The color of your dog’s poop can indicate issues you need to be aware of.
Orange dog poop 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.
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 orange poop, and who isn’t, slide on 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, or other reasons. This can sometimes lead to orange poop. You need to 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, then you need to take a closer look 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 to be 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.
Orange poop can point to a couple of dangerous conditions, so my advice is to consult your vet quickly. I have read cases of dogs dying in 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 actually orange, or is it 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.
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.
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. Lots of carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, or pumpkins, for instance, can result in orange poop or sometimes something more like 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 diarrhea, or watery stool, but should not cause long-term problems.
Too many crayons will likely also cause 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 tracts to pick up the bile, which gives poop its normal healthy brown color. When food moves too fast through the digestive system, there’s not enough time to pick up the bile that turns it brown.
If it’s not something your dog ate, then it’s time to get serious as this could point to a liver issue, biliary disease, or gallbladder issues. 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 for a fact your dog has not eaten anything that would cause it to be orange, you must consult with 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.
Obviously, anything along these lines can only be determined and treated by your vet – be ready to bring a stool sample.
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 really need to see the vet quickly.
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, lethargy, vomiting, and the owner said the dog just looked “run down”. They were sure the dog had not eaten anything to cause the orange 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 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 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.
This is a case where the owner most likely did everything they could, as did the vet, and 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 diagnosis and results typically associated with orange stool.
Why does your dog’s poop turn orange after eating chicken and rice?
Ok, 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 there are possibly some severe conditions associated with your dog’s orange 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, and 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 as there is not enough time for it to be mixed with the bile that turns poop brown. For this reason, if you are feeding 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 the feeding chicken and rice long-term is not recommended. Do it for a day or two to address diarrhea, but then the dog needs to go back to its normal diet. If loose stool persists, you need to consult your vet.
Your dog’s poo is as important for your dog as yours is to you. The different colors of dog poop can tell you a lot about the health of your dog. Orange dog poop may be nothing to worry about, but you need to 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.