Why Are Some Puppies Born Green?

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In October of 2020, a mixed breed, white dog gave birth to a puppy in Italy who was born green. This was a little odd, as his four siblings came out white, according to CNN.

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Though it is rare for puppies to be born green, it does tend to happen from time to time.​ In January of 2020, a white German Shepherd in the United States gave birth to a green pup, and in 2017, a golden retriever in Scotland also had a puppy that was born green.


So, what happened? Did the mother eat green food coloring? Is being born green a birth defect or a disorder, or is it normal for this to happen once in a while?

If you happen to have a puppy that was born green, there's no need to fret: The condition is not at all harmful, and who knows? Like the Italian dog's owners said, the little green pup could even bring you luck.


Why some puppies are born green

A golden retriever gave birth to a green puppy.
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Some puppies are born green if they have light-colored fur and come into contact with a green pigment called biliverdin, which can be found in bile​. This is the pigment that also makes bruises turn green.


Biliverdin may be in the sack with the mom. There, it may mix with the amniotic fluid and stain the puppy, according to ABC News and Daily Mail Online. After the mom licks the puppy and the owner gives it a few baths, the green color will likely fade after a couple of weeks.

The owners of the dogs born green around the world considered fun names for their green pups, such as Hulk, Pistachio, Forest, and Gremlin, although one family noted that their green dog's fur turned yellow after a while, and wanted to call the dog Pikachu instead.



Some puppies are born green because of a pigment called biliverdin, which is also the pigment that causes bruises to turn green.​ This phenomenon is very rare, but when it does happen, it's nothing to worry about.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.



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