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7 Reasons Why Your Dog’s Poop Is Orange + 5 Tips (2022)

Orange Dog Poop

Scooping up your dog’s poop is a normal daily task.

But suddenly…

You noticed something abnormal. 

Hmm… orange poop? 

Well, that’s new. 

Could it be something alarming? 

And what does that say about your Fido’s health?

I know, it’s very worrying.

That’s why I prepared all the answers you need.

Continue reading to learn: 

  • 5 vital tips when your pooch has orange poop.
  • 3 alarming conditions in dogs that leads to orange stools.
  • 7 reasons why your dog’s poop is orange (#7 will surprise you).
  • And so much more…

Why is my dog’s poop orange? 7 reasons


#1: Pancreatitis 

To understand your dog’s orange poop…

I have to explain their digestive system first. 

So let me introduce the pancreas. It’s an organ that helps your dog’s digestion. 

How does it work? 

This organ makes digestive enzymes. And these are proteins that help process anything your pooch eats. 

But when the pancreas is inflamed… 

It turns into a condition called pancreatitis.

“What does that do to my dog?” 

When this happens to Fido…

The pancreas can’t deliver the enzymes properly. 

Instead, these proteins will spill into places where they shouldn’t be. 

For example, they’d go to these organs:

  • Liver.
  • Intestines.
  • Bile ducts.
  • Gallbladder. 

Now, these parts work as a team for your pooch. 

And they all help digest Fido’s food.

So when these organs are damaged by pancreatitis…

It would affect your dog’s entire digestive system. 

After that, their poop might turn orange. 

Or even other colors such as red or yellow. 

#2: Your dog has cholestasis 

Now that you know about the pancreas…

It’s easier to understand what cholestasis is. 

But first, let me tell you about your dog’s liver and its role. 

Basically, this organ creates bile. It’s the acid that helps with digestion. 

And to make it work…

The liver delivers bile to Fido’s small intestines. That’s where the acid does its job. 

Specifically, their role is to break down the food your dog eats.

Now, that’s the usual cycle of their digestive system. 

But what happens when that pattern’s disrupted? 

It turns into a condition called cholestasis. 

“How’s that related to the color of my dog’s poop?” 

Without the bile from Fido’s liver… 

Breaking down food becomes harder for your dog. And that’s how their poop turns abnormal. 

As a result, you’ll spot orange feces from your canine friend.

“What could affect my dog’s liver?” 

Aside from pancreatitis…

PetMD says other concerns could damage Fido’s liver, such as: 

  • Bacteria.
  • Diabetes.
  • Parasites.
  • Poisoning.
  • Gallstones
  • Physical injuries.
  • Cancer (Neoplasia.)
  • Surgical side effects.

Warning: Any of these issues could be fatal to your pooch. For your dog’s safety, visit a specialist.

#3: Damaged G.I tract

Your Dog's Poop Is Orange If He Has Damaged G.I. Tract

Aside from the pancreas and liver… 

Fido’s intestines could also be the cause of orange poop. 

Specifically, I’m referring to your dog’s G.I tract

“What’s the meaning of that?” 

It’s short for gastrointestinal tract. 

“Okay, what’s the trouble with this organ?” 

Like the pancreas…

The G.I tract will have issues when it’s damaged. 

When that happens, it turns into a condition called IBD. 

And that stands for inflammatory bowel disease. 

But what can this condition do? 

First, IBD affects the color of Fido’s poop. And sometimes, their feces is also coated in reddish mucus. 

Aside from that…

Other issues could also occur, such as: 

With these, your pooch can become very weak. So it’s best to see a doctor for help.

“But what causes IBD in dogs?” 

Truth be told…

Research says the cause of IBD in dogs is still unclear.

Though, there are a few theories about it, like:

And with the mention of genetics…

That means some Fidos are at higher risk of IBD. And those dogs are:

  • Boxers.
  • Mastiffs.
  • Basenjis.
  • Malamutes.
  • Dobermans.
  • French Bulldogs.

So if your pooch belongs to this group…

They might have IBD in their senior years.

Read next: 9 Reasons Why Your Dog Has Diarrhea At Night + 5 Tips

#4: Gallbladder stones

Earlier, I told you about cholestasis and its causes. 

One of them was gallstones. 

And it’s a separate cause of orange poop in dogs. 

Though in some cases…

Gallstones won’t cause trouble for your pooch. For one, it can only affect the color of their poop.

But in other cases, gallstones could also be fatal for Fido.

“How so?” 

Your dog might suffer from a ruptured gallbladder.

And that happens when the stones pile up in that organ. Then the gallbladder pops and causes internal bleeding

When that occurs… 

Science says your dog’s poop could turn tarry. Which means it’s darker than it should be. 

But since there’s bleeding, blood could get mixed with the tar on the feces. 

As a result, your pooch will have an orange-like poop. But in reality, it’s actually blood from their damaged organ. 

From there, things could turn deadly for Fido.

“So, how do I know if my dog has gallstones?” 

There are a few signs you can spot.

And based on experts, you’d notice these symptoms:

  • Fever.
  • Vomiting.
  • Pain in the belly.
  • Jaundice or yellowish eye and skin.
  • Abdominal pain, which will make your dog arch their back for relief.

Warning: For your dog’s safety, take them to the vet if you notice these signs. 

#5: Damaged red blood cells

Another possible cause of orange poop is anemia. 

This means that your dog doesn’t have enough blood in their body. 

And when it happens, Fido lacks the oxygen they need. 

Thus, your pooch will show symptoms such as: 

As you can tell from the last sign… 

That’s how anemia can change the color of Fido’s poop.

And like I explained before, blood in the feces can look orange sometimes.

“But what causes anemia in my pooch?” 

There are many possibilities to consider.

And based on VCA Hospitals, here are the causes of anemia in dogs: 

  • Tumors.
  • Cancers.
  • Genetics.
  • Parasites.
  • Food poisoning.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Physical injuries.
  • Autoimmune diseases.
  • Damaged internal organs.

From this list…

Food poisoning’s one of the most common causes. 

But what can intoxicate your pooch? 

Research found that onions can cause anemia in dogs.

Now, you might be wondering:

“How could one small vegetable do this?” 

Apparently, onions can destroy Fido’s red blood cells. 

But that’s not all.

Any kind of onion could affect your dog. 

Thus, it doesn’t matter whether you cooked it or not. Or if your pooch just ate fresh onions from a garden.

The result is still risky for your canine friend. 

All in all, onions would always affect your dog’s stool.

Check out also: 7 Reasons Why Dogs Can’t Eat Spaghetti Bolognese

#6: Parasitic infections 

A while ago, I mentioned that parasites could affect your dog’s blood. 

But let’s go into more detail about that.

To be specific, here are the parasites to watch out for: 

  • Ticks.
  • Fleas.
  • Babesia.
  • Hookworms.

Sadly, any dog could get fleas or ticks no matter what. 

But for babesia, it currently has no effective vaccine. 

Not to mention… 

One study says babesia is zoonotic

And that means you can have it too. 

Meanwhile, hookworms or any type of worm parasites… 

Most of them already have working vaccines.

But if your pooch is still a puppy or hasn’t gotten their shots yet…

The AKC explains how these parasites could affect your dog. 

For example, worms can cause: 

  • Anemia.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Laziness.
  • Paleness.
  • Weak pulse.
  • Swollen belly.
  • Organ damage.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Worm in their poop.
  • Abnormal breathing.
  • Red or orange stools.

Warning: These parasites could lead to sudden death in dogs. So if you notice the signs listed above, seek an expert immediately.

Learn more: 15 Weird Reasons Why Dogs Scoot Their Butt On The Floor

#7: Your dog ate something orange 

Finally, here’s something good. 

Your dog’s poop is orange… 

Because they ate something of the same color. 

“Wait, really?” 

That’s right. It’s similar to humans. 

Like fur parents, the color of Fido’s food could also affect their feces.

How so?

Some food contains carotenoids. 

And these are pigments found in most fruits or veggies, such as:

  • Carrots.
  • Oranges.
  • Mangoes.
  • Pumpkins.
  • Sweet potatoes.

As you can tell from this list…

They’re all orange-colored food. But that’s because they have carotenoids.

So in that case…

When your dog eats food that’s rich in carotenes, expect their poop to turn orange.

“Is too much food rich in carotenes bad for my pooch?” 

Good question. 

And yes. There are risks when Fido eats too much carotenes.

For example, your dog might face health issues, such as: 

  • Hepatitis.
  • Seizures.
  • Dental decay.
  • Vitamin A toxicity.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Changes in their coat colors. 
  • Jaundice, where the skin or eye turns yellow or orange.

And since your pooch is having orange poop…

It’s best to stop feeding them food rich in carotenes for now.

If you have any concerns about Fido’s diet…

You can always visit the animal clinic. 


Orange dog poop – what should I do? 5 tips


#1: Know the signs of pancreatitis 

When your dog has orange poop…

I said that one of the causes could be pancreatitis. 

And as you can tell from reason #1, this condition would need a vet’s help.

But first, how could you spot this issue in your pooch? 

Aside from the orange stools…

Experts say there are other symptoms, such as:

  • Vomiting.
  • Lethargy.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Belly pain.
  • Depression.
  • Appetite loss.

If you notice these signs, take your dog to the clinic.

That’s because this issue is something only a vet could tend to.

You might be interested in: Quiz: Is My Dog Depressed? 19 Symptoms (+Tips To Treat It)

#2: Check if your pooch is overweight

Your dog’s poop could also be affected by their weight or diet.

How so?

Scientific news says that pancreatitis can be caused by:

  • Obesity.
  • Genetics.
  • High-fat diet.
  • Eating inedible things (Pica.)

And from these examples…

The most common reason is a high-fat diet in dogs.

With that, check if your Fido might be overweight.

And for your ease, you can use the table below: 

Your Fido’s sizeAverage weightOverweight
Small12 to 24 lbs (5.4 to 10 kg)24 to 48 lbs (10 to 21 kg)
Medium24 to 59 lbs (10 to 26 kg)48 to 118 lbs (21 to 53 kg)
Large59 lbs to 100 lbs (26 to 45 kg)118 to 200 lbs (53 to 90 kg)

And as you fix your dog’s weight…

Observe if Fido’s poop goes back to its normal color.

#3: Give your dog a balanced diet

Give Your Dog A Balanced Diet

As I explained in reason #4…

Gallstones could be the cause of orange stool. 

But what exactly leads to this issue? According to doctors, it’s mainly due to your dog’s food. 

For example, a diet that’s high in fat could cause gallstones. 

Meanwhile, a low-fiber diet can also do the same. 

With that, you can try changing Fido’s food. 

However…

Sudden dietary changes could also cause an upset tummy. 

To work around that, here’s what you can do. 

Introduce new food to Fido in small amounts. Then just observe your pooch’s reaction. 

And if they’re not showing signs of diarrhea or vomiting…

You can slowly increase the amount of their food. 

To be specific, you can refer to this table from the AKC:

DayNew mealPrevious meal
Day 125%75%
Day 350%50%
Day 575%25%
Day 7100%0%

Tip: If you still have any concerns, you can always check with a nutrition expert for dogs.

#4: Make sure your dog has no fleas or ticks 

Let’s say that your Fido didn’t eat anything orange. 

And their diet’s completely fine. 

What else could cause their poop to turn orange? 

Well…

There’s a chance that your dog might have ticks or fleas. 

Now, these are parasites that suck on your pooch’s blood. 

And other than affecting Fido’s stool…

Ticks and fleas could also cause: 

With these awful risks… 

It’s best to get rid of your dog’s parasites right away.

So, here’s how you can stop fleas or ticks: 

Warning: Don’t use shock collars to kill parasites. These items aren’t proven to be safe for dogs.

Now, that’s only a few basic tips from vets. But other experts also suggest visiting the animal clinic to check on your dog.

Have trouble dealing with ticks or fleas? Watch this helpful video: 

#5: Take Fido to the vet

If none of the first 4 tips helps your dog…

The best thing you can do is take them to the vet. 

Why? 

There are problems that only experts can check, such as: 

  • Anemia.
  • Organ damage. 
  • Parasitic infections.

Now, these are things that you can’t confirm on your own. 

So if your dog still has orange poop… 

It’s best to take them to the clinic.


Orange dog poop FAQ


Orange dog poop after chicken and rice – why?

Your dog’s poop is orange after eating chicken and rice due to diarrhea. That’s because some canines can be allergic to those types of food. 

As a common reaction, your dog will have an upset stomach. And that affects the color of their poop.

Warning: Allergies may vary from mild to severe. For your dog’s safety, take them to the vet immediately.

Reading tip: Dog Ate Uncooked Rice: 4 Health Issues + 3 Tips

Dog has orange diarrhea but is acting normal – why?

Your dog has orange diarrhea because of an upset stomach. This commonly happens after a sudden diet change. 

Though in other cases… 

Eating food that’s rich in carotenes could also lead to orange diarrhea in dogs. That said, carrots and pumpkins are just a few examples.

Moreover… 

Even if your dog’s acting normal, it doesn’t mean you should relax.

Why so? 

Dr. Coren says that dogs tend to hide their pain. And it’s all because of their instincts. 

As descendants of wild dogs… 

Some Fidos retain the habit of hiding their pain. 

Why? They do this to avoid being a target. 

If dogs appear weak due to pain…

Their enemies would find it easier to attack them in the wild. That’s why you should pay attention even if your dog’s acting normal.

So, to prevent any serious problems…

Consult an expert about your pooch.