Yellow Dog Poop — Should You Worry About It?

Is your dog pooping yellow? Does he need a trip to the vet ASAP? Learn when yellow dog poop is a cause for concern — and what to do about it.

A human picking up dog poop.
A human picking up dog poop. Photography ©MachineHeadz | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

A dog’s poop can tell you a lot about what’s going on inside his body by both its consistency and its color. For instance, red or black poop can indicate that your dog is bleeding from somewhere in his gastrointestinal tract. But what does yellow dog poop mean?

Yellow dog poop — is it serious?

A puppy pooping on green grass and looking scared or stressed.
Uh-oh — is that yellow dog poop you see? Photography ©gemredding | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

Seeing yellow dog poop can be a little surprising. Sometimes, it happens because of something your dog ate, like yellow Crayons or chalk that’s just passing through. A clue that your dog might have eaten something containing yellow dye is if the yellow color in the poop appears in blotches or only in parts of the poop.

If the dog poop is uniformly yellow in color, however, the reason might be more concerning. “That is bile pigment that has not been reabsorbed and is passing through the feces and turning it yellow,” says Tracey Jensen, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, medical director at Wellington Veterinary Hospital in Wellington, Colorado. “It’s not normal. Basically, it means that the transit time in the GI tract is increased.”

What does ‘GI transit time’ have to do with dog poop color?

“GI transit time” refers to the amount of time it takes for food to travel through the entire gastrointestinal tract as it’s digested and finally eliminated from the body as waste. “The intestinal tract is in a constant state of digesting and reabsorbing things for reuse, everything from fluid to bile pigment,” Dr. Jensen explains. “When that transit time is too quick, then you get liquid feces and you will see those yellow bile pigments. If the transit time is prolonged and the patient is dehydrated, that’s when we see constipation.”

The GI transit time can increase for a variety of reasons, including parasites, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, issues with the liver, gallbladder or pancreas. For this reason, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian if you notice some dog poop that is yellow.

Is yellow dog poop a medical emergency?

Yellow dog poop.
So, is yellow dog poop a cause for concern? Photography ©NUKUL2533 | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

“It’s not an emergency necessarily, as long as the pet is still feeling all right and there are no other symptoms, but it’s urgent enough that you do need to seek veterinary assessment,” Dr. Jensen advises. “If [your dog is] not feeling well, or if there are other gastrointestinal signs, such as vomiting or any other color changes to the feces, it would warrant a call to the emergency room.”

When you go to the vet, bring a stool sample with you so the veterinarian can look at it under a microscope to check for any evidence of parasites. If the fecal test reveals no parasites, your vet will likely want to check your dog’s bloodwork and possibly perform some imaging tests like x-rays or ultrasounds to look for abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract.

The bottom line

Unless you think your dog just chewed up some yellow crayons, yellow dog poop is not something to ignore. If you see this color in your dog’s poop, get him checked out just to be sure nothing serious is going on.

Thumbnail: Photography ©MachineHeadz | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

This piece was originally published in 2018. 

Have more questions about your dog’s stool? Check out these articles on

33 thoughts on “Yellow Dog Poop — Should You Worry About It?”

  1. I do not see any mention of chicken and rice as the cause of yellow dog poop. This is very common and should have been mentioned. And there is nothing wrong with feeding dog chicken and rice.
    We gave our puppy the remains of some chicken dumpling soup and today the poop is yellow.

    I f your dog has had chicken and rice think twice before running to the vet. If it continues being yellow, then rethink.

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  15. Hi, my dog poop has turned bright yellow since being on cooked chicken and white rice! Could this be the reason? He is 13.

    1. So I was here for that same reason. I’ve been feeding my dog 3 cups white rice and 1 egg, 1 egg white for the past 2 months and his poop is a little more yellow than that. A little spongy & “sticky” (to the bag), too. Very little volume in comparison to dry dog food.
      He’s fine, good energy, drinks water, happy-go-lucky.
      I think it’s the rice starch.
      I started cooking his food because he had kidney failure & distress symptoms with the food he was eating about 5 months ago. After 3 months of trial and error I found the right formula for him. Only poops once a day, one-fifth of what used to be. I’m happy he’s doing a million times better. I was scared I was going to lose him :/

    2. I fed my dog white rice and boiled chicken her poop was the color of yellow mustard and slimy?? I’m hoping it’s the food
      I fed her chicken and rice because she was having difficulty pooping then in the middle of the night she pooped on the carpet somewhat soft. Next day squared several times and no poop -later that day when home alone she
      pooped ( soft brown) in the carpet again.
      Fed white rice and chicken and today ( outside) she pooped bright yellow soft slimy poop?
      Ill probably wait one more day and if it doesn’t subside I’ll take her in
      She is an 11 yr old black lab in very good condition

  16. Regarding the issue of “yellow poop,” I had to post this. My shelter dog had poop that looked just like the picture in the article. The veterinarians I consulted were unable to accurately diagnose him for several months. He was ravenously hungry and was losing weight. Then I found a website that helped save his life epi4dogs. My boy was eventually diagnosed with a rare and incurable disease called Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, wherein the pancreas lacks the enzymes needed to digest food. By adding powdered porcine enzymes to his food, he became a happy, healthy 70 pounds and lived for 11 years. Although EPI is incurable, it can be managed. Research to find a cause and cure is ongoing.

  17. On occasion I have noticed in my Black Mouth Curr mix his poop seemed incased in a thin slimy film around it,is this something to be alarmed about?

    1. If your dog ate something that upset its stomach or that they are intolerant to, they poop mucus and it is a slimy film around the poop

  18. Hi Jim, I just want to convey my heartfelt condolences to you. This is a sad story and reminds us to be vigilant in guarding our pets. Harley Davidson, my dog, would have eaten the poison too. He’ll eat anything. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your daughter is forgiving, which is a blessing, and that’s the risk we take when leaving our pets. You have an affinity with animals. All the more heartbreaking. After 2 squirrels died in my Dad’s swimming pool, he created a ramp to safety for any creature falling in again. Bad things happen to good people. Again, sorry for your loss.

  19. My step-daughter moved from Chicago back home to Delaware a few years ago and left her Dalmatian in my care. He was kept in my garage at night and released in my fenced-in backyard during the day.
    One evening my step-daughter noticed that his feces was green and asked what it meant. I had no idea but began to think what the dog could have gotten into. It then dawned on me that I had rat poison,that was green in color, in a corner of my garage, way back in a corner out of sight and hidden behind some cardboard boxes. (I understood that it works much like Coumadin, the blood thinner.) When I checked the area I noticed the empty packaging.
    The next evening the Dalmatian had died in his sleep. I felt so bad for both my step-dsugjter and her dog. She accepted my apology but I have lived with this for some time. i have learned that keeping poisons up and away from pets is essential!
    As an ex-K9 officer I really felt heartbroken for her. I just hope the dog didn’t suffer.

    Animal lover in Delaware

    1. This is so careless and dumb I almost believe it to not be true, especially from a “ex-K-9 officer”.

      1. @unbelievable….Really? its unbelievable that a man forgot he had rat poison in a covered corner of his garage?? It must be nice to be like you and never make a mistake in life…I wonder what that must be like….ugh..

    2. You signed your post “dog lover” . You’re far from it. You put the dog in a garage overnight and outside during the day. No way to treat a valued family member. People like you should never be allowed to watch someone else’s dog nor own a dog. Disgusting.

      1. Mariansorrentino

        I definitely agree with you!! Be a responsible adult, use your brains! What kind of person locks the dog up in the garage and calls themselves a dog lover, really?

    3. Ronnie Richman

      You’re no animal lover. Your a flagrant Animal killer. Animals and children must be protected from Irresponsible moronic people like you.

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