Pet owner cleaning up dog poop

Key takeaway

Yellow dog poop can be caused by a number of issues, including indigestion, reaction to a new food or treats, or potentially even serious health concerns. Learn more about when you should schedule a visit with a veterinarian to treat your dog’s gut.

Being a dog owner means dealing with dog poop on a daily basis. It is natural and part of the pet owner process. As mundane as it may be to handle dog poop, we often go into auto-pilot mode as we take care of our dog’s business. Though, that is not to say that once we notice a change in our dog’s poop, we do not react with curiosity to identify what is causing the change in color or consistency.

A dog’s poop can tell us a lot about what is going on inside of their body. Like humans, when a dog has diarrhea, we often assume that they are experiencing an upset stomach or battling an infection. It is important to know that even if our pet’s behavior might not be out of the ordinary, it is possible that they are battling a more serious issue on the inside. Lucky for you, knowing what to look for in a dog’s poop can help you take the next step of getting your dog the care it needs.

In this blog post, we will address how to identify issues that may be causing your dog’s poop to turn yellow, so you can understand exactly what to do when this happens.

What Does Healthy Dog Poop Look Like?

Hopefully it is no surprise here, but healthy dog poop is typically brown in color. While there is no “correct” shade of brown that is the clear-cut definition to equal healthy poop, the shade of brown does depend on what exactly your dog eats. You will also notice a variation of brown coloring if certain treats or dog food are infused with food dyes.

What does your dog’s poop color mean?

So, what is it that turns fecal matter into a brown color anyways? The brown color is a result of the digestion process, which is when a breakdown of bile and food matter occurs. Bile is a key component of healthy digestion since it assists the intestines with breaking down food. While most bile is typically reabsorbed as food is digested, some does get trapped. As food continues to break down and get digested, the leftover bile changes color until it eventually turns brown.

Though, do note that every dog’s body processes foods differently based on the type of food or treats consumed, and what food dyes or ingredients are included. While there is no “one size fits all” for what is a normal dog poop, it will vary by dog.

Why Does My Dog Have Yellow Poop?

Reasons for yellow dog poop

While there are a handful of reasons as to why your dog’s poop has turned yellow, there is not an immediate concern that would leave you feeling the need to rush to the pet hospital. Think of it this way: consider yellow dog poop as a warning sign. Pet owners should familiarize themselves with the main causes of a change in fecal matter colors because it is a simple, yet effective approach to better understand what is going on inside your furry friend.

Diet

Yellow poop can be a little alarming at first, but there is no immediate need for pet owners to fret. Food intolerance is one of the leading causes of yellow dog poop, and owners can hopefully be traced back to when exactly the change happened.

If you recently changed your pet’s food, it can take a little time for your dog to adjust to new food or treats.1 If you noticed that your dog’s poop turned yellow around the same time that you may have changed your dog’s food or tried out some new treats, give it a few days to determine how your dog’s body will adjust before calling in for medical reinforcements. If the yellow dog poop continues on for too long or does not resolve itself, consider changing the food back to avoid further upsetting your dog’s stomach.

Sick dog due to digestion issues

Digestion Issues

Another cause of yellow dog poop can be a result of indigestion. As we know, a change to our dog’s food or diet can lead to an upset stomach, which in turn often results in yellowish dog poop. When this irritation is prevalent, your dog’s body works diligently to try to quickly get rid of the so-called foreign matters or food that it is not used to, and thus often leads to diarrhea that tends to be yellow in color. The reason that the dog poop becomes yellow is because when the body is trying to get rid of these upsetting trigger items, it does not give the body enough time for the bile to properly process.

Infection

If you are certain that your dog has not eaten any new treats or food, then it is possible that your dog’s yellow poop is a sign of a bacterial or parasitic infection in your dog’s digestive tract. If an infection is left untreated, it could develop into a greater, and more serious issue.

Aside from a bacterial infection, another one of the possible causes of an infection could be a result of a parasite in your dog’s intestines or digestive tract. If you notice that the yellow dog poop persists with no self remedy, it may be time to schedule a visit with a veterinarian to best diagnose if your pet has an infection.

Ate Something They Weren’t Supposed To

Dog toys get left on the floor, or we leave out “human” items that could be harmful to our pets if they decide to try them as a new snack or chew toy.2 It happens to the best of us. Many products or household items that contain yellow dyes can be a cause to what is causing your dog’s poop to turn yellow.

For example, has your dog been chewing on any yellow crayons or chalk? While these items are non-toxic, the yellow dyes can be triggering enough to turn dog poop yellow. There is no doubt that our pets are always exploring what next best item they can get their paws on.

If you changed your dog's food, wait a few days before talking to your vet

How about a tennis ball? Same thing. If your pet has been gnawing away at a yellow ball or toy, it is possible that the fibers of the toys can end up turning your dog’s poop yellow as well. If you notice that your dog’s poop has traces of random yellow patches or stringy objects, this could be a tell-tale sign of your pet eating something with a yellow pigment or elements.

Is Yellow Poop a Medical Emergency?

Yellow dog poop is not something that requires an immediate visit to the emergency room, but it is not something that dog owners should take lightly, either.2 Yellow dog poop can stem from a handful of causes like indigestion and a reaction to a new food, but it can also be an underlying cause of serious health concerns such as bacterial or parasitic infections as well. If you notice that your dog’s poop is yellow, it is important to get them checked out to ensure that there are no serious issues.

That’s where Dutch comes into play. With Dutch, we offer telemedicine for pets in a simple way. You can contact a licensed veterinarian right from the comfort of your own home and get the necessary prescription and advice to treat and protect your dog’s gut health, right to your door.

References

  1. Yellow dog poop: What it means. Great Pet Care. (2022, April 12). https://www.greatpetcare.com/dog-health/yellow-dog-poop-what-it-means/

  2. Yellow dog poop: 5 possible causes. Daily Dog Stuff. (2020, December 11) https://www.dailydogstuff.com/yellow-dog-poop-causes/