It’s most likely not your favorite thing to do with your dog, but checking out your dog’s poop is important. What comes out that end of your dog is every bit as important to understand as what comes out that end for you. When you see something odd, it can be alarming, and it’s best to understand the reasons so you know if a vet visit is needed, or if it’s just something that will pass (pun intended). White specks in dog poop can be completely harmless or signal a condition requiring medical attention. If those tiny white speck are moving, it could indicate a parasitic infection
Are the white specks moving?
This is the single most important thing to determine.
If these white specks are moving, you have a problem. If not, you are probably OK.
So get up close and personal and take a good long look.
Then, walk away, catch your breath, and do it again.
Look for a good 30 seconds.
Look for small sudden twitches.
If you see no movement, you may want to try again with another (fresh) pile when the opportunity presents itself. You really need to be sure.
The white specks are moving
If you notice movement, then there’s a good chance your dog has a parasitic infection, and the most common is tapeworms. It could be hookworms or roundworms, but tapeworms are the most common.
Catching this early means fairly simple treatment with high success. If it is an advanced case, the situation can be dire.
Before buying over the counter medicine to address this, I recommend taking a stool sample to your vet for a fecal test. Not that you need to know, but there are three methods your vet may use (smear, float, or centrifugation).
You don’t need to take the entire poop pile; a “turd” or two will be fine.
The key here is that this allows your vet to make the most accurate diagnosis.
Some vets charge as little as $10 for this test, but you can expect to pay maybe $25 or so in most cases.
Trust me; it’s money well spent and can save a good deal of money down the road by finding out for sure upfront.
This will also ensure you are not giving your dog unnecessary over the counter medicine to treat the wrong problem.
Get the vet’s advice before proceeding.
Once you have a confirmed diagnosis, you can opt to go with the medicine your vet recommends, or you can look into some over the counter medicine.
There are more than a few you can choose from – a quick Google, Amazon, or Chewy search will give you more than enough options.
I recommend taking a close look at the reviews before purchasing and even bouncing your decision off your vet for a 2nd opinion.
Here’s a couple of quick links to some Chewy products with good reviews. Note these are specific to the size of the dog, so be sure you are choosing a product that takes that into account:
Please note that I selected these three entirely based on their rating – I have not tried these with our dogs, so I cannot attest to how effective they are.
Please, please, please take great care with any medication you give your dog. I may have mentioned it before, but I’ll do it again – check with your vet.
The white specks are not moving
If they are not moving, your dog is most likely OK as this is often found to be bits of undigested food (bones, rice, etc.) or even undigested medicine capsules.
In this case, it’s worth taking a look at what your dog is ingesting.
- Table scraps? Steak? Chicken? Rice? Any of these could cause the white specks. We advise caution regarding feeding your dog “human food” as much of the food we eat is bad for dogs.
- Dog food? Almost all meat-based dog food has tiny bone fragments. If you read the ingredients, you’ll see them listed. Normally these are too small to show up in the feces, but it’s a possibility. If this is concerning, you can try one of the vegan dog foods or find one that doesn’t include bone. Note there is a lot of discussion around grain-free dog foods these days. This is not associated with tapeworms but worth knowing nonetheless.
- Medicine? Sometimes the plastic capsule part of a pill you give your dog will pass undigested and can show up in the poop as small flecks of white or other colors.
Another cause of specks that don’t move could be fly larvae laid on the dog poop after the dog…pooped.
This is why I specified looking at a fresh sample or two above.
If it’s a day old, you may be seeing fly larvae, which is not a concern regarding your dog’s health.
- White specks in dog poop are moving? We recommend a fecal test and a veterinarian diagnosis. Medication may be required.
- White specks in dog poop not moving? Most likely the result of something the dog ate, and most likely no medication is needed (but re-check to be sure.
- Tests and diagnosis can be incorrect – it’s best to have a fecal test for your dog (and cat!) annually.
Becoming familiar with your dog’s poop is important. Your dog’s poop is as important to its health as yours is to you so understanding what the poop colors and consistency mean can help you understand your dog’s health better. White specks in dog poop may or may not be an indication of a problem but now you are better informed to deal with it when you see it.