog parks, dog feces, or just the wrong strand of grass! The immunizations can help deter the infestation, but sometimes stubborn cases will grow (especially in something as aggressive as roundworms or tapeworms) and will require some antibiotics. Booster shots, if you will.
If you see that the specks are moving and you have let your vet know, they’ll need to know what kind of worm they’re dealing with so that they can prescribe the right antibiotics. This means that they’ll need — yup, you guessed it — a sample!
Non-moving white specks
Have you poked and prodded, only to assess that the specks appear to be non-moving? Of the two options, this is good news! It means that he’s dealing with a diet-related issue rather than a parasite one.
In this case, your vet will ask you about diet. It’s a good idea to know what kind of food your dog eats and how much in the run of a day (as well as any treats and human food that he gets, too). This can help them determine if he is getting too much calcium, too little of something else, and more. Don’t forget to include any supplements or medications he’s on, too! Sometimes your vet will do a blood test just to make sure that nothing more serious is going on, too.
Color specialty: Is it white or does it turn white?
We’ve been talking about dog poop that has white specks in it, but part of noticing this is actually in watching your dog poop. Yes, really. Since we’re responsible for cleaning up after our dogs anyway, it’s not that time-consuming to watch him poop!
It’s also really important to understanding an issue sooner rather than later. If a dog’s poop is brown with white specks or streaks immediately as he poops, this means that the problem is inside his body and should get you on the phone to your vet.
If it turns white after some time, however, this is completely different. When exposed to sun, flies, and general environmental issues, the poop will start to break down and biodegrade. This could be hours, days, or weeks after he’s pooped it out.
White poop may be harmless to your dog’s health as far as its color, but you should not take it lightly, either! Poop that is left around that long can cause a problem with the area around it. For instance, growing mold, making itself into a home for fly larvae, seeping into the ground and contaminating groundwater, etc.
It can even attract issues like worms. If your dog happens to sniff it, he could have a health problem as a result. Make sure you clean it up before it turns white to prevent any of this from happening — plus it kills your grass, so…
While poop with white specks in it doesn’t seem harmless, it often is a symptom of a more serious problem. Understanding its signal and knowing how to deal with it, will help you keep on top of your dog’s poop health!