Orange dog poop after chicken and rice

Last update:

The color of your dog’s poop can indicate issues you need to be aware of. You need to take into account a lot of factors other than just color, though. Orange dog poop after chicken and rice is much different than orange dog poop for no apparent reason. One is likely harmless; the other may not be.

Orange dog poop, or orange diarrhea in dogs, can indicate a serious problem that may require veterinarian assistance.  Or it can indicate your dog just ate a box of crayons.  It can also be a harmless side effect of being on a chicken and rice diet.

Dog poop color wheel
Dog poop color wheel – download and hang on your fridge! 😊

Updated March 1st, 2023

It’s not the most enjoyable aspect of dog ownership, but looking closely at your dog’s poop is important.  The dog poop color chart above can help. Feel free to print it out and hang it on your fridge.  :-)

A lot can be learned.

Orange dog poop after chicken and rice, if it only happens then, is most likely not something to be concerned about, but, as always, we still urge caution and investigation.

Below is a video that discusses the different colors of dog poop you may find.  The discussion about orange poop starts around the 3-minute mark.  The entire video is valuable, but if you’re only looking for rust-colored poop, and who isn’t, slide over to about the three-minute area.

Is orange dog poop an urgent condition?

  • If it happens only once, most likely not.  But keep an eye on your dog and its poop.
  • If it happens multiple times, yes.  Call your vet

Chicken and rice are often fed to dogs who require a bland diet for upset stomach, intestinal parasites, constipation, or other reasons.  This can sometimes lead to orange poop.  You must be sure if it is actually connected only to the chicken and rice meal.

If it happens frequently, even when not eating boiled chicken and rice, you must look closer because your pup’s life may be in danger.

An important point is if this is a one-time thing or if the dog’s stool was orange yesterday, it’s orange today, and it turns out orange tomorrow.  If it’s a one-time thing, the dog is probably OK (but still worth a call to the vet).  If it happens repeatedly, you must call your vet.  If it’s rust-colored one day but back to the normal healthy dog poop color the next, your dog is most likely fine.

Orange poop can point to dangerous conditions, so I advise you to consult your vet quickly.  I have read cases of dogs dying a day or two after the first symptoms.  These are rare cases, but in all things, I urge you to be overly cautious when there are potential medical issues with your pooch.

It’s also important to be sure you see orange poop.  Is it orange, or are spots of red mixed with the rest of the poop? It’s a fine point, and it may require you to dig in a bit (literally), but it’s important to understand if it’s actually orange or spotted or streaked with bits of red, which would indicate blood in the stool.  My dog gives me a strong side eye when he sees me digging through his poop, but I power through anyway.  It’s important.

“I don’t think twice about picking up my dog’s poop, but if another dog’s poop is next to it, I think, ‘Eww, dog poop!”

– Jonah Goldberg

What can cause my dog’s poop to be orange?

We need to know what your pooch was doing or eating before the orange poop showed up. What might cause your dog’s poop to be orange?

  • Eating orange crayons will do it.
  • Chewing on other items with orange pigments could do it.
  • Or eating food that is high in beta-carotene.  For instance, lots of carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, or pumpkins can result in orange poop or sometimes yellow stool.

All of these, by the way, are harmless.

You may notice a change in the consistency of the stool.  A small amount of the above veggies should produce normal stool, while large quantities may result in orange diarrhea or watery stool but should not cause long-term problems.

Too many crayons will likely also cause orange diarrhea, but again, no long-term concerns as crayons are universally non-toxic (kids are going to eat them!).

Foods and treats that contain artificial or natural pigments can cause the poop to change color. Consuming these treats, usually in larger quantities, can cause dog poop to be orange.

Another cause can be if the food your dog ate moved too fast through the digestive tract to pick up the bile, which gives poop its normal healthy brown color.  When food moves too fast through the digestive system’s intestinal tract, there’s not enough time to pick up the bile that turns it brown.

If it’s not something your dog ate, it’s time to get serious, as this could point to a bile duct issue, liver issue, biliary disease, or gallbladder issue. 

This is when you call your vet.

When is orange dog poop a concern?

If you see orange poop repeatedly, or if you see orange poop and you know your dog has not eaten anything that would cause it to be orange, you must consult your vet.

You may be witnessing early signs of something your vet can assist with.

As mentioned earlier, orange dog stool can indicate problems with your dog’s liver or bile ducts.  There are other possibilities, such as hemolytic anemia as well.

Anything along these lines can only be determined and treated by your vet – be ready to bring a stool sample.

Here is a stool sample kit (50 pieces) you can get quickly from Amazon: Fecal Kit – Animal Pet Stool Kit – 50 pcs

Do not attempt to self-diagnose or treat.

You’ll also want to note any changes in your dog’s behavior or if you see symptoms such as extreme lethargy, vomiting, or loss of appetite.  This will be important information to share with your vet.

Advanced serious cases will cause your dog to be jaundiced, and their urine may turn brown. This indicates a case where it may be too late, so you need to see the vet quickly.

Orange dog poop - after chicken and rice
Dog pop, anything but brown, requires closer inspection

An odd case of orange dog poop

This is a sad story, but it’s instructive.

I’ve read a case where a young puppy was showing the signs noted above.  Orange stool with mucus, lethargy, and vomiting, and the owner said the dog just looked “run down.”  They were sure the dog had not eaten anything to cause the rust-colored stool.

The puppy was taken to the vet, and all of the normal and correct tests were run.  They thought they were dealing with some infection, so an IV was given, and the puppy was put on a prescription diet, but it continued to worsen. They x-rayed the puppy to see if they could find evidence of anything amiss, and the x-rays came back negative.

They eventually diagnosed the puppy with liver disease.

The puppy didn’t make it. After, the dog owner wanted to know the cause, so the vets checked everything. They discovered the dog had eaten a half dozen bolts, which resulted in zinc poisoning. Why they didn’t show up on the X-ray continues to be a mystery.

In this case, the owner most likely did everything they could, as did the vet, yet the cause went unnoticed.  The cause was, indeed, something the puppy ate, and an early symptom was the orange stool, but beyond that, this case bypassed all of the normal diagnoses and results typically associated with orange stool.

Why does your dog’s poop turn orange after eating chicken and rice?

We started this discussion talking about orange poop after eating chicken and rice, but we’ve taken detours around everything else.  I wanted to ensure you understand that some severe conditions may be associated with your dog’s orange or reddish-brown feces. 

But what about chicken and rice?  Why does that end up as orange poop?

Chicken and rice are often suggested for dogs with diarrhea; feeding them this will help alleviate diarrhea while providing nutrient-rich intake. 

However, as noted above, food moving too fast through the digestive tract can come out orange or rust-colored, as there is not enough time for it to be mixed with the bile that turns poop brown.  For this reason, if you feed your dog chicken and rice to counter diarrhea, it’s not uncommon to see orange dog poop after rice.  Nor is it usually a cause for alarm.

Note that feeding chicken and rice long-term is not recommended.  Do it for a day or two to address diarrhea, but then the dog must return to its normal diet.  If loose stool persists, you need to consult your vet.

If your dog has intestinal distress, a bland diet is usually recommended, but it might be worth talking to your vet about adding a small amount of fermented food to your dog’s diet. Packed with probiotics and other goodness, fermented foods can help alleviate your dog’s tummy problems.  Read more about that here – we also share an amazing kimchi recipe for your dog!

How to treat orange poop in dogs

This comes up a bit, but I want to say that there’s nothing to treat in most cases.  It’s most likely a by-product of your dog eating something orange or perhaps being on a bland diet.  Did any carrots come up missing (my dog loves carrots!)?  Maybe an orange crayon or two is missing? Pumpkin? Sweet potatoes? 

You want to watch your dog for a short period of time, and yes, inspect your dog’s poop to see if it changes color back to the normal beautiful brown color we all know and love. 

If it doesn’t, or if you know for a fact nothing has been eaten to cause the orange color, then I strongly recommend talking to your vet immediately. 

Another indicator is how is the dog acting?  A dog that has simply eaten orange food is probably acting fine while one that may actually be sick will be acting lethargic, may be vomiting, and won’t be eating much at all.  

The other consideration is the consistency of the stool.  Is it normal, or is it diarrhea?  If normal but orange, it’s probably OK to wait.  But if it is loose and orange or reddish-brown, this may point to something more dire as well, so again, as I always do, when in doubt, call your vet.  

Orange Dog Poop – Recap

Your dog’s poo is as important to your dog as yours is to you.  The different colors of dog poop (black, yellow, green, white) can tell you a lot about your dog’s health.  Orange dog poop may be nothing to worry about, but you must be keenly aware of what the dog has eaten.  It can also indicate a critical condition that will require a visit to the vet. Orange dog poop after eating chicken and rice is most likely OK, but keep an eye on the pooch (and its poop).  As always, we urge an overabundance of caution, so if you have any doubts, call your vet for further guidance.

  • Feb 2021 – first published
  • March 2023 – updated with case studies and references

Leave a Comment