White Specks in Dog Poop & 5 Types of Worms in Dogs

by Stuart | Last Updated:   February 10, 2021
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Seeing white specks in dog poop not moving can be an alarming thing to find. It isn’t something you expect to see, and it may be unsettling and worry you that something is wrong with your dog.

Anyone with a dog knows that dog poop can actually be a very good diagnostic tool that something is wrong with your pup. Any noticeable differences in their stool should be noticed as this can be an important bit of information about their health.

If you have found white specks in your dog’s poop, whether moving or not, chances are you are a bit alarmed. We are here to break down what these white specks might mean and whether or not you need to be concerned.

Owner cleaning up after the dog with plastic bag

Causes of White Specks In Dog Poop

If you notice white specks, the first thing you will want to do is figure out if they are moving. If you notice any movement, chances are this could be worms or some pest and you should take your dog to the vet for further diagnosis and treatment.

You want to keep an eye on your dog’s poop for changes or issues that may develop. While this isn’t the most pleasant thing to do, it is a really good way to keep up with your pet’s health. Failure to treat parasitic and other infections can cause your dog severe distress.

If the specks aren’t moving, this may be a good sign that it at least isn’t something like a pest.

Think back to what your dog has eaten recently. If they were given something like rice, it might explain the white specks. What else has your dog eaten recently? Is your dog taking any medicine?

Things that the dog has eaten and certain medications may result in white specks in your dog’s poop. The specks will not move and may or may not be identifiable as the food they were.

Sometimes, you may notice these white specks sometime later. If the white specks are noticed on the poop well after the fact, there is a good chance that flies have laid eggs on the poop after the dog laid it and there is nothing to worry about.

The most common cause of white specks (moving or otherwise) are food-related, pest, or fly eggs/larvae.

Dogs eat all sorts of stuff they aren’t supposed to and their food may be made from a range of different ingredients.

There is a good chance that, if the specks aren’t moving, that it is simply undigested food. In this case, there is nothing to worry about, this is just something that happens.

Fly eggs may also be static and not move and as mentioned above, this can often be mistaken for an issue with the dog’s stool. Flies are opportunist insects and will lay eggs immediately after your dog poops, leading to visible white specks shortly after the animal has pooped.

Moving white specks may also be fly larvae. More commonly, however, moving white specks are often indications of worms or some other infection that will need to be attended to by a qualified professional.

What to Do About White Specks In Dog Poop

If you see white specks in your dog’s poop, obviously the first thing you need to do is to determine if the source is something living or not. Once you have determined if the specks are moving or not, you can move forward with your diagnosis.

This isn’t very fun, but it is important to determine whether or not you need to be concerned about your dog and whether or not they need to be taken to the vet. You want to get close enough to the stool that you will be able to discern movement. You can usually determine this in about 30 seconds of observation.

It may also be helpful to use a stick or something else that will allow you to move the poop around so you can get a better look at the specks and whether or not they are moving.

If the specks are moving, as we have noted above, the likelihood is that it is a parasite like worms, or it could be some other type of infection. Anything moving will need to be looked into by a veterinary professional. Anything moving indicates an issue and needs to be addressed.

Most often, this is a common parasitic infection that can be easily treated with basic medication.

Though, if there is no indication of movement in the white specks, chances are there is nothing to worry about. There is a range of causes for non-moving white specks, which we will get into shortly, and they aren’t often issues that will need a vet to address.

Common Types of Worms in Dogs

If the white specks in your dog’s poop are moving, the most common cause is worms. There are three main types of worms that dogs will get that are visible in their stool. Let’s take a brief look at each of these in turn.

Tapeworms

You may notice seed-sized white specks in your dog’s poop and if this is seen in tandem with butt scooting across the floor. They may also lick their private areas more often. Tapeworms eat parts of the dog’s intestines. They will often lay eggs in the dog’s digestive lining.

Hookworm

This can often be caused by roundworms or other issues and this is one of the more serious types of worms your dog can get. These are serious worms that can even get through the skin of a dog. This type of worm feeds off the blood of your pet and is highly transmissible so it needs to be treated as quickly as possible.

Roundworm

You may notice roundworms as string-like objects in your dog’s poop. As gross as it is, dogs most often get roundworms from eating the poop of other animals or gross dirt. Another common symptom of roundworms is irregular stools and vomiting.

Helminthiasis Toxocara canis (also known as dog roundworm) or parasitic worms from little dog on concrete background, selective focus

While we are on the subject of worms, it is important to understand that there are actually types of worms that cannot be seen with the naked eye. These worms can be very detrimental to the health of your dog.

Common types of worms that cannot be seen with the naked eye are whipworms and heartworms. Let’s take a short look at each of these worms.

Whipworms

Since you can’t see these worms, you have to look for behavioral and other signs that may indicate an issue. Dogs that are suffering from whipworms are weight loss, excess gas, and vomiting.

Heartworms

Heartworms are another common type of worm that you won’t see any signs of. Heartworms are serious and can attack the heart (hence the name), lungs, and even blood vessels. Dogs with heartworms may experience symptoms such as coughing.

What Are the White Specks In Dog Poop?

If the specks aren’t moving then what is the cause? Well, the answer is: it depends. There are numerous reasons that your dog may have non-moving white specks in their poop.

One of the most common reasons for non-moving white specks in dog poop is traces of bone that come from their food. Most commercial dog food uses bone meal, which may not always be fully broken down as your dog digests it. When this happens, it will often be visible in their stool.

Though this doesn’t pose any real risks to your dog’s health, many owners are unnerved by the idea of bone shards being in their dog’s food. It isn’t easy to find a dog food that doesn’t have some traces of bone or bonemeal in it, but vegetarian foods may be an option but it is important if you give your dog vegetarian food that you ensure you are meeting their full dietary needs.

Feeding your dog fresh food made from only fresh ingredients is a great way to keep them in optimal health and a common component of fresh dog food is rice or other grains. These may appear in your dog’s stool as non-moving white specks.

Dogs are also notorious for eating things they aren’t supposed to and any “people food” given to them or stolen by them, may also result in non-moving white specks.

Some medications can also result in non-moving white specks in your dog’s poop. If your dog takes medicine that is contained within a capsule, sometimes the capsule doesn’t fully digest before it is expelled and may look like non-moving white specks.

If your pupper is on medication and there is no other explanation for the non-moving white specks, especially if the dog is older, chances are it is simply undigested parts of the medication capsule.

Importance of Dog Poop

Ask any vet about your dog’s wellbeing and chances are, they are going to ask you about your dog’s stool. Their stool is actually a great indicator of their overall health and can provide important and vital information about nutrients they may be lacking or health issues they may be suffering from.

If you see white specks, take a deep breath and try not to freak out. These specks don’t necessarily mean that there is something terribly wrong with your pup. In a lot of cases, the white specks are not an issue at all.

Once you have noticed the white specks, you will next need to look for movement. They won’t necessarily be constantly moving, they may just occasionally twitch, so you may need to get a little close and observe for a few minutes.

Worms and other parasites are the most common culprit and if left untreated, they can cause some serious health problems in your dog. Finding moving white specks is a vital piece of information that you can tell your vet when you take them in.

Your vet may even want you to collect a sample to bring in so it can be tested. Doing this will allow the vet to determine exactly what parasite they are dealing with and thus can find the best possible treatment for the issue.

In most cases, worms and other parasites can be easily treated with medication. In rarer or more extreme cases, your dog may need to stay at the vet for a day or two to ensure the issue is under control.

The age of your animal is also an important consideration.

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In Closing

Finding white specks in your dog’s poop is understandably alarming, but it isn’t necessarily something to be worried about. Unfortunately, as unpleasant as it may be, you will need to investigate your dog’s stool to determine whether or not it is something you need to worry about.

The first thing you want to do is to determine whether or not the white specks are moving or not. To do this, you will need to observe the stool for movement.

If the white specks are moving, the culprit might be worms, infection, or other parasites. In this article, we discussed the most common types of worms and the symptoms your dog may display with each type.

Parasites and other conditions that lead to moving white specks you will need to take your dog to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

However, if the specks are not moving, there is less chance you need to worry. There are a lot of common and non-problematic reasons that there might be non-moving white specks in your do’s poop.

Most commonly it is a result of something they ate. Most commercial dog food has bone or bonemeal in it and, if undigested by your dog, it will appear as white specks in the poop. Other foods like rice and grains may also be responsible for non-moving white specks.

Older dogs that are taking medication may not be able to fully digest the outer capsule and this can also cause non-moving white specks in the dog’s poop.

Keeping an eye on your dog’s stool is a great, if unpleasant way, to keep an eye on your dog’s health. This is often the first indication that there is something wrong and it is helpful to know what your dog’s regular stool looks like so you can determine if something is amiss.

Related Reading:

  1. Why Does My Dog Eat Goose Poop? Coprophagia
  2. How To Stop Your Dog From Eating Cat Poop
  3. The 5 Stages Of Dog Decomposition