When a dog's poop is green, it may send all sorts of alarm bells in your mind.
Whether your should be concerned or not though will ultimately depend on what your dog ultimately has ingested.
Dogs are know for being the most indiscriminate eaters. They'll eat just about anything they encounter. This often leads to significant problems such as intestinal blockages and food poisoning.
Discover what it could mean when a dog poops green, and when you should be worried about it.
A Word About Stool Color in Dogs
Normal dog poop is chocolate-brown in color. The color is due to the presence of bilirubin (a chemical compound produced in the liver).
The bilirubin is further degraded into urobilinogen and then stercobilin. In fact, it is the stercobilin that gives poop its distinctive usual color, explains veterinarian Dr. Ivana.
However, there are slight color variations from one dog’s poop to another dog’s poop.
The color deviations can be due to several factors, one of the most prominent being diet.
It can be therefore said that the color of a dog's poop can be to great extent influenced by what a dog eats, but also the dog's ability to metabolize the food and expel metabolic wastes from the body.
What Causes Green Poop in Dogs?
When it comes to unusual stool colors in dogs, the most important questions are: how is the dog feeling? and what did the dog recently eat?
With this in mind, following are several possible causes of green poop in dogs.
Eating Foods With Dyes
As mentioned, a common cause of green poop in dogs is eating something green.
Artificially added colors and dyes cannot be digested and are passed with the stool. Sometimes, if the dyes and colors are strong enough, they can change the overall dog's poop coloration.
For example, eating a food with a green dye in it such as green dog biscuits or Greenies, can cause greenish-looking poop in dogs.
Even eating a green crayon can cause green stools in dogs.
Eating Lots of Greens
Dogs who eat considerable amounts of "greens" such as spinach, broccoli or kale may too develop greenish-brown stools.
Green poop in dogs may also indicate that your dog has eaten a lot of grass. "When troubled with gastrointestinal issues dogs eat grass and consequently the grass causes green discoloration of the poop," further explains Dr. Ivana.
Ingestion of Rodent Bait
One scary cause of bright, almost fluorescent green or blue poop in dogs is ingestion of rat poison.
Manufacturers of rodent baits purposely add bright dyes—like bright blue or green so to identify them as pesticides and track ingestion of poison.
Colorful poop can therefore mean a dog has gotten in contact with some.
Rodenticide poisoning in dogs needs to be taken seriously because it can lead to potential death if not treated in a timely fashion.
Faster Transit Times
Greenish stools in dogs can be indicative of faster transit times within the intestines, causing less bile to be reabsorbed in the small intestine.
Since this bile color remains in the feces, it gives stools a yellowish-greenish tint.
Green or yellow stools are therefore rather common with loose stools or diarrhea since these are associated with faster transit times.
Faster transit times can be triggered by a variety of disorders including minor or more significant ones such as an infections, presence of a foreign body, parasites, giardia etc.
As good dog parents, it's a good idea to go on frequent poop patrols so to ensure everything is working fine in the dog's GI department. It can be literally said that, we really need to know our s*it when it comes to our dogs!
Green poop in dogs can mean various different things.
Brownish-green feces in dogs can be just a sign of a dog eating greens, and somewhat greener poops can be the result of the dog eating foods with dyes.
Normally, these changes in the poop color, particularly if food-related, should be transient and self-limiting.
Namely, if your dog’s poop changed its color due to something your dog ate, once that food is no longer provided the stool should resume its normal color.
More concerning is the mysterious onset of greenish, or greenish-blue looking feces that may be sign of rodenticide poisoning.
If you suspect or believe it may be possible that your dog has consumed rat poison, call your veterinarian immediately.
When the poop is green and liquid this can also be a sign of faster transit times. Overactive intestines warrant a vet visit especially if it persists.