Foamy Dog Poop – What Causes It?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a typical dog excretes 274 pounds of feces per year. That’s a whole lot of poop our dogs produce! Although poop isn’t the most interesting topic, it’s a necessary one. 

can dogs sense when something is wr...
can dogs sense when something is wrong with their owner

From studying your dog’s poop, you can learn a lot about his health. As creepy as studying poop sounds, it is one of the ways to make sure that all is well with our canine companions. Abnormally colored or shaped poop is often a sign that something is going on in your dog’s digestive system. Changes in your dog’s poop can mean anything from food intolerance to cancer.

Does your dog’s poop look foamy or bubbly? If your answer is yes, then this write-up is for you. In this article, we discuss all we need to know about foamy dog poop and what you should do to fix it.

Why Is My Dog’s Poop Foamy?

Your dog’s poop could be foamy for a variety of reasons. These include:

Food allergy

In most cases, a frothy stool indicates that your canine’s digestive tract is responding negatively to a food element. This is often seen when dogs are fed foods with soy products, dairy products, wheat gluten, beef, and chicken eggs. When your dog ingests these food items, they can cause the immune system to produce antibodies which lead to digestive disturbances like diarrhea and throwing up. Although any food component can cause allergic reactions, proteins are the most common food allergens.

An Abrupt Diet Change

You should always work on changing your dog’s diet gradually. An abrupt change in diet is often a shock to the digestive tract. The gut rejects the new food at first, and signs like vomiting, excess gas, and diarrhea are seen. If you recently changed your pooch’s food and notice bubbles in his poop, his digestive tract might be getting used to the new diet.

Protozoan Infection

A common protozoan parasite that causes bubbly stools is Giardia. Giardia in dogs is often gotten by eating cysts in infected water and even on the ground. So, if your dog is the outdoorsy type, he could have picked up something. Other parasites that can cause intestinal issues are Entamoeba, Coccidia, and Cryptosporidium.

Disorders that Cause Malabsorption

Foamy stools often mean undigested fats. When the body doesn’t digest or absorb food properly, some undigested materials (in this case, fats) are released in poop. This often indicates underlying disorders that interfere with the digestive processes, such as pancreatitis, leaky gut syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease. 

Infections

Infections in the gastrointestinal tract can cause gas bubbles to form in the stool. With excess fermentation of food by bacteria, gases in the gut increase, and foamy stools are seen. Viral infections may cause foamy stool in addition to other symptoms.

Mucus

Contrary to what you believe, the foamy stool might just be mucus covering your dog’s poop. Mucus can look like foam, and both can be seen simultaneously in poop. There are numerous causes of mucoid stools in dogs, including parasites, food allergies, a bad diet, and underlying conditions like gastroenteritis, colitis, cancer, and others. 

Eating inappropriate items

It has been reported that dogs that eat grass have frothy stools.

Why is my dog’s poop brown and foamy?

Although the normal color of your dog’s poop should be brown, it is uncommon for a healthy dog’s poop to be foamy. If your dog’s poop is brown and foamy, it means that there is increased gas or fat in the digestive system. This can be caused by any of the following:

Malabsorption of Food

The number one cause of the presence of fat in food is the malabsorption of food by the gut. As the term indicates, there is trouble with nutrient absorption, and this leads to the appearance of fat in food. This is usually caused by conditions preventing the small intestine or pancreas from digesting and absorbing fat. Conditions like pancreatitis, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, intestinal tumors, etc, make fat appear in stool and give it a bubbly appearance.

Abdominal Surgery 

Abdominal surgery in dogs can lead to short bowel syndrome. During abdominal surgery, if the small intestine has extensive segments cut off, it may lead to future problems with digestion and absorption. The signs of short bowel syndrome are watery diarrhea, frothy stools, weight loss, etc.

Food Intolerance

As explained above, sometimes, your dog’s gut might have an adverse response to certain food ingredients. This can cause diarrhea and, many times, foamy stools. It is best to note your pet’s allergies early off to avoid triggering such body responses.

Eating Inappropriate Items 

Eating the wrong items can also cause foamy stools. Dogs, especially puppies, often swallow non—food items like pens, grasses, bones, and other things. If these cause inflammation or gut wall infection, your dog can produce foamy stools, mucoid stools, or a little bit of both.

Bacterial Infection

A bacterial infection can cause your dog’s poop to appear bubbly. During the process of digestion, these bacteria in the gut (specifically in the colon) produce gases such as methane and hydrogen. If these bacteria are in excess, for example, in diseases like small intestinal bacteria overgrowth, this can make your pet gassy and produce gas bubbles seen in poop.

Parasites 

Parasites like Coccidia and Giardia are known to cause foam in poo. In most cases, other symptoms like vomiting, scooting, weight loss, etc are seen. Parasitic diseases can irritate the gut and lead to slow nutrient absorption, therefore, increasing the gas in the gut. If you haven’t dewormed your dog in a while and you see foam in its stool, you should consider treating your pooch with a dewormer. 

Gastrointestinal Dysfunction

Underlying diseases like inflammatory bowel disease and acute gastroenteritis can cause the gas in the gut to increase. Consequently, the stool will show gas bubbles.

Why is my dog’s poop yellow and foamy?

New Food/ Food Allergies 

It seems like food allergies always pop up when we talk about weird poop. This is because any change in a dog’s feed can lead to stomach upset and sometimes severe stomach cramps and indigestion. If you recently changed your dog’s food or decided to try a new homemade treat and you notice that his poop seems yellow and solid, your pooch may be suffering from food intolerance. Your best bet would be to take your pet to the vet for treatment.

Infection

Whether it is due to parasites, bacteria, viruses, or a fungus, infections can cause yellow feces in dogs. In the case of an infection, your dog might have a watery yellow stool that smells awful. Small white or yellow specks (rice-like) may also indicate tapeworm eggs. If you suspect that your canine has an infection, it is best to get him to the vet or have your vet test a stool sample for diagnosis. 

Undigested Yellow Objects

If you see yellow balls in poop or yellow color unevenly distributed in poop, you might just be looking at an incompletely digested food or non-food material. This could range from corn to a yellow crayon, yellow chalk, yellow lipstick, or yellow marker. The yellow pigment from these foreign objects passes out through the stool. So, if your dog tends to ingest non-food material, this might be the cause of his yellow-tinted poo, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

Liver Damage 

One of the scary causes of yellow poop is liver damage. The liver is an important member of the digestive system because it removes waste products and produces bile, a chemical that breaks down fats. Liver damage can occur from drugs, infections that lead to liver inflammation, diseases, and cancer. If your dog is pooping yellow foamy stool and shows signs of jaundice, he requires immediate medical attention.

Pancreatitis 

This is a deadly disease where the digestive enzymes stored in the pancreas begin to digest the pancreas. Common symptoms of pancreatitis are yellow stool, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. The earlier pancreatitis is diagnosed, the better. So, if your dog exhibits these symptoms, see a veterinarian.

Gall Bladder Issues

Gall bladder issues like gall stones, tumors, and others, can cause yellow stool in dogs. If bile no longer flows from the gall bladder to the intestines, fat may appear in stool and make it yellow or mustard colored. This is a life-threatening condition and should be dealt with swiftly.

What Should I Do if My Dog’s Poop Is Foamy?

If your dog’s poop is foamy, carefully study the situation. Note any changes in diet, the environment, and your companion’s behavior to be able to pick out possible causes. Also, note any accompanying symptoms and report them to the vet clinic. Prevent dehydration by constantly giving your pet small amounts of ice water throughout the day but withhold food until you get to your vet.

Although it is advised that you withhold food when your dog is suffering from diarrhea, you should never withhold food from your dog for more than 12 hours. His blood sugar can drop to deadly low levels and cause more harm than good. If you still are not able to get to a vet clinic after withholding food for 12 hours, feed your little baby a bland diet. You can slowly transition to a new diet once your pooch starts pooping normally.

If your pet shows other symptoms like vomiting, clawing at his abdomen in pain, lethargy, and others, you should get to the emergency room. Your vet will probably collect blood and stool samples and may need to take an X-ray. It is always better to play it safe when it comes to your canine companion’s health.

Conclusion

Your dog’s poop can tell you so much about his health so keep a close eye on his excreta. If you notice that your dog’s poop is foamy, don’t hesitate to reach out to a veterinarian for help. The situation could be as simple as stress or as complex as liver issues. Either way, do what is best for your pet and have him (and his feces) examined.