Dog Pooping Blood? Here’s What to Do Next

A dog pooping blood calls for medical attention, but before you call your vet, make sure that the red stuff you're seeing is, in fact, blood.

A worried or scared pug squatting or pooping.
A worried or scared pug squatting or pooping. Photography ©NUKUL2533 | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

Yikes! When you see something red in your dog’s stool, the first thing you think of is your dog pooping blood. But don’t panic. First, determine if the red you’re seeing is truly blood and read on for how to handle blood in dog stool.

Man picking up dog poop.
Think your dog is pooping blood? First, determine is anything red that you’re seeing is, in fact, blood. Photography by By Monika Wisniewska / Shutterstock.

Notice something red in your dog’s stool? First, determine if your dog is pooping blood — or something else

Almost nothing is more alarming than seeing something red in your dog’s poop. Depending on what that red color actually is, red poop can be serious or nothing to worry about. So, if your dog’s poop looks red, is your dog pooping blood — or could it be something else?

“It can be caused by red coloring, like food coloring,” says Tracey Jensen, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, medical director at Wellington Veterinary Hospital in Wellington, Colorado. “It could be something that [your dog] ate that is simply innocently passing through. I once saw a dog that ate strawberry Chapstick, which came through.” If your dog eats red Crayons, they may also color the poop red. In general, food dyes that come from nontoxic sources will pass out in the stool and leave no lasting effects.

With a dog pooping blood, here’s what to know

A more troubling — but unfortunately, also more common — reason a dog’s poop might be colored red is blood. “Blood in the feces can be caused by infections, including various parasite infections or bacterial infections, inflammatory conditions and we do see colon cancer in dogs,” Dr. Jensen explains. “Sometimes, an anal gland condition can cause a coating of blood on the feces.”

What to do about your blood in stool

If you see red in your dog’s stool — and you didn’t recently notice your dog eating a pile of red Crayons — call your veterinarian to make an appointment to have him checked out. If possible, bring a fresh sample of your dog’s stool for the vet to test.

Even if your dog is acting fine, at least contact your vet to have a conversation about your dog pooping blood. “Red always warrants a call,” Dr. Jensen explains. “There are many causes of blood in the feces, some of which are very serious. Contacting your veterinary care team can help you work through some questions to help determine if it’s an emergency.”

Blood in dog stool — could it be HGE or parvo?

If it’s after hours and you see large amounts of bright-red, bloody diarrhea, especially if the diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting and/or lethargy (your dog is just lying around, clearly not feeling good), don’t wait until morning to contact a vet. Bright-red and bloody diarrhea may occur with an extremely serious condition called hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE). Without treatment, dogs experiencing HGE can become extremely sick and even die.

Additionally, young puppies with bloody diarrhea could potentially be suffering from canine parvovirus, a serious — sometimes fatal — viral disease. Seeing adult dogs with large volumes of bloody diarrhea, or puppies with bloody diarrhea, warrants a trip to an emergency clinic to be on the safe side.

The exact color / consistency can help determine the reasons behind a dog pooping blood

The appearance of the poop, as well as the color of the blood, are clues that will help your veterinarian determine where exactly the blood might be coming from, which can help diagnose the root cause of your dog pooping blood. “If the feces are normal in shape and consistency, with a red coating on the outside that’s determined to be blood, then we know that it’s coming from lower down in the intestinal tract,” Dr. Jensen says. “If it’s diarrhea or soft feces with the red mixed within, then it tells us the blood is probably coming from a little bit higher up the intestinal tract.”

Sometimes, blood in dog stool is not bright red but very dark, black and tarry looking. “When we see the black, tarry stools, that is digested blood,” Dr. Jensen explains. “When we see red blood that is coating the feces or mixed within it, that blood has not been digested, so we know it’s actually entering the intestinal tract closer to the point of exit. When we see black, that tells us it’s spent more time in the intestinal tract and is very likely is coming from areas close to or within the stomach.”

How do you treat a dog pooping blood?

Treatment for a dog pooping blood is highly dependent on the cause of the bleeding. Once your vet is able to narrow down where the blood is coming from, he or she will be able to run some tests to determine the cause and select an appropriate treatment.

The takeaway here? If you notice your dog pooping blood, don’t panic, but do have your dog examined by a veterinarian as quickly as possible. This is not something to wait out, since your dog might require quick and life-saving treatment.

Tell us: Has your dog ever pooped anything red before? Was your dog pooping blood or something else?

Thumbnail: Photography ©NUKUL2533 | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

This piece was originally published in 2018.

Read Next: Is Your Dog Eating Poop? How I Got Mine to Stop

83 thoughts on “Dog Pooping Blood? Here’s What to Do Next”

  1. Pingback: My Dog Ate Ibuprofen: Now What? – Comforts 4 Pets

  2. Pingback: Cher Labby, mon chien a du sang! Que devrais-je faire? | WavePets

  3. Pingback: Dog Pooping Blood? Here's What to Do Next –

  4. Pingback: Dug Up at Dogster: June 2019 Dog Events – Pet Dedicated

  5. After reading most of the comments here it seem like this website don’t know anything every response is you should contact a vet this is not a good places for any answers

  6. Just wanted to add that purple/metallic purple is on par with black or tar. I recently put down my 13y/o pup and the last 6 weeks were miserable. Prednisone messed with his stomach and nervous system causing the bleeding and seizures.
    But the main takeaway here is that metallic purple is also a color that should not be ignored.

  7. silvia Torontow

    Our now 12 year old lab was pooping strawberry jam for over a year. After multiple vet visits and ultra sounds and vet food I thought she had cancer and the only option left was surgery. Vets are not trained in nutrition and it was our kennel that said she may need a low protein food. We changed her food and within 2 weeks she had no more gastro issues.
    The same dog swims in our pool and she started to stink so bad. We got medicated shampoo etc. and long story short, we changed her to a no grain food and the problem went away. Abbey is on no grain, low protein and her stomach issues have totally stopped. Vets are not always the answer, sometimes it is just the food. We spent hundreds with no results.

  8. It’s Easter weekend and my Labrador has thrown up her breakfast for the second day running. This morning whilst out walking him he did his usual poop but just spirted out liquid / water which had a browny /red discolouration.
    He is drinking plenty of water & is slightly lethargic this morning but it is a hot 32 deg day so that’s normal for him on a hot day & he’s still eager for a walk when asked.
    Any clues here as the vets are all closed for the weekend.

    1. Hi there,

      We suggest following the steps in this article and please search for an emergency vet that you could at least call:

  9. Pingback: Yellow Dog Poop — Should You Worry About It? – Snake Terra

  10. Pingback: Yellow Dog Poop — Should You Worry About It? – Animal World

  11. Our vet claims our almost 6mo puppy just has eaten something or it’s stress-induced. I gave them a photo and physical sample and they basically said it’s nothing but gave us food and meds for her to take. …..she is now pooping blood. Can’t poop anything else. In this way, the vet is causing suffering, not us. They gave us nothing. $140 to tell us “she’s stressed.” Liquid diarrhea for weeks now, and now she’s defecating straight blood. But hey what do I know? Probably more than the vets here.

  12. If any of you guys have a problem just read the first comments. the only answers they’ll give you are to see a vet, so don’t spend your time writing this huge comment. Just go to the vet or let your dog suffer (but please don’t!)
    I love dogs and if you think there is something wrong, there probably is. For example, if they have less of an appetite or always vomit after eating. (my dog coughs after he drinks water, and that’s a problem ): )

  13. Pingback: Dog Pooping Blood? Here's What to Do Next | MyDoggyTips

  14. I am not sure why anyone posts questions and concerns to this site… the commentator always says ‘thanks for reaching out, go to the vet’. Not real helpful.

  15. My dog was pooing blood, but it was because I changed his diet, he came right after 3 days.. but he can’t eat anything other than his food, hope this helps!

  16. My puppy is just about 2 to 3 months. Just yesterday he stopped eating and sleeps all day. Normally he was a very energetic and clumsy dog, always eating everything he sees even dirt. But today he had diarrhea but its blood. I don’t know what to do. Please help me. I don’t want to lose my baby boy.

  17. I have a 5yr old beagle/rat terrier he ate pork roast meat and fat from the roast last night and earlier today he vomited and he had loose stools and it had blood in it..what does that mean im frantic

    1. Hi there Christina,

      Thanks for reaching out! We suggest taking your dog to the vet to be examined by a professional for help.

  18. Hi there I have a 2 week old puppy and just literally 15 minuses ago he poopedid and there was blood, and I’d really like to go to a vet but I’m in a middle eastern country like there are not vets in (yemen) so please I really mean please tell me what to do. I’d like how to check if he has parvo or HGE.

  19. I have a 6 months puppy one day he ate the chocolate flavoured calcium bone after alone day he poop blood and start vomiting even don’t ate food only drink water and vomit. We call a vet. Doctor but no effect of the injections shows can u tell me plzz what can i do

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for reaching out and we are sorry to hear this is happening to your puppy. We suggest taking your puppy to the vet and following up with the vet on what is best for your pups’ specific needs.

  20. Hi I have a 15 week old yorkie and had parvo 3 weeks ago. He made it and is happy again buy i started noticing he has little specks of blood after his big poop. He is going for his last shot next week. Should I be worried? I noticed its only 1s a day the rest are all normal.

  21. I have a 6 year old chihuahua and she has been extremely sick with diarrhea for 5 days. She just started throwing up the other night. She has blood on her stool, stands around shaking and won’t lay down to rest. She keeps pacing the floor. The vet did a fecal exam and she didn’t have parasites. She got a shot for nausea, a pill and liquid medicine for diarrhea. She still isn’t feeling good. Any ideas of what she may have or how much longer it will take her to feel better???? Please help

    1. Hi there Sarah,

      Thanks for reaching out! Please contact your vet with these questions. We hope your dog feels better!

  22. Pingback: Dear Labby: My Dog Is Pooping Blood! What Should I Do? – Dog Training & Tips

  23. Thanks for mentioning that people should call in a veterinarian ASAP if they see red on their dog’s stool. My daughter is currently in panic mode since she found some red stains on Daphne’s litter box. I’ll be sure to help her look for reputable veterinary clinics that can help us out.

  24. What do you do when the ER vet cannot find the cause? I had one dog sick and just spent $500 and 5 hours at the vet yesterday and she ruled out HPG and pancreatitis but was unable to do a fecal and gave me antibiotics and deworming medicine. Now my other dog also is pooping soft bloody stool. They both go to the vet Friday but that is 4 days AWAY. I am worried that they contracted Parvo. I adopted them 4 weeks ago but no symptoms appeared, until now.

    1. Hi there,
      We would strongly suggest seeing another ER vet before Friday.
      Here’s some info on parvo:
      And info on emergency vets:
      Hope your dogs feel better.

      1. The only answers you give is contact a vet. Do you know anything about anything. This is a waste of time since you have no other answers

        1. Hi there Linda,

          Thanks for reaching out! While Dogster is a great resource for health and medical questions that includes expert advice / opinions, specific health questions are best brought to a vet’s attention immediately.

          1. Rev. David Anderson-Pychewicz

            Sounds like a site too line the pockets of very expensive veterinary professionals. My two year old chi ate some dark chocolate with toffee 2 days ago. Day three today. He was treated after I brought him to an emergency clinic but could have been turned away because as a disabled veteran on low fixed income; it is impossible too pay. This is my Service Animal and soul friend. Vets need to make a living but judging by the fancy building and high paid staff, they aren’t starving. The technician didn’t even know what the toxic compound was in chocolate!!!! I had to educate their staff. Then these sites online want 59 bucks to chat to a vet online who is most likely going too fleece you by recommending taking your pet in to the clinic anyway. Oh and I have pet insurance that they would accept! I pray for every animal owner and lovers of ..

          2. Hi there,
            So sorry you had to deal with this. Situations like this are always best brought to a vet’s attention in person, ASAP. Here are some articles that might provide some insight as well:

          3. Rev. David Anderson-Pychewicz

            I meant too say that the emergency clinic Would NOT ACCEPT VALID PET INSURANCE I HAVE FOR MY SERVICE K9. CHECK OTHER SITES BESIDES DOGSTER.COM. FIND a vet you can have vetted and avoid up selling like in clinics in big box stores. Our animals are not cars in for an oil change.

  25. Hi there! I’m Marie. My 3 month old puppies has very soft stool with blood all through it. It’s freaking me out. The first one dies yesterday and the 3 puppies are starting to show the symptoms I’ve observed from the first one. Now, it feels like they’re dying sooner or later. I didn’t know why it happen so sudden. 2 days before my first puppy dies, they were all fine. Playing, eating, and sleeping, they were fine. Please, help me! It’s freaking me out.

  26. My 14 year old miniature pinscher has very soft stool with blood all through it. Some was like a bright red gel like the other was mixed in the stool but it was blood. He has diabetes an arthritis and takes 5 insulin twice a day. He has become very thin. He sleeps a lot. Yesterday he ate a very little bit of chicken. I keep trying to make him drink water. Usually he drinks a lot of water but not yesterday. Please tell me if I need to be worried? Thank you. Lynn Mathias

    1. Hi Lynn,

      We suggest contacting your vet ASAP. These articles might provide some insight, but your dog needs medical attention ASAP:

  27. I have a 7 months old German Shepherd and I feed my dog raw meat I fallow the 10% liver&kidney 10%bone and 80%meat rule but I notice is not pooping as much as when he was eating kibbles,, he might poop once a day and some times he doesn’t poop at all into the next day

  28. My Puggle puppy pooped blood since she ate pistachio shells which we
    found out later that was the cause. We rushed her to a 24 hr opened
    emergency vet since it happened late at night . They kept her overnight
    & the bill was very high . We love her & she is fine .

  29. Hi, so im not exactly sure if my dog is pooping out blood this will be the second day, however the day he started pooping red, was the day i fed him wet food, could that be the reason? An not actually blood?

    1. Hi Danielle,

      Sorry to hear your dog is experiencing this. We really recommend taking your dog to a vet, along with a stool sample or a photo of the stool ASAP. Hope your dog feels better!

  30. Our dog, Julee, has been having blood in her stool for the past 3-4 months. YES,we took her to the vet right away and she has been to the vet’s regularly since then and we are about $3,000.00 in for the vet bills. Several different medications, several different dog foods a colonoscopy (undetermined results) and an ultrasound (unremarkable) and we are no further ahead. Her appetite and energy fluctuates almost every day. So what else is left to do?

    1. Hi Pati,
      Sorry to hear that you’re struggling with this. We suggest seeking an alternative opinion from another vet or perhaps seeking advice from a holistic vet. Best of luck and hope your dog feels better soon!

  31. Hi my name is Bonnie and my sweet pom mix has been pooping bloody mucus .her stool is soft but not diarrhea. She is 6 yrs old has never done this before.2nites ago we gave her a bone from a steak which we never have done before but it was her birthday. ..could the bone splinters b the cause

    1. Michaela Conlon

      Hi there Bonnie,

      We are sorry to hear about what is happening to your dog. We suggest bringing her to the vet ASAP. Hope your dog feels better!

    1. Michaela Conlon

      Hi there,

      Sorry to hear about your dog. We suggest contacting your vet ASAP to find out more information.

  32. I have an American pit bull bully that’s one month old and we have been experiencing that it poops tiny drops of blood and we don’t know what to do we feed it milk on a bottle every two hrs but we’ve noticed that it dosent want to drink milk and we are nervous on what to do . How do we stop the blood ?

    1. Michaela Conlon

      Hi there —

      Thanks for reaching out. We suggest contacting your vet ASAP. Best of luck and hope your dog feels better!

    1. Hi there —

      Thanks for reaching out. We suggest contacting your vet ASAP. Best of luck and hope your dog feels better!

  33. Ramona McIntyre

    I have a 12 week old puppy .we found out he has parvo he has been pooping out blood I got him a parvo shot from the vet how do I get him to stop bleeding

  34. Hi,I’m janiah.And I have a French bull dog,and he’s nine months old.He is pooping out blood,and I’m getting very worried about it because…….WHAT IF HE DIES!????.But I heard that it doesn’t last long.So I don’t know if this will help you,but it will of course help me…Try to pray ???????? And be ???? strong,and never…,I mean NEVER give up!????????????????????

    1. Hey there I have a French bull dog and he’s almost a year old but has been pooping red blood (not dark red bright red) for a while. We have taken him to his vet twice both times she’s given him meds to take but he’s still doing it. Did your baby’s stop pooping blood?!? Please tell him his update.

        1. Certain metabolic diseases, such as kidney and liver failure, pancreatitis and Addison’s disease can cause bleeding into the intestinal tract, resulting in black tarry stools.

      1. Yes,that was my tiny 13 yr old poodles diagnosis,plus extreme infection and swelling in one anal gland!!after 4 days and 3 nights in hospital he is home and doing very well.He has a fabulous vet,for sure!!!and I visited him in hospital every day!

  35. My now 6 year old dog had Parvo when she was a puppy and has “belly issues” ever since. (I think it is related but have been told it’s not.) She has pooped dark, tarry blood many times in her life and when she does I know that it is colitis. I now have a whole routine I do when she has an episode which my vet and I both agree on. Withhold food but leave water. When she is ready and starts drinking, I open a can of Science Diet I/D and see if she wants some. If so, great she get 1/4 of a can. If not, we wait until she is ready. Once she is eating that I slowly introduce her dry food back mixed with the canned. This routine takes about 24 hours because I don’t want to rush anything. In the beginning it was a very scary thing but now we know what to do that works for her. She doesn’t have as many episodes since we monitor her diet very closely but we are ready if something does happen.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.

Let Dogster answer all of your most baffling canine questions!

Starting at just

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
Error: Access Token is not valid or has expired. Feed will not update.


Follow Us

Shopping Cart