White Dog Poop: Is It Bad and Where Does It Come From?

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(Picture Credit: Photographer, Basak Gurbuz Derman / Getty Images)

Once upon a time, white dog poop was very common. Then, it suddenly disappeared. What happened, and why?

In an interesting article for IFL Science, writer Rachael Funnell investigates this curious mystery. According to Funnell, a once common sight to dog parents vanished by the 90s. Apparently, “ a pivotal change in dog care meant white dog poop became less common.”


Where Does White Dog Poop Come From?

In the past, dog food was filled with calcium-rich bone meal. As an essential mineral, this made a lot of sense. However, dogs—like humans—can only absorb so much calcium at a time. As Funnell puts it, “ Like humans who take too many vitamin supplements…dogs given too much calcium can sometimes simply push it out of their rear ends.”

At this point, it’s important to note that the white color isn’t all the unabsorbed bone meal. Actually, the color comes as dog poop sits in the sun. As water evaporates, the calcium calcifies and gives it a chalky white color.

So Why Isn’t It White Anymore?

As it happens, pumping dog food full of byproducts isn’t very healthy for pups. As dog parents become more concerned with what’s going in their pooch’s belly, companies have adjusted. Now, there are all sorts of health-conscious choices, including vegan dog food and brands tailored to ‘ancestral diets’. As such, the cascade of calcium isn’t as common anymore, so neither is white dog poop.

Can White Dog Poop Be a Bad Thing?

If you know your dog’s diet is in order, then seeing white dog poops should be concerning. Normally, adult dogs passively maintain their calcium absorption levels. However, a condition like hypercalcemia (an excess of blood calcium) can be a sign of urinary problems. In general, if you see any irregularities with your dog’s bowel movements, it’s best to see your vet right away.

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