Why Is My Dogs Stool Black

The health of your dog can sometimes be determined by looking at its feces. When poop suddenly takes on an unusual hue, changes in size, or takes on a different shape, most dog owners are familiar with the rapid change in consistency (such as a case of diarrhea).

Having a basic understanding of what’s “normal. A healthy digestive tract is generally indicated by your dog’s feces being solid, log-shaped, easy to scoop, and chocolate-brown in color. However, “Since what constitutes normal varies somewhat from dog to dog, veterinarians frequently urge dog owners to close attention to their pup’s typical toilet patterns and output in order to better recognize when something could be wrong.

According to Brian J. Bourquin, DVM, owner of Boston Veterinary Clinic, although it may not be the most pleasant subject, your dog’s feces are a window into their digestive system and can provide you and your veterinarian a fairly accurate picture of what’s happening with their health. “It’s the reason why vets talk about dog poop so often.

Here are some tips for figuring out what’s typical and what isn’t, as well as the fundamentals of “examining your dog’s waste.

Volume and frequency (all about High Quality Poops)

The amount of fiber that each dog consumes individually and the caliber of the food that is provided will have a significant impact on the size of their stools. For instance, dogs on a diet of fresh food will probably have smaller, less odoriferous poop since the food is being absorbed more efficiently by the body (this is what we call a High Quality Poop!). Fresh food and High-Quality Poop are connected, according to research. Diets prepared with human-grade components are pleasant and very digestible, according to a University of Illinois study. Dogs fed kibble diets had to consume more to maintain their body weight, and they produced 1.5 to 2.9 times as much poop as dogs fed fresh, human-grade diets, according to a study that examined the poops of the two groups of dogs. That means the dog is absorbing more nutrition and the owner is scooping less poop.

Here’s where it helps to be aware of your pet’s typical behavior when it comes to frequency.

While some dogs may only need to go once daily, others may need to go several times. Everything is seen as normal as long as their excrement appears to be healthy in terms of color and consistency. Any abrupt increases or dips in frequency could be a sign of a digestive problem, so if your once-daily canine companion is suddenly pleading to be let outdoors many times a day, there may be a problem.

Consistency and shape

The majority of the time, the excrement from your dog should be well-formed and log-shaped. If you’re switching foods or your dog eats a few too many dog treats, for example, a brief change in consistency may not necessarily be cause for alarm, but persistently loose stools may indicate an intestinal disturbance.


A dog’s typical feces should be a medium to dark brown tone. Veterinary associate professor of shelter medicine at Tennessee’s Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dawn M. Spangler, DVM, claims that “If the dog consumes a regular diet, the color of the stool should be pretty consistent from day to day.

Pops of different hues aren’t necessarily a reason for alarm, especially if they indicate something your dog may have eaten. You shouldn’t be surprised if you see any orange in your dog’s stool the following day if they stole some carrots from your dinner plate. However, be cautious if you see odd hues that you can’t place or that persist for more than one feces.

Even though it happens infrequently, when your pet’s excrement suddenly turns black or tarry, it may indicate a number of digestive issues. Stools that are dark and tarry are frequently the result of severe bleeding in the stomach or small intestine. “Dr. Spangler claims that the reason the stool changes color and turns black is because blood has been digested. Black stools, sometimes referred to as melena, can be caused by a variety of conditions, including pancreatitis and kidney failure as well as exposure to toxins or a foreign substance in the digestive system. Dr. Spangler continues, “Cancer, foreign things, parasites, and viral or bacterial infections are some of the more typical causes of black dog poop.” As a result, you should call your veterinarian if you notice black dog excrement.

In addition to straining, gastroenteritis, colitis, or anal fissure, red feces can also be a sign of these conditions and call for veterinarian attention. It might not be anything to worry about if you only notice a small bit of bright red blood and everything else seems normal. Consult your veterinarian if there is a bigger volume or if it occurs more than once as these signs may point to an infection, gastroenteritis, or other disorders. Green, orange, and yellow hues should also be kept an eye on because they may be signs of less serious conditions like a recent diet change for dogs or more significant ones like parasites or irritable bowel syndrome. Green feces can be a sign that your dog ate too much grass or that something is wrong with the gallbladder. Dog waste that is orange or yellow could indicate liver or biliary issues.

You also don’t want to notice white flecks or any shades of grey or light tan in your dog’s waste. Stools that are grey or light tan may indicate liver or pancreatic issues. White flecks in a dog’s stool could indicate the presence of infectious worms that need rapid medical intervention (note that ingested rice grains may also be confused for worms). And what if the white (or other color) fur you’re discovering in their excrement is indeed their own? Furry stools can be a sign of allergies or another skin condition in dogs who frequently lick their fur (and then swallow it).

Most dogs struggle to resist a trash can or their natural need to eat any plush toys they can get their paws on. However, if your dog grabs some leftover chicken or gets a little rough with their noisy toys, you might subsequently find such items in their waste. Unfortunately, bowel obstruction, a painful and perhaps fatal blockage of the GI tract that limits food flow to the bowels, is a possibility if all fragments of the foreign object don’t effectively transit through their digestive system. Vomiting is the first symptom, but obstructions can also be present if your dog isn’t passing any stool at all.

Many pet owners are confused of when their dog’s loose, watery stools should cause concern and when they should just chalk it up to an abnormality. You can first begin identifying possible causes for the diarrhea (did they sneak some?) “did they recently change their diet, or did they eat unapproved food earlier that day?

It’s probably nothing to worry about if it’s a single episode of loose or watery stools. If your dog suddenly develops diarrhea or other GI problems, there may be immediate causes, like stress-related colitis or “Your dog got into the trash, as indicated by the garbage guta.

However, if the condition is more severe or chronic, your veterinarian may recommend a fecal examination to check for potential intestinal parasites or abdominal X-rays and ultrasound to screen for and view the gastrointestinal tract.

Between poop sessions, pet owners should be alert for anything else that seems unusual because it’s frequently the symptoms that go along with diarrhea that can indicate a problem. Dr. Spangler advises taking your dog to the doctor if they refuse food or water for more than 24 hours, show signs of being lethargic, or exhibit other symptoms like recurrent vomiting or diarrhea. “She says that because they can easily become dehydrated, it’s best to get them the care and attention they require as soon as possible by visiting a veterinarian.

Mucus is frequently present in dog stools, but it’s usually nothing to worry about. The intestines produce this slime-like substance to maintain the lubrication and moisture of the colon’s lining. Small amounts are frequently made up of dead cells that act as a natural lubricant in the gut to aid in the prevention of constipation. However, a medical disease like colitis may be indicated by an abundance of mucus in the feces. Intestinal infections or parasites, dietary errors, abrupt dietary changes, unfavorable food reactions, or inflammatory conditions are some other causes of excessive mucus in the stool. Additionally, the presence of extra blood is normally not normal as it may be a sign of gastrointestinal or systemic disease.

Additionally, dehydration in your dog can be indicated by poop that is spherical, pellet-shaped, or unusually hard. A clue that your dog’s meals aren’t being effectively absorbed (a trait of dry, processed food) or that they are absorbing more fiber is if their feces also seems too huge in comparison to how much food they have been eating.

Even if you convert to whole, healthy food for your dog, the results of your diet shift are frequently seen in their excrement. Although many individuals observe no adverse affects on digestion while switching their dog’s food, you might notice changes in their dog’s excrement consistency at this time. This typically results in diarrhea or looser stools. Depending on your dog and how quickly you’re changing, this should last a few days. If your dog otherwise seems in good health, this “Transitional poop shouldn’t cause any alarm.

reviewed by Burrwood Veterinary’s first veterinarian, Alex Schechter, DVM. Prior to that, he established Pure Paws Veterinary Care;

When should I be worried if my dog has black stools?

The term “melena” refers to the presence of blood in your dog’s digestive tract as shown by black or tar-colored feces. Because the body has already expended considerable effort in an attempt to digest this blood, black blood indicates that the issue is most likely in the upper digestive system (stomach or small intestine).

Fresh, crimson blood in the poop would suggest a haematochezia, or hemorrhage in the lower digestive tract. Dogs with melena may generate huge amounts of black, tarry feces quickly, or they may produce smaller amounts of black, tarry feces sporadically over a longer period of time.

Is it serious and should I be worried?

Yes. If you see black feces, you need to call your veterinarian right away. Melena might be a potentially fatal illness. Even though it may sound strange, showing your veterinarian a picture of the melena during your appointment—or even a sample of your dog’s feces—can be very beneficial.

Are black stools a result of dog food?

Normal stools ought to be both soft and hard. The dog’s nutrition will influence its color, which can range from a mid-brown to practically black in most cases.

The diet tends to be softer and darker the more meat there is in it. The simplest technique to firm up your dog’s feces is to add bone.

It is typical to occasionally discover a bag of slime that is gray in color near your dog’s feces. The colon removes this old mucous membrane every few months. It is also typical to find vegetable remnants in the stool.

This undigested vegetable material aids in stimulating the mechanical action of the intestine.

What remedies are there for my dog’s black stools?

Your dog may have hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, or HGE, if they have dark, bloody, jelly-like stools. Your vet will typically prescribe some medicine and fluids for this. Your dog’s veterinarian can provide him with medication to make him feel better. I’m hoping your pup feels well soon.