I have a rather strange habit I must say. I have a thing for observing both my cat’s and dog’s poop closely to ensure it looks healthy. Not something I enjoy doing but you can tell a lot about the health of your pet from its fecal matter.
Not too long ago, my dog’s stool was covered in non-moving tiny white specks which got me worried. It lasted for a few days and then disappeared as mysteriously as it started. Based on my conversation with other dog owners, it seems like noticing tiny white specks in dog poop is fairly common.
What could be the cause of tiny white specks in your dog’s poop? These tiny white specks in the dog poop can be due to an intestinal parasite. It could also be due to other non-health reasons like partially undigested food, current medication or fly larvae on dog poop that has been exposed to the environment for some time.
In this article, we will be looking at the most possible reasons for these tiny white specks that are in your dog’s poop and what you should do about it.
What Should Healthy Dog Poop Look Like?
First of all, in order for us to know what abnormal dog poop looks like, we should be able to tell at a glance what normal healthy dog poop looks like.
It should be firm, with no visible signs of bleeding or black marking, little to no mucous, color should be between dark to light brown and nothing should be moving.
If your dog’s diet is on point then your dog’s stool will pretty much looks like a banana. Dogs that are unwell or on a lousy diet can have very soft and stinky poo that can make your eyes water.
You have days when you look into the toilet bowl after a good number 2 and pat yourself on the back, that’s how it should be for your pooch as well.
So what can we make of it when you start to notice tiny white dots or white specks in your dog’s fecal matter?
The first thing that will come to mind if I do see white specks in dog poop is the possibility of an intestinal parasite.
These blood-sucking parasites will attach themselves onto the walls of your dog’s intestines and feed on the nutrients in your dog’s blood. One or two parasites won’t cause much of a problem but these parasites can multiply into hundreds and even thousands which can do serious damage to your dog’s health.
The most common intestinal parasites in dogs are:
Dogs get intestinal parasites when they ingest the parasite eggs or the parasite itself from contaminated food remnants and water sources. Dogs with fleas on their bodies can get a tapeworm infection when ingesting the fleas.
It is also possible to pick up these parasites from other dogs and soil that has been contaminated.
Newborn puppies can be infected by these disgusting parasites while still being in their mother’s womb or when feeding on the mother’s milk.
What Do Worm Eggs Look Like In Dog Poop?
Worm eggs in your dog’s feces can resemble tiny grains of white rice. When the adult worms lay eggs, some will be passed out in your dog’s poop.
You can also notice the white specks stuck around your dog’s anus, tail and hind legs. They may or may not be moving, depending if the worm eggs are still active.
How Do I Treat Intestinal Parasites In My Dog?
Dogs are more at risk of getting an intestinal parasite infection as they are outdoors more often as compared to cats.
The common symptoms are:
- Dragging butt on floor (scooting)
- Weight Loss
- Bloated stomach
- White specks in dog’s poop
When you notice white specks that aren’t moving in your dog’s poop, break open your dog’s stool to see if there are more inside. Many times when you break apart the stool, you can see the worms moving about inside.
Those tiny white specks in your dog’s poop could either be the worm eggs of pieces of the worm’s body.
The most accurate way to get a diagnosis is to bring a fresh stool sample to the vet for a fecal test under the microscope.
The best way to remove these parasites is via a deworming treatment. Your vet will prescribe a course of dewormer tablets like Heartgard plus for your dog to take.
The recommended dosage is one tablet a month until all the parasites are killed and expelled in your dog’s fecal matter.
Are Intestinal Parasites Dangerous To Dogs?
Most adult dogs can make a full recovery from an intestinal infestation when treated early. Puppies and young dogs are more at risk of losing their lives to these parasites due to their weaker immune systems.
Hookworms can make your dog anemic and roundworms can retard the proper development of puppies.
Besides intestinal parasites, you should also be checking your dog’s fur and skin regularly for small black bugs. These bugs can turn out to be fleas or ticks that feed on your dog’s blood. These parasites can harm your dog and spread diseases so make sure to check your dog frequently.
Undigested Dog Food
Dogs are known to have a very powerful digestive system that is capable of even digesting meat that is spoiled. Dogs even produce about 100x more stomach acid than humans.
But there can be times when your dog won’t be able to digest everything that it has eaten. This would apply to food items that are harder in texture or fibrous matter.
Not to sound gross about it but take a look at your own stool after eating a lot of salad or chickpeas and you’ll know what I referring to.
Your Dog’s Natural Diet
In order to give your dog the best diet possible, we need to look at what type of food your dog thrives on.
Dogs are known to have evolved from wolves which are mainly carnivores. Carnivores are animals that do well on a diet that is high in protein from animal meat. They are able to use the fats and protein in the meat as an energy source.
However, through the process of being domesticated, a dog’s diet has started to shift a tad more towards being an omnivore. This means that dogs are able to consume and digest carbohydrates but to an extent.
Even though dogs are considered ‘omnivores’ they tend to do better on a carnivore diet. They can digest plant matter like rice but not as well as meat.
If you noticed tiny white specks in your dog’s stool, it could be from partially undigested rice if that’s what you have been feeding your dog.
But what if you have not been feeding your dog rice at all?
Then your greedy pooch may have been putting its nose in your garbage bins and eating the discarded food scraps. Many dogs do this because they are natural opportunistic scavengers too.
I have bins with heavy covers to prevent my dog from opening them and eating whatever is inside. It might be good for you to do the same if your dog is trying to be a raccoon.
Raw bones vs Cooked Bones
One thing that my dog loves to do is to chew on bones. As a pet owner, make sure to never give your dog or cat cooked bones to chew on.
Bones that are cooked are brittle and hard and can splinter. These splintered bits are very sharp and can end up cutting and puncturing your dog’s esophagus and stomach.
Always give raw bones like a chicken thigh or wing which are much softer and digestible by your cat or dog.
White specks in dog poop could also be due to undigested bones that your dog has eaten.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overload (SIBO)
When a dog has a health condition called EPI or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, it isn’t able to effectively absorb the nutrients from the food that it eats.
This is a serious condition as the dog is basically starving even though it is still eating normally.
EPI can lead to a digestive tract problem called small intestinal bacterial overload. When too much undigested food passes through the small intestinal tract, the bacteria present there will use the food to grow and multiply which leads to a bacterial infestation.
Common symptoms are diarrhea, damaged intestinal cells, flatulence and stool consumption.
Dogs with SIBO have problems digesting and absorbing fat which is also known as fat malabsorption. The fat goes from the small intestines and into the colon this causing fatty stools which are greasy, runny and smelly.
You can also notice tiny white specks in the dog stool that are actually fat lipids and can be treated with a course of antibiotics.
How Do I Treat My Dog With SIBO?
Dogs with EPI need enzyme replacement therapy and probiotics to help them digest and absorb the food that they eat.
A diet that is high digestible and low in fiber would be ideal for dogs with EPI. This means as little carbs and sugar as possible and high in animal protein.
It has to be administered for the rest of the dog’s life as there isn’t a cure for EPI. However, with early detection and diet management, dogs with this condition can live long and healthy lives.
It is best to work with your vet to fully understand your dog’s condition and special dietary requirements.
If your dog is currently on medication like pills and tablets, those tiny white dots that you see could be from the undigested medication.
Pills and tablets have a hard polymer coating called an enteric coating. This coating helps to prevent the dog’s strong stomach acid from degrading the effectiveness of the drug after swallowing the tablet.
There are some medications that need to reach deep into your dog’s digestive tract to be effective and the coating helps the tablet or pill reach wherever it needs to be before getting destroyed.
If your dog doesn’t fully digest and absorb the pill or tablet, there might be very small white particles left on your dog’s stool.
Not something that I would be too concerned about if the medication is doing its job. Otherwise, it would be better to let your vet and change to something else that your dog can better absorb.
There are some dog owners that allow their dogs to poop in the backyard or garden. Some might their dog’s poop as natural fertilizer for the plants.
If you notice that there are white specks appearing in your dog’s poop after being left out in the open for some time, it might not even be from your dog at all.
Those tiny white dots in the dog poop could be fly larvae. House flies tend to lay their eggs in decaying matter and even fecal matter.
These larvae are long and pale, resembling grains of rice, which will quickly hate and start to feed on the nutrients in the dog poop.
As gross as it might seem, dog poop can be considered nutritious for some insects and animals as it contains undigested food matter.
If you do notice a maggot infestation starting in your garden, it would be best to bury to throw away your dog’s stool right away and not let it decompose in your garden.
Even though it might be safe for your dog to eat the maggots, you don’t want your dog eating its own poop.
Your Dog Loves Nature
Many dogs are attracted to nature. They love all the smells and sights when they are out on their walks.
Some dogs love nature enough to start eating flowers, leaves and even sticks. Make sure to keep your dog away from pine cones and acorns as they can be dangerous and toxic for dogs when ingested.
If your dog has eaten a plant or flower that has white petals, those white specs that you see in your dog’s poop could be undigested plant matter.
I’m no botanist but not everything nature can and should be eaten by our dogs. There are many plants that are toxic to dogs.
If your dog has been showing signs of vomiting, diarrhea or loss of appetite after eating something on the ground, I would get it to the vet as soon as possible for an examination.
Why does My Dog’s Poop Look Like It Has Seeds In It?
If your dog’s poop looks like it has bird seeds in it, your dog could have eaten bird seeds on the ground, grass seeds, or fruits that contain many small seeds in the pulp.
If your dog’s poop appears black and seedy or similar to wet coffee grounds, that is a sign that your dog has internal bleeding. Internal bleeding in dogs could mean organ failure or an underlying health problem.
Dogs are known to eat stuff that they shouldn’t which can make their stool look abnormal or covered in tiny white specks.
If the problem clears up after a few days, then I wouldn’t be too concerned about it. But if it doesn’t, take a fresh stool sample and bring your dog to the vet for a check up.
There is something not quite right with your dog’s digestive system that needs medical attention.