Why Is My Dog’s Poop Orange?

Dog pooping
Photo of Dog by Petra from Pixabay

Picking up a dog’s poop is a daily chore for most dog owners – but part of the job of raising and looking after them. As we pick up their poops, we may not always pay attention to the colour. However, the colour of your dog’s poop can be an important indicator of its health. So, what does it mean when a dog’s poop is an abnormal colour, like orange?

Orange dog poop can have many different causes, some that’s simply a change in your dog’s diet while others may be an indicator of a more serious health issue. If you are concerned about your dog’s orange poop, it is best to consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to help determine the cause and rule out any potential health problems.

In most cases, if you notice that your dog’s poop is orange, it is likely due to a change in their diet or because they have eaten something like chicken and rice. However, if there is no change in their diet and it’s a sudden occurrence, it could be a sign of liver disease, so it’s worth getting checked out to be on the safe side.

Here’s everything you should know about orange dog poop.

Why is my Dog’s Poop Orange?

There can be a couple of reasons why your dog’s poop is orange and it’s important to first discover whether this is a one-off or if it is something that has been happening for a little while. If your dog usually has healthy poop and you’ve recently introduced a new food into their diet, this could be the cause, especially if they are pooping more frequently.

Orange vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes can also lead to orange-coloured stool, so a sudden change is something to not usually worry about – but if it’s consistent, it’s worthwhile taking them to see a professional for a comprehensive check-over.

Orange dog poop every once in a while

If your dog is still continuing to poop normally but every so often they have an orange one, the likely cause is their diet and they have eaten something that has coloured their stool. If this is the case, there’s no need to worry and you can simply keep an eye to see if this happens again.

Consistent orange dog poop

If your dog’s poop is consistently orange or they are showing other symptoms like lethargy, loss of appetite or vomiting, then this could be a sign of liver disease and you should go and see a veterinarian immediately. Orange dog poop can also be caused by other health problems like pancreatitis, so it’s important to rule these out too.

If you notice any orange dog poop, you should keep a close eye on your dog and it’s important to pay attention to any changes in their behaviour, mood and appetite. Orange dog poop can have many different causes, some that are simply a change in diet while others may be indicative of a more serious health issue.

Orange dog poop after chicken and rice

Orange dog poop after eating chicken and rice is very common and usually nothing to worry about, as long as it’s a one-off and not a reoccurring trend. There’s a range of reasons why your dog may produce a discoloured poop that’s slightly orange, or fully orange, so if it’s something you notice that’s out of the ordinary, you should monitor it and see how often it occurs.

If it’s something that happens more frequently and you’re noticing more and more orange poops, then it’s important to take your dog to the vet, as this could be a sign of a more serious problem. Orange poop can also be caused by certain medications or supplements, so if you’re concerned, it’s always best to seek professional medical help. Don’t attempt to self-diagnose your dog’s orange poop.

The first time you notice orange poop: Keep an eye on your dog and if they seem otherwise healthy and happy, then it’s likely nothing to worry about.

If you notice orange poop more than once: Take your dog to the vet for a check-up, as this could be a sign of something more serious. There’s a wide range of reasons why this may be happening, like consuming toxic foods or something that are intolerant to, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog is unhealthy, but there could be a more serious underlying cause.

If your dog has orange poops and other symptoms: You should take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible, especially if your dog is vomiting, has diarrhoea, or seems to be in pain.

Chicken has been known to be a common allergen in dogs, so if your dog has never had it before, it’s best to introduce it slowly into their diet and see how they react. It’s super common for dogs to produce one or two orange poops after eating chicken and rice – so you shouldn’t worry if you notice a slight discolourment in the garden!

What can cause orange dog poop?

Orange dog poop has many different causes, such as:

  • A change in diet (including consuming orange vegetables, like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and oranges – chicken and rice are also known to cause poops to go orange).
  • Liver disease
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Hemolysis (destruction of own red blood cells)
  • Food intolerance or sensitivity

If you notice that your dog is producing orange poops then you should immediately consult your vet, especially if they haven’t eaten anything recent that is orange in colour.

Dog pooping in grass
Image by Simon Kadula from Pixabay

A change in your dog’s diet can result in orange dog poops

If your dog has eaten something orange – like a carrot, pumpkin or sweet potato, then it’s not uncommon for them to occasionally produce orange stools, and there’s usually no cause for concern. Their poops should return to normal colour a couple of days after consuming the orange.

It’s not uncommon to see other symptoms in your dog, such as:

  • Passing stools more frequently
  • Diarrhoea
  • Runny poops (as well as orange ones)
  • Loss of appetite

If your dog is producing orange poops but is also sick, feeling lethargic or has a loss of appetite, then this could indicate something more serious – even if you believe it’s the orange-coloured food that may be causing their stools to change colour, it’s worth getting them checked.

Liver disease can cause orange dog poop

Liver disease is a very common cause of orange stools in dogs. The liver is responsible for filtering toxins from the blood and if it’s not functioning properly, these toxins can build up and cause a range of problems, including orange poop – this disease can be chronic or acute, so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms encase your dog develops it.

Symptoms of liver disease in dogs include:

  • Orange or yellow dog poop
  • Jaundice (yelling of the mucous membranes, like the eyes)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Being sick
  • Weight loss
  • Not drinking as much as usual
  • Shivers
  • Not being themselves (feeling of discomfort)

Orange poop is often one of the first signs of liver disease, which can then lead to additional symptoms that we highlighted above. The liver is a key organ in the body and if it’s not functioning as it should, it can have a big impact on your dog’s overall health (1).

If your dog has chronic liver disease, this will make them very unwell for a long period of time, and you may notice that their orange poop becomes more constant, as well as other symptoms getting worse. Medication will help ease symptoms and improve your dog’s quality of life, and antibiotics can be used to help treat infections of the liver – your veterinarian will be best placed to help create a treatment plan for your dog. It can take many months or even years to develop chronic liver disease, as it’s a progressive disease.

Acute liver disease is a very sudden onset of liver problems, symptoms will normally develop in a matter of days and weeks, as opposed to months or years. Orange poop is often one of the first signs that something is wrong with a dog’s liver – and is often caused by accidental poisoning, infection, viral disease or cancer. If you notice these symptoms, it’s important to go to the vet immediately as treatment needs to be administered quickly.

Gallbladder disease in dogs can cause orange dog poop

Gallbladder disease in dogs can also cause orange poop, as well as other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and lethargy – it’s a very uncomfortable disease and tends to affect dogs of all ages, but primarily those in their senior years (2).

The gallbladder is a small organ that stores bile, which is produced by the liver and helps to digest fat. If the gallbladder becomes obstructed, it can result in a build-up of bilirubin – and this can cause orange poop, as well as other serious symptoms. Your dog’s body needs the correct amount of bile to function properly, so if they’re not producing enough (or any at all due to obstruction) this can be very dangerous and needs to be treated by a vet as soon as possible.

Gallbladder disease in dogs is often caused by:

  • Inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis)
  • Tumours
  • Stones or blockages
  • Infection
  • Cancer

Symptoms of Gallbladder disease in dogs:

  • Orange poop
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the mucous membranes, like the nostrils and gums)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Discomfort

There are lots of different symptoms associated with gallbladder disease, and orange poop is just one of them, so it can be difficult to diagnose as there are lots of overlapping symptoms with other diseases.

Gallbladder disease is a serious condition that can be fatal if left untreated, so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and the impact it can have on your dog if left untreated.

Pancreatitis can also cause orange dog poop

Pancreatitis is known to cause orange dog poop, as well as other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. It’s another serious condition that can be fatal if left untreated (3).

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, which is a small organ located behind the stomach. The pancreas produces enzymes that help to digest food, and also produces insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. If the pancreas becomes inflamed, it can’t produce these enzymes and hormones effectively – and this can have a big impact on your dog’s health.

Symptoms of pancreatitis include:

  • Orange poop
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Shock
  • Pain
  • Not being themselves

If you notice a sudden onset of orange poop – whether that be in the garden or in their kennel/cage – as well as other symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea, it’s important to take them to the vet immediately.

An auto-immune disease named Hemolysis can also cause orange dog poops

Hemolysis is an auto-immune disease that can cause orange dog poop, as well as other symptoms such as pale gums, lethargy and weakness. According to the experts at VCA Animal Hospitals, Hemolysis breaks down red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. If these cells break down, it can cause anemia – and this can have a big impact on your dog’s health, as its body isn’t getting the oxygen it needs.

Symptoms of hemolysis include:

  • Orange poop
  • Pale gums
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Collapsing
  • Disorientated

In severe cases, Hemolysis can be fatal – so if you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it’s important to take them to the vet immediately. The lack of oxygen in your dog’s body will cause its organs to shut down, and this can be very dangerous.

A food intolerance or sensitivity can also cause orange dog poop

If your dog has a food intolerance or sensitivity, this can also cause orange poop. Just like us humans, if we eat something our body doesn’t like, this can cause all sorts of digestive problems and we may notice a change in our stools – the same applies to dogs (5).

It’s important to monitor what you feed your dog – whether it be a new meal, dinner scraps or a treat – as anything new could potentially cause an intolerance. In most cases, orange poop is often harmless and nothing to worry about – but if you notice a consistent trend of orange stools, then it could signal a more serious problem beyond a food intolerance.

Photo of a dog eating some food
Photo of dog eating by Ludwig Willimann from Pixabay

If you notice an orange stool as a one-off, have a think about the food they’ve eaten that day and whether there’s anything new or different in their diet. If you think it could be a food intolerance, try introducing new foods slowly and see how they react.

If your dog has any of the following symptoms, as well as orange poop, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible:

Symptoms of a food intolerance or sensitivity in dogs include:

  • Orange poop
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Flatulence (being gassy – farting a lot!)
  • Burping
  • Hiccups
  • Sneezing, coughing and wheezing

Some types of foods can cause your dog’s poop to go orange, like chicken and rice, or other orange foods like carrots and sweet potatoes.

If your dog’s poop is orange after eating chicken and rice, it could be a sign that they’re intolerant to one of the ingredients. Chicken is a common allergen in dogs, so if your dog has never had it before, it’s best to introduce it slowly and see how they react.

Conclusion: Why Is My Dog’s Poop Orange?

In most cases, orange stools aren’t anything to worry about if it’s a one-off. However, if you notice a consistent trend of orange poop – as well as other symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea – it’s important to take your dog to the vet, as this could be a sign of something more serious. Orange poop can be caused by a number of things, ranging from food intolerances to auto-immune diseases, so it’s best to get your dog checked out by a professional if you’re concerned.

Professional References:

Below are the references used in this content to professional academic research institutions and medical associations, that have been used to help inform the content in this article. To learn more about our process of creating content, please see our about page.

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