Why Is Your Dog Pooping Blood & How To Prevent It

Blood in dog stool Feature Image

If the dog poop is bloody, then you should rightly so be alarmed of this disturbing experience. Schedule a vet appointment as soon as possible since several, and sometimes fatal ailments might cause the bloody stool in dog.

First, you must determine if it’s blood in the dog’s stool rather than say red dyes from the pet’s food that passed through its digestive system. You can wipe a bit of the poop with a paper towel to get a better look.

Note the consistency and color of the stool to get an idea if it’s genuinely blood. Share the information with the doctor. Also, take the stool sample, which the vet will analyze, and determine the bleeding cause and source.

What Causes Your Dog To Poop Blood?

Bright red blood in a dog’s poop is usually caused by colitis, which is an inflammation of the lower intestinal tract. This issue is accompanied by other symptoms like diarrhea, having a bit of blood in the poop. Mucus may also be present in the dog stool with blood. Additionally, the dog will seem like it’s straining.

Other common reasons for dog poop with blood are hematochezia and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE). The first issue isn’t as bad as the latter. Hematochezia manifests itself with bright red blood in dog’s stool and usually subsides naturally.

The poop can also be solid, lose, or diarrhea. However, if the blood is in large amounts, call the vet as soon as possible, since it can be a sign of HGE.

Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis presents issues like vomiting, lethargy, and bright red blood in the dog’s stool. The feces can be incredibly bloody, and the disease typically reveals itself suddenly.

This illness is caused by some types of bacteria rather than an infection, affecting small breed dogs like chihuahua more than others. Sadly, this life-threatening disease needs you to take the dog to a hospital or a vet clinic for care.

Other causes of bright red blood in dog’s poop include Parvovirus (parvo), parasites (worms) stress, drastic changes in diet, injuries to the rectum, cancer, blood clotting disorders, and infections or impactions in the intestines or anal sac.

Many things can cause tension to the dog, from trauma, a new addition to the family, to a radical shift of environment. Parvovirus is a severe disease that attacks the dog’s digestive tract. Parvo is one of the main diseases we vaccinate dogs against, and it’s mostly observed in pups.

Another infection that can also cause bloody stool in the dog is melena. However, in this case, the blood is usually dark red or black, which indicates the presence of digested blood.

Ensure that your dog hasn’t eaten something bad and hard like a piece of bone that can tear its gastrointestinal tract (gi tract) or food coloring that can change the stool’s color.

The dog can even ingest a foreign object that could tear its intestine, stomach lining, or other organs and glands. By the time blood from injuries gets to the lower intestines, it will appear kind of dark since it’s already been digested.

Tumors in the stomach or mouth can contribute to melena. Parasites like giardia and worms within the intestine can also lead to anemia. The dog could also have inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), kidney failure, or liver disease, including canine hepatitis [1].

Other causes of dark red blood in stool for dogs can occur if your pet ingests anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin, and its use can also cause ulcers.

The dog can have an adverse reaction to its medicine that contains the anti-inflammatory elements, or if there’s accidental ingestion of medication meant for humans. Such drugs can cause ulcers, and the stools being black suggests the blood is coming from the stomach.

A raptured anal gland abscess causes another thing that is mistakenly thought to be dogs pooping blood. The rapture happens if the two sacks on either side of the anus are infected and become enlarged. They then bust out, becoming sources of bright red blood in the stool.

Bloody poop in the dog could be a concern

Identifying Other Symptoms

By a considerable margin, the most common thing that causes blood in dog stool is an inflamed colon. However, you can still expect the dog to be active, bright, eating, and drinking normally when having this issue. The dog shouldn’t be vomiting, and the blood in the stools shouldn’t be too much.

It is best if you get your pet to the vet to recommend treatment. If in doubt, the vet will also carry out further action to know the exact cause of blood in your dog’s stool. As a responsible pet owner, it’s within reason to consult a veterinarian to avoid further damage.

Inflammation of intestinal tract likely reason for bloody stool in dogs

What Should You Do When Your Dog Poops Blood?

After identifying whether the blood in the dog’s stool is black or red, call your vet. The pet doctor should then advise you accordingly through the whole process, starting by asking multiple questions, which you should answer honestly.

Make sure to note the dog’s energy level and any other symptoms. The more information you have, the quicker your chances of ensuring the dog’s happiness and good health.

The dog in distress can also have changes in bowel movement and the frequency of bathroom breaks. Take note of this as well, and your vet might ask you to take a sample of the stool to the appointment. Always bring to the vet’s attention if the dog is using any meds. Some medicines have side effects like turning stool black, and this is usually written on the bottle.

The vet might need to perform a physical examination on the dog’s body, use ultrasound or x-ray, looking for anything out of the norm for a definite diagnosis. In the end, the veterinarian will recommend treatment plans.

A stool sample can determine if it is the cause of bleeding

Ways You Can Prevent Your Dog From Pooping Blood

To reduce the chances of bloody stool in dogs, make slow food transition, and keep them away from foreign objects and toxins they may consume. Give your dog food that is gentle on their stomach like boiled chicken. Also, monitor their behavior, appearance, weight, or anything else out of the norm and regularly check in with the veterinarian.

Sure, the simple foods made at home won’t provide everything that your dog, more so what a pup needs for normal growth. But, the simple diet will do them good in the short term until they get better, like when they have simple stress colitis.

Nevertheless, care for a dog with bloody stool depends on the cause. You can’t get an accurate read or rely on an internet article to ascertain why the dog has blood in its fecal matter. Most of the time, blood in dogs’ poop is caused by minor issues, which might only need a diet change.

If your dog exhibits any other issue like weakness and vomit, it can indicate a bigger problem, which only vets can advise accordingly. The vet might ask you to take a sample of the dog’s stool or bring him in case of an emergency for hospitalization.

The vet will then do some blood tests and diagnosis, prescribing the right medication or surgery to deal with parasites and infections. Fortunately, it’s less likely that the issues are because of something deadly.

Call your vet if symptoms are serious and stool sample continues to be bloody

Frequently Asked Questions

Is bloody diarrhea in dogs an emergency?

No, blood in dog’s diarrhea is not considered an emergency. However, if your dog has bloody stool with diarrhea accompanied by other signs like lethargy, vomiting, lack of appetite, or the pet seemingly in pain, you should bring them to the vet.

Bloody poop in dogs isn’t something you should panic about immediately. The swelling of the colon causes bleeding along the tract. This affliction is the most common cause leading to diarrhea with some bit of blood. It is more manageable than other ailments like Parvovirus, for example.

Parvo is passed through the fecal-oral route is also very contagious. Therefore, dog owners, other people, and their pets should avoid the visiting homes with affected animals, while handling the litter box and kennel with care to stop the spread.

Parvovirus is more deadly to a puppy that contracts it compared to an adult dog. Similarly, the longer the symptoms show before seeking intervention, the less likely your dog will make it. If your pet has such health issues, they will need intravenous fluids, pain relief, and antibiotics, all of which only a vet can provide.

Can dehydration cause blood in stool?

No, a dehydrated dog does not have blood in its stool. However, HGE, which is a common cause of bloody stool, can lead to dehydration. In fact, the diagnosis for this condition is to take a blood test, with few drops of blood, measuring the red blood cells in comparison to the rest of the fluid (platelets).

A dog with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis has a higher percentage difference of red blood cells, as shown in the blood work results, indicating less fluid or dehydration.

The stool in a dog with the condition also exhibits watery diarrhea. The disease can manifest itself in a short amount of time – from normal to near-death quickly to a perfectly healthy dog. The drastic loss of fluid is life-threatening.

How long does bloody diarrhea last?

The time that bloody diarrhea takes depends on the underlying issue. This problem fades away in most cases in a day or two, since the dog most likely has inflamed organs. The stool, in this case, has a bit of blood with mucus in it. However, other conditions like hematochezia can exhibit a lot of blood, leading to drastic dehydration in your dog.

An inflammatory bowel disease goes away much faster when you give your dog foods that are light, thus preventing stomach issues. When you first witness this issue, you can accelerate the healing process with a bit of fasting for a day.


A dog with blood in stool isn’t something to fear. As you’ve discovered, this condition is mostly caused by easily manageable colitis. Give the dog the right foods, and they’ll be back to their old selves in a few days.

However, if the dog exhibits other symptoms like lethargy and tiredness, then call the veterinarian as soon as possible. The more blood there is as well, the more serious the situation.