Being a fur parent, it’s usual that you check on your dog’s poop not only once. It may sound gross to others, but this is a good habit since their stool indicates health issues. Changes in frequency, color, and consistency can be warning signs, especially when noticing red blood in their poop.

While this sounds alarming, take note that there are different reasons why this occurs. The most common include constipation, allergies, injury, and bacterial or viral infection. So, how do you know whether it’s an emergency or not?

Potential Reasons for Blood in Dog Stool

1. Food Allergies

Sometimes, dogs eat something that they shouldn’t, affecting their GI tract, which results in bloody poop. It can occur anywhere in their small intestine, stomach, anal region, or colon. Keep track of the food they shouldn’t consume or non-food items such as:

  • Toys
  • Sticks
  • Garbage
  • Toxins

2. Gastroenteritis or Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis

It is an inflammation of the GI tract that requires an immediate visit to the vet because it can be fatal. Go to this page for more information about emergency veterinary services.

Besides blood in their stool and/or vomit, look for these other symptoms:

  • Dehydration
  • Anorexia
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of energy and interest

3. Hemorrhoids or Other Irritations

Your pet may be experiencing hemorrhoids or irritation near the outside of the anus if they have bloody stool. If they don’t complain, inspect any potential visible causes on the outside of their body. You can usually see swelling and itching around the anus, a lump in the anus or rectum, and a feeling of discomfort when defecating and sitting because of pain.

Try giving them food with added fiber, including apples, pumpkin, carrots, beet pulp, dark leafy greens, and brown rice. In minor cases, apply anti-hemorrhoid creams to help with swelling, burning, and itchiness. But it’s always best to take them to a trusted vet for further assessment and treatment, especially for severe cases. 

4. Enlarged Anal Glands

Enlarged anal glands can cause even a tiny amount of bright red in a dog’s poop. Sadly, this is a common condition among dogs – small or large breeds. Bring them to your vet since treatment can include painful procedures, such as emptying the sacs. Increase fiber in their diet to prevent this from reoccurring. Protein-based dog food that they are not used to eating may also help.

5. Serious Illnesses Affecting Blood Clotting

Diseases affecting normal blood clotting can also be the culprit, such as:

  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Toxins
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Kidney disease
  • Immune system diseases
  • Hormonal disorders

6. Parasites or Infections Affecting the Gastrointestinal Tract

Some serious conditions that affect the GI tract can also lead to bloody poop, including:

  • Parasites: giardia, intestinal worms, coccidia
  • In some cases, cancer
  • Infections (bacteria, viruses such as parvovirus). Click here for more information.

Animal doctors recommend various treatments for mild infections, including ointment, medicated shampoo, oral medications, etc. Your vet will identify the most suitable treatment plan for your dog for conditions that require medical interventions. For worms, try treating them naturally with pantry items, such as:

  • Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  • Turmeric
  • Chopped carrots
  • Chamomile
  • Kefir
  • Dried coconut

Choosing a Vet for Bloody Stool

Sometimes you can just wait to heal, whatever is the reason for your dog’s bloody stool. Sadly, some conditions are as fatal as they look, and you may not know how to determine them. To ensure your pet’s safety and health, it’s always best to bring them to the vet if you observe even a small amount of blood in their stool.

You may think it’s not life-threatening because your dogs still act normal, but vets are your go-to people for professional opinions and advice about your pets. Take time to find one who can give what you’re looking for since they will be playing a vital role in your dog’s overall health. 

Go for the one near you so it would be easier to arrive there in case of emergencies. Ask your friends or anyone you know for recommendations or search online. To narrow your search within your area, search for “Animal Emergency Center in Memphis” if, for instance, you’re from the place.

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