Dog Poop Turns Black When It Dries

As an aspiring journalist, I never imagined myself writing about this topic. Alas, one thing leads to another and here I am, so we might as well dive right into it.

In all honesty, it’s amazing how important poop can be for your dog’s health. It’s a great indicator of what’s going on with your pooch internally – if something unusual is happening, then you’ll probably end up seeing it in their stool.

If you notice that your dog’s stool is consistently turning an abnormal color then you’ll want to consider scheduling a visit to the vet. However, if you’re not quite at that point yet, you may just want to learn a bit more about what can cause your dog’s stool to come out an unexpected color.

What about black dog poop? Do you need to be concerned if you notice your dog’s dog’s poop is turning black?

I’ll discuss all there is to know (and probably more than you want to know!) about black dog poop in this article, including the causes behind it and what pet owners should do about it. I’ll even give you some suggestions as to what you can expect in the event that a vet visit is necessary. Here goes nothing!

Black, tarry stools are often caused by something serious—bleeding in the stomach or small intestines. “The stool turns black because blood has been digested, causing it to change color,” Dr. Spangler says.

Black Dog Poop: Deciphering Color and Consistency

Dog Poop Turns Black When It Dries

If your dog’s poop is black, it may indicate a very serious, or even life-threatening illness. However, not all poop that appears black may be abnormal. When looking at your dog’s poop, it is important to take note of the stool’s consistency in addition to the color.

Unless there is an obvious cause for your dog’s black poop you should contact your veterinarian. Knowing the consistency of your dog’s stool–i.e. hard, crumbly, liquid, soft and sticky, etc.—can help your veterinarian to determine how urgently your dog should be examined, if at all.

It is also helpful to take a picture of your dog’s abnormal poop so that you can show it to your veterinarian.

Is it serious and should I be worried?

Yes. You need to contact your Vet immediately if you notice black poo. Melena may represent a life-threatening illness. As weird as it may seem, it can be very helpful for your Vet if you take a photograph of the melena to show them during your consultation (or maybe even a faecal sample from your dog!)

The Causes of Black Dog Poop

As you might imagine, you probably need to pay attention if your dog’s stool suddenly starts to change color, whether it’s black, green, red, or yellow dog poop. It can be very scary if your dog’s poop suddenly turns a dark black, especially if the consistency moves away from its usual solid-state. The good news is that your observation could give you the warning you need to get your dog prompt veterinary help.

When your dog’s poop turns black, it’s a sign that your dog is definitely dealing with some kind of digestive problem. The black coloration might actually be different from what you think – it’s a condition called melena, and it is caused by digested blood that’s made its way into the dog’s stool. Melena itself is a good sign that your dog is suffering from a medical problem such as a digestive condition, clotting disorder, endocrine disorder (such as Addison’s disease), hookworm infestation or recent toxicity.

Blood, as you might imagine, really shouldn’t be in your dog’s stool. When you spot blood (whether red or black), it’s an immediate sign to get your dog to the vet. Your vet can tell a lot about your dog’s health based on the color of the blood in this case, with black blood generally being a sign that your dog is actually bleeding somewhere in the upper GI tract i.e. the food pipe, stomach or small intestine. The blood is black because it’s gone through the GI system, and it is tarry because it’s been going through it for some time.

As a note, black stool might not just occur because of a GI issue. In fact, your dog might’ve digested that blood from somewhere else in the body and it’s taken some time to get through the rest of his or her system. It’s very common for black stools to occur because the dog has gotten blood from his or her respiratory tract, which has in turn been coughed up, swallowed, and digested. This blood can be from something serious – like an infection or tumor in your dog’s lungs – or from something as mild as a nosebleed.


Does dog poop turn black outside?

Your dog’s poop may look normal when it is fresh but then you may notice that it turns black if left out in the sun. This is a normal change and is not a cause for concern. The cause for this color change isn’t well known.

Can food cause black stool in dogs?

A normal stool should be soft, yet firm. Its colour will be determined by the dog’s diet: anything from a mid-brown to nearly black is usual. The more meat in the diet, the softer and darker it tends to be.