White specks in dog poop can be completely harmless or signal a condition requiring medical attention or a visit to the vet. If those tiny white specks are moving, it could indicate a parasitic infection. Tapeworm infestation is a concern. It could be partially digested rice or something else equally as harmless if they aren’t moving.
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 at that end of your dog is every bit as important to understand as what comes out at that end for you. Understanding what healthy dog poop looks like will help you understand when there may be a problem. If you see white specks in dog poop or any other color that catches your eye, use the chart below as a reference.
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).
Feel free to hang the chart above on your fridge for reference – everybody needs a dog poo chart hanging on their fridge!
Note this is different from entirely white dog poop (which often indicates too much calcium). We’re talking about white specks in your dog’s poo, not white poop.
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. If they aren’t moving, you may see bits of undigested food, which is normal.
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. Thirty seconds the first time, take a breath, and 30 seconds the second time.
Yep, looking at your dog’s poop closely for a full minute. You’re welcome. :-)
You’re looking for small sudden twitches. If you see this, you may be looking at intestinal worm segments or worm eggs.
If you see no movement, you may want to try again with another (fresh) pile of feces when the opportunity presents itself. You really need to be sure.
Below is a video that shows several important aspects to look for – if you fast forward to about the one-minute mark, that’s where she discusses white specks in dog poop:
The white specks are moving
If you notice movement, there’s a good chance your dog has a parasitic infection, which is the most common tapeworm infection. It could be hookworm or roundworm, but tapeworm infestation is the most common. You may see tapeworm segments or tapeworm eggs in the dog stool.
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 dog stool sample; a “turd” or two will be fine.
The key here is that this allows your vet to diagnose accurately.
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 you can save a good deal of money down the road by finding out for sure upfront. If your pooch has an intestinal parasite, you want to know as early as possible, and this can best be determined by testing your dog’s stool.
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. Your vet may discover flea tapeworm, or dipylidium caninum, which is not uncommon in dogs and can even be found in humans.
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.
You can choose from more than a few – a quick Google, Amazon, or Chewy search will give you more than enough options.
I recommend looking closely at the reviews before purchasing and even bouncing your decision off your vet for a 2nd opinion.
Here are some 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 their effectiveness.
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 the white specs in your dog’s feces 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 that made it through the intestinal tract intact.
In this case, it’s worth looking at what your dog is ingesting.
- Table scraps? Steak? Chicken? Rice? Any of these could cause white specks.
- 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 possible. 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 is worth knowing, nonetheless.
- Medicine? Sometimes the plastic capsule part of a pill you give your dog will pass through your dog’s intestine 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’s stool after the dog…pooped.
This is why I recommended looking at a fresh sample or two above.
If it’s a day old, you may be seeing fly larvae that landed on the poop after your dog dig its thing, 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.
Note that tests and diagnoses can be incorrect – it’s best to have a fecal test for your dog (and cat!) annually.
Dog poop color
We started off with a discussion and a graphic that shows different colors of dog stool so it doesn’t feel right closing this without saying a bit more of the other colors of dog poop you may find.
Brown dog poop
Brown dog poop is normal and not a cause for alarm
White dog poop
White dog poop often indicates too much calcium and isn’t cause for alarm, but it should be discussed with your vet.
Black dog poop
Black dog poop indicates digested blood and possibly internal bleeding. If you see this, you must discuss this with your vet quickly.
Maroon dog poop
Maroon dog poop is much the same as black dog poop and indicates digested blood and can mean internal bleeding. You must discuss this with your vet quickly.
Red dog poop
Red dog poop indicates undigested blood, commonly from the colon. This can be serious but is often not. Still, you should discuss this with your vet.
Green dog poop
Green dog poop is usually from eating grass but can also indicate liver problems. You should discuss this with your vet if you see it when you know the dog has not been eating grass.
Yellow dog poop
Yellow dog poop can indicate liver problems and should be discussed immediately with your vet.
Orange dog poop
Orange dog poop can indicate liver or gallbladder problems. This can also happen when a dog has been on a bland chicken and rice meal plan for a time. If in doubt, discuss this with your vet.
White specks in dog poop – conclusion
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 dog 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.